Persephone: Parent

A fine site

Size and Sensitivity

on May 7, 2013

My post the other day about weighty issues was mainly regarding my freaking out about Elvis’ predicted weight, whereas today it’s more about my size.

It’s all from a tweet I saw earlier about bump sizes and why we care about them, compare them so much. Part of me wants to say, at the basic level it’s simply because that’s what women do. Women are known, not only for comparing themselves to everyone else, but also to care so much about their own size.

Ignoring the pregnancy aspect, magazines are filled with the perfect women, famous women who have the money, time and reason to stay thin. And I do strongly differentiate between thin and healthy. I’ve not been thin since… too many years to count and I started gaining weight the moment I finally got pregnant – too much food! But since January I’ve been doing more exercise than any other 5 month period of my life.

These same magazines have always been filled with the latest pregnant celeb or post-pregnant celeb. However many of them get a perfect tiny little bump. Those that don’t, get this highlighted as if it’s the biggest crime in the world – oh no, not only is she pregnant but she’s also chubby! So that’s what normal women have to try and look like. It’s the same with any weight gain/loss by someone in the public eye – again about someone’s size not health.

So is it really that odd of a thought that normal pregnant women get viewed based on their bump size? Given that to certain extents, bump size is not controlled by the mother whatsoever, but that the media is filled with how we should look pregnant or not. I’m sure Kate Middleton doesn’t like having her bump size discussed. She probably likes it even less that some readers of those media use her images to judge themselves.

My midwife did mention that my bump was a bit larger than it should be, but only by a 2cm measurent. But at the same time I’ve had the shop assistant I regularly see telling me I’m huge. This was before I hit 37 weeks and I’d hardly say I have a relationship with her. Yet every day she’d tell me how huge I am, far larger than her daughter who’s due around the same time.

Then there was my boss who seemed to constantly be telling me that I was huge and wouldn’t last to term. Along with random people at work, whose names I don’t know, who would question why I was still at work when I was so close to term. Well I was still under 37 weeks at that point and kind of glad to finish work so I didn’t have to keep hearing all these people telling me how over-sized my bump was.

All of the above were female, by the way. I’ve only had two men make inappropriate comments on my size – my line manager and my husband. Neither of them meant it, they were just being boys and not knowing what to say.

What might be the most annoying or even hurt the most is my own mother who has questioned if the scan was wrong and there aren’t twins in my belly. Or she questioned (many months ago) if my dates were wrong and that was the reason for my over-sized bump. Gee thanks.

Not forgetting the in-laws who mention my planet-sized bump everytime they speak to my husband.

Before I got pregnant I always hated my weight. I was always convinced I was fat and had this awful belly. I have never been overweight or obese though. From the moment I knew that our IUI had worked, I stopped caring about my weight. I didn’t care how I looked before I even started showing. I didn’t care what clothes size I needed to buy. I was pregnant and as long as my baby and I are healthy, I don’t care if my bump’s big.

But I do care that people keep telling me my bump’s too big. Nothing gives anyone the right to comment on someone’s bump size, but then some people don’t help themselves. I was recently invited to a baby shower where the pregnant host even said it was the last chance to see her fat. Well, maybe she’s happy to be fat as I know I’m not, however there’s a difference between fat and having too big a bump. Are these same people going to tell me I’m fat the day after I give birth of my huge bump? Or will they develop sensitivity?

~ Persephone M

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