21 April 2007

Yvonne, 31




Hi Meredith

My name is Yvonne, I am 31 and the mother of 2 awesome boys. Bowen is 7 next week and Ayden will be 3 in June.

The posts on the baby bump blog yanked my heartstrings and I feel compelled to reply.

I have never been a fashionable person and I tend to ignore anything to do with anyone in entertainment and Hollywood. I don't really care that at full term they look like their bump is the size of half a basketball. All I cared about was having some healthy kids and being a healthy Mum.

I watched my diet to a point and tried to cut down on all the bad foods. Yet with both kids I was humungous. People would stop me in the street constantly..... all starry eyed, to ask me how many I was having. When I smiled and replied "Just one" they would look at my bump, shake their heads, look at me and with worried faces.... ask me if I was sure.

By 6 months, the funny had worn off and the panic set in. Was I too big? The doctors said I was about 1kg over weight but I am also only 5'1. Still the looks and the comments cut me to the bone and I started eating less and less. I even drilled the poor woman who did my ultrasounds to make sure there wasn't another baby hiding under the one she could see. People had convinced me there was either another foetus in there.... or a baby elephant.

And even though my family assured me that all was well and that I wasn't getting "fat", I worried myself sick. All the baby clothes we were getting were no smaller than size 0. I realised that even by cutting down my food, I was still getting bigger and starving myself and my baby of the food we needed.

Both pregnancies were hard physically. I'm not a touchy type person, so getting used to having my tummy rubbed took getting used too. And the comments on my size used to bring me to tears every day. I started to feel I was a terrible mother before the kids were even born. I had let myself become this walking hippo.

Imagine my surprise when Bowen was born naturally and weighed 6 pound 2 ounces. I was astonished. I actually asked the midwife "where's the rest of him?". For the life of me I couldn't figure out how a belly that big had equated to a baby so small. My family were gobsmacked at this tiny creature. My husband and I joked that we installed an olympic swimming pool for the kids comfort :)

I was on my feet the next morning putting on the clothes my husband had brought from home. I got so angry when I did my jeans up and they slid off my hips. I assumed he had accidentally grabbed the "preggers" jeans in his haste. When I checked the tag..... it was a pair I hadn't worn for years. I weighed less than before I had fallen pregnant.

No one has yet really explained to me why I got so big and had such a small child. And now as we contemplate a third child.... I can smile. I am a mother. I have hips, a bum, a flabby baby belly that just won't budge and some corker stretch marks. My boys have laid beside me and counted them. And when their tiny hands caress those soft scars my heart melts, they were worth every single one of them. I wear my stretch marks with pride. Each one is a mark of my rite of passage to me. And I look forward to the new ones that this third child will add.

And next time.... I'm printing up some T-shirts that say "Swimming Pool Under Construction" in the hope that some strangers might curb their tongues. Being pregnant is stressful enough without worrying about weight gain. If the baby and the mother are well and happy.... who cares how big or small they are.

Sorry it's so long. I got carried away. I have enclosed a picture of me at 6 months with Bowen and 7 months with Ayden. I hope the pictures are acceptable to use.

Yvonne Parsons

1 comment:

Sazz said...

Thanks Yvonne for your comment, and Meredith for sharing all these important comments from pregnant wimmin and mums.

Yvonne said:
"I watched my diet to a point and tried to cut down on all the bad foods. Yet with both kids I was humungous. People would stop me in the street constantly..... all starry eyed, to ask me how many I was having. When I smiled and replied "Just one" they would look at my bump, shake their heads, look at me and with worried faces.... ask me if I was sure."

This left me gobsmacked. How rude. Aside from it being obviously rude, it is incredibly intrusive as well. It's a testiment to the work of feminists on "public pregnancy", and how strangers feel they have some kind of important and integral role in every womun's pregnancy. As if wimmin's baby bumps are somehow the responsibility of every member of society. Whatever happened to "Our Bodies Our Selves", I wonder?

 
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