After being pregnant for nearly 2 years, I have a hard time looking at my non pregnant self. I find that I am so used to being pregnant that I don’t like the way I look while not pregnant. I’ve never had high self esteem, and am always picking myself apart, so being pregnant made me feel beautiful. When I was pregnant with Landon, I wore scrubs a lot and didn’t really care about “being pregnant”, but as the years went on I learned to appreciate pregnancy and the way women looked while carrying a baby. I never thought I would get to carry another child so when I got pregnant with Kenley, I was thrilled.
I watched my body change and grow; I was so thrilled when I started getting a bump. As it grew, I loved watching how it looked in different clothes. I would take weekly bump pictures to watch how it changed and compare them to the previous weeks. I documented everything next to my bump; If Landon gave me a flower for his sister, I would take a photo with it next to my bump, or I would take pictures of Landon kissing my bump. I loved taking a bath with my bump sticking out of the water, watching Kenley move around. E I thought I became in tune with her movements inside, but I guess I hadn’t. That is one thing that just eats at me every day.
When Kenley died, I lost all of my weight in the Hospital. I ended up losing 50 lbs in 6 weeks after I got home. It was incredibly hard to hear people say how “good” I looked. Good? I just lost my daughter…the one thing that I wanted more than anything in the entire world has been ripped away from me and you’re going to compliment the way I look. It was so hard to hear those words. It is still hard to hear compliments.
The 7 months that I was not pregnant, I didn’t eat much, I didn’t focus on anything except the fact I had lost my daughter and trying to get pregnant again. When I got pregnant with Alden, I was terrified at how I would feel when I started to get a bump again. I was scared that it would cause PTSD, or it would make me sick looking at it. The opposite happened actually. I found that once it started to happen, I sort of allowed myself to let the walls down a bit.
Around 20 weeks, Shane and I went to babies r us for the first time since before Kenley died. I cried first thing through the door, and a few times while inside. I bought Alden’s first piece of clothing that day- A carters 3 piece set that said “one of a kind” and the pants had a mouse on the butt. I felt like the shirt I bought for her said it all.
Now that she’s here safely, I am back to struggling with the way I look. I don’t know if I’ll ever be pregnant again, and that’s really sad to me. I guess it might be time for me to work on accepting the person I am when not pregnant. It’s so complicated because I feel like I’ve lost myself; if I’m not the woman who is trying to conceive, undergoing infertility treatments, or carrying a baby…who am I?
It’s been a really long 5 years.
You are…. A beautiful person inside and out ❤️
That’s who you are Randi. I LOVE YOU ❤️
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I agree re above. You are a beautiful person in every way. I have said this before, but your ability to reach out and make other loss moms feel loved and supported, and their babies remembered, is something not to be taken lightly. Re: bodies. They are complicated. It has been really hard for me how visible pregnancy is. While in many ways I love my pregnant body, I also feel very visible, and people seem to think that pregnancy is an invitation to ask very personal questions. I am way bigger this time, which leads to some additional insecurities. Loss and pregnancy aside, friends and I have also talked about the comment, “Wow, you look so good” when someone loses weight. It implies that weight loss is the way to beauty, and can actually be quite offensive. A friend of mine in grad school did her research in South Sudan and ended up losing a lot of weight because sometimes it wasn’t safe to go out and get food. People kept complimenting her on her return to the US…..