Feeling Beautiful in Pregnancy

5 years ago

I think it's only natural for every woman to want to feel like her best self. When you look good, you feel good! True story.

Since we learned that we are expecting, my body has gone through lots of changes. My bod is at the stage right now that I lovingly refer to as pregfat (pregnant plus fat). Instead of pregnant, I mostly just look like a plumper version of myself. All of my regular clothes still fit, but I have an obvious stomach pooch that is no longer suck-in-able but doesn't quite look like there's a baby in there.

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Now, I'm really excited that my belly is ever-expanding, but I'm sort of just ready for it to go ahead and poke all the way out instead of looking like I've just eaten too many cookies. I mean, one could probably argue that I have actually eaten too many cookies, but c'mon, there's a baby in there and I want the world to know it when they look at me.

Shopping has lost its luster since most clothes in my old size are a little too snug, and what's the point of buying new clothes that won't fit at all later this season? I've also cut down the number of beauty products I use because I'm trying to limit most of them to things that are all-natural, and preservative and paraben-free. (Most. Not all. Some things just require chemicals.)

So, when a gal has limited options but wants to look good and feel good, what's she to do?

Here's what I've found:

Regular exercise. Even though I don't quite have the energy or endurance I had pre-baby belly, squeezing in 30 minutes of toning and taking the dog on regular walks really makes me feel good about myself. It has something to do with the fresh air, endorphins, and general sense of accomplishment I guess.

Sleep! This one has been easy, mostly because I've been extra tired. Though I'm not nearly as exhausted as I was in the first trimester, I still try to get nine hours of sleep each night. I hit the hay around 9:30 or 10 p.m. and don't wake up until 7 a.m., and that is a-okay by me.

Speaking of waking up, let me get mushy for a moment here because I do not get up with an alarm. Every morning, Jason comes and wakes me up with kisses and a hug and it's the best way ever to rise and shine. I think if I could invent an alarm clock that did that, I would be a millionaire. A creepy millionaire, but who cares when you're rich?

Taking my time. I've shifted my regular workouts to the evening, which means I always shower at night these days. I love not feeling rushed and getting to take my time for deep conditioning, extra moisturizing and picking out my outfits for the next day. I know that time won't be a luxury when the baby arrives, so I'm enjoying all the me-time I can get these days.

Cooking. I've always loved cooking. Something about combining different ingredients into one delicious meal brings out my inner chemist (fact: I majored in a chemistry discipline in college.) In August and September, I basically lived off of carbs and candy. The sight of raw meat could make even my beloved peanut butter cups seem unappetizing, so I'm really enjoying using some seasonal ingredients to bring dinner to the table now that I've got my energy back.

Just get out and do stuff. When my friends invite me to dinner, a movie, or to get a manicure, I just do it, man. My time is mine these days, but that will all change in April, so I'm enjoying doing things on my schedule until I'm a slave to crying and diapers.

And that's about it! These are small things, and admittedly, most of them I incorporated into my daily routine before there was a baby in my belly. But I do them now with much more purpose and awareness and it really helps, especially when I can't button my skinny jeans.

This post is part of BlogHer's My Beautiful Moment editorial series, made possible by Olay.

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