Madwoman Out of the Attic

a feminist trudging forward in a patriarchal world

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

I'm huge! Reflections on being noticably pregnant

I'm only 5 months pregnant right now. That really isn't all that much. However, I'm ginormous! Not only is my gut totally sticking out, I'm a lot bigger everywhere. (Must. Control. Food. Intake.)

I'm finding it a weird experience to walk around and have everyone who looks at me know I'm pregnant. It almost feels like an invasion of my privacy, since I feel like I'm a walking advertisement for my own sexual activity. I'm a little self-conscious about it. I guess this is something that women alone just learn to deal with when they are pregnant, since I don't think there's any male equivalent of a man's body screaming out their sexual history.

Women who read this, have you felt similarly self-conscious about your body being a billboard of your sexuality, or do you know others who have felt like this too?

9 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am shocked that you off all people would be so vain about getting bigger due to pregnancy. Why control food intake? Why not have a healthy baby instead?

4/19/2006 2:53 PM  
Blogger Caroline said...

Hi anonymous,
Well, I think it has more to do with health than vanity. I've already gained about 25 pounds, which as you might know is the amount that doctors advise you to gain for your whole pregnancy (they say 25-35 is healthy). And I'm only half way through. So... my original comment stands. Clearly I must control my food intake more than I have been in order to have an optimally healthy pregnancy.

Of course, I'm human, so vanity probably is a factor as well.

4/19/2006 3:51 PM  
Blogger Melessa said...

That's an interesting question. I was excited when I finally started showing with my first pregnancy. I don't remember being embarrassed at all. I was so caught up in the excitement of a new baby, I think I forgot about how I got pregnant in the first place.

I'm Melessa, by the way. I too am LDS with a degree in Classics/Latin. I thought I was the only one.

4/20/2006 9:53 AM  
Blogger jana said...

I remember feeling very self-conscious about it with my first baby. I was just 23 and still finishing up my degree at a non-Utah university. I was the only pregnant person I ever saw in any of my classes. When I spoke to my teachers about it, they were not cool [from my Physics prof: What do you mean, you want to take the Final Exam early because you're baby is due that week? NO!].
Anyways, a bit of a digression there...really it was awkward because I'd been taught to be a 'good girl' and having a huge pregnant belly was much more revealing about my level of sexual activity than, say, having a hickey on my neck. Even though I was married months before the pregnancy, I was looked at by most people at school as an unwed mother. It was hard and embarrassing.

With my second baby lived in Utah in one of those rabbit-warren university wards. I didn't have any of those same embarrassed feelings, nor did anyone treat me rudely about my pregnancy.

4/20/2006 4:44 PM  
Blogger Caroline said...

Hi Melessa,
You're an LDS classics major? That is unusual. I've only met one or two others. Where did you do your degree?

Jana, your first pregnancy does sound hard. I would be terribly self-conscious about it if I were also a young undergrad at a non-Utah place. I'm self-conscious about it now, and I'm visibly older and a non-student. Glad it was easier the 2nd time around :)

4/20/2006 5:50 PM  
Blogger Melessa said...

Caroline-

Well, technically the major pre-dated my baptism into the church. But I graduated as an LDS with a degree in Classics/Latin. I'm currently getting a Master's in Museum Studies now as my desire for one in Classical Archeology gave way to motherhood almost 9 years ago. I was certainly the only Latter-Day Saint in that program. My undergraduate degree came from the University of Oklahoma and the one year I spent in the Classical Archeology program was from the U of Arizona. I saw your guest post on FMH and was so excited. Until then, I thought I was the only Latter Day Saint obsessed with all things Greek and Roman.

Going back to my earlier comment, my ward was in the midst of a huge baby boom at the time I was expecting baby #1 and I think that helped. I was also 25 years old. I was more embarrassed about baby #4 because she came after I swore to everyone I was only having three. Hence, not only was I advertising my sexual activity, but also that I was inept at using birth control. ;>)

4/20/2006 8:54 PM  
Anonymous strange bird said...

You know, I never automatically associated visible pregnancy with sexual activity (it just wasn't the first place my brain went)... until I read this post!

4/27/2006 1:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can certainly relate. I too felt that people were thinking that I had had sex while they looked at my growing belly. It's not that I was ashamed but I certainly felt a little weird about it sometimes. But since having my first I am thrilled and excited for when I can be pregnant again. I absolutely loved the feeling that I was going to have a new person in just a few months or less. You get over the weirdness eventually and then it starts to feel like you have always been pregnant and will always be pregnant. =)

4/29/2006 11:50 AM  
Blogger amelia said...

speaking from the other side of the coin, i can honestly say i have never once looked at a pregnant woman and thought "she had sex to get that way." not once. not even my sisters and sisters-in-law (which would have a certain eww-factor akin to the one associated with thinking my parents have sex, though not as strong).

i can understand your reaction, but i don't think most people who see you are thinking that...

5/01/2006 7:36 PM  

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