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15 Weeks Pregnant Blues

At 15 weeks pregnant, I didn’t look pregnant, but my body no longer looked familiar to me. There was a bulge at my belly that resembled a muffin top. So to me, and maybe others I wasn’t pregnant, I was fat. I didn’t even have nausea to remind me that I was pregnant. I was energetic, I ate healthily and worked out but my weight continued to grow. My husband and friends would have to constantly remind me that I was pregnant and all this “growing” was normal, but every time I tried to pull on a pair of pants I didn’t feel normal.

One day my “muffin top” turned into a bump. I was excited, I was starting to look pregnant and ready to accept my changing body.

Sweatpants and bike shorts were my new best friends and I loved the look of flowy dresses that were not only beautiful but allowed my bump to be free from the unforgiving teeth marks left behind by an elastic waistband.

I Facetimed my mother to show off my new bump. When she saw she said, “You’re only four months, why are you so big already?” I was shocked, since this is my first pregnancy I had no frame of reference as to how “big” I was supposed to be. She asked me if I was eating too much and I thought back to that Big Mac I had for dinner a couple of days ago. Just as I was starting to feel good about how I looked a few choice words from my mother set me back to week 15.

I’m not sure why my mother’s words hurt me so much. Growing up in a Chinese household I was used to hearing comments about my weight. Years of family reunions and my mother’s insensitivity gave me a tough skin when it came to hearing about my weight, but apparently, my belly wasn’t the only thing being stretched thin. My tough skin had worn out and I was devastated.

I worked harder at spin class and I looked at pastries longingly without caving. I stared at the mirror knowing that my baby was growing but still unhappy with how I looked.

Until one day I joined a Facebook group for Modern Asian Moms. I posted about the conversation with my mother and I was overwhelmed with comforting messages from fellow Asian moms from around the world. These women were funny, kind, and sympathetic and that was when I knew I wasn’t alone in my feelings.

Here were some of my favourite comments

“Your bump is beautiful, your body is such a strong temple for your baby.”

“No one could tell I was pregnant from the back. Once I was in the checkout line, keeping a

distance between the person in front of me because of my HUGE belly. Some idiotic man behind me called out, “Hey move forward!” I turned around and my belly nearly slapped him. That shut him up good.”

“If you’re healthy and the baby is healthy that’s literally all that matters.”

It’s hard to boost yourself and dig yourself out of a mental pit. Seeking out validation from others isn’t necessarily a bad thing. I learned that what is important is to seek it out from people who actually understand what you are going through.

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