To anyone experiencing feelings of shame or fear as their body changes - for whatever reason it may be - I’ve penned this for you with much empathy and love.
- Danielle Sady, Founder - Everyday Lingerie Co.
Over the years, my body has gone through some serious changes, just like any woman. Growing up, watching super skinny supermodels gracing the covers of magazines and catwalks, I found myself comparing my body to theirs, making me question how I could possibly be perfect, just as I was. This insecurity followed me throughout my high school years and in to my early 20’s. Like many women, it took me until I was in my 30’s to accept and LOVE the skin I was in.
Amazing - all of that crazy insecurity and negative body image was behind me right? Wrong.
Here’s where it got complicated. I was incredibly lucky to fall pregnant in my late 30s, and of course I felt amazingly blessed and overjoyed. But amongst the joy, excitement and happiness I was experiencing, fear and anxiety unexpectedly crept in. This shocked me a little for a number of reasons, particularly as I felt so blessed to experience pregnancy and felt such gratitude for conceiving naturally.
As I soon I thought of my ‘changing body’ over the coming weeks and months, every insecurity from my past resurfaced. My body’s most powerful tool - my brain, my mind - didn’t know how to process what was going on.
In the early stages, my belly was growing, and initially I just felt bloated and “fat.” I had never really heard many women talk about this before, changes to their bodies beyond their bump, and despite not putting on much weight per se, it was the changes to my curves that I found I couldn’t accept. I felt insecure, like being in my late teens all over again.
At times before I was even really showing, I found myself rubbing my belly like I was trying to tell people I was pregnant, so they didn't think I was just “fat.”
Finally, one day my husband and I started talking as we sat on the couch, he looked at me and said, “how did I get so lucky, to have a beautiful, intelligent and sexy wife.” The tears were rolling down my face before I could respond. I found it tough to explain exactly what I was feeling, trying to find the right words for what felt like hours. But he just sat - and listened.
Once I got everything out, and became somewhat calmer, he hugged me. It was all I needed. No words were going to help; between pregnancy hormones and my emotions running wild, I simply needed his love and compassion.
Waking up the next morning, I realised I felt stronger and more confident in myself as I approached the bathroom mirror; which each morning allowed me to see the changes my body was going through. It was because I had opened up. Talking is something I love to do, but when insecurities creep in, it’s often hard to do. Like most people, I tend to shut down and bottle everything up - which never works!
Scrolling through forums on the night of my breakthrough, I read so many entries from women who’d all been feeling the same. During pregnancy, during breakdowns in relationships, during changes in circumstances; this has been a great support tool that has helped me to know I am not alone and has enabled me to build more confidence in my body.
I even completed a photoshoot to celebrate my body and to document this process at around 35 weeks pregnant, which was an incredible experience! Standing there; before a stranger in just a pair of underwear and a piece of fabric covering my chest, I felt so empowered!
I know that my body will go through so many more changes in the coming weeks and months after the birth of my son and there will be days where I may feel insecure and emotional. I just need to remember that I can take each day as it comes, understand that while I may never be the same as I was, I am so blessed to have what I have, and that I’ll love the skin I’m in once again, without the need to compare myself to others. And I hope that sharing a part of my experience might resonate with you if you’re feeling the same way. Please feel free to leave a comment below, or reach out to me via Facebook or Instagram, and let’s get through it together like the Everyday Babes we are.