When my friend was pregnant a few years ago, I was pregnant, too. She had a tough time physically. No one ever admitted to her that her face had changed. When she showed her husband and friends her swollen feet, they reassured her that they weren't that bad. I, on the other hand, told her everything. In fact, one night at dinner I looked at her face, started crying, and exclaimed, "Your face looks contorted." After the statement flew out of my unfiltered mouth, I felt horrible. My friend, however, felt great. She told me that she was relieved to hear that all of the issues she was worried about weren't in her head.
Well, she is a bigger person than me, because when I get comments about my pregnant looks, even when I know they are true AND I ask for them, I am completely annoyed. I'd rather just be told that I'm not crazy, my ass is cute, and my face looks radiant.
This pregnancy has been good to me compared to my first one. I have gained much less weight, making my wardrobe a million times better and therefore my mood is better. I can still get away with a lot of "regular" clothes, so I don't feel like a walking tent. BUT -- my face has aged terribly. It may be related to the lack of weight gain, but I spent my whole life looking younger than my age and that has now come to an end. No one asks me this time if this is my first child. Three years of motherhood and eight months of a second pregnancy have added lots of wrinkles and many gray hairs.
I ask my husband and my friends if they have noticed. I know they have, but they pretend they cannot tell. I love them for it. I don't think that being reassured that I'm not crazy -- that I actually do look 10 years older -- will make me feel better. I'm happy to throw on my immature, over-sized Uggs and stroll out the door with jean shorts on, pretending I look age-appropriate.
I think back to what I said to my friend. I now think that she may have thanked me for my honesty to make me feel better for being a jerk. I think the trick to pregnant women is to tell them they look fabulous always. It's not really that bad, because in a few months, they'll be back to normal and all of this worry will be a thing of the past. Until, of course, they ask you for the truth about their baby weight.
Do you really want the truth as a pregnant person and do you really tell the truth to pregnant women about how they look?
Image via (nutmeg)/Flickr