by Danielle Sherman
Your back hurts from the weight you’re carrying up front, random coarse dark hairs sprout out of your chin that your husband offers to pluck for you (thanks honey!), and oh dammit, is that one coming out of your cheek? Welcome to pregnancy or as Will Smith raps and because it’s catchy AF, “Bienvenidos a Pregnancy” (in Miami tune). Pregnancy comes with a lot of fun little changes to your body (thanks hormones!). Fortunately, not everyone will get every side effect.
However, there is one thing about pregnancy that is universally true for every woman who finds herself lucky enough to carry a little bundle, and this little tidbit may be daunting for a recovering anorexic–you are going to gain weight to the point where you don’t recognize your body. Yes, you heard me right, but don’t sound the alarms just yet (no one can do that like Queen Beyoncé anyway.) I am on pregnancy number two, so you will probably do the whole thing again and maybe again and again. If you are feeling crazy, maybe even Duggar status, no judgment here. Bottom line, it can’t be that terrible.
My advice is to take in this new body with acceptance and humor. Acceptance, for pretty obvious reasons, you are carrying the best thing that will ever happen to you so it is more than worth it. But sometimes rationalizing that fact with the ED Voice can be a losing battle. Yes, you know you have a beautiful baby in your belly and you are lucky as hell, but you still feel like a whale, and you start hating yourself for these feelings. What do you do? Try this new attitude I have developed –look at your body with humor goggles (like beer goggles, but they won’t steer you wrong.) I dare you– because if you can laugh in the face of your ED voice, you know you have really put this whole ED thing behind you.
For example, I am twenty-five weeks pregnant with my second child and my boobs have grown to a size quadruple D (minimal exaggeration) like I got a massive boob job, except they aren’t perky or pretty.
They are actually so big that they fascinate my fifteen-month old daughter.
Hey eyes become large like she is watching a car wreck, fascination and horror filled baby browns, as she points and says “boo, boos,” what she calls my boobs or what used to be my boobs now replaced by two gigantic itchy veiny beasts.
“Yes, and they feel like boo boos too,” I say back to her and don’t correct her wordage, because damn, these things ache too, and my little girl may be on to something. So the humor in this situation is that my boobs are so obscene that they are now one of my daughter’s first words.
Your stomach will bulge outward to make room for your baby pushing your belly button in that direction. This creeps me out the most, because my belly button starts making it’s way to outie-status. Every day I slowly glance at it as it pushes a little more and more towards the surface. My husband and me joke about it, even making bets on the day when it will officially be like “hi, I am an outie, what’s up?”
I also tend to do things to lighten up my thoughts on my big round belly. Sometimes I will even paint a smiley face in lipstick on it. Why? Because it makes me laugh and gives my belly some character, a little personality, and some sass.
So if you are a recovering or recovered ED mama-to-be who is struggling with body acceptance during pregnancy try this humor approach. Find the funny in your new temporary body. You are blessed and humor can help you remember that—even with each hair on your chinny-chin-chin (And you will understand the three little pigs more than ever as a life bonus!)