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.