I am struggling. This whole pregnancy has been a struggle but that is another story, one that anyone who knows me is probably sick of hearing about. ( trust me, I am sure sick of being sick and complaining about it as well)
The last few weeks have been difficult. I am around 29 weeks, the point in pregnancy where things swell and have become huge. And it's getting to me, A LOT. Gaining weight is hard for most people. It's even harder for someone in recovery from an eating disorder. Before I go any further into my struggle with body image during pregnancy and weight gain I want to be clean about something. I am not nor have not given into any eating disorder behaviors during this entire pregnancy. Not do I plan on it now or after my daughter is born. This post is a honest look at how I have been feeling not what my actions have been at all.
I have to hold back tears every time I step on the scale at the doctors office. Everyday my body is growing more and more and it's getting beyond uncomfortable When I catch a glimpse of my body in the mirror I am in shock. "How did I get this big?" "How have I gained this much weight when I still throw up every single day?" And the questions just get more and more negative and judgemental each time.
And then the doctor informs me that my little Grace is doing wonderfully. Is as strong as ever and growing more every day. The doctor tells me that my vitals are perfect and my blood sugar is in a great range. Then I feel my little girl kick or punch and my heart melts. In those moments I love my body and praise it for giving my precious little girl a place to grow and thrive.
Then comes the guilt and shame. "How can you be so disgusted by something so wonderful?" "You are a bad mom" "You are always going to struggle with eating disorder thoughts." This shame and guilt is why I suffered with all of this with weeks before bringing it up to my husband and my therapist. Because I felt like a recovery fraud and failure for thinking any of these negative things about my body. Even worse, I felt ungrateful for my miracle and that I was a horrible undeserving person.
But I am not. These thoughts don't mean I love my daughter any less or that I am doomed to be a horrible role model and parent. These thoughts are feelings based on years of lies that I believed and told myself. These thoughts aren't my truth. Yet they also are how I feel on some days.
I have wanted to have kids my entire life. When I found out I was pregnant I vowed to put my entire eating disorder history behind me. But recovery and life aren't black and white. And being a role model to my daughter doesn't mean hiding how I feel and allowing shame to win.
So yea, I am struggling with the amount of weight I have gained and how uncomfortable the third trimester of pregnancy can be. And I am not exactly looking forward to the continuing weight gain that is bound to occur. But I will continue pushing forward and not allow these things to be more than thoughts because when I look down at my stomach and think about my little girl, my heart is so full of joy that I can't imagine anything better. And every pound of weight I have gained is completely worth getting to be a mother.