6.07.2012

ON PREGNANCY FACE, PREGNANCY ARMS, PREGNANCY ELBOWS, AND FEELING PRETTY ANYWAY, OR AT LEAST TRYING TO

This post is sponsored by Disney Baby. I'll be joining the Disney Baby blogging team next month, and look forward to sharing these kinds of stories (projects/ideas/etc) with you over there. Stay tuned for more details!

your heroine, 8 months pregnant, yes, in a bathroom.

so, this is weird. i know a few guys who've confessed to me that they find pregnant women really sexy. now, none of these guys were dudes i was ever particularly impressed with anyway, and so in each case that weird details basically sealed it for me. weirdos. 

that said, know what's really important? feeling sexy while pregnant, damn it.

still eight months, different bathroom!

some of us are just the types of girls to feel sexy no matter what (not me). a lot of women i know say they've never felt sexier than they did while pregnant (not me either). know how i felt while pregnant? i felt chubby. and a little lost trying to accommodate my new lumpy proportions. i wish it weren't so, i mean, i wanted to get pregnant for a long, long time, but there it is. but since i had worked so hard to get to that point where i could have the pleasure of feeling chubby and unattractive, i figured i at least was going to learn to make the best of it. and, i think, i did.

here a few things i learned in my nine months of dressing a pregnant body:
  • right around 8 months, you start to look really good in skinny jeans. i had never considered skinny jeans an option for my body type (pear! pear! pear!), but under that kind of belly, any pair of legs look slender by comparison. and these days, with all these cute colored skinny jeans...
  • maternity clothes aren't necessarily doing you any favors (especially if you're under five-foot-two), so keep an open mind and try to shop your usual stores differently. my whole pregnancy i lived in forever 21 stretch skinnies (one size up, low rise), and boyfriend jeans (a belly band will be your best friend here), and stretchy cotton tee shirts. i carried huck in my back, which was lucky for my wardrobe options (i still wear most of the shirts i wore when 9 months pregnant, my belly just didn't get very big), but which was not so very lucky for my back pain. i seriously think my back may never recover.
  • cardigans, vests, jackets, blazers, these are your best friends. anything to frame your sides and lengthen the look of your torso and give the impression that you are one long column. it will make you feel lean, as if that's even possible. 
eight months, not in a bathroom this time.
  • shoes! now is the time for shoes. a shoe with a whole lotta style is the best thing you can do for yourself. just make sure they're a sensible height, and that you're not falling over yourself all day. pregnant tendons and joints are so slippery, it never ceased to amaze me how often i'd fall off my ankles. seriously i rolled an ankle at least four times a day.
  • this may not surprise anybody, but i like a pregnant belly in stripes. it's just cute, and kind of a magic eye trick.
  • necklaces. necklaces will save you. super long necklaces, or really chunky bib necklaces, maybe both at the same time, whatever.
  • maxi skirts are the best. when i was pregnant with huck there weren't maxi skirts yet because nobody'd invented them. you girls with the maxi skirt option these days are some lucky ducks. i've seen them pulled up to the rib cage and belted, which is cute, but i mostly like them low on the hips with a generously sized tee shirt tucked in to one side just a bit. the sloppy tuck. that's a dumb name.
nine months, central park
  • don't forget, your hair right now is amazing. so is your skin, possibly. most likely your nails are rocking. focus on them. FOCUS ON THEMMMMM. 
  • now is the time for supremely soft fabrics that graze just so. nothing is prettier than a pregnant woman in a lot of comfortably loose jersey layers.
  • men's white tuxedo shirts are dang freaking cute over a big belly. i saw one on a cute pregnant lady the other day and i was like, file that away for later.
  • do try really hard to love your pregnant face. here's mine: heavy on the cheeks, heavier on the chin.
  • take lots of photos of yourself. no, i mean it. book a professional photographer and lay in a meadow clutching your belly if you want to, but i think it's important to document this body while you have it. it's amazing what's going on in there, and once it's over, you're (sort of) (in a weird way) going to miss it. (not that much, but i mean, it's weird, you do miss it.)
  • here's a strange tip that surprisingly goes a long way: always have your toenails painted a pretty color. somehow that really made a difference for me.
two weeks before huck was born

now, let's cut to the chase. 
this is what being nine months pregnant feels like:


it feels awful. i felt like an ugly, dumpy, swollen mess. jewelry off after 7PM (swelling!), nothing fit right, and everyone around me was basically super skinny while i was just this really fat fatty.  no, i was pregnant! but no, really i just felt super fat. i don't think any amount of baby cravings can make those last few weeks of pregnancy any less miserable. MIS-ER-Y.

two days before huck was born

but while i doubt i'll ever be able to find anything particularly sexy about a pregnant belly, i have to admit that when i look back at these photos, i looked a lot better than i thought i did. it wasn't so bad. look at her! there's beauty in that big old belly! i hardly even notice the pregnant face, or the pregnant arms, or the pregnant cankles. i don't even really see the pregnant butt...  though believe me, i know it was there.


so no, maybe not sexy. 
but i'm pretty proud of that pregnant body anyway.
(and you should be, too.)

52 comments :

  1. I have to admit that I felt pretty cute when I was pregnant, minus the brown spots on my face and the feet that looked like marshmallows. And I did miss being pregnant for a few weeks after the birth... Those hormones and emotions are nuts postpartum!! And now, as a woman with a 9 month old, I am rocking the one inch hairs as bangs and a sort of reverse mullet around my neck, I have stretch marks, and the brown spots haven't quite disappeared. Oh, the beauty of motherhood

    (I love these Disnye Baby posts! Keep 'em coming!)

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  2. This is a gorgeous piece of work Nat, love it. :) Thumbsup to the women who feel hott all through pregnancy, but that was definitely not me!

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  3. you seriously make me laugh, i love reading your posts and you were an adorable pregnant lady and are an adorable mom now - don't you forget it!

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  4. I like this post! With my pregnancy, when I started to feel pregnant instead of just looking fat was when I started to embrace my new "curve" and attempted to look cute. Belly bands over my regular jeans (you wore skinny jeans too?!) and Forever 21 leggings were my lifesavers. I don't think I could say I ever looked sexy, and I'm imagining myself wearing nice underoos with a pregnant belly (yep, definitely not), but fully clothed I felt good. Can't wait to read your posts for Disney Baby. :D

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  5. if i had no stretch marks two weeks before giving birth i would've rejoiced and praised the lord. nope, hated being preggo but the post partum mess was way worse and that shiz is permanent for me. dang it. you looked amazing!

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  6. You looked GORGEOUS so hush up! ;-) Espesh love the Central Park photo. Loving these posts, keep 'em comin'!

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  7. Oh, I so love that you have these photos to save and to remember that really once in a lifetime time with. You know I'm so very glad too that you can look back now and see just the beauty of you and not all the other fussy parts of being a pregnant mommy.

    xoxo,
    Nicole
    localsugarhawaii.com

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  8. I never felt pretty when I was pregnant. I carried my baby weight everywhere!

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  9. Shhh, you looked amazing! I hope to look as cute as you when I'll get pregnant!

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  10. I am pregnant and so excited but i have to say i have been struggling with accepting my changing shape and i am not that big yet so it is nice to know it isn't just me.

    Just need to remind myself i am pregnant not just slowly getting fat ;)

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  11. What a gorgoeusnpost! And younlooked beautiful x

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  12. Hi Nat!
    I in my pregnancy a lot fattening
    but then when you see your baby's face
    no longer remember the bad pregnancy.
    I love your blog!

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  13. Thanks for a great post (as always!), Nat!

    I'm closing up on 8-months pregnant myself, first pregnancy, all that amazing, blessed, exciting stuff!
    ...but I definitely DO NOT feel even remotely sexy, pretty or cute these days.
    I'm a petite lady too (barely at 5'3), and despite carrying my little one with "all belly" and a Hubby that loves my belly, I'm about ready to meet this baby and start feeling normal again!

    I think I'll link this post to my next pregnancy update on my own blog, if you don't mind! It's pretty amazing and insightful, especially for me right now!

    Thanks for sharing, Nat! Love the blog.:) God bless you and your amazing little family!

    -Kirstin
    http://lostinoversettelse.blogspot.no/

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  14. First, you looked amazing!

    second I have to admit when I was prego I thought I felt pretty. I actually loved my body which is far from the norm I know this. (blame it on no actual symptoms, I already know next time I am going to be miserable because I jinxed myself) but never sexy. I don't know why but I guess it's just it's hard to think baby and sexy at the same time. hmmm I am going to have to ponder on that.

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  15. I love the "this is what 9 months pregnant feels like" picture.

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  16. You are one of those cute pregnant people, celebrate it!

    Being pregnant for me, was the only time my muffin tops completely went away. And that is why I loved my pregnant body. :)

    Also, is there a llama on your bed??

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  17. Nat! You looked amazing! You looked pregnant, not fat — and from the outside (of course it's easy to say that), there's a big difference.

    I'm fascinated by posts like this. I am 28, still recovering from breaking up with the love of my life, and really struggling with the question of whether I'll ever have children or not. I have arthritis, and I am very, very, very scared about pregnancy and birth because of the extra pressure on my body and joints. I'm not sure that I could do it!

    How did you avoid stretch marks? When I was first diagnosed with autoimmune disease and taking steroids and antidepressants and all sorts of junk, I gained 12 kilos (sorry, I'm Australian and I don't know how to convert to pounds — multiple by at least 2, I think) and I got some stretch marks on my hips. I am naturally quite petite.

    I hate feeling as though I'm not in control of my body. Pregnancy sounds like 9 months of anarchy!

    But, again, you looked lovely. x

    Amber

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  18. Adorable!! You looked a million times better than I am sure you felt! I look back on my pregnant pictures and realize it didn't look as bad as it felt. Great clothing tips! I still wear my favorite maternity pants, they're super low, but so perfect. :-)

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  19. i'm pregnant with my first! i found this post really encouraging...i want to be sooo thankful for this belly and this baby but its been reeeeally tough to not complain! thanks for posting about it!!

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  20. Amazing post! Bookmarking this for when I am pregnant some day. It'll be an even better read then. xo!

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  21. Great post! I have two kids and never felt pretty, once while I was pregnant with them.....it's really refreshing to hear that i am not the only one. But i will say you looked pretty darn cute :)

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  22. You were like THE hottest pregnant woman ever. I am totally ignoring all of your comments about pregnancy face, when my NON pregnant face looks a whole heck of a lot chubbier than that :) You are gorgeous!

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  23. really loved this! made my insides super giggly to be pregnant. I know Ill have plenty of insecurities and things to be uncomfortable about, but I fully plan on rubbing the crap out of my belly (even if it weirds people out) to comfort myself :)

    such good tips!

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  24. This was a fun post to read! I am going to store all this information in a safe place so when the day arrives...voila! :)
    AND I must say that you looked lovely pregnant.

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  25. loving this series, you were such a cute preggo!

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  26. I'm 37 weeks today.. and feeling all kinds of unsexy, fat, multiple chins, even my fingers are feeling like sausages.
    Trying to embrace it. You wore it really well.

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  27. I am totally feeling this post right now because I'm at 8 months right now and starting to feel
    huge!

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  28. Let's be honest.
    Usually when peeps do paid posts- they just suck,
    But these are truly the EXCEPTION! They are so rockin!
    Can't wait for the next one!
    xo Becca

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  29. this made me laugh out loud. thank you.
    also, your nine months was my seven. no. seriously. and i'm 5'2''. think about that. really. think about it. youch.
    anway, what i mean is you looked beautiful. here's hoping we can both remember that the second go around.

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  30. Okay, what type of crib is that? I have seen one just like it on another blog and I love it!!

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  31. love this. Isn't it crazy how horrible you feel and yet in a teeny tiny way you miss it? My lil one is not even 7 months old and I already want another one ha. Which is ironic because I'm just barely starting to feel "normal" again. Aside from gigantic knockers. And I will say (my husband must have a weird definition of sexy) but he seriously LOVED my pregnant body. We had WAY more sex when I was in my second and third trimesters then after she was born (probably because we weren't worried about getting pregnant lol). He also finds it hot to watch me pump for our babyl I just want to hide every time I make like a cow ha

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  32. I love this! There weren't a lot of maxi things when I was pregnant either. Now I see all these cute pregnant bellies in them and wish I could have worn them! I hadn't thought of a lot of your ideas. I invested in a great maternity pair of jeans and stuck to tshirts. By 9 months I was in sweats or pajama bottoms every day. I even wore sweats to church. I was tired and huge and I was proud of myself for even getting out of the house. I also didn't have the luxury of the great pregnant hair. My hair was horrid during pregnancy. It broke off like crazy. I never once felt sexy during the whole thing but I'd do it all over again in a heart beat. Wouldn't we all? :)

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  33. All of the apparel ideas are darling - unless you're pregnant in the summer. Like lucky me this year! Basically I hang around the house in tee shirts and my underwear. Neither one fitting particularly well. ;)

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  34. I love this post Nat! You are always gorgeous and pregnancy looks good on you. Of all the weight I gained in my pregnancy I think that most of it went to my thighs! I had to go up so many pant sizes in pregnancy... I was horrified!

    I have had the same thought with the maxi skirts. I keep buying them thinking that they will be great for a hopeful future pregnancy! Here's to stylish future pregnancies while trying to avoid looking like a tub of lard!

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  35. Loving the pregnancy/baby posts. For the record, I don't think you could look terrible if you tried. I think you looked pretty great. :) I'm due in August and I have to say that I have been pretty lucky. I've loved dressing the pregnant me! Although my arms are marshmellowy and my legs and butt are definitely more large and in charge, my face hasn't changed (skin or shape). I do think I missed the boat on the great hair and nails, but I can't really complain. However, the next two months could bring anything so I shouldn't shout too loud from the rooftops. Also, I concur with the maternity gear. It's expensive and not really worth it. I have three pairs of maternity skinny jeans from the gap (I couldn't get into the belly band) and that's it. The rest is stretchy or just one size bigger. Also, flowy clothes are not and have never been my friend, so I just rock the tight stuff and show off my belly (I am loving stripes, too!).

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  36. I felt better about myself because I didn't have to suck in my gut or worry about things being flabby. Everything was big but it was stretched tight! I felt more attractive in my clothes then than I have since, that's for sure. And I'm 5'4, but you're right about maternity clothes. They fit like potato sacks, so I steered clear. I love these posts and can't wait for you to be able to show off being pregnant again!

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  37. I agree, I felt like pregnancy was one of my most attractive phases. My hair was best-ever, my skin glowed...but also I felt liberated from being thin, or trying/pretending to be thin, I rocked a bikini like I had never rocked it before or will ever rock it again. I wasn't thin, there was no use pretending to be thin and yes, solid, sturdy thighs look SO much thinner when your belly is the size of a planet! I miss those days, when dressing was fun and easy because it wasn't about hiding or accentuating but about just choosing what you wanted to wear because you looked pregnant in everything.

    And the hair!!! Oh I miss the hair so much.

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  38. i love this post. i'm just about 7 months right now (but really, those weeks and months never quite are right and you always are less pregnant than you look/feel) and really starting to feel the ugly, now that summer is setting in. my first was a nice winter baby and getting to wear scarves and cardis and jeans and boots when preggo is amazeballs. now? i have no clue what to wear in the summer. i love the idea of maxi skirts but they make me feel so wide and i never know quite where to place them. and dang, some (most all) days i'd give anything to wear a tank top.

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  39. you are so adorable! awesome tips i'll have to remember when the time comes. and i love how honest you are! keep rockin' it ;)
    xo TJ

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  40. you know what's funny is i hardly even remember being pregnant. it's true what they say about forgetting, because i'm sure if we remembered the awkwardness, pressure, weird bodily functions, and labor pains (not to mention postpartum healing- no joke!) we would just stick with the one kid. i'm loving these revisiting pregnancy and newborn posts - reminding me of what just happened not so long ago! ps my baby is named henry, too (a family name). and he's a meatball, just like yours was. :)

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  41. You were a cute pregnant lady!

    I wish I had more photos of myself pregnant, but I got so huge that I didn't want any pictures.

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  42. It's just that...your face isn't at all chubby. I can't even tell a difference! And other than your small bump, the rest of your body looks the same! If there is any difference, it's probably so obscure and small that only you would notice. If you want to see REAL pregnancy face, you should see me around the 7th month on. That's all I have to say about that.

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  43. Perfect timing! At 8+ months, I surely appreciate these little reminders. I felt beautiful during the second trimester and then the moment the third hit I felt like I immediately blew up and felt just BIG. It's crazy to see your body change drastically so fast! But then when I really think about WHY it's changing all the crazy body image emotions seem to not matter anymore. I love the tips you shared here. They're wonderful.

    Krista
    Lazy Saturdays

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  44. Ahhh...I'm not a man but I find preggy women very beautiful.

    ...or maybe that's my hormones and maternal instinct speaking.

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  45. Great post! I am scheduled to be induced this coming Tuesday and it is taking everything in me to even want to leave the house...I feel like I look the way I feel: miserable! Now, can you do a post on how to feel pretty after the pregnancy when my hair is falling out, I'm still not able to fit into real clothes, my skin is freaking out from the change in hormones and I have dark circles under my eyes from lack of sleep! :)

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  46. I wish I wish my pregnant body looked even remotely as good as yours did. And I wish this post came earlier in my pregnancy, to make me feel better about the puffing of everything. But I AM going to try some of your tips. Maybe I can make my last three (or so) weeks of pregnancy just that little bit more stylish, thanks to you.

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  47. I also like the idea is giving some tips for post pregnancy! Hope that's coming next.

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  48. I also like the idea is giving some tips for post pregnancy! Hope that's coming next.

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  49. I also like the idea is giving some tips for post pregnancy! Hope that's coming next.

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  50. 29 weeks in, ankles swollen, long summer ahead...I am trying. I am SO trying. Thank you. You were a beautiful pregnant gal with Huck!

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  51. This post could not have come at a better time. I'm pregs with my 2nd baby (only 8 weeks) and my bump is already popping. This is a LOT faster than with my first. I'm active- love to run marathons and stay in great shape and I already feel that slip slip slipping away. Don't get me wrong- the changes in my body are amazing considering what is happening inside. I didn't feel beautiful the first pregnancy and I'm already struggling with this one. We are always the hardest on ourselves though. I'm going to let my glowing face shine this time. Thanks for the encouragement!

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  52. 24 weeks and all my friends seem to be getting skinnier than ever. Perfect post to read right now :)

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