Let me start out with saying that I had (possibly still have) 2 fears. Fear #1 Barfing. Fear #2 Giving birth. So you can see how this would be a bit of a challenge for me (insert nervous, sweaty chuckle here).
I knew morning sickness was a thing…but I guess I never realized how miserable it actually was until it hit me like a full on train collision. I was more miserable than… (I’ve literally been sitting at my computer for 5 minutes now trying to think of something super miserable to compare it to…but I can’t think of anything). Ok, so now that we’ve got that down, I can say…pregnancy was not a warm dewy glow complete with baby bump shopping sprees. Yes, on my social media I posted photos of my growing bump…but what you didn’t see was me, in bed, often in tears, with my absolutely incredible husband being a hero and making sure I was as comfortable as possible all while he was working a full time job (I’ll probably gush about him abnoxiously far too often, and for that I apologize…i honestly can’t help it). I was looking through my phone trying to find photos of me looking miserable for proof…but there are none. I took VERY few photos of myself during pregnancy for one reason: I looked like an angry/hungry/barfy lady with no makeup and unbrushed hair wearing my husbands XXL T-shirts and no pants (insert beyonce’s glamorous hair flip here).
I was hungry ALL the time. However, the thought of food was beyond repulsive. Doesn’t make sense, does it? Every single time my husband pulled anything out of the fridge, I made a mad dash to the bedroom and didn’t come out until at least 30 minutes after the food was back in the fridge. And if the oven or stove was turned on?…barf-o-rama …almost worse than the food itself. Just typing about this has me borderline vomitastic. The worst part? We lived walking distance from a seafood restaurant and I had dreams of bulldozing it over because I swear I could smell absolutely every single plate, side order, sauce, bite, and crumb that existed in that place. And every bit of it made me want to crumble up and permanently remove my nose so bad that I actually made a nifty little contraption where I took some pure mint essential oils, smothered it on one of my husbands dress socks and tied it around the back of my head so my nose and mouth were covered. That way, the only thing I could smell was mint…and even though that was gross, it was less gross than seafood, and literally anything else my nose could pick up (which was everything)…plus I looked like a ninja which was pretty awesome.
warning whatsoever….not even a “Hey Raina ur about to barf…you’ve got 5 seconds to find a toilet…better hurry up.” NOPE. Zero warning. We’ve since moved…but I’m pretty sure that kitchen will never forgive me. Once my beautiful daughter was born, it went away…and for that, I am forever grateful.
Next up: “OMG I’m getting fat.” I’m a little embarrassed to admit that I actually cried about this. This was a very challenging part of pregnancy for me. I think the biggest factors were 1) Being a woman in a society that says you have to look perfect, and 2) being a model…where the standards of “beauty” are beyond ridiculous and absolutely unattainable no matter who you are. So, with all of that being said, (deeeeeep breath)……I gained….(deep breath again) 50 lbs. Five Zero. Yup. THAT, was super hard for me! Yes, I was growing a beautiful little human inside of me, and yes, my husband looked at me like I was the most gorgeous goddess that existed on planet earth (He always did, and still does), and yes I was healthy and so was the baby, but the fact that I was gaining weight and not being able to fit into my model clothes somehow trumped all of the miracle and all of the good that was going on. I remember looking in the mirror and staring at a body I didn’t recognize when I noticed these two little lines on my left hip. Yesiree- stretch marks. I mean…what girl DOESN’T have stretch marks? And what girl doesn’t get MORE stretch marks when she’s growing a human inside her?! But…because I let the perfect images of social media and society tell me I had to have the “perfect little basketball bump pregnancy”, I went into a full blown sob in my bathroom. (I’m seriously laughing soooo hard right now). I look back and think to myself, “ugh how ridiculous!!!!!” I can’t believe I let the thought of how i looked dictate my emotions and give me that much insecurity! It’s insanity. That’s one of the biggest lessons I learned from being pregnant- enjoy yourself, enjoy the miracle, and stop worrying about what the world thinks. We as women, are absolutely INCREDIBLE. We are strong, stunning miracles that can grow life. How much more beautiful can it get!? And yet, it’s so easy for us to lose sight of that and start comparing and self doubting. It truly is a tragedy. So, to all you future or soon-to-be Mamma’s out there, love yourself, for you are creating life. No matter what, you are absolutely stunning inside and out.