• Pregnancy: the Most Secure I Have Ever Been in my Body

    Pregnancy: the Most Secure I Have Ever Been in my Body
    Pregnancy: the Most Secure I Have Ever Been in my Body
    32 weeks pregnant!

    To anyone who compared my bump or your bump or anyone’s bump to good ol’ pizza pie,

    Pregnancy is one of the biggest changes a woman’s body goes through.

    Pregnancy is a very unique and beautiful experience.

    Pregnancy is something never to take for granted.

    Pregnancy is a vulnerable time filled with unexpected twists and turns.

    Pregnancy is a personal journey for each couple.

    Pregnancy is a time to be cherish and embraced.

    I always knew I wanted a family and to make lots of cutie little bubs. When I’d play ‘house’ as a kid, I would always have 4 kids (2 boys, 2 girls) and would dream of my fantasy family and having a fam crew of my own someday.

    I never thought about the experience of pregnancy itself though until it was time Jord and I were trying to start a family, but had a few setbacks in the whole fertility process. I didn’t realized how excited I was to actually carry our children until we struggled to. This was something I took for granted as I was growing up (as most women may) and never thought the experience of being pregnant wouldn’t be attainable for everyone. We learn from a young age that you grow up, get married and get pregnant. But unfortunately it isn’t as cookie-cutter for everyone. 

    The moment we received the news that we were expecting, a huge shift happened for me both mentally and physically. 

    For starters I gained a sense of femininity I felt was missing for years with my hormone imbalance. I have never felt more in love with my body for allowing me to start our dream family. This is something I truly am thankful for each and every day, especially knowing that not every woman can experience this for themselves. I look in the mirror at my growing bump and feel such a sense of happiness, comfort and pride. I’m more secure in myself physically than I have in my entire life, yet none of my clothes fit, every sweatshirt has turned into a crop top and I need an extra 10 minutes to get places because I move pretty darn slow.

    The past 32 weeks have taught me more about my body than I ever imagined. The biggest lesson of all being you have pretty much zero control over the crazy changes you will go through during this process. I have swollen ankles and feet that cause a ton of discomfort, back pains no matter which way I sit, stand or lay down, veins growing all over my legs and private area and so on. Your body is going to change, it’s going to grow, it’s going to have ups and downs and most importantly it’s going to carry a flipping miracle of life. 

    But like all amazing things in life, there comes some negative and challenging parts to this process. During my pregnancy as well as many others, one of the most challenging and surprising parts of the whole journey has been the unsolicited comments from others. Strangers, friends, family, anyone.

    I know that by putting myself out there on my blog and Instagram, there is always going to be chatter and people will always have something to say no matter what the situation may be. That is a part of life and I do pride myself on having a thick skin to handle it. Something that is needed when you are open about your life.

    But the second someone starts comparing my baby bump to looking like what they look like after they eat pizza, that thick skin turns into mama defense time. Even if someone doesn’t mean harm or means it as a compliment. Comparing a pregnant body and a beautifully round and precious bump to someone’s stomach after eating a sandwich or gluten or whatever the comparison may be, isn’t a compliment no matter which way you slice that pie (ha!). Or even worse, telling someone they don’t look pregnant.

    By now we all know how everyone’s body is different. No two women will carry their babies the same and that is one of the most beautiful and magical parts of pregnancy. It is our own unique journey that no one can come between. Whether that is a woman carrying her own child, having a surrogate, or whatever the situation may be. For those carrying their own children, it physically looks different for everyone. Some carry the baby weight in more than just their stomach. Some carry only in their stomach and some don’t even show until later on in the pregnancy while others show just a few weeks in. 

    But does it really matter what it looks like? As long as the baby and mama are healthy, who cares if they carry small or don’t gain as much weight as others? And on the opposite spectrum, who cares if someone puts on more weight than anticipated as long as their doctor says they’re in good shape, that’s all that matters. Just like any body, weight is carried different amongst every single person. 

    We are all vulnerable with comments around our bodies and especially when you’re hormonal during pregnancy. You feel large at times even when you may look small to others. You want to pop your belly after eating a big meal but then feel hungry an hour later. Your favorite sweat pants probably won’t fit by the third trimester and you’ll waddle everywhere. And for some, the energy you once had starts to lower a whole lot. If you are similar to me, you’ll be hungry for something to snack on quite frequently and maybe even tip over in barre class when you bend down because you’re not used to the extra weight (true story ha!) but who cares? I am carrying our son and that is the most magical experience I could ever dream of having.

    I hear many comments from those around me (both good and bad) about how I look while pregnant. Fortunately I do have a positive outlook and am pretty much obsessed with my growing bump so when others make comments that don’t come off too nicely, I am usually able to brush it off. Some say I look huge and they can’t believe how “huge” I got since last time I saw them. Or “WOW! Talk about a grow spurt. I can’t believe how big you got in a week!”. Some say I look bloated and that I look like I ate pizza. Then we have those who kindly say I am carrying beautifully and ask me how I feel. I always try to be polite no matter what the situation or comment may be. I like to think no one means harm and give them the benefit of the doubt, but comments add up no matter what.

    But what I really want to convey here is, if it isn’t socially acceptable to make contraversial comments about a woman’s body not pregnant, I don’t see why it is any different when they are pregnant. I have never told a friend or anyone they look bloated after eating something or that they look huge. I would feel so awkward!

    So what do you say? Without feeling like you’re walking on egg shells?

    When in doubt, tell them they look wonderful or ask them how they’re feeling. Tell them they’re carrying so beautifully and you cannot wait to meet their little babe soon. Questioning someone if their pregnant with twins because their bump is so big or asking someone if they’re actually pregnant or if they have a surrogate because they’re so small, isn’t going to put a smile on anyone’s face…even if the intention is from a good place (which I like to think it usually is!).

    Pregnancy is a time to be embraced. It’s an intimate time between a mama and her child and spouse. Because of the physical aspect, it’s also turned into a time for comments from others but if we all keep in mind to show nothing but love and say what we would want to hear ourselves, that is the best way to go about it. This truly applies to all aspects in life, beyond this topic.

    Pregnancy has been my favorite phase of my life so far and especially sharing this with Jord, our family and you guys. I’m so thankful to put our journey out there and your support and love sharing each step has truly not gone unnoticed. 

    xx, Rach 

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    7 Comments

  • Reply Meredith Cooley December 28, 2018 at 9:28 am

    Bravo Mama 👏❤️ I am due almost the same time as you and can relate to all of it! Best of luck with everything!

    • Reply Rachel December 28, 2018 at 2:05 pm

      awww!! sending you love boo! xx

  • Reply Kiera December 28, 2018 at 11:23 am

    Love this- so many people are telling me you don’t even look pregnant- my belly is bigger than yours after I eat blah blah and your the smallest pregnant women – and while it sounds nice to be called small, it makes me feel different and weird. And I look at myself and see this precious growing bump and feel all of these physical changes and than when I hear things like that I feel like I see myself differently and I feel huge for myself and proud of it, but everyone keeps saying otherwise. I’m glad to read what you wrote because it made me feel happy about my size no matter what! Thank you

    • Reply Rachel December 28, 2018 at 2:05 pm

      the comments don’t end! sending you and your beautiful bump love! xx

  • Reply Melanie December 28, 2018 at 11:30 am

    Such a powerful read that ANYONE can benefit from! Thank you so much for documenting and sharing your feelings-here’s to a safe delivery for you and lil Bebe!

    • Reply Rachel December 28, 2018 at 2:04 pm

      aww thank you so much melanie! xx

  • Reply 34 Week Bump Update - rachLmansfield January 11, 2019 at 7:00 am

    […] I am obsessed with carrying our little babe and watching my body change to grow our baby (more on that here), but the discomfort has really taken on a new level and each day seems to be getting a bit more […]

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