Last weekend, I seemed to get dramatically larger and more pregnant-looking overnight. It became difficult even to squeeze into my "fat" pants. This brought up some mixed feelings for me. I love looking pregnant! It's great to see physical evidence of my baby growing. But I can't seem to shake the social programming I've received all my life: fat = bad.
I hadn't realized how completely brainwashed I was by that message. I consider people of many different body types to be attractive, and I'm not into celebrity worship or the fashion industry. I don't watch TV anymore, so I don't even see commercials! I guess I thought I was immune.
I lost about 15lbs over the first few months that I went vegan, in 2009. I found that I stayed thin with what felt like very little effort - even if I exercised less, my eating habits seemed to keep my weight relatively low (for me). I'm now 14.5 weeks pregnant and have gained 12lbs. I *know* weight gain is necessary and healthy during pregnancy, yet whenever I step on a scale I find myself having to actively remember that fact, to combat the little automatic voice in my head that insists that any weight gain is bad, and any weight loss is good.
I think it didn't help that I was struggling to squeeze into clothes that no longer fit in a comfortable or flattering way. So I bought some maternity pants, and...wow! I feel cute again! And comfy! I didn't want to spend too much money right now, so instead of buying maternity tops, I hit up one of my favorite local thrift stores (The Salvation Army Family Store on Jefferson Highway) and bought some larger, long and flowy tops. I don't think they're supposed to be maternity tops, but they should work for me at least through this trimester, I think. It was nice to have some new, pretty things to wear.
And then I had my monthly checkup with the midwife yesterday. More positivity and validation! It was just what I needed. I heard my baby's amazing heartbeat, which sounds like a horse galloping. Then the midwife told me that my ultrasound (which I had a couple of weeks ago) looked great, my blood work looked great, and she thought *I* looked great too. She said to keep doing what I'm doing, and don't listen to anyone who questions my vegan diet, because I am healthier than 90% of the women she sees.
I drove home grinning, and feeling pretty damn beautiful.