One of the most amazing things about having spent the last few weeks in Tahoe is how little time I’m spending on my hair and makeup. I think I’ve literally worn makeup twice in the last month, and blowdried my hair exactly zero times.
The lifestyle up here is so different from downtown Austin, where people are well dressed and always more put together (oh, the pressure!). And while I love looking nice, I am so appreciating this little respite from having to spend time thinking about all of that. I’ve pretty much been living in my swimsuit and maternity shorts (yay maternity shorts!), and I haven’t seen a full length mirror in weeks. There’s absolutely no pressure here to look or be dressed a certain way. If anything, there’s a preference for “I just finished a hike and haven’t showered in days” aesthetic.
The timing for an uber-casual environment couldn’t be more perfect, during this awkward sort-of-showing phase, and as my body softens and shape shifts into something that behaves so differently than what I’m used to.
Of course, there’s always the internet to distort our fantasies of how we look and feel. In my trawling of other pregnancy blogs, I stumbled upon a picture of a woman a few weeks ahead of me – 22 weeks to be exact – and she looked AMAZING. Not an ounce of fat on her, just a clearly defined bump on an otherwise beautifully toned figure. Her workout schedule for the week was way more ambitious than anything I’ve ever done, even pre-pregnancy.
I’m embarrassed to say I fell right into that pesky comparison trap.
Why don’t I look like that?
Ugh, why am I not working out like she does?
Then I bounced right back out of it. She looked adorable, she’s rocking those workouts, and that’s awesome for her.
For the most part, I’ve been enjoying being a little softer, a little rounder than before, and am doing my best to be comfortable with my pants no longer buttoning, especially while I just look bloated, not pregnant. My midwife encouraged me to gain at least 30 pounds, and to eat to my (constant) hunger. That part has been fun, as long as I have food handy.
This last weekend was super active. I felt kind of like my old self again, especially taking a long swim in the lake. (How I love to swim!). I was feeling really alive and invigorated all day Saturday, a few short-of-breath moments notwithstanding.
Then, of course, I totally crashed, and it’s taking a few days to bounce back from these flu-like body aches and fatigue. Now that all our guests are gone and the house is quiet and lonely, I’m taking some time to rest and recover. I’m trying to do away with the self-judging and surrender to my need for more rest and more moderation.
I’m not even halfway through, but I think the biggest lesson I’ve learned from being pregnant so far is gratitude. Gratitude for being able to get pregnant and (knock on wood) stay healthy while pregnant. Gratitude for what my body can do, especially in those moments when it feels utterly incapable of anything but gestating on the couch.
And, of course, gratitude for maternity pants and potato chips. 🙂