“Our culture teaches us about shame—it dictates what is acceptable and what is not. We weren’t born craving perfect bodies. We weren’t born afraid to tell our stories. We weren’t born with a fear of getting too old to feel valuable. We weren’t born with a Pottery Barn catalog in one hand and heartbreaking debt in the other. Shame comes from outside of us—from the messages and expectations of our culture. What comes from the inside of us is a very human need to belong, to relate.”
Brene Brown from “I Thought It Was Just Me: Women Reclaiming Power and Courage in a Culture of Shame”
So, one of my amazing friends posted this little tidbit on facebook this evening. I read it and cried. Not just because I’m pregnant and hormonal, but because it sang to me in a way that I needed.
I’ve gained 6 lbs so far this pregnancy and I’m only 12 weeks on Friday. I feel like I’m failing my body by putting on weight. Today I had a really really bad food day.
I had cereal and a pb&j sammich. That’s it, until 7pm when my husband finished dinner for the family, because I was having an awesome panic attack from lack of food and guilt.
Guilt from feeling like I was intentionally not eating enough today after seeing the number on the scale this morning. I *was* quite busy today, but I’m pregnant for fucks sake. AND still nursing 3-5 times a day. I effing NEED the calories and I KNOW that. Didn’t change my choices today.
The problem is I’m terrified of becoming “Biggest Loser” material. I’m not that far off at 223 lbs. (Everyone says I “carry it well” although I’m not sure what that means.)
I’m not unhealthy. Really. I admit to eating some horrible shit through the first trimester because it was the only thing that was appealing and would stay down. Feel guilty about every bite. I’m SUPPOSED to be nourishing #4 with only organic whole foods that will feed it’s mind and tiny soul.
Yeah. Healthy food is a lot grosser to barf up, just FYI.
I’m also supposed to be thin to start and have this perfectly round melon belly to display to the world in artistically shot maternity photos in black and white.
I’m so good about preaching self love. So good.
I suck at practicing it, often.
I’m also “supposed” to be a giddy bouncing mess about being the privileged bearer of new and beautiful life.
I’m full of guilt.
We were so done.
We had an “oop’s”.
We miscarried an “oop’s”.
I was very sad, but a teeny tiny piece of me was relieved.
We immediately had another “oop’s” and this time I held my breath and hoped #4 would hang on.
And it has.
So guilty for the relief I felt. So guilty for the fact that I never once, even in my head or heart, told that lost baby I loved it.
And now I’m living with the fear of providing for 4 children in a meaningful, authentic way. I’m not sure I’m capable.
I’m so worried that I’m going to end up providing for them with “stuff”. Become one of those mini van driving, toddler with an ipad, over scheduled kid having, living in the burbs, friggity fracking sheeple. With big hair and a not so secret hatred of my husband and a barely controlled drinking (or xanax) problem.
Give me strength to be the mom I know I am and can be. Please. Let me be authentic. Let me be honest. Let me love my awkward self more.
And sweet baby Cheesus, let me love this baby while I grow it, as much as I know I will when it’s born.