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My Biggest Pregnancy Revelation

I wrote this article for a magazine, which never ended up publishing, so I’m going to share it as is, here:

“I think I’m really going to miss being pregnant.” I said this to my husband, as I was lathering another layer of Tummy Rub Oil onto my expanding belly.

This has been quite the revelation to me.

I’m pregnant with my first baby and while I have always focused on my career, I’ve always wanted to be a Mom too. I never really thought about the reality of what pregnancy would be or feel like. You hear of the symptoms – sore boobs, stretch marks, aches, pains, swelling… none of it sounding all that exciting, but you also can’t know what it will truly be like until you’re in it and of course, the outcome is all so worth it.

I’ve seen friends of mine become Mom’s and I’ve loved listening to their experiences. It still boggles my mind how everyone has such unique stories, considering there are generally only 2 ways to bring a child into this world.

The one thing I heard often was: “I feel like such a whale!” and “I feel huge!” and “I’m so fat!”

I think it’s because most of us woman have some hang ups about our bodies and don’t always have the best body image confidence. As the hormones surge and our bodies change, we also have to endure ridiculous comments like: “Oh wow, are you sure you’re not having twins? Sure your doctor didn’t miss one?” and “How far are you? Oh really? Is that all? Gosh, you’re huuuuge.”

No woman (pregnant or not) wants to hear that they look huge. Fact.

However, I’ve always thought pregnant women look incredibly beautiful. They never look “fat”, no matter their body shape.

I get it. I understand the feeling now of going through changes, wanting to be healthy for the sake of you and baby, but having ridiculous cravings that feel bigger than any willpower you might possess. You feel the pressure of looking good, thanks to Social Media, whilst expanding in your hips, ribs, tummy area, ankles, face etc. You’re painfully and acutely aware of your body now – more so than ever before, and even though you know the reason is only a good one, you really don’t need anyone else to tell you how big you’re looking. It’s just the cherry on top for making you feel even more self conscious than you already feel.

I realize that worrying about looking fat when pregnant is simply superficial and inconsequential, because honestly, the most important thing is growing a healthy baby – clichéd; yes.

With that being said, as a woman, it’s very import to feel good and confident. When we look good, we feel good and vice versa.

The most surprising thing I’ve discovered in my pregnancy journey and I am quite shocked as I type the next sentence:

Pregnancy has created a positive body image for me.

It’s one of the biggest revelations I’ve had in a long time. Honestly, I haven’t always been kind to my body, but this experience has me in awe of it.

My biggest body insecurity has always been my tummy area, so going through a pregnancy where your tummy is going to be focused on, was quite daunting for me.

In my first Trimester, besides feeling nauseous and not being able to keep my eyes open past 8pm, it was the bloat. I didn’t exactly look pregnant yet, but I was acutely aware of suddenly looking podgy – like I was having a really good Festive season. It’s also hard because you’re trying to hide the good news until the safety mark of 12 weeks.

I started taking those belly shots from 7 weeks and perhaps it was partly the hormones to blame, but I had a sob looking at my bloated tummy shot and cried: “Look at that! I’m already fat. If that’s what I look like now, I’m going to be a house!”

My poor husband kept telling me that I looked beautiful (even with my smeared mascara), that I was doing a great job in creating our little person and that I look exactly the way I should in each stage of my pregnancy. He is a keeper.

The irony is that as my bump has grown, I’ve only fallen in love with it more and more. I look back at photos from week 7 and can’t believe how little I looked and chuckle at the memory of my ridiculous sob. In fact, that photo is “goals” for getting my body back after baby. Go figure! 

I look back at photos of myself from a year ago, when I thought I was “still too fat” or “still have 3kgs to lose” and I can’t believe I didn’t appreciate where my body was at, which was strong and healthy and perfectly imperfect.

Today, I love my big tummy and I don’t think I’ve ever said that before. I love that I can even say that proudly.

I love that I don’t have to suck it in. Ha! It has been the best to just let it go and not worry about holding it all in. I am going to miss that so much, but I’m also not going to allow myself to get down about it being a little saggy and changed, either.

I love that it’s rock hard, protecting my baby boy as he grows and grows. I love that my tummy holds my most precious gift and that for 9 months; it’s just him and me together, before I get to share him with the world. Each kick, roll and flutter is for me and me alone and it’s so special.

20 weeks

25 weeks

So while some peoples comments can be insensitive and disheartening, like the ones I mentioned earlier, I just shrug them off. They don’t affect me all that much, they’re more irritating, like swatting a fly away. By now, I’ve realized people just don’t know what to say or are completely oblivious how their comment sounds. Most people don’t mean for the comments to come from a bad place, so just smile and crack a joke that maybe its triplets.

I’m also aware that everyone shows differently. I’ve had women send me messages to say that they feel self-conscious and upset, as they don’t look big, they’re not showing yet and have people commenting, asking if the baby is OK? Or “Are you sure you’re even pregnant?” “Are you eating enough? It’s not good to diet and starve the baby”, which only creates new insecurities and worries of wondering if they’re doing something wrong.

Like I said, some people have no filter. Deep breaths.

Listen up ladies, everyone carries differently and it also depends on where your Uterus lies. I happen to have a Uterus that is more forward, plus I have a 7cm Fibroid pushing it out even further. You could have a Uterus that lies further back and so you’re not showing as much. If your doctor is happy, that’s all that should matter.

You are carrying exactly the way you should be.

Marvel in the fact that your body is not only performing your own bodily functions, but you’re making a person! You’re creating every little cell that miraculously
knows how to form into skin, nails, hair, organs… Week by week, you’re growing a human that will become a person who will laugh, dream and not only be a part of the world, but be a part of your world. It’s a miracle.

Give yourself a break and appreciate this incredible privilege you’ve been given to create and carry life. Be kind to yourself and give your big or small belly a rub and know you’re doing your best!

– Bailey Schneider (Georgiades)

PS. Please feel free to share this with any of your preggy friends xxx

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19 Comments

  • Reply Lisa

    I absolutely love this post!!! I will never know the joy of growing life beneath my heart but am often asked when I am due because of my weight….talk about a double whammy! This just once again reminded me how wonderful and miraculous our bodies are and truly does it matter what the scale says as long as you are healthy. Healthy being physically, mentally and emotionally because lets be honest weight affects every aspect of our lives.
    You are beautiful and you always have been but I have loved watching this new phase in your life and look forward to seeing you with Baby G. You are an inspiration and I want to thank you for being so open and honest with us.

    May 31, 2017 at 8:43 am
  • Reply Pat Ketley

    This is such a beautiful post as is that last picture of you. Feel like I know you personally and have so enjoyed being pregnant with you. (LOL my baby is 35!!)
    You are going to be an amazing mom and Sox a wonderful dad. Baby G is a lucky little boy

    May 31, 2017 at 8:50 am
  • Reply KateF

    Such beautiful images of the growing process of your belly!

    May 31, 2017 at 8:51 am
  • Reply Marissa Wight

    You are a stunningly beautiful woman! And super gorgeous throughout your pregnancy! Can’t wait to see first pics of baby “G”. Wishing you well for his birth and C-Section. Love and hugs to a woman who inspires me. Marissa xxx

    May 31, 2017 at 9:02 am
  • Reply Megan Hartwig

    You are looking radiant, and enjoy your last few weeks of your pregnancy 🙂 xx

    May 31, 2017 at 9:19 am
  • Reply Tanya

    What a well written article. I loved it as well as your beautiful photos! Thank you for sharing your pregnancy journey with us xxx

    May 31, 2017 at 9:34 am
    • Reply BaileySchneider

      Thank you Tanya! It always means a lot that you read x

      May 31, 2017 at 10:15 am
  • Reply A Daft Scots Lass

    Brilliantly written, Bailz and you are going to be the best mum!

    May 31, 2017 at 10:14 am
    • Reply BaileySchneider

      Thanks Gil. That really means a lot x

      May 31, 2017 at 10:15 am
  • Reply Cheryl Humphries

    What an absolute beautiful read!….Where were you & this fabulous read when I had my first one 22yrs ago 🙂 . You put a smile on my face every time I read your blog. You have blossomed beautifully during your pregnancy & I can see the glow in your face of pure joy & happiness xx Enjoy the last stretch of your pregnancy before your beautiful bundle of joy arrives xx

    May 31, 2017 at 12:04 pm
  • Reply Tammy

    What a beautiful post! I am now 27 weeks preggie with our second bundle of joy & despite battling to fall pregnant with her for 3 years and picking up a lot of weight during the 3 years, I am still so grateful! The weight I can always focus on losing afterwards, but for now I am just focusing on growing this little miracle. Your posts always remind of that – thank you.
    I feel your excitement & share it equally! I can’t wait to see your post on your birth experience & of course to see the first few pics of Baby G!
    xxx

    May 31, 2017 at 12:59 pm
  • Reply Caley

    Such a beautiful post and a great message to other pregnant fairies out there! I didn’t love my body during my first pregnancy but grew to love it more in my second and third… x

    May 31, 2017 at 2:08 pm
  • Reply Gen

    Thank you, you have no idea what this article has just done for me! Thank you x

    May 31, 2017 at 4:27 pm
  • Reply Mahjiedah

    Thank you for your lovely post. I can relate to the “no filter” bit, especially males. Some guys think that you’re a free for all where touching your belly and comments are concerned. It’s like there’s a sign that says “I’m pregnant, take your best shot”. I didn’t let them get to me though. Just shrugged it all off. Like water off a ducks back!

    May 31, 2017 at 6:23 pm
  • Reply Nadia

    I really enjoy reading your pregnancy posts and there is really so much I can relate to. I am now 23 weeks pregnant and even though I have had a easy pregnancy so far, it is still overwhelming dealing with the changes in your body and preparing for what is coming.

    We are travelling to Greece for holiday in 3 weeks and tonight I thought it would be a good idea to see which of my summer clothes I can take with. My husband found me crying my eyes out in the bathroom because none of my dresses or shorts that I have fit me anymore, they don’t even want to close, and it made me feel so “fat” which is not ideal before going on an island holiday. We can be so tough on ourselves. 🙂 So I have a bit of a challenge ahead of me to try and find some clothes that I will feel great in while on holiday, I saw some shops on your blog that I will definitly try.

    May 31, 2017 at 8:59 pm
  • Reply Louise

    BEAUTIFUL post.

    June 1, 2017 at 5:55 am
  • Reply Mariam

    So beautifully written Bailey…

    June 1, 2017 at 1:50 pm
  • Reply Shan Vijendranath

    Great post!

    June 1, 2017 at 8:45 pm
  • Reply Janine

    Such a great post… and couldnt be happier for you. X

    June 2, 2017 at 10:53 am
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