We’ve decided on a name! You may not care & there’s no need to “announce” it, but it’s a fun milestone to share so what the hell, right? Today seems like a great day to share because I’m 36 weeks pregnant & there are only 4 weeks left. I had every intention of posting more updates than I have…the last one was announcing the pregnancy so epic fail.
This particular blog post has been the hardest one to write. I have so many thoughts swimming in my head about pregnancy, body image, motherhood & transitioning to no longer just being “Brooke” & what I consider to be a cool human-being, but someone’s mom while managing to keep my shit together & not losing sight of myself. Only time can tell.
Pregnancy is nothing & everything like I imagined. Honestly, I thought I would look differently than I do. Meaning, every since the first time I was called “fat” in second grade I’ve had some deep-rooted body image issues & was expecting to be a waddling whale who semi-resembled Violet from Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory post blueberry transformation. Fortunately, I’m not quite there yet, but I’ve realized I’m still critical of my ever-changing body. I love feeling my son move inside my belly & I’ve been able to stay relatively active, but I don’t look like what I thought I would or SHOULD. I still think when I’m sitting I look more fat than pregnant & hubs assures me I am “obviously pregnant.” Thanks, honey (that was not sarcastic, I swear). In actuality, his affirmations of my pregnancy are helping with my own body-image perception & make me feel beautiful. For instance, my bellybutton was relatively deep pre-pregnancy & is starting to look like it might eventually pop out, but until then I’ve criticized my belly for not being round enough. I can see where my bellybutton crater is & it is prohibiting a perfectly round bump. I didn’t expect an outie bellybutton, but I thought my belly would & SHOULD be perfectly round. I’m gonna should myself to death…
Managing other peoples’ bump-spectations isn’t something I thought I would encounter, but I have & I must say when people find out you’re pregnant they lose their mind. They lose all sense of boundaries & common decency. When I was 28 weeks pregnant I was so excited to finally feel, in my mind, like I looked pregnant & not fat. I posted my first official bump picture with the official pregnancy sticker proudly adorning my belly with my pregnancy week & the size of vegetable or fruit my son is (P.S. comparing children to things I eat really creeps me out). I got a lot of comments that made me feel great & telling me how awesome I looked. But, there were a few comments I received, meant in jest but hurtful nonetheless, about my bump being hard to see or I’ve been given those incredulous looks of nonbelief when I mention what month I’m in. I didn’t think others making a harmless (in their mind) comment would negatively impact me. I think it’s because at 28 weeks pregnant I was finally starting to feel beautiful in my pregnancy skin. These comments also impact how a mom-to-be sees herself, because someone, not meaning harm, has implanted a seed that they too don’t think she looks like she SHOULD at that stage. Think before you speak, people. And while we are at it, don’t rub a stranger’s belly unless you ask first, say “you’re so huge!,” comment on how tired a mom looks or anything else that could be misconstrued. We are growing a tiny human, are full of emotions & you will hurt our feelings.
So I just took maternity pictures & vowed to not do anything cheesy or show my belly because it just seemed weird. All those memes & articles out there urging you not to be a judgemental parent saying, “My child would never…” or “I will never…” bit me in the ass. When my photographer asked if I’m okay showing my belly my initial thought was “Of course!” I mean, I’m growing a human & pretty damn proud of it. I was hesitant to pull my skirt below my growing bump instead of covering it in billowy fabric, but it was surprisingly freeing to show it off. I always said “never” but pregnancy changes your boundaries, too. I’ve become more confident & amazed at what my body can do & have started to embrace my bump. Here are few of my favorite shots from the photo session by Stephanie Moore.