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Why I love…Pregnancy [Part 2]

My belly profile 2010 to now! Many changes! All fun and all great! I’m enjoying them!

I am now struggling more than I did yesterday with my post…after posting it.  I got 99% positive responses but one that shook me a bit. I did not mean to hurt anyone. I thought a lot about my post last night. I think you all got my intent, but I also think that I should have said more….like what I’m loving about pregnancy and maybe explained myself more.

I feel like yesterday’s post was supposed to be a “coming out” for me to say once that I am struggling mentally some days with not LOVING every aspect of pregnancy and that I hate the question about whether I feel better than ever before because the truth is, I do not. I have felt better. I still feel guilty for saying that. This is hard on my body, my emotions, my brain.  I do not complain to my friends. I do not complain on Facebook. I do not even think “complaint” thoughts. But when I sit back and reflect about why the questions about how I feel bug me, I realize it’s because I don’t feel the way I thought I would and I do feel like I don’t necessarily LOVE how I feel right now but I cannot do anything to change it (like go to the gym to get rid of my belly!) 🙂

We have a LOT going on that I have not shared with you.  Yesterday a friend died. He left his wife and infant son. He died of cancer. He was too young. So, I think I’m more emotional than normal still trying to process that.  You can read their story here. We are facing a deployment and though I do not share details of when my hubby is gone [for my safety and his], I know that we are concerned about him being here for the birth of our first child.  There are other things going on with our Military Family and in our military life that are tough that I cannot share here for privacy reasons. I wish I could. But I say that to explain that I’m sure all of that coupled with my hormones is making me more emotional than the usual me.

So, since I’ve shared that, I’ll share this other fear to add to yesterday’s post.  I am scared that all the stress I’m under is hurting my child, even though I think I manage it well! 🙂  Yet on the flipside I know that these events were all placed in my life, including my pregnancy, in this order, at this time for a reason. Everyone has stress. Life has stresses. There are normal and abnormal or extreme stresses. But, we cannot be clear which stresses are affecting our child and which are not.

Another crazy thing I did not mention yesterday is having to say “no” to others to take care of myself. That is hard for me! I am usually the kind of person who will take on too much and sacrifice myself [and my sanity] for others. I’m having to say “no” and admit I am more fragile and admit that I have to take care of another being and cannot be selfish. My body is not my own to run ragged anymore. That is hard. BUT AGAIN, that is a lesson I need to learn…NOW! As I said yesterday in my moral of the story…..the moral is that this is a journey to get to motherhood and all these aches and pains are to get me to motherhood and grow me into the best mother I can be!! 🙂

There are many things I love about pregnancy, along with those fears, the vulnerability, the hormones, the not feeling like “me”, the worry and the asking for help.

What I love about pregnancy! I am loving my new body. Some women struggle with body image during pregnancy, but not me [so far]. I’m loving it! I’m loving that this is what my body was meant to do and this is what my body is doing!  For the first time ever, I’m not as shy being naked…even though my body is changing. Even when I was in my best shape I felt like that body was MY doing….like it was because of my efforts at the gym or in the kitchen. But now, this is all HIS doing. This is all what the body was meant for. Sure I can work out and eat right and not gain 100 pounds but the changes that are happening are completely out of my control. My body is not my own right now and I am not stressing over it…yet. [Ask me how I feel with a squishy belly in July, but now I’m enjoying this process as my body changes!]  I still could live without the teenage acne. Not sure why, but the acne has always made me insecure. It did at 15 and it does now. Thank God for concealer!

Were you offended by my post yesterday?

What did you LOVE or do you think you will LOVE about pregnancy the most?!

How was your body image during pregnancy? Did you struggle? It’s OK if you did! Share for others to learn!

Kelly - Tori, I just love you all the more for this post…I love how transparent & honest you are about yourself & your life. I’m so sorry to hear about all the stress in your life right now….I understand that you can’t share details about deployments but let us know if it happens so you can have that many more prayers for you & your family. 🙂 My second pregnancy was by far my hardest…I was in an abusive relationship through my 4th month. Once I’d had enough, I finally got the nerve to leave & I moved in with my dad. So picture this…I was 4 mos preggo dealing with a traumatized 4 year old, I was emotionally devastated myself, & I had to move back in with my dad at the age of 25. LOTS of stress going on at that time. One of my most worrisome and private thoughts (b/c I was afraid to vocalize it) was that I was hurting my unborn child with all my stress & that I would be overcome with PPD as a result of everything. But, Madi was a wonderfully healthy & happy baby girl from the start…I’ve never seen any type of effect from everything I went through. I give all the credit to our Awesome Creator…..HE will carry you through every bit of this, I have no doubt.

TheHealthyApron - I was not offended by your post yesterday! I think you were just being honest! THIS post made me feel better though about the body image thing. I worry about that for myself bc I used to struggle so much!! I’m glad you are loving your new body!

tori - I guess I feel like there is nothing I can do but watch my weight, eat the best I can, work out and that all else will happen based on body type, the baby, etc. So, I can’t obsess. I can’t hate my cellulite. That cellulite is healthy fats for the baby! The fat around my hips is there for the baby! I can still try and dress the best I can (w/o breaking the bank) but I cannot change my body right now so I might as well enjoy it! 🙂 I’m so glad I made you feel better!!!

tori - THANK YOU Kelly! Great info! You are sooo sweet to me. Thanks! And, you made great points. You had to do what you did and you’re better for it and the stress you were under wasn’t your fault. I’m sure you did the best you could. So glad to know Madi is healthy and happy! Luckily MOST of the stress in our lives right now is TRUE BLESSINGS and this fall we will look back and sigh and wonder how we did it…..it’s the getting there that will be a challenge. BUT again, God gave us this challenge to give us this blessing AND HE will work things out. I have to remember that, have faith and take things ONE step at a time! 🙂 Thanks for the encouragement!

April - I too loved your post and honesty yesterday. As someone who will never be pregnant but have always wondered what it would be like it’s helpful hearing your experience.

There’s always one person who has to take things out of context.

LauraJayne - I wasn’t offended at all by your post yesterday – I think I was a little envious, perhaps, but know that my time, if it is right, will come. I’m actually really glad that you posted it – so much of the press about our bodies is negative, so I think that the more often we can say that we love our bodies publicly the more our collective self-image benefits!
Thank you for your honesty and your post!

tori - I hope I didn’t scare you April! Thanks for your sweet comment!

tori - Thanks LauraJayne! I hope that your time will come soon and that you will share how you feel, good bad or ugly!

Rach - I was not at all offended by your post yesterday! I appreciated it because it gave me an insider look at what being pregnant could be like for me. I applaud you for sharing. 🙂

Also, I am so sorry that you are dealing with so much right now. A friend’s death and deployment… I cannot imagine. Considering those circumstances, I’m amazed at how sane you are!

And I just love what you have to say about this being what your body was meant to do. 🙂

Jen @ Canoe of Life - I was definitely not offended by yesterday’s- it’s not easy to admit personal thought. I thought you conveyed the message that while it’s not all positive, overall you were finding an appreciation for how it was all preparing you for the future.

I expect someday when I’m pregnant that I’ll love the thought of meeting the baby and marveling in the amazing blessing God is allowing to grow inside of me. (can you tell I’ve been bitten by the baby bug?)

Christin@purplebirdblog - First of all, I’m sorry for the loss of your friend and will lift their family and all involved in prayer.

I think you are being EXTREMELY healthy in your outlook about everything. Talking it out (or writing it out!) rather than keeping it inside is probably much healthier for the baby than bottling it all up. You’re right, there is always going to be stress, and I think your first pregnancy in and of itself is definitely a huge stressor in a lot of ways! But you are taking care of yourself as best you can, and that speaks volumes. The female body is so resilient and it is MADE for making babies, lol! 🙂 I admire your approach to all of this. Keep it up, Tori! xo

Toronto Girl West - I cried as I read the story of your dear friend’s.

Please accept my deepest sympathies and please pass them on to your friend. I will be praying for strength for all of them!

Christie - I loved your post yesterday! I don’t understand why someone would be offended. We ALL feel different while being pregnant, and me, with two girls, felt different from one pregnancy to the other. My first pregnancy, I loved it….Loved people looking at my belly, loved the questions, loved feeling her move around and kick my bladder (yes, I typed it)!! The second pregnancy, it was summer, sizzling hot, my feet and hands were swollen….I was miserable. The thing is, once you have your child, all the not so happy thoughts will be a thing of the past…..all you will feel is joy, happiness, and love!! It’s an amazing feeling. Hang in there, sounds like you have TONS going on. I wish you the best

tori - Thank you Toronto Girl! I did and do too! Feel free to send her an email. Her address is on there.

tori - Thanks Christie! Great perspective! I can’t wait to fee kicks and movement constantly! (Though I might change my mind when I can’t sleep at night!) Hoping to deliver before it gets too horribly hot here!! I feel for you Summer 8-9 mo preggos!!

tori - Thanks girl! I appreciate your opinion, your outlook and your comments! Thank you for saying it! And, thank you for our friends. It’s a tough time for their family and for our Military Family. We are all grieving for the family.

tori - HAHAHA Baby Bug!! I remember it! I had it for a WHILE…like a year probably before we started trying! Thanks for mentioning it b/c it reminded me how I felt when I sooooo wanted to be pregnant! And, then once you do, it becomes real! And, really scary! 🙂 Can’t wait for your future!!! Excited for the next chapter for you and for you to weigh back then on what you think! 🙂

tori - Thanks Rach! I hope I didn’t scare you! Thanks for being so thoughtful. There’s other stuff that I will share this summer when we are able to! Sometimes I wish this blog was totally anonymous so I could be totally honest BUT some things must stay private at some times 🙁 it’s hard for me tho b/c I like to be an open book!! Thanks for your encouraging words!!! It means a lot!

Jess@atasteofconfidence - I definitely wasn’t offended (for the reasons why I said yesterday), I think you were being honest, and everyone has a right to complain a little here and there. I think I will love eating a little more, and my body actually (which is kind of strange for me).

tori - Jess, I can’t wait to hear how you feel about it when the time comes! I think you’ll love all of that! I enjoy eating what’s best for my body regardless of carbs or calories, just thinking about nutrition! 🙂 it’s awesome!

La. - You know what, you are going through a lot! Your poor pregnant brain and heart! Oh dear! On of my best friend’s husband is in Special Forces and BARELY made the birth and then went her whole first year in pictures. And that’s hard. VERY hard. But God gave her special strength, and I think He will give YOU and your husband special strength. I don’t know what was said in your comment BUT I know that with blogs and the like, infertility has REALLY come out in the open. It is hard that THAT can be spoken about openly and honestly, but if you are not struggling in that way you are NOT allowed to be negative. At all. We have struggles when we aren’t pregnant. And we have struggles when we are. Babies change EVERYTHING and if we aren’t allowed to talk about these feelings then where do we find these feelings…IN A BIG BOWL OF ICE CREAM. Most people ask why I’m not pregnant yet with baby number 2, and I have to say it is because I don’t want to experience pregnancy quite yet. And that is OK. It is ok that I and you and other woman don’t love EVERY LITTLE MOMENT. I was pregnant and then I breastfed. I honestly wanted a YEAR to be me. And if I’m not like everybody else appears to be, that’s ok. And from the comments I DID read, most everyone agrees with that.

Michele @ Healthy Cultivations - I’m so sorry for your loss of your friend. And learning how to say no to others to care for yourself is hopefully one lesson you can carry on. This is so important… in every aspect of life. Managing stress is so important. It sounds like you’re doing okay. Hang in there.

Samantha Walton - thanks for your comment! i love your blog and congrats on the pregnancy!

tori - Thanks Samantha! 🙂

tori - You’re so right. It’s a great lesson that needs to be learned now. I’m definitely doing my best to manage stress. thanks for the pep talk! 🙂

tori - Great comment La!!! I love it!!! I’m so proud of you for being true to yourself and knowing yourself well enough to know you need that year in between. I can only imagine that might be a nice year to have to become YOU again…the new you as a mommy and then start over again. Thanks for the sweet comment!

Leslie - Tori, my condolences for the loss of your friend.

As far as your post goes, I applaud your honesty! You are completely entitled to feel EXACTLY however you are feeling. I have read that one of the causes of (and reasons for women not seeking help for) post-partum depression is because they feel both like everything about a new baby HAS to feel perfect and amazing, and they’re not “allowed” to feel anything other than joy and are a terrible parent for having trouble coping.

I bring this up because it points out one of the problems in our culture: women are supposed to feel like everything about motherhood is a perfect blessing and we aren’t entitled to complain or feel unhappy. You know, the “superwomen” phenomenon. That’s silly. Everything about pregnancy/parenting isn’t always puppies and rainbow and hearts (from what I’ve heard). Truthfully, I kind of want to shake some of your readers for adding to your stress by making you feel like you aren’t entitled to your own honest feelings. You are. Bravo for providing perspective.

tori - Leslie, you rock! Thanks for the long comment. I appreciate you taking the time to read my posts and to comment back! I agree that I feel like it’s still shameful to be honest and some women are still ashamed to admit the truth about how they feel. But I think a positive attitude is important also. Thanks soooo much for weighing in and for being honest with me!!

emily (a nutritionist eats) - I don’t think you should feel bad for how you feel! Of course you are grateful, etc. etc. that you are pregnant! My boss is pregnant and it has been really hard on her (sick, etc.) – I think everyone is going to have a different experience with it!
(Congratulations though and I’m really jealous!) 🙂

BrittFit - I love how positive this post is! Stay happy..looks like your on the right track!!

Michelle @ Find Your Balance - Oh, I definitely struggled with body image stuff. I was horrified by cellulite that suddenly appeared out of nowhere. I’d been in the best shape of my life 1 day, and the next day was getting out of breath just crossing the street. It was tough. Now though, at 40 weeks, my belly is gigantic and I could care less about my thighs. Priorities have certainly shifted to the baby! And I guess that’s why we get 40ish weeks…to shift and change and get comfortable with mommyhood.

Andrea@Thin Thighs & Sweet Potato Fries - Tori, thank you so much for stopping by my blog! I am LOVING yours so far and after going back and reading the last few posts, I really loved yesterday’s post. It always irks me to no end how we can’t seem to just being honest about our feelings on our blogs without someone getting offended over non-offensive things. I have not been pregnant yet, but I often think about how I’ll feel when I get there and I think a lot of what you expressed as far as your body goes is what I imagine I will experience. I loved your honesty and I’m sure there are so many other women out there who found that post to be a breath of fresh air because they now know they aren’t alone in those feelings and that they are normal. 🙂 I am also so sorry to hear about all the stress in your life, but I applaud you for your upbeat attitude in spite of it! I am really looking forward to going back and reading some of your older posts because from what I can tell so far, your blog is so incredibly inspirational! 🙂

Kristina @ Life as Kristina - I’ve gotta catch up on all these posts!!! Love the belly pics:)

tori - Andrea, thanks sooo much for taking the time to read my posts AND comment! I love your comment and your opinion. I never know if what I’m saying is coming across appropriately! I hope you can find inspiration on my site! I tried to put some of the best posts on the sidebar on the left so you can look for some great nutrition/fitness info as needed! Let me know if you have any questions so I can try to blog on that!

tori - HAHAHA! The arrival of the cellulite!!! I find that a bit surprising when I look in the mirror. I also get out of breath walking across the house. It’s humorous and I laugh w/ my friends and hubby about that! I think it’s all humorous. We laugh when I try to get dressed and nothing fits. And, I look at the cellulite knowing that fat is great for my baby! I think you’re right…we get 40 weeks to get ready! Though I don’t think I’ll ever be ready!! 🙂 We’ll figure it out after she gets here!

tori - Thanks Britt!!! I really try to be sure that my blog stays positive, but still honest. I don’t want it sugar-coated and I don’t want to scare women away, feeling like I’m perfect. I’m not! 🙂 But, I want everyone to have a positive attitude about life, even when things aren’t the way we want them!

tori - Emily, have you been bitten by the baby bug? I had that for about a year before we started trying. so, I totally understand wanting a baby. And, you’re so right…everyone has a totally different experience and we need to support ALL women in their journey toward motherhood, but encourage positivity and LAUGHTER! If we can’t laugh about some of this crazy stuff…well, I’m not going to cry anymore. I cry too much already b/c of these darn hormones! 🙂

Katy @ MonsterProof - By no means was it offensive! And I truly don’t believe most of the women who “loved” pregnancy. Generally? I’ve never felt worse in my life. I was continuously sick 1st trimester, and even 2nd trimester, while a HUGE relief, I still felt exhausted and achy. 3rd? Aches are getting a bit more severe and, sigh, swelling. And yet, there are people like my sister-in-law, who have the gall to say, “You have to get over gaining weight”, which is NOT what is bothering me in the slightest. My response to her was, “I don’t care about the weight gain, I’m sick of feeling like *&%$” People really don’t get it if they haven’t been pregnant…or if they were lucky enough to not have as many symptoms! Sorry for the novel, stay strong!

tori - Great comment girl! Thanks for that! 🙂 It’s the truth! And, it makes it worse when people say dumb things. It happens every day and I think “why would you say that?” hahaha. Glad I’m not alone. Glad you got the message I was trying to get across! THANK YOU for your comment!!

Courtney F - You will never make everyone happy, nor should you apologize for your feelings. Your post was not in a negative light, but an honest one!

Stephanie - Very interesting posts! I don’t think you should feel guilty about sharing your feelings. I think that pregnancy IS hard, for most of us. For a few people it’s a breeze, but they’re a rare breed. A good friend of mine was crying every day during the first few months of her pregnancy and swore she’d never do it again. Now, six months later, she’s already thinking about her second one – before the first one’s even born. All that to say that sometimes, when looking back, people forget just how awful they felt.

I lost my first pregnancy, so I think that I’m going to welcome feeling sick and exhausted when I’m blessed with another bean. I also know that I’m most likely going to be terrified through my entire pregnancy. I think that I’m going to love being pregnant – and wish every day for my 40 weeks to be over. It’s ok to be a walking contradiction. It’s what makes us human.

Cailin @ Stir Crazy - I was not offended at all, and I don’t even think you should have to defend yourself! Those are your feelings, thoughts and emotions, and the fact that you’re putting them out there for everyone to read makes you brave and honest. Pregnancy is such a powerful experience, and it’s only normal to react to all the changes!
Towards the end of my pregnancy I thought I looked freakish with my massive belly… I felt like everyone was staring at me when I walked by (and my hubby confirmed that this was true!) But otherwise, I had a pretty positive body image and loved all the changes.

Cailin @ Stir Crazy - Also, I meant to say that I’m so sorry to hear about your friend and your difficult week. Sending positive and happy thoughts your way!

tori - Thanks for commenting Stephanie!!! If we didn’t forget we’d never do it again, right?! And, it’s all worth it in the end?! I believe my friends when they tell me this!!
I’m sure you’ll feel blessed to feel as crummy as you may feel. I’m so sorry for your loss. I wish you the best of luck in the future. I hope my posts about pregnancy aren’t too hard to read. If they are, I completely understand. I think you are awesome for your realistic attitude about life and pregnancy!!! You are awesome! I’m amazed at the amount of worry. And, that I’m so ready to meet her yet not ready at all. You’re so right…a walking contradiction. I love that! 🙂 I hope to get to know you better!

tori - I have definitely seen some pregnant women that look almost freakish…it’s just totally amazing that the body can stretch like that to hold such a large object and then squeeze it out…truly amazing…and freakish!! I’m sure people stare! I’m not at that stage yet so I can’t even comment on the attention of strangers yet. You’re so right though…it’s such a powerful experience!!!! You’re sooo right!!

tori - Thanks!! I’m more worried about the others and how they are coping and it weighs heavily on our minds. We want to fix it, do more, take back what’s happened, but we can’t. We can only help in what seem like superficial ways…when what would really fix the hurt and pain cannot be undone. 🙁

teresa - Victoria, you dont know me personally but im a FT adjuster. Having just had my baby 3mos ago i know the feelings you are experiencing. Add to that the fact that i had a high risk pregnancy bc i have lupus and the fact that im single! Its been the most emotional yet exciting and most rewarding thing i will ever do in my life. My favorite part of pregnancy was learning about all the changes that happen with one goal in mind – growing life AND feeling her move. I doubted that i could handle so much but HE knew exactly how much i could handle. He gave me strength and i learned just what im made of. Pregnancy is the most amazing experience preparing you for the most amazing journey of motherhood. Best of luck!

tori - Thanks girl for reading and commenting! Just started feeling her move the last few days and week more consistently and I am more confident I know what I’m feeling now….definitely helps to take away some of the worry AND makes it more real!! Thanks so much!!! We are so excited. We’ll be married for almost 7 years by the time she’s born and together for another 7 or more before that….we’re SO excited for her!!! 🙂 Hope to get to know you better!

tori - Oh and CONGRATS ON YOUR BUNDLE OF JOY!!!! I should be asking you how the maternity leave package is! 🙂 haha! CONGRATS!!! You’ll have to send me pics!

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