LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - I was late to the baby game compared to my friends. They're pros at finishing the race, and I'm halfway through the grueling marathon, losing steam at each mile marker. I was a part of their support system. I'd listened to the hilarious, empowering, awkward and downright strange stories about how their bodies were transforming. The best I could do is put myself in their larger shoes when they needed me, and now mine are laced up and ready to go.
When I agreed to share my pregnancy story, I promised myself I'd be honest, at the risk of sounding like a buffoon. So many pregnancy topics seem taboo. Some women are afraid or uncomfortable to talk about what is really happening. Well, today is my brutally honest, and borderline inappropriate, Jones' Journey post, about my body struggles and triumphs, and even some funny stories from all of you at home.
Playing connect the dots is a lot easier with an expecting mother. Every little freckle that God blessed me with is bigger, and apparently pro-created. Between the tiny dots, it's easy to get caught in the spider webs. A downside to pregnancy is the not-so-adorable spider veins. I don't have many, but definitely more than I did before this baby jumped on board. Pregnant women are making significantly more blood than they were pre-pregnancy, and that creates pressure on blood vessels, and they tend to swell. It may sound vain, but I'm not a fan of my new buddies. Thankfully, doctors say, they're usually temporary and go away a few months after giving birth. Exercising, vitamin C and lots of fiber are all ways to help keep them at bay.
A few weeks ago I thought I had a bruise on my leg. Turns out, when it didn't go away, I realized it was a shadow from the not-so-cute little dimple forming on my thigh. That's right, I have cellulite, and a lot more of it since getting pregnant. For every passing minute I spend on the elliptical, my cottage cheese thighs expand like my growing belly. Weight gain? No problem, it's part of the journey, but I feel like chunky, dimply legs, are extra adorable on cute little babies and not so much on an expecting mom. I just try to tell myself it's part of the journey, but it's certainly been a shocking transformation for me.
Just in, my PG-13 observation -- Men and children please skip to the next paragraph -- expecting a baby means bigger breasts. Period. End of story. I may as well move on. Most moms-to-be go through several bra sizes during pregnancy, and even after giving birth. Let me tell you. There's nothing like shopping for a new bra for the first time since high school. It's strange, empowering and I felt like a giddy child walking through the aisle, as if I'm hitting puberty all over again. It's hard to wrap my mind around the idea of a growing bump ... or make that three.
It's amazing to see what being pregnant looks and feels like in the dead of winter. I look like the Sierra Desert. Dry as a bone and as itchy as a kid with chicken pox. Yeah, yeah, there's lotion, and oil and bump gloss but they are not helping. I lather up with these dry-skin remedies like there's a UV index of 100, and it's not working. I've been lucky, and haven't had any acne that most pregnant women battle, but I've certainly had my fair share of skin changes. The dark circles under my eyes are a sight for my coworkers when I come stumbling into work at 3 a.m. in my pajamas.
The transformation has been incredible. Through every insecure moment, I remind myself I'm creating something so beautiful, and so perfect. So bring on the cottage cheese! (Great, now I'm hungry.)
Previous Jones' Journey installments:
+ Week 6: My dream, baby!
+ Week 5: Oh, baby, 2016 will be life-changing
+ Week 4: Dear Skeptics: The pregnancy cravings aren't total baloney!
+ Week 3: The good, the bad and the ugly of early pregnancy
+ Week 2: What is Lauren thankful for during pregnancy?
+ Week 1: Lauren Jones is expecting a baby!