How big should my belly be at 24 weeks along in my pregnancy? Perhaps the title of this blog post leads you think I would like opinions on the matter. Believe me, that is not the case. I don't really know how big I should be. For me, it's been different with each pregnancy. Each time, my belly has gotten bigger a little faster. What I do know, is that it's no one else's business but mine and my doctor's. This may sound harsh, I know. But it's true. Here are just a few comments I have received from various people, strangers and friends, throughout my pregnancy so far...
"Are you SURE you're not having twins?"
Person: "How far along are you?"
Me: "4 months"
Person: "Wow, you're huge!"
Person: "You look like you're ready any day! When is your due date?
Person: "Oh." (look of shock and horror on face as they realize I am only halfway there...)
Person: "When is your due date?"
Person: "Are you SURE you're going to make it until October?!"
Now, I am a pretty confident person. Once I get past the first trimester sickness, I really do love being pregnant. I feel really good about myself and love showing off my baby bump. This time around, I have found these comments actually getting to me. When I look in the mirror, I hear their words play back in my head and wonder if I really am getting too big. I actually put a pregnancy weight tracker app on my phone one evening, which I promptly deleted after I realized I was being ridiculous. According to the weight tracker, I am underweight, but gaining normally for my pregnancy. That made me feel better for a few minutes until I realized that I shouldn't have been paranoid about it in the first place. It doesn't matter how big my belly or my butt is, how low or how high I carry, or what size or shape I am. I have great prenatal care and an amazing doctor that says everything is going well. End of story.
I know I am on my soap box now, but please, all pregnant women out there: Some people do not think before they speak! It doesn't matter how you carry that baby, people are going to say things that are rude. I have little doubt that most of the comments I have heard were not malicious or meant to make me feel bad, but they were thoughtless, and kind of hurtful. In reality, I have probably heard more positive comments than negative ones, but for some reason, it's the negative ones that really stick with us. I am making it a point to put those thoughtless remarks out of my head and be confident in my pregnancy.
To be fair, I did have a few memorable, kind encounters with strangers regarding pregnancy comments. During my first pregnancy, an older gentleman sitting on the floor of the mall surrounded by large garbage bags of clothes (at the time, I assumed he was homeless, but who am I to make assumptions?), stopped me to say that pregnancy looked great on me. Regardless of why he said it or who he was, it made me feel really good for the rest of the day.
There is a lot more that can be said on this topic, I am going to stop here and share a smart and sassy blog post that my good friend Heidi Wheeler wrote on this subject. http://theblessednest.com/2014/07/24/comments-during-preganancy/ Be sure to read all the way to the end for some suggestions of what TO say to a pregnant woman. Most importantly, please think before you speak. And if you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all!
On a side note, my pregnancy brain has gotten really bad and all I can handle at this point is taking a few images with each member of my family. I am super excited about my upcoming maternity session with Amanda Worrall of Goodness Grace Photography! She does amazing work and I can't wait to see how she captures my family during this special time in my pregnancy. To see more of her work, head over to her website: http://www.stocksy.com/goodnessgrace, or give her a 'like' on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/goodnessgracephotography/timeline!