Hey baby girl (or so we think…),
We’ve had a dramatic time with you of late. More pelvic pain, more shooting nerves down my legs, and even a little visit to the hospital with some high blood pressure. Basically… I think you want to meet us. At least that’s what I’m telling myself when I’m in massive discomfort.
I finish work on Tuesday, then I have a funny feeling that you won’t be far behind.
For today’s little story/life lesson from Mum, I want to talk to you about not missing out on life experiences.
For a long time your Mum was very overweight. Currently, as I’m 37 weeks pregnant with you, I’m a similar weight to when I was my heaviest, and I can see it in my face and in photos. It takes me right back to my heavier days when I never wanted to be in photographs. I hated them. I’d delete them if friends tagged me on Facebook (for future reference, Facebook was a form of social media that may or may not have been brought down because of privacy issues – time will tell).
When I traveled around the world, I found myself taking a zillion photos of buildings, historic sites, delicious meals that we ate, friends… but I have very few photos of myself from those four months. Not zero pictures, but less than one per country, that’s for sure.
When your brother was born, we took a family photo on Boxing Day and I again despised the photo. Without a baby in my belly, I suddenly found myself judging the way I looked: soft and flabby. I was giving myself zero credit for having housed a human being and pushed him into the world without the benefit of a functioning epidural.
And so, when the idea of taking family maternity photos this time, mere weeks before your arrival, came about, I thought – NOPE! I feel too chubby and large. I want to repeat for future reference that it’s not so much about the weight, it’s more that I’m feeling so unhealthy. You can be healthy at any size, but this is not my healthiest.
Yet, I thought of you. I thought about my travels without photos. I thought about how we might not have had photos in the days after Jack was born. So, I decided to take the darn photos.
Because, at the end of the day, your ego and your opinion on things will fluctuate. You’ll feel great about yourself one day and poor the next, and that could be related to your size, your self esteem, something someone said at work, or your mental state.
The thing is, how you feel in that moment is not necessarily representative of how you’ll feel in the future.
I look back and yes I’m heavy in those photos, but I’m so glad I have them.
If we all wait until we’re thin enough, healthy enough, happy enough, fit enough, <insert whatever your challenge is here> enough, then we’ll be waiting forever. Enough is a social construct. You are enough, just as you are.
So whatever it is that you’re feeling in the moment, baby girl, I hope that you always choose to take the photo, to have the experience, to do the scary thing, knowing that one day you’ll look back and at least be able to say, “I did it.”
Photos by David at Sweet Calgary Portraits