I am 5 months into my second pregnancy, and we wasted no time getting pregnant this time; in fact my son will be 18 months when our next little squish arrives. That being said, I was unprepared for how quickly my belly would “pop” this time around. With my first, I was still wearing my normal clothes well into my six months of pregnancy. With a summer pregnancy I had very little need for maternity pants – summer dresses were where it was at. This time, I had to bite the bullet and buy maternity pants early – just after my 3rd month. I struggled that day in the dressing room, trying on maternity pants that were both too small and too big thinking I was never going to find something that fit my in between size.
To make things worse, colleagues of mine began also announcing their pregnancies, due before me, and were still in their normal clothes. My bump was huge compared to them! I was struggling with finding my confidence in my new larger size, and feeling comfortable knowing that everyone’s body is different. The day I finally accepted my size, wore my maternity pants and a tighter fitting shirt showing of my beautiful growing bump I had a woman approach me and say “Are you sure there is only one in there?” And with that simple sentence I was thrown back into my self-conscious cycle.
I vented to my friends, both of whom are done having children and in my book so much wiser than myself. Both instantly understood how I was feeling, and shockingly had stories of their own to share. “One time at the DMV I was asked if I wanted to add more onto my weight.” (She was NOT pregnant at the time) and “I was always asked this when I was pregnant with my third.” My mind suddenly shifted.
Why do we do this to each other? Why am I instantly judged on my weight before anything else? And who thinks it is not only appropriate but okay to say hurtful words to someone else? I’m certain that my story is not unique, nor are my friends, which brings me even more anger and frustration. Life is hard enough, why must we be so hard on each other?
Pregnancy is a wonderful, joyous time, but it also can be a horribly uncomfortable time. I rarely had anyone make comments on my weight prior to being pregnant. Why is it suddenly okay to make comments now that I was? I am no less self-conscious about my changing body now that I am pregnant and I know I am going to be growing, but I still do not welcome comments about my weight. I think that as a society we are very weight obsessed, and it is constantly a conversation I hear from young girls and women alike.
Ultimately, I want to know why, why do we think this is okay to do? What is missing in our society that allows us to talk to other human beings this way? I work hard every day teaching tomorrow’s leaders that a little bit of kindness goes a long way, and every day I am amazed at how it is so much easier to be mean instead of kind. Let’s work to remember that a little bit of kindness does go a long way, and positivity and kindness can spread just as quickly as hate and disrespect. In addition, I will work hard to continue to love myself and my changing body and focus on the fact that I am growing a little human, which is not an easy task.