I knew the day was coming. I knew, from the moment we started trying to have a baby, in fact, that someday, when I was far enough along in pregnancy, it would happen: I would weigh more than Chris. If I'm telling you the truth, I thought about this long before we even decided to start a family. He's not that much taller than me; the writing was on the wall.
You step on the scale every time you go to the doctor during pregnancy. I'd like to say it gets easier each week, as you hear your weight climb. And it does at first, when you're gaining one or two pounds here and there. But, as someone who swore off the scale years ago (I honestly couldn't have told you my starting weight if they hadn't recorded it), it's been shocking during these last few weeks to hear the numbers creep up and up.
Last week, when the nurse told me what I weighed, I blurted out: well, that's a number I've never seen before! My candor revealing my shock.
It's worth it, of course, to see these high numbers as our baby grows. And it doesn't matter (I try to remember) whether or not I weigh less than Chris. He certainly does not care. But, as someone who has sworn (and declared!) the number on the scale doesn't matter - that it doesn't impact our beauty, our worth, our value - I'm surprised by how shocked I have been at those bi-weekly weigh ins.
Wondering if I was the only one who was bothered by this, I googled "pregnancy + I weigh more than my husband." I hadn't really looked at pregnancy forums until then and was shocked to see how many other women struggle with it. As I read through their posts, I felt both reassured (this is very normal) and happy to see how women encouraged one another (he still thinks you're beautiful).
However, as I got deeper into the forums, I started noticing how critical they were of themselves - of their "back rolls" and "huge thighs" and how they "felt fat" and wanted to cry every time they looked at their lithe husbands.
I couldn't believe how women were willing to reassure one another, but so highly critical of themselves. Why do we do this? Why do we treat other women like people we love, but treat ourselves like mannequins who deserved to be measured and pinched and prodded?
I don't know what it is for you - whether it's a number on the scale or on your pants. Maybe you hate your big forehead or your wide feet. Maybe you wish you were shorter. Maybe you wonder if your voice is annoying. Pregnant or not, we all have something that makes us feel insecure, a little afraid to look directly in the mirror or hold our heads high.
Reading those forums reminded me of a few truths: we, as women, need to work daily to fight the messages the world sends us about gender norms, how we should look and where our worth comes from.
Most importantly, we need to treat ourselves as we'd treat our sister or best friend: speaking truths of what beauty really means, practicing gentility and remembering we are more than the sum of our body parts.
As I read through the forums, I decided, then and there, that I was going to hold my head high for the rest of pregnancy when the nurse tells me my weight. I won't let Satan creep into this season of joy by creating shame for me. I won't let any number define me. Not today or tomorrow. Not during pregnancy or after. I didn't do it before and I won't do it now.