Wednesday, November 21, 2012

There is No Glamour Here

I'm consumed lately with my own sense of awkwardness. I am not me right now, not with this changed body that sways strangely, my movements slow. I waddle (already, not even in my third trimester yet). I breathe heavily when I walk ("I've become a loud breather!" I tell my husband, laughing but embarrassed by it). My thighs are growing at a rate that's making me nervous.

My midwife tells me my belly is perfect, that my size is normal. Truthfully, from behind you can't tell I'm pregnant, and I have no extra weight anywhere else (except my thighs, probably, and my face seems rounder to me). But I don't feel like myself. This is so different, I keep thinking, stupidly, too, since I knew from the beginning that no two pregnancies are alike and that this one would be as unknown as the first.

Yet every day I'm surprised anew when I see how big I am - my belly with Max was tiny; I currently look now, at 26 weeks, like I did at the end of that pregnancy - and every day I have a moment where I feel like I am not me and am not quite sure what to make of this new me. I am foreign to myself; aside from the typical aches, acid reflux and exhaustion, this pregnancy is no longer in any way similar to my first. I have no point of reference anymore.

One superficial thing that bugs me is how dowdy I look now. I'm annoyed at how boring my clothes are, every item practical and usable in various combinations. Yawn. This is my own fault, of course, given that I can't stomach the thought of throwing money away on temporary clothes and have instead chosen to stick to affordable basics. I stand by this choice, but man, my fashionable side is aching. I'm now more aware of just how much my sense of fashion mattered to me. The funny thing is, I don't consider myself particularly fashionable, but whatever I had going on pre-pregnancy, it worked for me. I think what I miss is the choice - I could wear conservative clothes to work then rock a sexy-as-hell top and uber-high heels at night. There was variety, there were options to match my mood. Now? Now it's all so bland. I noticed just this week that I'm wearing more jewelry and mixing it up more than usual to make up for the loss. 

And shoes? I'm down to two pairs, the most comfortable shoes I own, since that's all I can handle now. I have my awesome NB Minimus and these cute, go-with-everything Born black flats. See that? Two brands that specialize in comfort. It's come down to that: comfort. My feet get achy by the end of the day and I have mild swelling sometimes, so no more heels, no more flats, no more boots. This is what I've changed into, one who chooses comfort over style, every time I get dressed, every day. Not that I think the two are mutually exclusive, just that in my awkward state, it seems that it's one or the other, but not both.

I can't be bothered to think about what I must look like to others, but I'm bothered by what I look like to me, and it annoys me. I wish I was more focused on the miracle of life growing inside me, but all it takes is me huffing and puffing from my office to my car and that goes out the window and I'm all, when and how did I become this person? I have a mild worry that none of this is normal, that what I look like now is a sign that it will all get worse, that I will balloon into a monster, that I will not be able to walk anymore, that I will go into labor too early. There's no sign that anything is amiss, yet I can't let those thoughts go. All I know is that I don't look like me or walk like me or even think like me right now. I'm a nutty ball of emotions, housed in a body I can't control. W. T. F.

Maybe I'm being too hard on myself? I wonder about that, too, if I'm just expecting too much at a time when "too much" is not really an option. I don't want to make excuses for myself, don't want to use pregnancy as a shield from responsibilities or anything else. Even so, I feel limited by my body and all the stuff going on inside me. 

My third trimester looms around the corner, and I know I will have to slow down. I'm ready for it, I welcome it. I know I have to rest and stop criticizing myself. I'm more and more ready to focus on this baby and the priority of bringing him safely into this world and working with my husband so we can all transition to this new phase of our very crazy, very sweet life, part two. Bring it. 

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Posted by Tere @ 11/21/2012   | | | links to this post