Why Is It So Hard to Not Compare Pregnant Bodies?
So my cousin recently gave birth, and she's one of those genetically gifted women who somehow seems to lose weight while pregnant. It's as if all of the weight is redistributed from the rest of her body to her belly.
I get pregnant everywhere, and I am having the hardest time not comparing our pregnant bodies.
Theoretically, of course, I realize that all pregnant women are different and that theoretically, of course, my fourth pregnancy might be a bit different than another woman's first.
But it's still so hard, sometimes, isn't it? To not compare another woman's belly to our own?
I think it has something to do with the fact that, as women, we place so much of our worth on our appearance and what we look like. And pregnancy is no different.
We want to have the “perfect” pregnancy and the “perfect” baby bump and only gain weight in very small proportions only in our stomach, but ladies?
It doesn't always work that way.
Pregnancy makes some of us gain weight in different ways, as our bodies are expanding, softening, and preparing to welcome and nourish new life into the world. Our very cells change, wanting to hold on to a little extra nutrients in order to feed the little one inside of us. Some of us feel great and “glowing” and are able to exercise through all nine months, while others of us feel horrible and miserable and just walking puts us in immense pain.
Right now, I am 28 weeks pregnant, and I admit that I eagerly look for other women at this stage in the pregnancy game; I want to compare and contrast my belly to theirs. Who's bigger? Who's more swollen? Who looks like they walked off the red carpet?
But in the end, none of it matters.
Genetics, stature, and even rib-to-hip ratio can make a woman “show” or “not show” faster or more or not as much, and honestly, that can't tell us anything about a woman or her baby's health. The size of her bump or even the swelling in her ankles is not an indicator of how well she is “doing pregnancy”. Because such a thing doesn't exist.
All of us who are pregnant are lucky, and all we can hope for is a healthy baby. It's a trite statement, but it is so, so true. In three months I know the fact that, right now, I am definitely not red-carpet ready won't matter. I will have time to work on having the body I want, but right now, my body is more than about what I want.
Pregnancy is the one time in my life when it truly doesn't matter what I look like, because it's the one time in my life when my body is serving a purpose other than trying to be as skinny as possible. It's the one time in my life when my body is doing incredible, amazing things.
And sometimes, size really doesn't matter.
Did you “show” earlier or more than other pregnant women?