Well it’s been a little while since I’ve written one of these more wordy posts. To be fair, I haven’t had much on my mind to share until recently. As I hinted at in my last pregnancy update, I’ve been having a few wobbles where my body confidence is concerned, as well as having a head full of thoughts about ‘life’ while I’m on the cusp of so many big changes.
Overall, my pregnancy so far has really been wonderful. This time last year I was genuinely coming to terms with the fact that I might never experience this, and every single day I feel thankful for being so blessed. When I have had body confidence ‘wobbles’ recently I’ve felt quite guilty about it, how dare I not adore my pregnant body when something so amazing is happening inside me? However I know that part of it is natural, and it doesn’t mean I don’t love my bump, it’s just the feeling of being ‘large’ that is the issue.
When I’ve really thought about why I’ve been having those wobbles I think it’s a combination of things. Firstly hormones have a lot to answer for! I’m very emotional in general at the moment so I know some of it can be attributed to that. I also know I’ve probably gained a little more weight than necessary and admittedly I’ve fallen into some body comparison with other pregnant ladies. I also felt that I didn’t look fabulous in some of my maternity photos, but I shared some on my personal Facebook and I’m sharing that one above because I need to get over myself!
When I look back at the start of the year I was saying that I was feeling rather uncomfortable at the size and weight I’d reached after Christmas. What I’ve needed to remind myself of is that it was probably that weight gain that actually enabled me to get pregnant in the first place. I also know that my body gains weight very easily, and although my diet has been extremely healthy for pregnancy, more treats have cropped in and my appetite is high, which is all natural and good especially at this stage. These are the odd wobbles and not how I’m feeling all the time and I am quite good at using strategies to deal with them and understand them. Yes, sometimes I feel like Jaba the Hut but other days I look at myself naked in the mirror and genuinely think my body is at it’s most beautiful. My bump is gorgeous and I would not have it any other way…
Looking at those pics are quite reassuring as I don’t think I look too bad at all, and how lush is the bump! I do look like I have two belly buttons though as I had to remove my belly ring. Oh and that’s my first tattoo I ever had done on my hip, it’s a little rose I had done when I was far too young!
…but, and this is just me keeping it real here, I am really looking forward to my body finding some kind of normality post birth and breast feeding. Bless it, over the last 6 years I’ve put it through being overweight, losing 6 stone, knackering it up with too much exercise, not enough nourishment, stress and the contraceptive pill and then making it gain weight again and taking more medication to try and get it sorted. Now it’s growing this baby! I think it deserves some serious TLC after all of that, and as much as I will want to ‘lose the baby weight’ there’s no way I’m going to be pushing it with an approach that is unsustainable. Instead it’s going to be a good opportunity to practice what I preach! I’ve been reading a lot of information about the importance of the post birth rest period and how it’s traditional in many societies for women to rest for 40 days. I’ll see how I go, as generally some exercise makes me feel better, but ultimately I have no idea what shape I’m going to be in physically post birth so we shall just have to see.
I also can not wait to get some new clothes, seriously I want to buy all the workout gear, dresses and go vintage shopping, it’s killing me! I’m saving up for one almighty shopping spree that’s for sure. Plus I want more tattoos…and to be able to drink coffee more often…and let’s face it, have a god damn alcoholic cocktail!
Pregnancy is fabulous and an amazing experience, but it’s not rainbows and unicorns by a long shot. As well as the body side of it, I think it’s natural to be a bit nervous about what life will be like when the little one makes an appearance. Before I got pregnant and right now too, I love my life! It’s scary to consider what might change that. Will I be able to take proper care of him? What kind of mother will I be? How will it impact on our relationship? Will I still be able to work and blog? Will I still be ‘me’? Ultimately I know that everything will change, life will never be the same, but we will be fine and James and I will work things out just like everyone else does.
Alongside the pregnancy life is pretty good. I’ll be talking about my approaching birthday soon and I have to say I feel like I’m in exactly the place I’m meant to be right now. My business is just blooming and I love it! Never would I have imagined I’d be working for myself and it rocks. I’ve got great things on the horizon as well as having the little man, and generally I just feel buzzing. I’ve just seen some of the proof layouts for the recipe book I’m contributing to and holy shit they are incredible, I actually cried seeing my recipes like that! One thing that I do wish is that we could sell our bloody flat, but at this late stage we have managed to create plenty of space for the baby and feel quite settled, so perhaps it’s something to put on next years wish list, although it does play on my mind.
Thanks for reading all my rambles!
If you’ve had a child, can you relate to any of the feelings I’ve experienced? If not, how do you think you’ll find pregnancy in the future? How do you handle big life changes?
Oh Laura I completely understand, whilst in awe of your body 9 months is a long time and you feel like you want it back. Be warned the last few weeks you get heaps bigger…. I think it’s natures way of getting you so fed up of being pg you actually want labour to happen. Post baby I feel I have shaped up pretty well, 12 weeks out I am a size 12 and 10 was my fighting weight. But my body is different and still not mine as I breastfeed. One boob makes more milk than the other so is a little bigger and sags more, I had only 1 stretch mark from being pregnant and have heaps for breastfeeding. Despite all this I am mega proud of my body, feel I look ok for the stage I am at, am working towards looking better moving forward and fiercely proud of the baby I grew and now sustain!
Laura, you look fabulous. I am off for my 12 wk scan today……. exciting! I’ve enjoyed reading your journey and have been taking inspiration from your diet & exercise. I’m a wee dot, but am already noticing the changes in my body, particularly my tum! Already! Finding comfort in it as two years ago I was very poorly after suffering a seizure then developing IBS. Went down to 7 stone and hated life, hated my body. Now I’m happy and a healthy weight and looking forward to the next stage in our lives :)
Ooh lovely! I LOVED the 12 week scan, so exciting :-) Yep I was noticing those changes as well, it’s a beautiful thing. So lovely to hear that you are in such a good place with your weight as well, enjoy pregnancy!
Haha yep I’m expecting to be pretty big by the end, I know he’ll come when he’s ready but I am hoping that won’t be at 2 weeks over due! You sound in fab shape! I know that breast feeding is another stage when your body is doing another job so I’m preparing myself mentally for that too. I think we should all be proud of our bodies for the amazing act of growing a child, it is so incredible!
I have never been pregnant I still don’t know if I ever will be but I can totally relate to what your saying here. I am pretty sure if I ever do become pregnant I would find the whole changing body thing very difficult and would be counting the days until I could get back to my normal self! My chest is huge anyway and the thought of it growing makes me feel very on edge and if my mother is anything to go by my bust will be massive!!! Saying that I think you look fab you have a gorgeous glue and look so happy and I think your going to make an awesome mum…if you want any help after you have got mate rate deals from me too! X
I should have mentioned my boobs, holy crap they are huge! I don’t think I’ve looked after them enough either, expecting some saggage after birth and breast feeding :-( I will definitely be after the mates rates! I think what might help me is help with coming up with a plan using the equipment I have access too which is a bit limited
Firstly I have to say how inspiring your openness and honesty is. I’m nowhere near having a baby but I know it’ll help a lot of women out there. With regards to your ability as a mother, to be quite frank, I think you’re going to be bloody awesome. Look at your skills and passion as a health coach – your caring nature has been instrumental in helping so many people improve their lives, it’s only natural that your son is going to flourish!
Whenever I’m facing a big life change I just remember that it’s all part of how things are meant to be for me and that it’ll all work out in the end :) xxx
Thanks Pip :-) You are so lovely xxxx I think you are spot on with your approach to big life changes, I’m very much the same I believe that things happen for a reason and work out the right way for us in the end :-)
Laura, I just want to thank you so much for these posts. My partner and I are just beginning to think of trying to start a family, and there are things about pregnancy and being parents that scare me, it’s such a huge life step! It is SO helpful to read some honest thoughts about all this, thank you so so much xxx
Thanks so much for this Pauline I’m really glad that posts like this are helpful! Good luck with starting a family, such a wonderful and exciting thing!
Hi Laura, I think you look beautiful, there is so much love in that picture!
The thoughts you are having are perfectly normal!! I love your comment about “rainbows & unicorns” how perfect, but like I’m sure you’ve heard a million times before it is all worth it! every bit…. my youngest is nearly 7 now but I’m surrounded by friends with babies at the moment, its wonderful, but everyone I know has these body issues especially afterwards, it does take a while to move the weight but be patient it will go because you are so healthy and have a great exercise ethic!!
Good luck with everything xx
Thanks so much Lou! I definitely know it will be all worth it the second I cuddle my son :-) I’m not too worried about shifting the weight, it’s one of the things I do best when I put my mind to it haha!
This wasn’t an easy one to write about, I’m sure, but you did it. I’m sure you’re the voice of plenty of women in the same situation, so well done you for being that voice!
I’m sure it’s very easy to think ‘get over yourself’ right now, but I’m very sure I’d be in exactly the same mindset if I was in your situation. I’m kinda glad I’ve not had kids (um, yet?) because it’s taken me SO long to like my body for what it does, not just the aesthetics that I think I’d probably cope better with a pregnancy as now I’m older than I would have done in my late twenties/early thirties. But that’s just me.
You do look great, though. I promise. :)
Thanks Alex! Yes it’s funny how things work out isn’t it, I’m glad that I had my hormonal issues for many reasons, but one of which is that it’s made the timing of all this so much better. No way would I have wanted kids in my twenties as I look back, but now I feel just about ready ;-)
Laura – first of all you look beautiful in your photos – that photo of you and your man is gorgeous – pure beautiful love right there. Whilst I have not had children or won’t be any time soon I think what you are describing is completely natural. Change and the unknown is very scary and from what my Mum always says is that “you kids don’t come with a manual”. I think with your lovely, bright, caring and honest nature you will be such an awesome Mum. Stay present and just breathe through your changes with grace and ease and most of all big forgiveness and love for yourself! You have the strength to sail through any hiccups with grace and ease :)
Thanks so much Lauren! Yep none of us are born knowing how to parent, although I am hoping some of it is instinctive if I trust myself :-) I will definitely be breathing through the changes!
Love your perspective and its so true that the fact that you had gained some weight prior to conception was probably a massive factor in your wee man being made. In many cultures women go on a special diet for 6 month before trying to conceive so they put on weight and make sure they have all the nutrients they need so I think is part of our bodies way of preparing and a sign of health. You are looking great and glowing (not like jabba the hut!), your body is just doing what it needs to do. x
I think my diet pre pregnancy was so important, looking back I’m quite happy with it and although I know I had my treats at Christmas pre conception, I think the fact that I relaxed probably had a lot to do with it as well! And OMG I can’t believe I spelled Jabba the Hut incorrectly in the post, call myself a Star Wars fan eh!
I think it is perfectly natural for anyone to have body wobbles, but especially for someone that has been overweight and lost a lot of weight. It must be hard to see yourself growing as the baby grows. But you are very healthy and you are growing a little person inside of you. Plus, you look awesome!
Yep I think there’s definitely something added when you’ve previously been big and lost it, there’s always a bit of fear there. Thanks for saying I look awesome ;-)
having never had the joys of being pregnant, I can’t comment on that. However, just know that you are carrying a MIRACLE! You look gorgeous. One thing I will tell you is that time goes way too fast once the little one is here. This too shall pass and you will have your rockin’ body back soon. Until then, enjoy!
Thanks Brittany, I definitely know how special this is and thank you so much! I am so aware of how quick things go when they are little, I know you’ve said how quick your little one is changing. I hope I can slow down enough and really enjoy every precious moment :-)
I admire your honestly so much Laura, you’re a real inspiration to many I’m sure. Firstly, as I said in my email, I think you look stunning in your maternity photo! And your bump is gorgeous in my eyes!
Not that I’ve ever been pregnant, but I think what you’re feeling sounds completely natural. I mean, women have enough body image problems as it is because we’re so critical of ourselves. Even gaining a tiny bit of weight we can just see it, so having a huge bump growing in a relatively short space of time compared to weight gain over time, yep that will freak us out and you shouldn’t feel guilty about that, especially when you’re treating your body so well whilst pregnant. It pains me to see women still ‘dieting’ whilst they’re pregnant because they think it will be easy to lose the weight after birth and that’s just horrible! But you’ve embraced your bump and you’re looking after both yours and the baby’s health which is why we all know you’ll make a great mum :)
Your approach to after birth sounds spot on too and if exercise makes you feel better and you feel up for it, then go for it I say. I think it’s great that you want to buy yourself some nice new clothes and workout gear after you’ve given birth too :)
I think if I ever got pregnant I would struggle quite a lot with my changing body given my eating disorder past and still struggling occasionally now with body image (maybe why you struggle too from being at a low weight to what you look like now?) but I’d definitely take the same approach to you during pregnancy and as soon as I felt up for it, buy myself loads of new clothes and go exercise like a more normal human being again and get some endorphins going :)
Thanks so much Nicky! You are so right about it being a bit natural to feel this way, and I do completely agree with your thoughts about women that ‘diet’ while they are pregnant, just craziness. I do think pregnancy is harder on us that have been either very low weight or larger, I think there’s an element of control and the loss of that control when you become pregnant to deal with. I need to keep reminding myself that I’m pregnant, not gaining weight back to where I was at my biggest. Oh and seriously I will be all over the new clothes once I’m closer to what I think is going to be my sustainable size. You’ll have to tell me your fave workout gear brands as I love the stuff you’ve instagramed!
I think it’s nothing to be feel ashamed about (not that you are ashamed!) when you feel like your body isn’t how you want it to be when you’re pregnant. After all it is your body. You have to live with it long after the baby is born and grown. As much as everyone says how beautiful a time this is and oh what a wonderful experience being pregnant is, it’s a huge change. I know personally I will struggle because I’ve always been the shape I am and have such a ‘controlling’ personality that I will suddenly feel out of control over my body, which is a big fear for me. That makes me sound a little neurotic!! I think you look beautiful anyway and your approach to pregnancy and post-pregnancy is refreshing and so down to earth :)
Yep I’ve just said that to Nicky above, I think there’s definitely a struggle when it comes to control and being able to accept that really your body is not just your own while you are pregnant and then breast feeding if you choose to do so. I don’t think you are neurotic, I think it’s just natural for a lot of us to feel that way. Glad that you find my approach refreshing! I definitely don’t think I’ll be one of those bloggers running or cross fitting after 3 weeks ;-)
You look fantastic! I love that picture, you both look so happy! I’ve never been pregnant, but we all have “blips”, so thank you for being honest about it. Sometimes it can be a bit overwhelming to think everyone else is body positive all the time, so it’s reassuring to know even fabulous pregnant ladies have the same feelings. Change is always scary, but you’re going to be such a great Mum. If you weren’t worried, it would be more worrying!
Haha I know what you mean, that’s why I do try and be honest about how I’m feeling because even when we do have it ‘all figured out’ that doesn’t mean we won’t have the odd off day :-)
I love your wordy posts Laura because they hit the nail on the head for lots of people. I think you look absolutely wonderful, glowing and growing something truly amazing. Your bump is so cute :)
I know how photo shoots can result in some unflattering (to the person) pictures and then you start to think ‘do I really look like that?! Is my arm/stomach/smile/hair really that terrible?’. For the record, I think the picture of you, James and bump is lovely. You can see the happiness and pride radiating from both of you.
But with my job, and personally, I know that sometimes the camera captures something that isn’t there – it’s the cameras problem and not the persons or necessarily the photographers!
Thanks so much Claire! Yep I think there is something about photographs like that! So annoying, but I still hope that in the future I’ll look back and treasure them still :-)
Lovely, honest post as always :) That’s such a lovely shot of you and James.
Thanks so much Lauren :-)
it’s totally natural to not always love your pregnant body – especially as you get towards the end and it becomes so much more difficult to move round etc and you only have a few items of clothing that fit you!. I thought I would really struggle in the first weeks post-baby but I was so busy trying to work out how to be a mother that I tried to relax about it and found most of the weight dropped off naturally (especially with breastfeeding). I was desperate to start running again and had to wait till I got the all clear at 6 weeks (after my c-section) but to be honest I wish I had waited long and just kept walking instead – running just didn’t feel right and my scar still felt all pins and needles when I exercised for almost 9 months after the birth! Making sure you have some healthy options on hand for snacking is a definite must! I found my sweet tooth went crazy while I was breastfeeding – having no sleep probably didn’t help their either! next time I’ll be freezing some healthy muffins/muesli bars etc instead of reaching for the cake! good luck with everything – you are looking so happy and healthy and that’s really what it’s about :-)
Haha you are bang on there, it is definitely becoming harder to move around normally and I don’t have a lot of great clothes too! I’m hoping a similar thing will happen for me with the weight, I know breast feeding is great for all of that and overall other than trying to eat well I don’t want it to be this big effort if that makes sense? I actually bought up a load of healthy snack bars at the weekend with breast feeding snackies in mind!
You look amazing! And it’s so inspiring how honest you are – to me, and I’m sure so many pregnant women out there x
firstly just gotta put it out there you are looking FABULOUS AND JUST GLOW GLOW GLOWING! like you mentioned you have been full circle in terms of the weight game and you are now producing this beautiful little boy in your belly, so much transitions and change but I have no doubt that you will flourish through the whole thing and embrace it (and him!) with open arms. Its totally natural to have all those emotions (on top of the hormones) and thank you for being real about it because in blogland it is all too easy to “instagram filter” the shiz out life that everything is cute and rosy! your blog has always been a reflection of your honesty, and I wholeheartedly believe (see what i did there ;P ) when you become a mama too its going to be even better – just remember we are all here to support you too as much as we can! big love, Grace xxx
I think this is such a great post- I think it would really help people who are struggling to get pregnant too. At the moment I suppose it is not just your body, but your baby’s body too, if that makes sense, so it is bound to feel strange compared to how you normally feel, but it is for such a good reason, and it will all be worth it.
I am terrible with change- I am a real worrier in general- I am trying to get better but I am not good when things are out of my control!
Hi Laura you look fab!!! I think it is totally normal to be thinking about your body in this way. We do expect a lot of it……just think your body is currently responsible for nurturing / growing 2 hearts, 4 lungs, 4 kidneys, 2 brains…The list is endless!!! When you think of it like this, it makes you realise how amazing the body is!!! Enjoy these last few weeks of pregnancy. Rest up when you can and enjoy the next wonderful stage in your life :-) xxx