My Pregnancy Body

Fri, 12/19/2014 - 17:19
Submitted by Carlin Ross

I've always been defined by my body. I had curves at a young age - I had to balance jeers from my brother and his friends with leers from men in my dad's church.

Pregnancy has been a beautiful experience because I've shed all that. I am hourglass no more...my waist is carrying a human life and my ass is dwarfed by it's growing proportions. This whole experience is so healing because my body is fulfilling its intended purpose. I don't exist solely for the pleasure of others. That is fucking power.

The first trimester was an adjustment because all of a sudden I had full C breasts and my belly didn't pop yet. I couldn't walk the dogs without men leaning out of cars asking for my number. I now know what it feels like to have big boobs - people just talk to your tits. They don't even try to hide it at all. I snapped this picture of myself at 4 months. At the time, I thought my belly was huge. It looks so small and cute. I'm not sure anyone would see this pic and think "pregnant".

I took this pic on the same day and I want you to play close attention to the size of my nipples. One day, in your second trimester, you'll look down at yourself in the shower and realize that your nipples have quadrupled in size. My first thought was, "my nipples look like my mom's". They get darker in color and your areola look like saucers. I googled around and it looks like they do get smaller post-birth but that depends on how many babies you have and how long your nurse. I'm going to nurse as long as Grayson is willing - his health and well-being is more important to me than having nymph nipples. And I kind of like the idea of my body being permanently changed by motherhood.

Here are two more pics. One at 5 months and another at 5 1/2 months. I look a bit larger, more bloated and in a few weeks you can see my belly start to protrude forward. This is when I noticed that certain outfits didn't look the same. I thought that I could wear the same jeans throughout my pregnancy because I prefer lowrise cuts but I was wrong. Your belly is hard so when you bend over to pick something up or put on your shoes the waistband digs into your belly and it fucking hurts. There's a reason why maternity pants have stretchy, soft elastic wastebands.

By 6 months, I really look pregnant...and I felt pregnant. Your belly will go hard with these sort of contractions because your uterus is expanding. You'll be walking down the street and whamo...contraction. The best thing is to just breathe through it and keep moving. They pass in a few moments. And I get all blissed out when I feel my son growing in my body. There are intense sensations but I wouldn't describe it as pain. Maybe when you're multi-orgasmic and spend hours masturbating in the circle during erotic recess you understand the difference between pain and intensity.

Pregnancy is the ultimate physical challenge and that gets me off. I haven't changed my lifestyle at all. I run around New York on the subway with packages...the more physical exercise you get the better you feel. There are weeks when you're wiped out because your baby's skeleton is forming or some other crazy amazing thing but I just listen to my body and take lots of naps.

Overall, the second trimester was a breeze because I got my energy back. The first trimester is when you're nauseous, exhausted and dealing with caffeine withdrawl. By your second trimester, you're back in business. I just started by third trimester and I feel the best right now.

I can't run as many errands as I used to...it takes me longer to get places but I feel so powerful. I know exactly what I want every moment of every day. I feel grounded, balanced, and strong. And, in a way, I feel more compassionate and connected with everyone in my life. It's probably the hormones but you develop this deeper understanding of others. I find myself smiling at strangers who smile back with congratulations. There's something tribal about it all and I feel protected and appreciated.

Here I am at 7 months and 2 weeks. So far, I've gained 8 pounds which is right on schedule. The next two months will be about Grayson putting on weight in my belly. They say that in the 9th month he'll put on 1 pound/week. All his organs are formed and, if anything happened, he would survive.

I'm so looking forward to the last two months of my pregnancy...sitting at home hanging mobiles and talking to Grayson about how much he's loved. I find myself promising to be the mom he needs in this life, that I'll make mistakes but always listen.

For me, motherhood is my commitment to life, love and humanity.  I know I will be forever changed...my body and my soul. 

Editor in Chief & Keeper of All Things Betty Dodson

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

That is

Sat, 12/20/2014 - 09:36
Oh bother (not verified)

an excellend visual sort of diary :)

There is nothing like

Sat, 12/20/2014 - 11:48
Valda (not verified)

There is nothing like motherhood.  It does change you...but I like to believe it is all for the better.  I also think it was the greatest thing I ever did in my life.  I raised two wonderful, intelligent children and that is all I could have hoped for.

Carlin, your body is so

Sat, 12/20/2014 - 14:48
Dowder (not verified)

Carlin, your body is so beautiful!

beautiful

Sat, 12/20/2014 - 17:01
Long time fan (not verified)

pregnancy becomes you.

Beautiful. Thank you so much

Sun, 12/21/2014 - 01:19
Claudia99 (not verified)

Beautiful. Thank you so much for sharing.

Dear Carlin,

Sun, 12/21/2014 - 05:11
Dotty (not verified)

I have been reading and enjoying D&R for years and to be honest... I always cringe when you post about (your) assumed body issues. You are absolutely beautiful, athletic, young looking, healthy and of course now a gorgeous pregnant woman. And you know it! I mean, come on.
The pictures you post of yourself always have a narcissistic and exhibitionous touch. And hey, thats ok! Just don't embellish it as a therapy to overcome body issues. If you have body issues... then how are people supposed to feel that really have health problems that leave marks on their bodies or who simply don't have the time or the money to afford gym everyday and yoga classes and organic food and good clothing and expensive hairdressers ...?
I didnt mean this to sound so harsh, I just don't have a better way to express my thoughts right now (not a native speaker).
Wishing you all the best for you and the baby!

Beautiful. Thanks for

Sun, 12/21/2014 - 08:09
C.Cilia (not verified)

Beautiful. Thanks for sharing. You're gonna be a great mom. Enjoy!

I have positive body image

Sun, 12/21/2014 - 08:11
Carlin Ross

I have positive body image and I think that's clear by the pics - I do celebrate my health and athleticism. 

But getting to where I am today mentally and emotionally was work.  I grew up in an abusive religious environment where I was labeled a "jezebel" because I was attractive.  There was all this negative attention around my changing body during puberty.  My mother was afraid I'd be arrogant so she told me that I was unattractive.  When you're taught at home and don't have a television or any friends outside of your parent's church and you're castigated for developing curves, you develop negative body image.  I was guilty of being womanly at a young age and inspiring lust.  I was taught that my body was evil. 

I was inspired to post these pics by an email from a young woman who asked to see my pregnancy body.  She had questions about how your body changes when you're carrying a child.  I snapped these pics to send to my husband when he's away on business so they are meant to be pleasing :)

Betty always says that all girls/women who grow up in this culture have been sexually abused.  From doing the workshops, I know that the most attractive women in the circle have the most body image issues because they've been sexualized and ridiculed due to the sexual repression of others.  When you attract attention, it's rarely positive.  Marilyn Monroe famously said, "beauty only invites abuse".

And that's something we're striving to change.  Beauty in all it's forms is pleasure - something that we should celebrate and honor. 

Blaming the woman

Sun, 12/21/2014 - 19:00
Patrick_R

What has always struck me in reading Carlin's series of posts about her childhood is how damaging her fundamentalist upbringing was. Somehow, Carlin was assigned the role of the 'evil temptress' in her family even before she was old enough to know what sexuality was all about. Where did fundamentalist people (and the Catholic Church) get the idea that making their children feel terrible about themselves was a responsible way to bring up a child? This is what comes of equating healthy sexuality with 'sin'. Living her own life in spite of it all has been the best response Carlin could have made.

Marks

Sun, 12/21/2014 - 20:36
James R (not verified)

I would like to respond Dotty's comment of "how are people supposed to feel that really have health problems that leave marks on their bodies?"  I would say, "sexy, alive, and present with themselves."  I am reminded of a disdainful comment a colleague of mine made about stretch marks while we were having lunch.  He was not married at the time; my ex-wife and I were just having our second child.  Emotions stirred within me, and I had difficulty focusing the rest of the day until I tried to get my thoughts out on paper.

My Thoughts on Stretch Marks

A disdainful word constricts my throat with emotion
As I contemplate the blemishes born of selfless love
Each a reminder of blood, sweat and tears
and the quiet drone of sacrifice which is the melody of motherhood.

The passions coursing through the ancient marbles abide privately in sacred flesh
Desire waifs over me in hot dessert waves
High strung, wild eyed and on the brink of volitility
Yet deathly still and content as if standing beneath the foreboding cathedral domes
"Imperfections" made erotic by deep and devoted love.

Thank you, my precious wife.
When can I nestle at your side?
When can I be at peace.

Unfortunately, my ex-wife could not make it past the title and tossed this aside when I showed it to her.  Dotty, I hope you will understand.  "Marks" are a sign of character or overcoming struggles or the cruelties of life.   I will tell you my daughter has a health condition that has left her scared from numerous surgeries.  I hope she encounters enough people who appreciate her courage and strength so that she will be proud of these sexy badges of honor.

Pregnancy

Fri, 05/13/2016 - 05:19
LilyWellspring

I felt that I'm ugly during pregnancy. It resulted in me being a bit depressed and when hubby figured the thing out we had wonderful sex during a [= 9pt; line-height: 107%][url=[/][= 12px; line-height: 12.84px]http://motherhow.com/15-best-baby-shower-gifts-what-to-give-for-a-mother-to-be/[/][= 9pt; line-height: 107%]][/][/url][url=[/][= 9pt; line-height: 107%; font-family: Helvetica, sans-serif; background: #eeeeee]baby shower[/][= 9pt; line-height: 107%; font-family: Helvetica, sans-serif][/url] (funny coincidence, but I'm back on a track) :)[/]