I have not felt beautiful for awhile. I think even before pregnancy I was struggling to feel confident in my looks. I had gained about 10 lbs last winter which kind of threw off my self esteem, and then with marriage, summer, and lack of a good makeup remover I stopped putting on my “five minute face”. Not that I minded, but it just stopped being important to walk out of the house feeling good about myself. I didnt want to put in the effort. I didnt want to spend money on a new wardrobe because that would mean going shopping, finding out what my actual size was, and committing to spending money that we just hadn’t budgeted for. By June I didnt see the point in buying clothes because if I was to get pregnant I would need new clothes anyway and who knows what my body will look like later! So I suffered through the summer. The heat, the humidity, the uncomfortable waistbands!
I then got pregnant. Three months of throwing up, nausea, fatigue and people were lucky I got out of bed! I had no energy to put into dressing up and looking good. Second trimester hit and I felt a little better. I spent some money on new cosmetics and have been trying to dress better since. However, with a new body, new shape and new frame of mind it has been difficult to feel good. I can’t expect to feel beautiful like I use to. I can’t expect to walk out of the door with loads of confidence and my 5’2 frame elongated by three inch heels. Cute Banana Republic shirts, with Express jeans are a bit of a thing of the past at this point. So how to feel confident in this new body and new figure?
I feel pride in my body. I feel pride that my body can incubate life and expand to accommodate my growing son. I just don’t feel beautiful. I want to make that distinction because I feel it is an important one. I in no way resent my son for changing my body and “robbing” me of my beauty. My husband loves my figure and I don’t mind the changes at all. I just haven’t felt attractive for a long time. I haven’t felt confidence in me. And I guess I have been projecting that through my styling.
Yesterday that changed.
We dressed up. First for an afternoon on the town- a fancy lunch 🙂 I dressed in a new maternity dress. I had trouble figuring out what to do with my hair. In the end I half heartedly attempted straining my unruly mane. I was okay with the result. Our neighbors took some lovely photos of us. My face was attractive but I still continued to lack that something. I felt better, that is for sure. But I was missing..I don’t know but something. Try as I might, I couldn’t let the real me shine…
In the evening, for a party at a friends house, we decided to dress up again. I changed into another dress and put on a colorful scarf my mother gave me. I tied my hair back and darkened my make up just a little…and suddenly. There I was. The beautiful woman that was hiding in there. I finally saw behind the big breasts and the even bigger belly! I finally peeled back the layers of self consciousness that I have worn for months and revealed the woman I am underneath. I asked Jakub to take pictures of me. And he captured me. I feel like he captured the spirit of a woman becoming a mother. Of a child becoming an adult. I found the beauty that is this new stage of life for me in myself. I have come to feel comfortable in my life as a wife, a person, and am starting to feel comfortable as a mother, or at least a pregnant woman. The awkwardness of pregnancy did not burden the photos, or overshadow my presence. Rather, it enhanced that something, enhanced the relationship between husband and wife, and parent and child. I love the photos. They taught me that I am still beautiful and no longer need to continue to be self conscious about the way I look. Yes I waddle a little bit. Yes my waist is now 44 inches. Yes I am not going to turn heads. But I don’t care. I am a woman about to have a baby and I can look damn good doing it too! 🙂