Self image and the second trimester

I had initially started writing on this subject in an online forum for women who are mountain bikers, but something made me stop – mostly a feeling of dicsconnect from a group of women doing a sport that I’m temporarily banned from enjoying, as well as a distinct feeling that they don’t want to hear about my pregnancy. Maybe I need to find some pregnant friends or something – I really am starting to feel like the women I know aren’t interested in listening to me ramble about the weirdness that is my body these days, and that makes me censor myself.

The thread was about body image, specifically, and I wanted to express just how being pregnant has affected me in terms of my body image. Sometimes I just feel fat. I’m not even really that big yet, but I feel the belly and sometimes it gets in the way, and I get weirdly insecure about it. It’s not like I’m trying to go out and impress anyone, but I feel like if anyone is looking at me they just think I’m fat – not pregnant. It’s not really rational – sometimes I feel fine about myself, sometimes I feel terrible. Adam, being the ever-attentive and wonderful husband that he is, tells me I look beautiful. I’m guessing this is normal and pregnant women go through it, but I don’t really know who to talk to about such things.

What I didn’t realize until I started writing this, however, is how pregnancy is affecting more than just my body image. It’s having a major impact on my interactions with people. I’ve become less inclined to get into conversations with people, partly because I’m so focussed on being pregnant that it’s bound to come up somehow – and if I’m talking to non-pregnant people I’m quite sure they aren’t interested. Even if they are. The same goes for online discussions – since I’m part of various forums that involve mountain biking, I feel less and less able to contribute to anything. Plus I get a little frustrated that I can’t for the next six months at least, and sometimes don’t want to hear about it. Same goes for all sorts of other activities that I have to exclude myself from.

It’s not even that I’m looking for someone to talk to about being pregnant. That isn’t it, really. Maybe it would help, maybe it wouldn’t. I’m just finding that I’m less and less connected to the people I usually talk to. It’s disconcerting.

It’s all right though. In a little over five months I’ll have a baby, and no time to converse with anyone anyhow.

13 Comments

  • sharolyn

    February 23, 2008 at 12:33 am

    I feel totally the same way. I outed myself this morning on LJ as a pregnant chick, simply because it was getting too hard for me to keep it all in. I felt like I was lying to everyone by NOT bringing it up, because it’s obviously a huge thing going on in my life right now.

    It was getting to the point where I was just avoiding seeing people so I didn’t have to feel bad about not telling them what was happening with me.

    It’s a weird disconnect that happens, is I guess what I’m trying to say.

    Oh, also? I’m pregnant again. 😉

  • sharolyn

    February 23, 2008 at 12:33 am

    I feel totally the same way. I outed myself this morning on LJ as a pregnant chick, simply because it was getting too hard for me to keep it all in. I felt like I was lying to everyone by NOT bringing it up, because it’s obviously a huge thing going on in my life right now.

    It was getting to the point where I was just avoiding seeing people so I didn’t have to feel bad about not telling them what was happening with me.

    It’s a weird disconnect that happens, is I guess what I’m trying to say.

    Oh, also? I’m pregnant again. 😉

  • Jenny Lee Silver

    February 23, 2008 at 12:57 am

    Congrats!

    I find it a bit weird how outside normal society I feel… In a way I kind of wish there was more of a sense of community, but that’s not really how our culture works. Or maybe it’s just me.

    • sharolyn

      February 23, 2008 at 1:01 am

      You’re right, it’s totally not how our culture works any more. I find it interesting watching Brian go through life, as he tends to create community wherever he goes. Whereas I, on the other hand, have always tried NOT to create it, as I had bad connotations with the concept: people will interfere, judge me, tell me how to live my life, etc.

      I think especially at a time like this, you crave the ties of community… people being happy for you and sharing in your excitement, etc.

  • ashkitty

    February 23, 2008 at 12:59 am

    One of the girls I work with is 8 months pregnant. The whole place is baby-mad. It makes me relieved they’re all good moral folk who don’t believe in having babies before marriage, so nobody can ask when I’ll have one. 😉 Having said that, I don’t mind hearing about it from people I like. It’s a big part of your life and is therefore important. 🙂 Besides, it’s just kind of cool.

  • maggi1234

    February 23, 2008 at 4:02 am

    Me! Pick me!

    For what it is worth. I love hearing about baby’s and pending babies. I loved being pregnant and hated it as well but I love being reminded about the adventure. My “baby” is almost 6 (next 2 weeks!!) and I miss that special time of waiting and growing and changing. (my changes are totally menopausal now!) 😉

    Don’t stop writing. I’d miss you.

    Hugs
    Sue

  • mindexplodes

    February 23, 2008 at 8:40 am

    i just caught up on 2 days of lj!

    it was in another post but i’m commenting here because it is most recent and you have the largest chance of noticing it here.

    a) for the ideas you quest for for something to give the kidling when it is older. i saw this cool thing on street cents once. It was this family that took a picture of the kid everyday once it was born until it was like 5 or something. then turned it into a flipbook so you could literally watch it grow up. it was really wicked and interresting and amazing! Now you’d most likely use technology and upload them into a slideshow at a fast pace so it would almost animate it for you. It would also be a good present for yourself too! and you wouldn’t ahve to stop at 5 either. and i imagine you could get away with one pic a week instead of every day after the kid was 6 months or something . but yeah . that is my suggestion.

    ALSO i don’t think anyone minds you writting about being pregnant at all . if anything i’d think people would be curious as to what goes on since to anyone that has never experienced it is a complete mystery! baffling really . and i know at least for me it might help me not be so afraid of babies . you should also definetly share any interresting food combinations your body forces you to try! because i think that is most interresting!

  • jenny

    February 23, 2008 at 4:57 pm

    Jen, have you thought about joining a baby centered community on LJ? I mean, if mountain biking is a part of your life, and you’re involved in it online and off, why would your pregnancy be any different (that’s how I look at it). I’m in two on here, one for August birth 2008 and one for September birth 2008, since I’m right on the brink of the month change for having our Bean. And while I don’t feel like I can always open up to people that are my friends or coworkers about the pregnancy (mostly because I don’t always like when others drone on about something their interested when they can’t see that the listener clearly isn’t), but in those places I can ask questions and talk to other women who aren’t just where I am in a relative way, but are so close in our pregnancies that I feel I have a connection and an outlet.

    Anyway, I’ll always listen about it, and not just ’cause I’m in the same boat as you, but because I like hearing what you have to say 🙂

    • Jenny Lee Silver

      February 27, 2008 at 3:36 am

      I’ve considered it… the more I think about it, though, it’s not so much the online community that I’m feeling weird about (although that’s part of it) but the actual community – most of the people in the online mtb forum are folks I know in person. It’s a weird feeling that I’m leaving the community, even though I know I can keep involved afterwards… I’ll just be part of the ‘parent’ community too, I guess.

      Very weird.

      I will look into an online community for pregnancy too, though.

  • Jenny Lee Silver

    February 27, 2008 at 3:25 am

    It’s easy enough to share in lj – I doubt I’ll stop doing that, just because it can be considered a one-way conversation. People don’t have to read if they’re not interested.

    It’s the real life that I’m feeling weird about. It’s a bit like a taste of how things will change after I do have a kid. I’ll be one of those ‘people with kids,’ which seems like it might be a whole new world. It’s a bit scary.

  • Jenny Lee Silver

    February 27, 2008 at 3:29 am

    Re: Me! Pick me!

    No plan to stop writing 🙂 If anything, I want to write more in a journaling sense, to be honest.

    It’s more of a disconnect from people I know in more two-way worlds. I think I’m entering the ‘parent’ land, and it’s a bit scary… some whole new social circle.

  • Jenny Lee Silver

    February 27, 2008 at 3:34 am

    It’s not so much writing about the impending baby doom as it’s feeling disconnected from the community / real life I’ve been living for the past few years. It’s a bit intimidating to be looking at a whole new world and social circle. I’m trying to come to terms with it, I guess.

    No plans to stop writing in livejournal though!

    The picture idea’s a good one, but may require more effort than I can perhaps commit to. We’ll see 🙂

  • maggi1234

    February 27, 2008 at 3:56 am

    Re: Me! Pick me!

    I remember. It was going from playing at the nightclubs to playgroups in the afternoon. 🙂