I wrote a post a while back about how having kids has really improved my body image. It’s amazing to me that shift from being so consumed with what size I was and how many calories I ate to wanting to be healthy and strong so I could take care of my children. Now that I’m 9 months pregnant and ready to pop, it’s been a little harder having a positive body image than it was earlier in the pregnancy or even between pregnancies.
I know that I’ve been measuring big this whole time, and at first, the stares and open mouths of people who found out I was only so far along were kind of funny and didn’t bother me too much. But it’s starting to get really old. I AM GROWING A HUMAN LIFE. And that not only deserves respect and admiration, but it deserves to not be commented on or judged. It makes it SO much harder to love and appreciate everything that my body is going through when everyone around me has to comment on my size. “Wow you really have a basketball/watermelon in there.” “Any day now huh?” “You have how long left?!” “Is there just one in there?” “Everytime I look at you I just think, OUCH.” “I wouldn’t carry your toddler/walk up stairs/keep working (etc.) if I were you.”
The thing is, I actually feel great right now. Yes it’s difficult to breathe and bend down and roll over and do basic menial tasks but I really don’t notice the bump as much as you would think. So when complete strangers feel the need to comment and judge not only how I look but how I’m acting, it takes my self-confidence from a total high to an all time low.
Last week, a local mom photographer was looking for models to do milk bath maternity sessions. If you haven’t seen these before, just check Pinterest. They’re super trendy right now and the whole point is to get the mom-to-be super relaxed and to really focus on the beauty of pregnancy. To be honest, I was weirded out by the idea at first, and when I told Jared about it he looked at me like I was crazy. But I decided this was something I wanted to do. I wanted to capture my bump in all of its glory and have some beautiful pictures to look back on with fond memories, instead of the negative ones brought on by people’s inconsiderate comments.
I was nervous going into the session, but the photographer (who’s name is also Casey!) was great at helping me feel comfortable and super relaxed the whole time. She was great at building my confidence during the shoot and at finding the right angle of shots to take. And I absolutely love how the images turned out! I feel like I needed this boost to get me back on track of thinking positively about my body.
Pregnancy is a wonderful, crazy thing. My body literally took two cells and turned them into a living, breathing, functioning, human being. And in a couple weeks, my body is going to push that human being out and start providing 100% of her nutritional needs for several months. Stretch marks suck, but my body stretched beyond what it has ever done before to accommodate this life form that it intuitively knew how to create. There is no doubt in my mind that this is a divine work, and it should be treated as such. So for that reason, I still love my body, I frequently walk around the house with my shirt up so Reagan can say hi to baby sister. I will continue to go on walks and do squats and carry my toddler wherever I please because I can. I will continue to post pictures of my growing body for all the world to see because it is something to be celebrated, not hidden. And when baby girl gets here, I will be in no rush to “get my body back,” it hasn’t gone anywhere, it just spend almost a year creating a perfect life and I’m more than okay giving it a break.
About the photographer: Casey Boles is proud to serve San Antonio and its surrounding areas. She specializes in shooting families, infants/children, portraits, and more. Visit her Facebook page Wine & White Balance Photography or her website here.