I sat waiting and waiting for the “glow” to appear when I was pregnant with my son, but acne showed up instead. I waited for my hair to grow long and strong from my prenatal vitamins, but my hair grew brittle and fell out endlessly. Cute maternity clothes were almost impossible to find, and any clothes that I did find looked like a potato sack on me. I grew to resent those that had seemingly perfect pregnancies, until I realized that it was not perfect for anyone. Some people may hide their trials better than others, but that doesn’t mean their pregnancy is a walk in the park either.
I shamefully remember laughing to myself as we saw the perfect Kim K. gain weight while she was pregnant, proving that she was not completely perfect. That must have set me up for some nasty karma, because the same thing happened to me. I could simply think of a candy bar, and I would gain ten pounds. Every appointment I watched the scale climb up in horror, wondering how in the world a person could gain so much weight in nine short months. Then there are those who gain the “standard” 10-25 pounds, and shed it all weeks after the baby comes.
I once read an old wives tale that stated if you are pregnant with a girl, she will “steal” your beauty. This had me convinced that my baby was indeed a girl, because everything was falling apart. I ended up wearing my hair in braids every day, because it was so dry and frail that I didn’t dare do much else to it. I also hoped that my lifelong curse of acne would clear up with all the new hormones running through my body, but it got only worse. My face still hasn’t cleared up, and I am left trying to figure out how to get rid of acne scars.
The hardest part of my pregnancy, however, was not physical at all. It was mental. I waited and waited to feel the “bond” that I hear mothers speak so fondly of, but it never came. I’m not sure if it’s because we called our baby “it” since we never found out the sex, or if it’s because it never felt real to me. I thought that I was going to be an awful mother, because I didn’t have an overwhelming sense of love or selflessness that I knew I was supposed to. I feared meeting my little one, thinking that he wasn’t going to get an amazing mother who loved him more than herself. Then I met him. The second he was placed in my arms, a new version of me was born that day as well. I finally felt the bond that I was so terrified I never would.
It might surprise you, but I do look back on my pregnancy fondly. It was not perfect, and there were some very low lows, but the end result was way more than worth it. I know how it feels to sit and wait for the overwhelming feeling of joy and love to happen with baby in tow, with no luck. I’m here to tell you that you are not doing anything wrong, and that you are going to be an amazing mom. Even if it doesn’t show on the outside, your body is doing amazing things that can’t always be seen by onlookers. Learn to accept the fact that not everyone gets by with a beautiful glow and no sign of cankles.
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