Editor's Note: this piece was originally posted January 31 2011
(Content notice for mentions of body hatred and eating disorders)
Inspired by this post.
I have been back and forth on posting pictures of my belly.
I’m at almost 6 months now, and my belly has definitely gotten poochy :) I love it.
One of my first worries about pregnancy had to do with my hatred of my body.
For years I would freak out over my belly, which at 185-200 lbs is usually able to sit against my thighs when I am seated. Even when I was ill, throwing up every day, unable to eat more than apple sauce and saltines for 30 days straight and had lost 40 lbs from the lack of anything but the barest sustenance I still had a little pouch of fat hanging beyond my stomach muscles. Especially when my cycle got going and I got bloated, I would have days when I was so uncomfortable in my own skin that i would literally tear my clothes off and freak out crying for hours.
The last thing I wanted during a wanted pregnancy was to be so filled with self hatred that I couldn’t stand the feeling of my own skin. I don’t have a religious set of beliefs strictly speaking, but I do believe that we carry intense emotions in our bodies. And it wasn’t fair of me to pass such intense hatred on to someone that does not have the power to get away from me. It goes beyond unfair. Its utterly wrong. I simply don’t have the right to impress my issues on someone that can’t choose to be near me.
That said, to my utter surprise and delight, I love my fat, pregnant belly. The bigger it gets, the happier I get. Every time I look at it in the mirror, every time I run my hands over it, or my partner falls asleep with her arm encircling it, I love it even more, because I can feel the movements of what will be our child. I feel so awash in a deep deep love for all of us, me, my gorgeous spouse and this little eventual person that is part of both of us. Its so strong sometimes that I almost can’t bear it. I can feel a deep deep connection to something primordial and ancient. There’s no room in there for all the false and poisonous shit about how gross and wrong a fat belly is.
I don’t know if there’s any poison left in me. I don’t know if there is any way for me to find out, but maybe this will help me draw out any remainders.