So...at the juice bar after having taught a class, the woman at the counter begins:
"Aw, how far along are you?"
Me: "6 months."
Woman: "Oh~ You're small."
Me: "Really I thought I was right at average or big for 6 mos. I saw a woman 29 weeks yesterday and her belly was half my size."
Woman: "oh no. Look. The woman out there just told me she's 3-4 months pregnant and you two are about the same."
This started to make me feel a bit better about myself considering less than 48 hours before I'd seen a petite Asian woman who was 6 weeks further along than I and her baby bump was half mine as was the rest of her body...and she said she EATS. I eat about the same amount I'd eaten pre-preggers. In fact, I've gone more healthy in my cravings: vegetables, fruits, salads, rice, tofu...
But back to the sitch. So I go back to the yoga studio after I down the most unexpectedly delicious "breakfast of the gods" smoothie at a Mexican food joint to take a restorative class: I only take restorative classes as bolsters and blankets help my growing body feel comfortable and relaxed. I walk in and I am greeted by:
"WOW. YOU ARE GONNA BE HUGE"
Never mind that this just happened in a matter of 2 hours, this is something that I'm encountering on a twice weekly basis. People will give me their opinion on how big I am or how small I am for 23 weeks. Euphemisms for how much weight I've gained. It must be a girl. It must be a boy. Are you doing yoga? You shouldn't gain weight if you're active. As if it isn't enough already that I'm swelling with water weight, my hormones and center of gravity have drastically changed, and I can't fit into anything that makes me look cute since I'm so short and round. (ShortRound?) I've read all the books that warned me that I'll get unsolicited advice and comments from people I know and strangers alike. I was also forewarned of the belly touching. :) But being in the "fitness" education (although everyone and their mother knows yoga is much more than fitness), people look. People comment. People care. Too much sometimes. And this is not just interactions with others, I'm talking people in the industry do it to themselves.
It's not been easy, I'm not gonna lie, to look in the mirror and accept the image shot harshly back at me. I can hardly recognize me. I can't do my favorite yoga poses or go for a run because I find myself not enjoying the practice or workout as not only my belly gets in the way, but also my ego trips me up when I get frustrated with the things I am not as easily able to do. But...contrary to what others might think, it's NOT a source of stress for me. It's just uncomfortable. I will be the first to tell you that pregnancy is not all that fun. HOW some women truly enjoy this journey is beyond me, but.....!
She moves. Especially in the morning and later in the evening. That...I look forward to and then suddenly, albeit for a minute, I forget how uncomfortable I am. In sanskrit, aparigraha represents non-hoarding and non-attachment. To me, it applies in this sense that for the time being I have to let go and disengage myself from my former non-pregnant me and the rest of the world when they decide on their own it's appropriate to touch my belly or to tell me how HUGE I am.
I can only control how much good nutrition, moderate exercise and LOVE I give to my little girl, who is a rigorous swimmer in there! I won't even focus on the way I'll fight back with a vengeance to bring my body back to pre-baby once she's out (oh, i'm sure I will, hehe) or what I used to be able to do. I am WAY too busy embracing day to day responsibilities and being present for my friends and husband to spend my time focusing on the future or the past or what others think my journey should be. In this way, I keep my sanity by not engaging in all of the comments and/or my own thoughts that murmur and swirl in my mind. I am learning: as the baby grows, so does my acceptance and tolerance.
Let go and let God.