So here is the obligatory post about gaining weight in pregnancy. Swistle did a great one a few months back, and I totally agreed with her theory: Your body gains what it is supposed to gain for the baby, and will in turn lose it eventually, so long as you don't completely lose your mind and eat the entire IHOP menu for breakfast every day. So it's really not worth stressing over too much- eat the ice cream, don't eat the ice cream, whatever. You're going to feel like a whale by the end regardless, so don't overthink it.
That said, I will also say that it is much easier to keep this perspective the first time around, when the magic of the blossoming belly is much more, well, magical. The first time, I actually got EXCITED about every pound gained. This time, especially when I realized that the only cure for my morning sickness was to keep something in my tummy at all times, I was not so thrilled to see the scale creeping up at only eight weeks along. I am now almost thirty-one weeks, and I have gained a good thirty pounds. I am anticipating at least ten more, since with Addy I gained ten pounds just in the last WEEK before delivery (most of it water weight, though, I think.)
My stomach is definitely up and out there, the proverbial snack tray on which I can balance my most frequent craving, cheddar cheese and Triscuits. I have new stretch marks climbing all the way to my belly button, and my thighs, never my best feature, have reached epic proportions. Really. You could slice whale steaks off of them. My boobs, rather than growing buxom and full like ripe fruit, have grown big and loose and elastic, and also, mysteriously, decided to migrate into my armpits. When I see myself in recent photos, my face looks weirdly bloated and my arms looks like Another Person's flabby arms. I feel strange in my own body sometimes, trapped, even.
But despite this temporary weirdness (please God let it be temporary) I also feel a little more like a real pregnant person this time, if that makes sense. My last pregnancy seemed so easy, and I had so much energy for most of it, that if I hadn't been so obsessed with all things baby I might have forgotten I was pregnant at all. Not so this time around. If the heartburn isn't reminding me, my cumbersome waddle is, or the random limbs pressing down on my bladder. The other day I coughed and felt such intense pressure down there that I literally checked my pants, thinking I had broken my water. Glamorous stuff. But there is no chance of my forgetting for more than five minutes the significant task my body is busy with.
My belly is an orb, stretched tight like a drum. It's actually kind of awesome to behold, if you're in the right frame of mind. I'm not always in said frame, but when it happens, I can actually be amazed at what my body is capable of doing. My hips ache a lot from separating, for instance, but it is kind of remarkable that my brain can trigger a hormone to cause my actual joints to relax and stretch apart like that. It will be a whole 'nother kind of remarkable when none of my jeans fit a few months from now, but, as I said, this kind of thinking requires the proper frame of mind!
So what do you think of pregnant bodies, particularly your own? Did it mostly just horrify you towards the end, or were you able to keep perspective and appreciate the miracle you were creating?