Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The Unattractive Side of Pregnancy

Let us first start with a conversation with my darling husband, shall we:

Terry and I were in the car the other day and with a smirk on his face T. looked at me and asked “Have you noticed any changes with your body due to pregnancy hormones?”

Me: Right away I knew this conversation was started because he must have noticed something so I ask, “What have YOU noticed?!”

T.: “Nothing, just curious.” Still smirking, not in a mean way but in an ‘Oops, I am not sure if I should say anything’ way.

Me: “Yes there have been things.”

T: “Oh, I was just curious if you noticed anything specific.” Still smirking but trying really hard not to.

Me: I mentioned a few general things that happen when you get pregnant and then just sat there in silence for a moment before finally blurting out “Dude, just tell me what you have noticed that is different!”

T: “Well you were standing in the sun and I noticed you now have hair growing in weird places on your neck and face.  I heard that was common during pregnancy and I don’t remember seeing it there before so I don’t think it is because you are getting older. Just curious if you noticed?!”

Me: “Thank goodness my new caveman appearance isn’t because I am getting old.  Uh, yes, I have noticed!  And obviously you do too.  So does it look really bad?”

T: “No, it is not bad at all.  You can only tell when you are in the sun.”

Me: “Great. I am plucking you know.”

T: “I don’t know if that will help.”


End of conversation and yet another reason for me to avoid the sun.

Boys, this is where you may want to stop reading.

Now first, I know Terry is not saying any of this to be mean.  We have been together for a long time and we point things out to each other….like if he has a really long eyebrow hair I say something or even pluck it out for him and if apparently I start growing a beard he says something.  It is love.  Plus, T. is genuinely interested in everything I am going through with this pregnancy, which I find super sweet…and I am sure he finds a tad gross.

But let me tell you, this is an interesting phase right now.  Weird things are happening to my body, things that don’t make you feel all that attractive.  For me personally it means hair in weird places, excess bodily fluids *ew*, unexpected gas/belching because of the slowness at which my food digests, constipation, bloating, darker skin on parts of my body, the pregnancy “glow” which is not attractive on me, and a stomach that doesn’t look pregnant but rather like I ate a bunch of pasta and cake.  Ok, I may be doing that last one….but you get my point!

Now I am not saying that I am not embracing all of this, because I really am…..from the comfort of my home so I do not have to go out and be around people.  But this phase in pregnancy is just weird.  Of course I have not experienced any future phases, so maybe those are just as weird if not weirder.  (You know, like when I finally see what looks like a mini human trying to push its way out of my stomach – uh WEIRD!)  And maybe everything I am feeling now continues throughout the pregnancy in which case, at the rate I am going, I will be one smelly and hairy beast wearing garbage bags come September! SEXY!

For the first two months I felt different, tired, and just felt off, but also not unattractive.  Maybe I was just too tired to even think about it, but the last few weeks as my symptoms slowly start to die down and my body starts to change in other ways I just feel less and less attractive.  I look at my gut and don’t always see “baby” just a bigger stomach.  I can’t feel the baby move (well, I feel things but can’t yet distinguish between the baby and gas, which is just lovely) and so even though I know there is a little monster growing inside me, it hasn’t fully sunk in to my reality yet.    And that so-called “glow” pregnant women are supposed to get….yeeeaaah, it is not a glow as much as I look like I am always hot or feeling ill.  My face ALWAYS looks like a I have jaundice with spots of blotchy pink/red skin.  And don’t forget the lovely dark circles under my eyes. Nice.  A “glow” sounds so subtle and beautiful but that is not me as there is no glow here!

When women begin to show more and others around them can tell they are pregnant, it seems like at least you would have a noticeable excuse if you are having an “off” day with your appearance because others would see you are pregnant and they would not think twice about it.  Or worst case scenario you start crying and/or yelling at people who look in your general direction.  Either way, we will just blame pregnancy.   Whereas now I just look bloated and like I am always overheated and need to sit down….even when I AM sitting down!

And how about clothes.  Oh clothes.  I actually lost about 7 pounds the first trimester, which I was thrilled about.  But in the last few weeks I have started slowly putting on weight and now my clothes are feeling tighter and more uncomfortable.  Which doesn’t help with the trying to feel more attractive thing, I am working on.  I think I can officially say I can only button my pants if I plan on standing the entire time I wear them.  I really only want to be in my yoga pants and oversized sweatshirts ALL DAY.  And what is discouraging is that I am not a small person.  I am 5’11” and bigger and apparently the first person my size & age to EVER have a child as I am having difficulty finding maternity clothes that are still cute AND in my size but that are still reasonably priced and won’t make me choose between a pair of pants and a highchair!   

I got a little down this past weekend, because I have found a couple things at JCP and Target, but not enough to get me through one full week (or even a day) at work or for our upcoming vacation.  My parents helped me look and we ordered a couple things (thank you) that I HOPE will fit.  And then by a pure miracle I checked Old Navy and was thrilled to find cute clothes in MY size and that were not expensive!  I ordered some stuff and hope when I get them that they will fit, because otherwise I will be in sweatpants and t-shirts for the remainder of my pregnancy.  Which really, is that a bad thing?!

And don’t get me wrong, I am only a few months in and I am LOVING this entire process; the good, the bad and the ugly…..and there is a lot of ugly.  And I know that Terry doesn’t find me less attractive, and that he is only pointing out my new caveman appearance because he really loves me.  And I am really not that vain of a person, but right now I just don’t feel like myself.  I feel pregnant, but then again I don’t.  Sometimes I think I look pregnant and other times I think I just look bloated.  Sometimes I fit into my clothes and other times nothing I put on feels comfortable.  Sometimes I feel pretty and sometimes I feel like a jaundice zombie clown with a beard….but let’s be real, I would be the cutest jaundice zombie clown with a beard that there is.  You know, just the usual feelings a person has!!

So if even ONE other person has gone though this or similar feelings around this point in their pregnancy or knows someone who has….please tell me now!  Also, I will take any other warnings such as…. "Jenn, you will have these feeling all throughout your pregnancy and don’t even get me started on how you will feel and what your body will do after pregnancy!”  

 Please share!  Believe me, I can handle it…..well after a good cry and another piece or two of red velvet cake!!


  1. The stage you are at most of us didn't care for. With my first I hated that I just looked like i got a bloated belly. No one could tell I was pregnant, they just thought I put on a few pounds. Grrreeaat! It gets better! And personally I think pregnant women are beautiful ( hairy, glowing, stretch marks, gas and all!)

  2. This is freaking hilarious. Not that I'm laughing AT you or anything. When my time comes, I will reference this post... as I'm sure I'll need a laugh when my woman-beard arrives!

  3. Sarah, I am glad you found it funny too because really what else can you do but laugh & try to make the best of it!! Oh and share it with your friends publicly for their amusement :)

    Jill, I am SO glad this is normal! And I laughed out loud when you said "I think pregnant women are beautiful ( hairy, glowing, stretch marks, gas and all!" AWESOME!

  4. AHHH!!! You're not alone. With my pregnancy for Lila I couldn't wait until I looked PREGNANT. I swear, I just got wider and more round-looking (keg-like) until that belly showed up. It's a tough game.

    And don't EVER FEEL BAD for not being totally ok with the body changes. I mean, you wanted a BABY - not uncontrollable gas and fire-like indigestion. Hard to be thankful for that. :)

    I disagree completely with the notion of a "pregnancy glow." Um, that's sweat.

    EVERYTHING CHANGES when you're pregnant: your skin, your hair, your ENTIRE body (including your feet!) - it's a tough thing.

    So yeah, you're not alone. :)

    And I'm with Jill - pregnancy and pregnant women are stunning. It's just so incredible what your body is doing right now.

  5. Of all my friends that could best pull off a beard, it is you!

  6. For one, I still can't believe that you're pregnant. Like I keep forgetting and then I'm reminded when I see your tweets or a blog post like this and I'm like HECK YEAH THAT'S RIGHT - HOWARD BABY 2011!! :) So excited for you guys!!

    Dude, pregnancy is tough on the body. You'll love it and you'll hate it all at the same time. What you are feeling is completely NORMAL! There are things that will change in/on your body for the better and for the worse. The best thing to do is not get down on yourself! You're baking a super awesome Howard baby in there!! Your body is just making the adjustments it needs to.

    Wanna hear something gross? I'm sharing this now because I'm just NOW like over it and OK with it. And my babies are SIX! When I was preggo with the twins I was for one, HUGE, but really not like gargantuan huge - I was more of an innie-preggo belly rather than all outie. But, I was big, no question. I was put on bedrest the last month of my pregnancy because I was retaining water so badly. When I was put on bedrest my ankles and feet were so swollen that I couldn't wear shoes. When I was on bedrest after a week? All of that fluid traveled up to my inner thighs, and IT NEVER LEFT! My thighs are STILL flabby to this day with extra skin and flab, no matter what I do! Ewwww! BUT, I have two great kids, so I'll gladly take flabby thighs any day.

    The icky stages of your pregnancy
    will be forgotten once Howard Baby arrives. And if you're like me and you can't forget some things (ha!) then at least you'll be OK with them because you have an awesome kid!

  7. Good luck Jenn! Since I have not been pregnant, I cannot identify, but I admire you for blogging honestly about your feelings (and hair lol).

    Big hug!