This weekend we finally started setting up Xander’s area! His changing table is put together (thank you Jak!) and his bouncer is set up! We aren’t buying a lot of things right now because family friends are hosting my baby shower in October. I am definitely wondering what that will be like. I know baby showers include games, but I am definitely curious about the types of games. I’ve only seen baby showers in TV shows so I have nothing to really base them off of. I am a bit over 28 weeks and I just really want to see Xander. I had my first dream about him a couple nights ago and when I woke up all I wanted was for him to be here already. I feel so stupid but I just want to hold him. I want to see him and get to know him. So far, he kicks when I talk to him sometimes and will do the same when Jak talks. My mom keeps trying to talk to Xander when he hasn’t been moving and I assume is asleep. No matter how many times I tell mom, “Xander is probably asleep” she keeps trying to touch and rub my stomach and talk to him.
I was talking to Jak about how it’s not normal to just walk up to someone and put your hand on their stomach. I was asking why is it a normal thing to do when someone is pregnant? Did respect of personal space just suddenly disappear? I found it interesting that if your pregnant people act differently around you. They are focused on your stomach, they make comments on your body (whether you look good for being pregnant or not, or the shape of your stomach), and comment on what you’re eating (as in whether that’s the healthiest choice).
I honestly feel like I am under a microscope! I know in our body-obsessed culture that there’s talk of diets and working out, but why do people feel like they have to comment on a pregnant woman’s body or eating? Don’t people know that the body changes and pregnant women get strange cravings? So why comment? I understand sometimes it comes from a good place, like Jak’s mom said I look skinny for being pregnant (thank you for the compliment!) and that is nice, especially when she knows of my struggles with anorexia (those compliments reassure me). It’s when people comment on how your body changed and how you need to stay in shape so you look good after pregnancy that bugs me. My question is, why do you care what I look like after pregnancy? Am I not going to be good enough for having given birth, do I have to look good too after that? I know pregnant women struggle with body image issues throughout pregnancy, and most times struggle after giving birth. We moms should celebrate our bodies for being so strong and capable instead of hating or criticizing them. That also goes to the people who feel this need to comment. I think something better to focus on are topics like what you plan on doing as a mom, what are your strategies for raising your child, have you thought about schools, doctors, etc. To me, as someone who was obsessed with the way my body looks prior to pregnancy, my body image is one of the last things that are on my mind these days. I am thinking of Xander and Jak first before I am thinking about if I’ll be fit in X amount of weeks post-birth. I guess through pregnancy, I have learned a lot when it comes to my body.
I have learned a new appreciation for my body; I have learned that some people seem to be uncomfortable with the changes my body is going through; I have learned that having a pregnant stomach seems to make people want to touch me and talk to my stomach; I have learned that stretch marks happen and that’s okay; I have learned that my body is capable of so much more than I ever thought was possible.
So thank you for those who give well-meant compliments, I can understand the desire to reassure me during the changes I go through, especially given I’ve struggled with anorexia. I also think most pregnant women would appreciate being asked if you can touch our stomachs before you just touch us. I think it’s also nice if conversations didn’t revolve around being pregnant 100% of the time. I would love to talk about my writing, or career plans, or projects I am working on. I am much more than just pregnant.