When You Are The Worst Case Scenario

A few weeks ago I was making my way through my blog reading list, catching up on the latest posts, when I came across a post about how pregnancy effects body image and how to work through the changes. I enjoyed most of the ideas in the post until I came to a point about trusting your body in pregnancy. 

The author encouraged readers to not fall for the horror stories and worrying about what may happen during pregnancy, but instead trust your body to do miraculous things and you may be surprised to find that none of the horror stories will come to pass. In theory, this is great advice. I do believe our perfectly made bodies are capable of amazing things. That's how we were designed by God. And every woman's body handles pregnancy differently. But, I didn't agree with the author's examples of what could go "wrong" during pregnancy. Or the inference that if those examples become reality, your body let you down.

Granted, that may not have been what the author intended to infer, but that's how it related to me, because in those terms, I was a pregnancy horror story.

The only thing is, I didn't know that what I experienced during my pregnancy was so bad it was considered pregnancy doom to others. 

I didn't know that I was a horror story. The worst case scenario.

I gained sixty five pounds {if not more} during my pregnancy. I gained weight regardless of my clean diet and active lifestyle. I'm not sure what else I could have done to have not gained the weight I did. Some women gain more weight. Period. I don't think I agree with the "one size fits all" weight gain limit put on pregnant women.

I thought I made it all the way through pregnancy without a stretch mark. It was the end of the third trimester and I was sure I was home free! But alas, in my eighth month I did eventually develop some stretch marks around my mid section. Do I like them? No. Am I proud of them? Not really. Will they take forever and a half to fade away? Most likely. Do I regret them? Absolutely not.

I also had edema. And it wasn't just in my feet and ankles. I had edema up past my knees to my mid-thigh. I wore compression socks whenever cooler weather would allow. I had to buy size 11 tennis shoes to accommodate my larger feet and even those sometimes wouldn't fit and I had to resort to a pair or flip flops that had straps that only went over the toes. But much to my midwives' puzzlement, I wasn't anywhere near preeclampsia or gestational diabetes. My edema did not have an explanation. I just had swollen legs.

This was a good day....
After 40 hours of a Pitocin drip, looking a bit puffy. 
Of course if my feet were so swollen, my hands fared the same. At about seven and a half months, I could no longer wear my wedding rings. I had only one or two pairs of ugly shoes I could fit my feet into and I had waved goodbye to any of my "normal" clothes at 4-5 months. It wasn't ideal, but it was real.

All of these experiences don't mean my body handled pregnancy any less. My body didn't fail me.

In some ways I went into my pregnancy with the attitude that author was promoting. I thought that what happened to others wouldn't happen to me. And honestly, that attitude didn't do me any favors. It hurt worse when certain scenarios did come true for me. I would have been better off reflecting on the possible side effects of pregnancy and coming to terms with what my body may have to endure. Because all of the "maybes" pale in consideration to the absolute: a new baby. 

During my pregnancy, I fell prey to the "why me?" comparison. I would see other pregnant mamas wearing their jeans through the second trimester, flashing their wedding rings, and rocking strappy gladiator sandals or 4 inch heels. What was wrong with me? Why couldn't my body do that? Typical and unreasonable female comparison got the better of me. But amidst these comparing weaknesses, I never felt that my pregnancy was awful or unbearable. My weight gain wasn't horrifying. As irritating as my edema was, it wasn't painful. I was able to pick out a cheap, but beautiful CZ ring to wear. And I did my best to stretch the budget to include a maternity wardrobe.

I was happy with my pregnancy.

Gaining 65 pounds wasn't the end of the world. Yes, I looked like a balloon when I left the hospital, but the weight fell off, albeit slowly. A bit over a year since Ethan's birth, I am down over 50 pounds, still tackling those pesky 10 pounds and hoping for more. I'm back in all my shoes, although I did prematurely purge my inventory. Whoops! Nine months post-partum I was able to slip both my wedding rings on without my finger turning purple. Woot! Woot! And we shall see how the stretch marks fare.

As soon as Ethan made his appearance, those big "issues" of pregnancy faded away. All that mattered was the new baby and getting used to this mom thing. Swollen feet and stretch marks are the small stuff.

And don't sweat the small stuff.

Vi ses senare!
Share to Facebook Email This Share to Twitter Pin This

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...