I have always been small, short, petite, slim, and downright skinny. In my teenage years, in our society, being thin was a great asset. I received compliments on my very tiny waist and other girls tried hard to be small like me. But the truth was I did absolutely nothing to be so small. I ate whatever I wanted, ate A LOT of whatever I wanted and never really exercised. In fact, I felt too skinny…almost bony at times. I admired and still do admire women who have a bit more padding, who have womanly curves and an hour glass figure. Yet I knew that for me, that was not a possibility. Every part of me was small, and so at least I matched. Being tiny became part of who I was, my identity. I was the cute little one.
That was…until I started having babies. I was a normal size during my first pregnancy and returned to my tiny self in no time! I got a bit bigger with my second baby. I remember being out on a date with my husband. We were walking on a street in Denver trying to make it to the Cheesecake Factory. Rather, I was trying to make it to the Cheesecake factory. It was blocks and blocks away, and I was huffing and puffing under the weight of my baby. Some woman sitting on a bench called out, “Look, she is having twins!” I sure didn’t appreciate that comment, but I did give birth just two days after that, so I guess it makes sense that I was looking pretty round!
Each pregnancy seemed to stretch me a bit further than the previous one. I started growing out of the small maternity clothes and graduated to the medium ones. The comments about my hugeness became more and more frequent. I would try to stay in the house and not reveal my protruding belly whenever possible.
I was pregnant with baby number eight when two other ladies at church were pregnant too, with almost the same due date as me. Yet their bellies were so small and adorable. I was no longer the cute, little one. I was the gigantic, awkward one who would inspire wide eyed stares from younger women. I could almost read their thoughts, “Is that what I am going to look like when I am pregnant!!!!”
I purposely avoided the two cute, little pregnant ladies whenever I went to church. I was afraid of the comments and how massive I would look standing next to them.
“They are so much more beautiful and graceful than I am!” I would think to myself in self -pity.
Now I am on to pregnancy number nine. I was bigger than ever right from the start! This time even the midwife thought that I must be further along than I had thought, or I was having twins. An ultra sound at 10 weeks revealed one totally normal and healthy baby, right on schedule. The nice lady preforming the ultrasound commented on how easy it was to see my baby.
“Some babies are tucked way down into the pelvis, but yours is right out there!”
Yeah, right out there for the whole world and every ultrasound tech to see! Chris is used to my complaining about how big and fat I feel. Yet he put it all into perspective for me.
“You have easy pregnancies, easy deliveries, and healthy babies. Some women would do anything to be able to get pregnant and you are complaining about being too big?”
He was so right! What did I have to complain about? I have never had any problems or complications or risk factors associated with my pregnancies. I have had beautiful, natural births. My babies have all been born early at wonderfully normal birth weights. They all have taken to nursing right away. Most of them have slept great and have been very happy. I have a grace for pregnancy and childbirth. So what that I am so big! That is only temporary and doesn’t change who I am.
So I am pregnant and huge and guess what? Those two lovely ladies are pregnant again right along with me! They are tiny and cute, but I have actually sought them out to spend more time with them. I have been so blessed and encouraged by their conversation and company and realized what I missed when I was being overly self- conscience. I am now six months along, fully filling out the medium maternity clothes that took me to nine months in previous pregnancies. Looks like I need to get LARGE now. Even my husband, who instructs others that you should NEVER comment on the size of a pregnant woman, told me that he couldn’t imagine how I could get any bigger! Oh well. It is worth it to bring my precious baby girl into the world! And I will be back to my normal, little, cute self someday…eventually, hopefully…I think probably, almost definitely I will.
If you and I run into each other (you will be running, I will be waddling) before this baby is born, feel free to tell me that I am glowing or lovely or graced for pregnancy. No need to use these statements:
“Wow, you are big!”
“Are you sure there is only one in there?”
“Gosh, that is going to be a big baby!”
“So, you are due any day now, right?”
Believe me; I don’t need you to point out my mind blowing size. I live with myself every day. I carry around this very obvious belly and feel my clothes getting tighter and experience the increasing back pain.
If you just can’t help yourself and you have to say something about how huge I am, I might just haul off and punch you in the face. I would only do it in my mind though. To your face I would smile and nod. Even though I am very big right now, I am still the same sweet, gracious person I have always been…except perhaps a bit more irritable. Chris would say that I am a lot more irritable…so be careful…just warning you.