Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Being "Cute Pregnant"

For all of my potentially childbearing years, I have dreamed of being "cute pregnant". For those of you unaware of the implications of that, the only thing I can really say is that you'd know it if you saw it...and conversely, you'd know when you were seeing the polar opposite. Upon seeing pregnant women over the years, there have always been the ones where I was like, "Man, I just hope I look that good when I'm pregnant," and others where I was like, "As long as that never happens to me, I'll be ok." There are definitely some women whose bodies handle pregnancy better than others, though I suppose that just because one pregnancy ends up cute, it doesn't mean anything when subsequent pregnancies come along, for many reasons.

Judging by the reactions of people (namely family and co-workers), I have succeeded thusfar in maintaining a cute pregnancy. Whew. Very thankful for that one. The compliments are nice, but I don't quite know how to respond to them. It's like, getting a compliment once in a while in normal life is nice. But on a day like your wedding day, or maybe the prom, days when you look way better than usual, you have to adjust to getting a flood of compliments. I'm not saying every day brings a flood, but even hearing once a day every day that you look good is just...different. I just say thank you a lot and leave it at that.

I've decided that half the battle is dressing yourself well. That's the case in normal life as well, but when you're pregnant, a cute fitted top and pants that fit go a long way. Of course someone in clothes like that is going to look a heck of a lot better than someone in sweats or other shapeless clothes. Heck, I need to go out and get some maternity tank tops so I feel better working out...the oversized t-shirts just make me feel bigger than I am. It's harder to tell it's a pregnancy belly vs. a beer belly when I'm wearing an adult large t-shirt. But in something fitted, there's no question...and that's how I'd rather be seen. If my belly is relatively cute and round right now, I might as well show it.

Speaking of working out...I do credit that with keeping things under control. Being in shape gave me a good starting point when I got pregnant. And now, while my workouts aren't exactly strenuous, they've probably negated most overeating I've done. They've also kept me in an active mindset. Those couple hours at the gym each week are a couple less hours I could be sitting on the couch and eating, and just keeping on my usual schedule of working out 2-3 times per week probably keeps my eating mentality on a parallel level to what it was pre-pregnancy (I eat mostly what I want now, but since I never got in awful habits before, I don't really have them now).

This has all made me wonder how many "cute pregnant" women I've seen over the years were among the naturally skinny, and how many actually made an effort at it. It's tough to tell how much of it is based on genetics, pre-pregnancy body composition, actual effort, and clothing choices. I think each of those has played a part for me, but I'm sure there are some people who come by it completely naturally. I know my body has a propensity to gain weight if I let it, so I don't think I'm totally in the genetics zone. Being in good shape to start out and not sitting down with a half gallon of ice cream have probably helped a lot. I don't know what my body will do in the coming months, but it's nice to know that a little effort has kept things looking good so far. I can't even describe how relieved I am to make it this far without ballooning up...so awkward or not, I'll take the compliments and use them each time as a reminder of how lucky I am to be where I'm at.

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