The Meaning of Selflessness = Mother

This is so, so true! There is never someone quite as selfless as a good mother. We have to give up so much for our kids and yet, most of us rarely regret it because it means seeing angelic smiles on our beautiful little babes, which makes every sacrifice truly worth it.

Queen Mumma

Selflessness…….

My beautiful baby, i love you.

Selflessness is:

Having my privates on full view so that you arrived here safely.

Being induced so that you arrived here safely.

Having my privates torn and bruised so that you arrived here safely.

Having layers of my body cut open so that you arrived here safely.

Going under anesthetic so that you arrived here safely.

I love you so much and i would of done anything to get you here safe even if it jeopardised my own safety.

Selflessness is:

Getting my breasts out in public so your tummy is full.

Feeling guilt from getting out a bottle of formula in public because i couldn’t breast feed you.

Bottle feeding you because i have my reasons, even when the nurses don’t agree.

I love you so much and would do anything to make sure your tummy is full even before my own.

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A Letter To My Adolescent Self.

  
Dear Self,

You seem so different to me. I’m so strong and confident now, and I finally grew into my freckles. (Hooray!) It’s hard to believe that we are even the same person, but I know it’s you. You’ve got my dimples and I’ve stared into those baby blue eyes a thousand times. 

It wasn’t an easy road to get to where I am today, but it’s the road you are going to have to travel. So I’ll do my best to teach you what I learnt so it can help you along the way. 

You are so beautiful. You have a smile that will light up the room and a heart of gold. You have a passion inside you to help others and it’s visible to all who see you. This passion is going to change the world. 

You are so much smarter than you give yourself credit for. That is why your teachers are so hard on you. They see the future you can have if you would just apply yourself. Believe in yourself. Speaking of your teachers, be nicer to them. They are just doing their jobs, and they’re doing a pretty good one at that. It is not them who you are angry at.

Your home life is hard. Harder than most, and few people have any idea. Don’t discredit your gut instinct. You have great insight into yourself and you are able to distinguish right from wrong. That is a gift. Cherish it. 

Things at home will probably never improve but you will gain a myriad of positives from it. You will be a better person because of your upbringing. You will take all the positive characteristics of your family and make them your own, and you will fight tooth and nail to keep the negative ones out of your life. There will come a time when you have the strength to stand up for yourself. To stand on your own two feet and declare your truth and tell your story. Do not second guess yourself.

You will get all that you dreamed of as a child. A husband, children, a nice house. You will give up everything to make them all happy. Your body, your time and what little sleep you already get. You will be an amazing wife and an amazing mother, but don’t sacrifice yourself entirely for anything or anyone. You cannot give if you have nothing left in you.

 You will start a charity that helps girls like you so they don’t have to suffer. You will make incredible friends and learn a lot from them. You will learn to budget and save, get your license and pick a degree. You will learn to clean and organise a house, to raise children and to care for a husband. You will become a beautiful, confident and contented young lady with the whole world at her feet. 

You will meet wonderful people who will change your life. You will lose a lot of them too. That is okay. But don’t lose them because you’ve hurt them.

 Be nicer to people. Stand up to bullies and defend others. It’s okay to be scared but don’t let that stop you from being brave. Do it! Not because it is easy, but because it is right.

Don’t worry too much about your marks at school, you will still get an ATAR and be able to get into university. School is important and you need to prioritise it over popularity but don’t prioritise it over self-care. You are fragile at the moment but you will not break. Handle yourself with care during this period. Find ways that help you cope and practice them every day. Write, sing, walk, talk, draw. Learn how to breathe properly so you can shut down a panic attack before it starts. Find things that make you smile; the smell of jasmine in the summer breeze, the giggles of a child, bubbles, good coffee, a good book, friendship. Seek these things when depression threatens to take hold. See the joy in every day. Take pleasure in the simple things. Get to know yourself better; what you like, what you hate, what makes you happy, sad or angry.

Learn to love your body. Don’t hurt yourself. Don’t skip meals but don’t eat too much junk either. Exercise. Not because you hate your body but because you love it. 

Learn how to take care of others without it draining you. Support other people through their hard times but don’t take on their problems as your own. Step in if necessary, but never start a fight for somebody else. 

You have a natural desire to help as many people as you can, but some people do not want to be helped. That is on them, not you. You have not failed because you couldn’t save them, they will do that themselves when they are ready. 

Learn to respect yourself and to understand guys. Boys and girls are so different, no matter what anyone tells you. Our bodies are different and our brains are wired differently. That is not a bad thing, it’s great actually, but also very confusing. Do not allow yourself to be manipulated by the hot guy, the rebel or the sweet-talker. Know your values and your worth. Do not let anything change them. If you wouldn’t want your daughter or best friend dating a guy like the one you are with, break up with him. Know that you are allowed to say no. And if that is not respected, you are allowed to tell someone. There are no secrets when it comes to people mistreating you. Tell someone you trust: your teacher, a counsellor or the police. 

Do not take shame that is meant for somebody else. If you are mistreated, it has NOTHING to do with you and EVERYTHING to do with the other person. That shame lays squarely on their shoulders. If somebody tries to make you feel bad for something they have done to you, wrap that guilt up in a blanket, stick a big fat bow on it and send it straight back to them. You are NOT what is wrong with the world. 

Know that you do not have to always be meek and mild. Not because you are a girl and not because you are a Christian. Don’t hide the passion, fire and anger inside you. It will burn you up from the inside out. Be passionate about the right things and get angry about the injustices you and others have suffered. Use that anger to fuel the drive in you to do something. Use it to change the world. 

I know it’s hard, sweet girl, but don’t give up. Keep fighting and I promise you that one day, it will get better. Our circumstances may never improve, but you will learn to handle them better. You will learn to face trials and tragedies with grace and maturity. There will come a time when you learn you don’t have to respond when someone attacks you, and you don’t have to stay quiet when somebody else is being attacked.

If anybody ever tells you that you are worthless, fight them. Argue and tell them the truth. 
That you are a mighty warrior.

A daughter of The Lord.

A Phoenix, rising from the ashes.
You are me and I am you.

  
Love always, 

Your older, wiser self. 

Unseen Beauty.

The first step to recovery is admitting you have a problem. 

The second step is to realise the severity of it.
  
I realised that I had a problem almost five years ago, but it wasn’t until today, that I realised just how serious it was. That second step is what is going to make my recovery work, because the first step has done very little in helping me to get better.
My name is Jessica, and I’m a recovering anorexic.
  
My journey with eating disorders started when I was about 13 years old and my last relapse was just over a year ago. For most of my life I believed that I was the problem, that if I could just lose weight and be skinny then everything would be okay. People would love and want me and I would finally be accepted. False. My next thought was that the problem was suffering from anorexia and that if I would just stop skipping meals, I would be okay. Also, false. Today I learnt that although starting to eat is a good thing for someone struggling with an eating disorder, it doesn’t address the core issue and without addressing the core issue and cause of a problem, it remains, for the most part, unsolvable.

  
Today, as I looked back through old photos of myself, I realised that the core issue was not that I was overweight or that I was suffering from a potentially deadly mental illness, it was the people around me who taught me to believe that I was not just overweight, but morbidly obese. It was those people, whom for whatever reason both endorsed and encouraged me to lose weight in such dangerous and reckless ways. 

  
And now that I have recognised that horrendous lie, I can begin to see the truth. The truth that will set me free and allow me to love myself and be loved by others. 

The truth is, that despite being told from a young age that I was fat, I was never at a size where I was at a high risk of health problems from my weight. I am the same weight now as I was at my very biggest, and although I am not happy with my body at the moment, I am far from being at a dangerous size. Plus I did only give birth to an almost 12 pound baby, less than three months ago, so I’m learning to be a bit nicer to myself and give myself some time.

I’ve written on here before about my experiences with anorexia so I won’t go into the details again, but after I finished school I reached my lowest point. Both in weight and in depression. I starved myself as much as possible, walked as much as possible and hated myself as much as possible. My mother started to treat me better the skinnier I got. My brother was over the moon that I was “getting healthier” and losing the weight because they had been “so worried about me because of my size”. I was getting more attention off my friends and strangers. I was so happy with all the attention but at the same time, equally devastated that it took losing 25kgs in less than a year to get noticed and treated well. 
  
By this stage, anorexia had me well within her grips, the attention was nice but I was sure if I just lose another 10kgs people would want me, another 15kgs and people would love me. In many ways, I still believe that if I could just lose some more weight then people would love me more. It’s so deeply ingrained in my mind that up until today, I honestly thought I would always think like that. 

  
I know better now. I could finally see how thin I got. How sick I got. It broke my heart to know that though I was surrounded by friends and family, only one person tried to help me and convince me I was worth more than what I believed. 

I am so blessed and grateful to have met such a wonderful man at my lowest point, who showed me that I am beautiful and that I didn’t need to starve myself for love. 
  
For so long I couldn’t see my worth. I couldn’t see my beauty. I couldn’t see just how much of a wonderful, warrior I truly am. But I can see it now.
  
Thank the Lord, I can see it now.

To Heal or To Hold.

Why denying the struggles of the world is to deny God’s power and grace. 

 

Without a storm, there can be no rainbow.
 
Have you ever opened up to someone at church and told them you were struggling with something only to have them turn around and tell you, you don’t have enough faith? I sure have!

 I remember one instance in particular where someone at church asked if i was okay because I looked like I was in pain and I said that id slept funny and had hurt my back and they offered to pray for me telling me God could heal me. I told them id love the prayer but i was okay because I have nerve damage in my back so I’m used to it hurting. And they scoffed. With a look that only a “truly superior Christian” can give, I was told “you need more faith, you have to stop speaking negativity over your life”.
As they walked away and I stood their with my mouth hanging open, I thought of all the things I could have and should have responded with. Unfortunately I never did say any of the things I came up with but this single two minute conversation has played on my mind ever since.

  

Why do so many Christians assume that if you speak a struggle out loud that you must lack faith? Or that you’re speaking negativity over your life and that’s why you are struggling? Why, oh why, do so many Christians assume that there are only two types of people in the world; sinners and Christians? The former being non-believers who live sinful lives and are thereforemiserable and the latter being believers who have no struggles because they have faith and therefore live perfectly happy lives? 

 

You want miraculous healing? Well then you need to admit that there is something that needs to be healed.
 
Salvation and happiness are not synonyms. The two do not always go hand in hand, and by admitting that, I am not minimising Gods power or love. I am highlighting it. To deny that there are problems in the world, of to only acknowledge them when they are a direct result of personal sin is incredibly detrimental to the entire message of Christianity. By saying that darkness only comes when you sin, you put so much shame and guilt onto those who have been abused. Of course, we have all sinned, we are human and not one of us is perfect, but to teach that trials andhardships only occur because of our sin takes all responsibility away from those who abuse and mistreat others. It puts all the guilt onto the innocent victims because if suffering is a direct result of personal sin then it must be my fault for getting abused. That kind of logic is what allows abuse within churches. It’s what stops people from seeking help when they needit. It’s what pushes people to hurt themselves or commit suicide. It’s what prevents people from being able to talk openly about their struggles and get support and prayer to help overcome those struggles. 

  
We are not perfect people and we do not live in a perfect world. If we did, then there would be no need for an all-loving, all-knowing, all-powerful God. I have been told more times than I can count that I must doubt God or lack faith. Or that I speak too much negativity into my life. This could not be further from the truth, nor could if be moreinsulting or damaging. I have not doubted God since becoming a Christian at the age of 9. Though I have had times where my faith has not been as strong as at other times, I have never lost faith in God. And sometimes, actually very often, negative things happen to people. Sure it’s widely believed that speaking negatively about yourself or your situation will lead  to a negative result, but sometimes it does not matter how positive you are, people will hurt you. 

I have been hurt and abused far more in my times of strong personal faith than at times when my faith was weaker and I wasn’t actively pursuing a relationship with God. It seems in my life that the closer I get to God and the closer I get to achieving God’s plans for my life, the more I am attacked. When I was first abused, I was a young, innocent girl with big dreams of travelling the world as a missionary, spreading the gospel and God’s love to all the nations. I was the most outgoing and positive person in any of my social groups and I believed God could doanything! I didn’t lack faith, I wasn’t being negative, but I still got hurt. Badly.

  
It’s incredibly naive and ignorant to believe that there aren’t bad things happening in this world. And it’s even more naive and ignorant to deny those sufferings that happen right in front of you, in your small section of the world. It’s also incredibly arrogant to believe, not that God CAN heal all of your problems, but that God SHOULD heal all of your problems. The man
that told me that I lacked faith because I honestly wasn’t fussed if God chose to heal my back or not, didn’t know my story and had no desire to learn about my past, my present or my future. He didn’t know that I was born not breathing and survived. He didn’t know that I got very, very sick when I was 12 and the doctors had no idea what was wrong with me or how to treat me, but miraculously I got better. He didn’t know that I overdosed at 14 and again a few years later at 17, and could have died but survived with no damage done. He didn’t know that I was in a car accident, that give or take a split second could have ended my life, but I survived. God has saved my life so many times and He has brought me through so many hardships that so many can’t even fathom. I can live with chronic pain because the fact that I am alive is enough of a miracle for me. 

  

It is not up to us whether or not God chooses to heal or ailments. That way of thinking places humans above God and God does not serve us. I totally believe that God can perform miracles and heal people instantly. I believe in a god who can cure illnesses and raise people from the dead BUT miracles are not the only way in which God works. Sometimes, God’s glory shines through those he doesn’t heal. Sometimes it shines more brightly through those he holds when they are hurting. Sometimes the most empowering and life-changing testimony comes from someone who doesn’t have a story of extraordinary healing, but a story of living with faith despite the pain. Despite the heartache and hardships. 
It’s so easy for people to stick their heads in the sand when it comes to issues like chronic illness, abuse and mental illnesses and act like they don’t exist, but really, if you can’t face these horrible yet very real problems in today’s society, then perhaps it’s you that lacks faith? I once heard a Christian speaker say that the devil wouldn’t waste his time attacking you if you weren’t destined to do great things for God. I have been under attack for twenty years and i am still standing. I for one, can’t wait to see what God has planned for me cause I reckon one day I’ll change the world. Or at least a small part of it. 

  

Hiding In The Limelight.

  
So many people seem to think that mental illness is a ‘one size fits all’ kind of disease. They view depression as someone lying in bed in a dark room, crying non-stop, unable to get up. They view anxiety as a full-blown, sitting on the ground shaking and unable to breathe, panic attack. They view anorexia as skin and bones, and counting calories. These images, more often than not, could not be further from the truth. 

You see, something that the majority of those of us who suffer from one mental illness or another, have realised is, that it is far easier to hide in the limelight than a darkened room with the shades drawn. Nobody suspects the girl in tight-fitting, skimpy clothes of being insecure enough about her body to starve herself. Nobody thinks that the guy who never stops joking and laughing is actually so depressed he cries himself to sleep every night. Nobody knows that the girl who invites 100 people to her birthday party, can’t go to her local grocery store alone because when she does she gets so scared she can’t breathe. Nobody realises that the girl eating a Big Mac is going to be beating herself up about the fat intake for the next two weeks. 

We have spent weeks, months, years, perfecting these acts. Detailing our masks to ensure that we always look like we are fine. I have spent so much time and energy on always looking like I’m in recovery for every issue I’ve faced – depression, anxiety, self-harm, post traumatic stress, anorexia…but the truth is, I’m not. I’m not better. I’m not recovered. I’m still on the journey to recovery. To sanity. 

But that’s not what people want to hear. People want to hear that everything in your life is fine because otherwise they might have to help. Or worse, realise that maybe they too need some help. And then there are others who have been blessed with a sheltered life who don’t want to hear that not everybody was as blessed as them. They don’t want anything to shatter their illusion of utopia. They want to go on believing that all children are bright up in loving homes, and alcohol is something you have one glass of on a special occasion. They want to believe that nobody would ever deliberately hurt another person and that churches are filled with saints. They want to believe that school is always a safe place, filled with friends and lovely teachers. Or that chronic illnesses are all in the minds of people who are too lazy to fight to get better. Too many people are too scared to look into somebody’s eyes to see the struggles they are facing and the battles they have overcome, so they just look at the smile that has been plastered on and pretend that everything must be fine. 

  
But sometimes it’s not. Struggling to breathe, I reach for my inhaler, but it’s not my asthma that’s making it difficult. It’s constant, unrelenting anxiety that’s hanuting my days and invading my dreams. It’s the feeling of egg shells cracking under my feet as I desperately try to keep everyone happy and calm. The result of being a mother and a daughter. A wife and a sister. A student and a friend. It’s constantly feeling like I’m failing. It’s trying to prepare a weeks worth of meals and crying because the dishes haven’t been done. It’s trying to look nice for my husband, for my friends, for myself. It’s my husband telling me I’m beautiful and the voices in my head screaming that I’m ugly, just loud enough to drown him out but not loud enough for you to hear. It’s trying to do shopping and place lay-by’d to prepare for another baby, but reaching the shopping centre and having to consciously remind myself how to breathe. Inhale. Exhale. Inhale. Exhale. It’s sitting in bed making lists of all the things I have to do but never having the energy to do any of them. It’s being surrounded by people yet constantly feeling alone. It’s telling people you’re over the moon yet feeling like I’m on the bottom of the deepest ocean floor, tonnes of water pressing down on my chest. Breaking my ribs and filling my lungs. It’s trying to initiate a conversation with a ‘friend’ who just walks away. It’s desperately needing to talk yet having no idea what to say. It’s going to sleep to stop the physical pain and waking with the emotional pain of years of abuse. It’s screaming on the inside and praying no noise leaves your lips because seeing your husbands face when he can’t fix the past, couldn’t save you, kills you more than living it did. It’s acting brave and recovered when talking about your journey because nobody wants to hear that you still struggle. It’s missing friends who might have treated you badly but who at least were there. Friends who would bitch behind your back but be there by your side when you needed them. It’s realising that maybe the best you have to give won’t actually ever be enough. It’s being terrified that your mask will fall and somebody will see the real you. It’s being even more terrified that still nobody will care. 

  
Just because you see me eating, doesn’t mean I can’t still hear the voices telling me to stop.

Just because you see me smiling, doesn’t mean I don’t cry when no-one is around.

Just because I often love my life, doesn’t mean I don’t sometimes hate it.

Just because you see the photos of my belly on Facebook, doesn’t mean I don’t cry with every kilo gained.

Just because you see me at the shops, in a crowd, doesn’t mean my heart isn’t leaping out of my chest making it hard to breathe.

Just because what you see doesn’t fit your idea of what a mental illness should look like, doesn’t mean that somebody isn’t struggling. We all ask each other how we are, all the time. But how often do we actually listen to the response? How often are we missing someone silently reaching out and asking for support because were too concerned about ourselves? I challenge you to listen, really listen, next time you talk to somebody. Spoken and unspoken, hear the words that they are saying. Offer love instead of neglect. Support instead of judgement. Stop assuming that the loud, bitchy girl at the party is in love with herself, because more often than not she’s the one who needs the most love. Stop assuming that the girl who is always helping others is healthy and happy because nine times out of ten she’s the one who needs a hand. Stop assuming that the guy constantly judging and bitching about others is a horrible person because it’s far more likely that he is extremely insecure and is finding the fault in others that he’s too scared to admit he sees in himself.  Be the person who others know that they can turn to when their world is falling apart. You might find yourself making some lifelong friendships. 

The Top 100 Best Ways To Lose Your Speaking Privileges Around Pregnant Women.

  

After receiving so many comments and responses to my last post ‘Yes I Am Pregnant, No I Would Not Like Your Opinion’, I decided to dig deeper and ask fellow mumma’s the worst things they heard when pregnant. With a lot of help and input I’ve made a list of the top 100 comments not to make to, or even in the prescence of, an expecting mother. These comments range from well-intentioned but badly worded, to complete ignorance, to “somebody please restrain me before I punch said idiot in the face”, but sadly all of these are remarks pregnant women all over the world hear each and every day. 

So without further ado, here are the top 100 things not to say to a pregnant woman!

  1. Are you really going to eat/drink that?  Yes, yes I am. I am well aware of what I can and cannot have at the moment and if you mention my eating habits again I may eat you too.
  2. Aren’t you a bit young to be having a baby?
  3. Don’t you know what causes pregnancy by now?
  4. Do you not own a television?
  5. Do they all have the same father?
  6. But they’re so close together.
  7. But they’re so far apart.
  8. I bet you wish you’d had a boy/girl.
  9. Are you WADDLING!?

 

10. Seriously!? You have to pee again!?  Honestly, if you want to go anywhere with a pregnant woman, expect to stop at every bathroom. We have a child cuddling our bladder. Shush up.

  

11. Are you actually going to wear that!? Yes, because right now the only style option I have is ‘whatever fits’.

12. Oh.My.Gosh. Did your stomach just move!?

13. Seriously? You’re crying? Again?

14.Your husband is getting fat you must be having a girl. 

15.Do you really think you should be having this child?

16. Wow! You look like you’re ready to pop! Honestly, I do not care if the woman is 22 months pregnant, DO NOT MENTION THIS!

17. Your vagina is going to be ruined!

18. Omg! You’re going to be milked like a cow with that pump!

19. Haven’t you heard of contraception?

20. Your life is basically ruined now. You’ll never accomplish anything.

21. Maybe you should terminate.

22. You’re so big!

23. You’re so small!

24. Are you sure you’re only THAT far along!?

  

25. How many babies did you say you were having?

26. Are you hoping for a boy/girl this time? Why does everyone assume that every parent is disappointed by the first child’s gender?

27. You don’t look old enough to be having another child! 

28. Are you still with the father?

29. Haven’t you had that baby yet?

30. You’re going to stop after this one if it’s a boy/girl. No actually, the size of my family is not determined on what gender my children are.

31. That baby is going to be huge!

32. Aw, another girl. If you have another girl after this one you’ll neck yourself! I’m sorry, WHAT!?

33. You should take up smoking, it will make the baby smaller.

34. You’re too small to be having such a big baby! Hello, I’d like to introduce you to my 6’5″ husband, and our families of giants. 

35. Oh wow, you’re already showing.

36. Is this your last one?

37. You can’t even tell you’re pregnant!

38. Your baby better not be a ranga!

39. Are you having twins?

40. Now you won’t be able to do anything!

41. You’ll never get any sleep.

42. Why didn’t you travel first?

43. Just put it on cows milk when it comes out.

44. You’re putting on too much weight.

45. You’re pregnant not disabled.

46. Get over it.

47. Stop whinging! Some people can’t even have kids! And my heart breaks for these people, but some pregnant women are in severe pain for nine months non stop, others vomit twenty times a day for nine months. Let us whinge. It’s not an easy time.

48. I hope it’s a girl.

49. It better be a boy.

50. You better not have it on this date. 

51. Sorry I can’t connect with your baby, I don’t like it’s father.

52. I wish you had of waited.

53. I can’t believe you had a baby before I turned 40!

54. Oh you’re so young! It must have been an accident! Trust me, age does not determine ability to use contraception. 

55. How are you pregnant? You’re not married. Okay church, it’s awesome that you’re encouraging young people to wait for marriage but please teach your youth that sex causes babies not marriage and the two are not mutually exclusive.

56. So gross that you have a baby in your belly.

57. But you don’t even own a house yet!

58. You can’t have a baby, you don’t have your license. 

59. Your body is so gross now.

60. Look at all your stretch marks! They’re called tiger stripes biatch, and I earned them fair and square!

  

61. Did you mean to get pregnant?

62. Your doctor is definitely wrong, it’s definitely a boy not a girl.

63. It’s amazing, only your butt has gotten bigger.

64. You have morning sickness? But it’s afternoon. *facepalm*

65. You can’t possibly be THAT sick!

66. Why are you conplaining? Pregnancy is beautiful.

67. You’ve got a cold? Have some scotch! One shot will be fine!

68. Why aren’t you working out? I lifted weights til my due date!

69. You can’t use that name, I want to use it if I ever have kids.

70. Sleep while you can. Last I checked, you can’t stockpile sleep. This is stupid advice. Plus pregnancy doesn’t make sleep all that easy.

71. You can’t complain, you asked for this. 

72. Are you seriously going back for thirds!?

73. Are you keeping it?

74. Stop being so melodramatic! You’re pregnant not dying! I was told this one for turning a fan on when it was 46degrees Celsius and I was 7 months pregnant..

  

75. Oh you’re 7 months pregnant and homeless? Well I could only just pay rent last week so stop complaining.

76. Don’t forget to get the ‘mum stitch’.

77. Oh, well when I was pregnant..

78. I can’t believe you’re wearing heels! To the beautiful lady I said this to a few months ago, I am so sorry. I opened my mouth and my mother came out! Eek!)

79 You can’t get an epidural! I birthed a ten pound baby with no drugs at all!

80. Can you see your feet?

81. Are you worried you’ll a have another bad experience? Yes, actually, I am terrified of another NICU stay, thanks for reminding me.

82. None of my clothes fit anymore either, I know how you feel! Trust me, you don’t.

83. Who are you going to have in the birthing room with you? None of your business!

84. What it your baby has…insert long list of medical problems? Then we’ll continue to love him/her and help anyway we can?

85. You look tired.

86. You’re so moody.

87. Pregnancy mood swings! It was just a joke! You’re so emotional! Nope, you’re just an arse.

  

88. You’re in pain? Just have some panadol. 

89. Are you SURE it’s not twins? 

90. How much weight have you gained? 

91. Can we start calling you ‘fatty’ yet?

92. You just keep getting bigger! Thank you Captain Obvious.

93. I can’t believe you’re already showing! I didn’t show until six months with mine! Well woopity doo good for you!

94. Haven’t you had that baby yet?

  
95. Another one? You’ll sure have your hands full! Yes, but think how full my heart is!

96. You have cankles.

97. Did you know elephants are pregnant for 22 months?

98. Good luck, I had a terrible experience with my labour.

99. Are you going to use disposable nappies? You know they ruin the environment.

100. YOU’RE GOING TO BOTTLE FEED? Your baby won’t be very smart.

  

Yes, I Am Pregnant. No, I Would Not Like Your Opinion.

I’m currently pregnant for the third time and I cannot even begin to tell you how many times I have come home and cried to my husband because yet another, well-intentioned person has said something extremely rude and hurtful. It is such common place in our society for a pregnant woman to become public property in the eyes of others and be opened up to so much advice, judgement and scrutiny. 

There is so much talk in the media lately about empowering women and how you shouldn’t comment on peoples size regardless of whether they are a size 0 or a size 28 because every size is beautiful etc but it seems that the second a woman becomes pregnant, all that goes out the window and the ladies body becomes fair game for a myriad of unnecessary comments.

So I wanted to write this to say: to all my fellow expecting mumma’s, of whom I know so many, you are beautiful. Whether you feel it or not, you are beautiful and you don’t need to listen to what anyone is telling you, except your medical team. And to everyone else who wants to share their opinion on pregnancy, and more importantly MY pregnancy, please know that all you are doing is making us angry or making us cry. So please, unless you are feeding me or telling me how beautiful I am, realise that as far as I am concerned you have lost all speaking privileges when in my presence. 

Oh, and just in case you are unsure if what you’re about to say is hurtful, I’ve made a list of the top things not to say to a pregnant woman. Feel free to add to this list in the comments below! 

 

1. “Look how much your belly has grown!”

Seriously, the entire point of the nine months of pregnancy is for my unborn child to grow. A feat which isn’t all that easy if my body doesn’t also grow to allow him/her the extra room needed. 

 
2. “Are you sure you’re not having twins?”

Honestly this is as rude as if I asked you if you were pregnant when you’re not. Something which I’ve never done by the way. 

Yes, I am sure I am only having one baby. I’m sorry that you think I’m far too big to be only having one child but I think I’ll continue to listen to the doctors and numerous scans I’ve had indicating just one baby in my belly. Thanks for the input though.

3. “You’re belly is tiny, are you sure you’re baby is okay?”

Why people say this I don’t know. Every woman is different, every child is different and therefore every pregnancy is different. Just because you gained 40kgs during your pregnancy and somebody else only gained 8kgs, does not mean there is something wrong with them. Plus, wouldn’t you feel awful if the person turned around and answer with “no, my baby isn’t growing and the doctors are really worried”? If there is an issue with the size of someone’s baby, you’re comments are only going to hurt and worry the poor expectant parents even more. 

4. “You want to name your child, what!?”

Once again, shush. So long as both the mother and father agree on the name and it’s not a name that’s banned in your country, your input is not needed.

  

  
5. “You are going to try for a natural birth aren’t you?”

I assume when people ask this they mean a vaginal birth because having the baby come out is the natural part, regardless of how that process goes. I get this one so often because my son was an emergency c-section so I have the option. Not that it’s any of your business, but yes I intend to try for a VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean), but no I will not be disappointed if that does not happen. Do not underestimate how hard it is to have major abdominal surgery and then immediately care for a newborn baby! And do not shame a woman for choosing this route over any other route. So long as someone does the best they can to ensure the baby comes out alive and healthy then they are doing the right thing.

6. “Are you going to breast feed or bottle feed?”

The question really should be “are you going to feed your child?” If yes, awesome, good on you for doing your best to make sure your baby gets the nutrients they need. If I say no, I’m not planning on feeding my child, then probably now would be the time to contact DoCS and have them on standby. Otherwise, no comment needed. I’m not a failure for giving my baby formula, it does not make me a bad person. Making someone else feel inadequate as a parent however, doesn’t make you so great.

7. This one’s not a comment and should go without saying BUT…

If you do not know me, do NOT touch my belly.

If you would not normally hug me in greeting, do NOT touch my belly.

If you have not been given permission, do NOT touch my belly. 

                        ♦️♦️♦️♦️

When I was pregnant with our son, I was severely depressed. I had only just begun my journey to recovery from an eating disorder and I did not cope with the weight gain. My husband had to remind me/gently force me to eat every day so our baby would grow. I began self-harming again, a habit which I had overcome quite a while earlier and toward the end I became suicidal because of my size. 

This time round, however, I couldn’t wait to start showing. I was so eager to have the adorable baby bump and was over the moon when I popped and it became obvious I was pregnant. I loved my pregnant body and I loved that this time I was able to enjoy it. I was super proud of my bump UNTIL people kept commenting on it. After a few comments on my size I started to compare my bump to those of other pregnant mums around me and I would go home and cry about how much bigger I was.

 People’s insensitivity took away from my happiness. Rude comments turned me from the most body-confident I’d ever been to extremely self-conscious. 

Recently though, I went from devastated to angry. Angry that others were so ignorant. Angry that people are so hurtful, and angry at myself for listening to them. Now though I’m trying very hard to focus on how I feel and how I see myself instead of how other people view me. And I’m learning, again, to love my growing body and the amazing miracle that is growing inside me. Besides, my husband thinks I’m sexy so nobody else’s opinion matters 😉

22weeks