I have debated writing this post for quite some time…I was fearful of judgment, scared to hurt feelings, and mostly hopeful I was wrong; but alas, I’m here to say: I never got the “pregnancy glow.”
I grew up listening to my mom talk about how much she loved being pregnant and, aside from Rachel from Friends, the only thing I had ever seen on TV was about how wonderful pregnancy is.
I knew better than to think I would look like Princess Kate after delivery, but because of what I had heard/read/seen, I expected nothing less than to be absolutely glowing while I was pregnant. I always dreamed of experiencing pregnancy and becoming a mom, so what a rude awakening I got when after the first trimester ended, I had yet to achieve that “pregnancy glow.”
Don’t worry, I’m not going to go off on a Kim Kardashian rant about how much I hate pregnancy, because I don’t. I also don’t want you to think that by me sharing my thoughts on pregnancy that I take for granted how blessed I am to be pregnant. Some of my closest friends are currently struggling with infertility and I always walk on eggshells trying not to offend them with my complaints. I also try not to whine to my husband about pregnancy because I don’t want him to think for a minute that I regret our choice to have a baby. But this, this is my safe place. I want to share my thoughts in the hopes that it will reach other pregnant woman who may be struggling with the same thoughts.
I assure you, my fellow non-glowing pregnant women, your thoughts are justified and nobody can judge you for that.
The pregnancy acne you may be experiencing? No, it’s not glamorous and I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy.
Those cankles and swollen feet that prevent you from wearing your favorite shoes? I feel your pain.
The overwhelming exhaustion you have doing normal, everyday tasks? Take it as a sign to sit down. The chores will wait!
The anxiety/headaches/burned-out feelings you must overcome to go to work every day? I feel it too. I mean, I’m growing a baby–that’s a full-time job in and of itself! What more do you want from me? I have major respect for those women who work until the day they have the baby, but me? I’d rather not have my baby in the elevator at work. Struggle bus, party of 1 (and a half) over here!
The unceasing heartburn and/or gas? Tums are with me 24/7.
Those stretch marks you are likely now plagued with? Girl, if you are just now getting stretch marks, welcome to the club–I’ve had them since puberty!
The constant need to pee? Not a fan.
The Braxton Hicks contractions that are supposed to prepare you for birth? Over it.
The back and foot massages I receive at the drop of a hat? Oh wait, that doesn’t happen, but wouldn’t it be marvelous?!
The fact that your life revolves around one doctor appointment after another? Stressful. I’m sure my husband loves when I send him an iCal invite to yet another appointment.
But the most challenging thing for me? Watching the scales. I never, in a million years, would have thought that I would struggle with the thought of gaining weight while pregnant, but here I am…weighing more than I ever have and struggling to look at myself in the mirror. I know this is a petty thing to worry about and everyone keeps telling me that all of the weight will just fall off after I have the baby, but it doesn’t change the way I feel. Maybe it’s because I don’t have a celebrity makeup team following me around to make me look pretty or Photoshop to edit any and all photos that people take of me, but I do know one thing…
I’m not going to let pregnancy symptoms, society, weight gain, or comparisons steal my pregnancy glow–I’m going to work even harder to make sure that my glow is shining from the inside. Because, at the end of the day–despite everything, I am so incredibly happy to be pregnant and would do it all over again in a heartbeat.
Since Mother Nature wasn’t kind to me, I will create my own pregnancy glow!