To Me, It was Obvious that I was Pregnant, but to the Rest of the World I was Simply Getting Fat!

Clothes shopping was always fun for me. I loved searching for a good bargain at a vintage shop and I knew that whatever was on the rack would fit. I didn’t have to worry about it being too small or too tight in the chest, stomach, hips…. I was confident in my body shape and size so if something didn’t fit, I didn’t sweat it. That all changed when I started to show. I was likely the only one who though I was showing, but I was blatantly growing a protective layer of fat like a bear preparing for hibernation.  To me, it was obvious that I was pregnant, but to the rest of the world I was simply getting fat, letting myself go after marriage, eating too much, exercising too little. Ugh!

One day, I looked in my closet to put something on. I pulled on a skirt only to realize that I couldn’t quite zipper it up. I quickly pulled it off and tried another with little success. Finally, after tears streaming down my cheeks, I grabbed a pair of shorts that were always just a little bit too big, except this time they just fit. Next came searching for a top to match my tight fitting shorts. If my butt was two inches larger, my boobs were twice that! Absolutely nothing worked. I ended up with a huge pile of clothes on the floor and I sat down on top of them to cry while wearing only a pair of shorts and a bra that my boobs flowed over the edge. I’d wanted to be pregnant for so long and it was a dream come true, but not fitting in anything that I owned was a nightmare beyond my imagination. I had clothes that I wore for five years because I’d always been the same size. Everything has changed, including my emotional stability.

Then, I needed to buy a dress for my sister-in-law’s wedding and the nightmare continued. Two weeks before the wedding, I bought a dress that seemed to hid my ever-growing belly and my ample breasts. It had ruching around my “pregnant” areas and I felt confident wearing it.  It was the first time in months that I looked good, in my eyes, and I was excited about the wedding. I was flying home to eastern Canada three days before the big event and packing everything the day before the flight was easy. I only owned a few outfits that fit me properly so I thew them into a bag.

I knew the weight gain continued so I wanted to try on the dress one last time before the journey home. I COULDN’T EVEN GET IT OVER MY CHEST! With both arms and my head already in, I was stuck. It wouldn’t go back over my shoulders and it wouldn’t go down over my boobs. The tears came again as I flopped to the floor and sobbed.

Ok! What are you going to do? You need to calm down. You’re stuck in a friggin’ dress and you’re home alone. 

I leaned forward until I could step on the dress and pulled with my feet. With my arms over my head and the pressure of my feet, and my fat a**, on the dress, I was finally set free. I had no time to buy a new dress and panic set in.

Luckily, I borrowed a dress from a friend at home and I tried to put the humiliation behind me.

I’ve since learned some valuable lessons:

1. Everyone in your family thinks you are the most beautiful and radiant you’ve ever been. They are not just saying it to make you feel better; they truly believe it and see you in a different light.

2. The key to shopping at this point is comfort. I bought comfy tank tops, drawstring pants, and sun dresses. Sun dresses are your best friend. They hide everything except “fat face”, which also happens early in pregnancy.

3. Buy bigger clothes! Don’t be disillusioned; if it fits now, it may not fit in a week.

4. Maternity clothes are expensive. If you can get away with a comfy dress from Old Navy, go with that. You can only wear it for a short time anyway.

5. If you get to the point where nothing you own fits and you find yourself crying on the pile of clothes, don’t fret; you are not the only one who is experiencing this humiliation.

AND FINALLY…

6. If all else fails, buy a MUUMUU and wear it with pride for you are pregnant and you left your shame and humiliation at your first doctor’s appointment.

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38 thoughts on “To Me, It was Obvious that I was Pregnant, but to the Rest of the World I was Simply Getting Fat!

  1. And above all, don’t let any of the people who supposedly love you but are so body image centric that they see pregnancy body changes as a sloppy body choice, convinced you that you are looking FAT! Remember you are nurturing a new life and this first phase is only one of many where your feeling about yourself will affect your little one’s growth also. Enjoy this…it is a powerful feeling to know you are making something so awesome as another person inside your own body!

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    • I think that every pregnant woman has her moments of distress. My whole life is changing, for the better, but still… changing.

      I always dreamed of being a mother and I found the perfect husband to join me on this journey. My family is supportive and encouraging and they love my ever-growing, pregnant belly.

      I’ve had many wonderful experiences in my life, but the best is yet to come. A growing belly and new clothes are a little sacrifice for the beautiful baby that I’m housing and already love more than I ever thought possible.

      Thanks for reading and taking the time to comment; it’s appreciated.

      Lesley

      Like

  2. Congratulations momma-to-be! :*) I’ve read through a small portion of your blog (as I have had time, trying to build mine into something comprehensible..lol), and you have definitely had some A-MAZing adventures – and although I am not yet a mom, I also believe your biggest (and best) adventure is yet to come. Will be looking forward to the updates, as well as checking out more about your past advents, as I learn how to navigate through those I follow, and the rest of this WP stuff 🙂

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    • I’m sure you’ll love blogging. It can be a very rewarding experience.

      Your pictures in Sunset Vs Moonrise are beautiful! Where were they taken?

      Thanks for the kind words; they are appreciated.

      Lesley

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  3. Haha, I TOTALLY get this – I put on loads of weight in both my pregnancies, and ended up wearing a lot of my husband’s clothes! Attending a wedding at 7 months pregnant, and another with my 4-week-old baby (and hence still HUGE) were not highlights. Of course you have to keep wearing the pregnancy clothes for a few months afterwards as well, because while breastfeeding and exercise definitely help the weight come off, it still takes a few months. Good luck, and enjoy the journey!

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    • Thank you for the encouraging words. Although I was bothered by the initial weight gain, I am starting to be “obviously” pregnant, which makes this the fun stage. Then, after the baby is born, people will see that I have a newborn and will most likely attribute the “over-sized” Lesley to that although at that point, I really will not care what people think. I;ll have more important, beautiful, precious things on my mind. 🙂

      How old are your children? At only four months pregnant, the nursery is already decorated. I hope the ultrasound isn’t wrong 😉

      Thanks for reading and taking the time to comment; it’s appreciated.

      Lesley

      Like

  4. Hey, I was just passing by and I thought I’d let you know that I liked your post and it made me smile. You managed to sound positive telling the things you were clearly frustrated about. The weight will go away, you are such a sporty woman.
    I wish good health to you and the baby!

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    • Thanks for the encouraging words. I’m not sure about being positive but I’m trying to make the most out of this beautiful experience, even when I don’t feel so beautiful myself.

      Do you have children yourself? This will be my first and my husband and I couldn’t be more happy or excited. I already love her more than I ever thought possible and I haven’t even seen her precious little face yet, except on a monitor which doesn’t really count. The whole process truly is a miracle.

      Thanks for reading and taking the time to comment; it is appreciated.

      Lesley

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  5. I think being pregnant is wonderful. Thanks for your humorous post – although about a very serious issue. Yes, your biggest adventure is about to come. And travelling with kids is just so fun. We have always done that we ours, and probably the most exciting travel was three months across South-America. Have fun (in between the distress)!

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    • I love to hear that other families are exploring the world with their children! Good for you!

      Traveling has shaped my life and has given me more than anything I could have learned in school, which is a big statement coming from a teacher. Kids are not a burden when it comes to travel; they add to the fun and adventure.

      Thanks for taking the time to comment; I look forward to further conversations,

      Lesley

      Like

  6. Thanks for the “like” on my log. Come back and visit sometime. Looks like you are in for a wonderful adventure. Blessings on your new life as a momma – pregnancy really is just the beginning!

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    • Pregnancy is certainly an adventure already. I can’t wait until I can travel and experience new things with my baby girl.

      I love your photo in Proactivity Day 8 – Learning to take photos; great shot!

      Thanks for taking the time to comment; it’s appreciated.

      Lesley

      Like

  7. Do you have children? It really has been the most rewarding experience already and the baby isn’t even here yet. I love her more than words can express and more than I ever thought possible considering I haven’t even seen her yet, except on a monitor. I look forward to the day that I can travel and experience new adventures with her.

    Thanks for commenting; it is appreciated.

    Lesley

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  8. 🙂
    Congratulations on the pregnancy! All these emotions are also part of being pregnant (or so I hear!)
    Take care and all the best!
    Btw.. if that picture of you is that “fat” you, I don’t think you have any to worry about! You look lovely!

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    • Thank you for the beautiful comments.

      Being pregnant certainly is an emotional roller-caster, but I’m really enjoying the process. I do have good and bad days, but the rewards far out way any negatives.

      Thanks for reading and taking the time to comment; it’s appreciated.

      Lesley

      Like

  9. Congratulations!! Enjoy every moment. My 2 sons are grown and I have a lot of moments captured on film (and digital) that are priceless to me. I know you will have the same. Many adventures to come.
    Best Regards
    Jim

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    • I already love her more than I’ve ever loved anything/anyone else and she’s not even born. my husband and I have been blessed with an amazing, beautiful life and soon we’ll have someone else to share that with. I don’t leave the house without the camera now so I can only imagine how crazy I’ll become with a newborn child. I look forward to the day that we can travel and experience new adventures as a family.

      Thanks for all of your beautiful comments and support; it’s appreciated.

      Lesley

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    • Thank you!

      I understand your post Job Travel Envy and I can relate. Traveling can sometimes be overwhelming and misunderstood, yet I would still take hours on a plane, missing flights, and countless means of transportation just to experience a new place or a new culture.

      Good luck with your blog. Thanks for taking the time to read and comment on mine; it’s appreciated.

      Lesley

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    • I look forward to the day I can travel and share new adventures with my beautiful baby girl.

      Your pictures of London are great. Good work! Did you see a play at the Globe?

      Thanks for taking the time to comment; it’s appreciated.

      Lesley

      Like

  10. Congratulations Leslie! You brought tears to my eyes from giggling so hard. You took me back to the days when I was also fighting the closet every morning. I had been tiny, no curves what so ever. And all of a sudden my body was changing, even though no on else could see it.

    Thanks for the memory, and best wishes to you and your new family~

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  11. Loved your “It was obvious that I was pregnant” blog!

    Few words of advice:
    Remember that your “fat” has a purpose, breastfeeding and protecting (cushioning your baby) so perhaps you can embrace it.
    Know the few months of feeling chubby and emotionally unstable! is all leading to an amazing journey.
    You look gorgeous in the wedding picture and so NOT pregant. Just saying.
    Excercise. I walked and did aerobics for pregnancy and weighed less after giving birth than I did before getting pregnant.
    And the best bonus, you will LOVE your body post baby. You are so happy to see your stomach afterwards and to wear cute jeans again! Get matching ones for the new addition!
    Congrats!

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  12. I can commiserate with you! I gave birth to a 10 pound baby… a month early!!! He was supposed to be 13-14 pounds at term. At 12 weeks he was already so big that I could feel flutters and by 16 weeks you could see him kicking me. I too felt that I just looked fat and not pregnant – forever. I felt I had gained weight all over and while my stomach was huge…it wasn’t pregnantly rounded until the 6th month. I often found myself rubbing my stomach in public, you know, trying to give people the hint – but rather than enlightening the world to my internal state, for about 5 months, it probably looked like I had just devoured a small water buffalo.

    To make things worse? TWO MONTHS after my son was born, the checker at the market who had seen me throughout my pregnancy, said “Wow! You’re about to pop! Bet you can’t wait to have that baby!”

    She has since washed up as whale vomit on some distant shore.

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    • Oh, I’m not sure if your reply is more encouraging or discouraging. I find the worst of it is “Fat Face”. I can handle the areas that are easily hidden under a sweater or a pair of pants but what do you do about a fat face? There is no hiding my puffy cheeks or my widening chin. I look like I’m having an allergic reaction to something. I find solace in others suffering, as bad as that sounds. It did bring a little bit of a smile to my chubby cheeks to hear about your mishap two months after birth. 😉 I’m sure you’ve returned to a beautiful state and now you have a precious child, which is well worth all of the suffering.

      How many children do you have?

      Thanks for reading and taking the time to comment; it truly is appreciated.

      Lesley

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      • Darn, I was hoping you’d feel encouraged because you’re probably not giving birth to a prize fighter and therefore wouldn’t have to endure my misery. Well, first off, you’re beautiful! So you couldn’t look bad if you tried and I hardly think your face is as fat as you think. And remember, 500 years ago that was a sign of wealth and health. Yeah, I know, that probably doesn’t change the way you feel. Everything bounced back after I had my son….I would suggest trying to enjoy every minute of being pregnant and not worrying what it does to your body because whatever changes you’re undergoing now, they’re just temporary. My face got fat too….most of it is water gain and will go away right after you give birth. I only have one child and he’s a teenager now. But I’d go back and endure it all again if I could. It was such a precious time in my life and one that was way too fleeting. As much as I hated my fat face and swollen feet, it led up to the experience of love that I had never known before. I never knew my heart could expand the way it did. You never really know love until you have a child. I promise it will all be worth it in the end.

        But one last bit of advice….when you can no longer stand the fat face there is always the option of wearing a Burqa. They’re roomy and I hear they now come in a chic Khaki with breast feeding flaps. May Allah be with you! 😉

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  13. You know what’s great about being pregnant? Elastic waistbands! I miss ’em. You definitely want to check out my post on the “10 Reasons to Miss Being Pregnant” so you can be sure to enjoy the journey that much more:

    http://mommycribnotes.com/2011/01/12/10-reasons-to-miss-being-pregnant/

    I was lucky to be able to borrow most of my maternity clothes from girlfriends that are a similar size. That definitely helped the budget. But, there is something fun about having an excuse to buy a whole new set of clothes!

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  14. It’s SO true! SO many mornings have included tears, anger, frustration and general bad vibes because of having to get dressed for work and finding NOTHING that fits or is clean (on account of only a few things fit and they all need to be washed). Ugh. I’ve been lucky to get a few coupons/discounts from time to time during this (my first) pregnancy from GAP which I’ve used for maternity clothes. Each time I get a few new shirts or a pair of pants that are nice enough for work, my whole outlook improves! I’m now expanding past the pants and with just a few weeks left, I’m really inclined to just wear these yoga pants every damned day! 😉

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  15. I’m a little late to the comment party, but I wanted to add that when I was newly pregnant I used to make my husband play the Fat or Pregnant? game with me every morning. I’d come out in an outfit and he had to tell me if I looked fat or … you guessed it, pregnant. I’m sure he was happy when I was finally big enough to be obviously pregnant and didn’t have to play that game anymore!

    Anyway, you look great. Enjoy your pregnancy!

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  16. You look great! When I was pregnant with my first everyone told me I looked too small, I should have the Dr. do an ultra sound because the baby must be small!! (So I was terribly paranoid I would have this teeny tiny baby she was fine, perfectly average at 6lbs 15oz, and I was plenty big looking back on it now) Then my second pregnancy I was too BIG, all the time people said “you’re only ___ months! but your stomach is so big” My husband was horrified. I did deliver a pretty good sized baby boy weighing 8lbs 15oz. But, I cried and cried with both scenarios. Now without all the hormone induced emotional behaviors I realize people are just ridiculous! Especially when you are pregnant everyone thinks you want their opinion so give it to you no matter how rude you think they are being they really have no idea and think they are being helpful. Again you look amazing, and I wish you many blessings on your latest adventure, it’s going to be your biggest yet!

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  17. I love the phase of pregnancy when it just looks like you’ve eaten too many doughnuts, and you’re still not telling anyone yet. You just want to shout, “I’m pregnant, not fat!” Thanks for stopping by Momsicle. You’ve got a great blog and some awesome pictures! Can’t wait to hear about the baby. In the meantime, you might find this post on stupid things people say to moms funny. 🙂 http://momsicle.wordpress.com/2011/04/11/stupid-things-people-say-to-moms/

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  18. Thanks for liking my post. I’m commenting on this one because I wanted to say congratulations on the baby! You look beautiful, I can’t really help in the maternity clothes department but hope you find some good stuff. 🙂

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  19. I’ve only just caught up with this post but want to send my congratulations for the best journey that you have embarked on. Enjoy your pregnancy ( your image of getting stuck in a dress reminded me of a very similar situation with my first) and look forward to the future with the same lovely positive attitude that glows through your posts.
    I look forward to hearing about your adventures as a Mum. All the best. And thanks for liking my blog.

    Like

  20. I love your post and your blog! I am looking around for baby and maternity things, so I find your posts very informational.

    I had the same experience a few days ago with dresses. I had a work party to go to and I thought for sure that most of my dresses would fit. 8 dresses later, I was in tears. My party was the next evening, so I did not have time to even shop for a new one. One dress did fit me, but I did not think that it looked good. I thought that it made me look fat. I did try it on again a few hours before the party and I was ok with it, so I did wear it.

    It is true that every woman goes through a phase since our bodies do change a fair amount throughout the pregnancy. Some days my belly looks bigger than other days, which does not help when figuring out what to wear that particular day. I do love my belly and what is growing inside it though. 🙂 I look forward to meeting my sweet pea.

    I am curious… have you found any nice maternity clothes, especially dresses that you can wear to weddings?

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  21. The fat face is killing me too Lesley! I’m only 10 weeks pregnant and my face has gotten so round! A close friend tells me I just look healthy now because I used to be a bit gaunt, but it doesn’t console me at all. 😦 How early did your face swell up? I’m afraid I’m an anomaly since I’ve been this way since probably 8 weeks…maybe sooner. It’s so hard! 😦 Really takes a jab at my self-esteem.

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    • Jessica,

      I gained 58 pounds during pregnancy and I started to notice my fat face from the first month. Pregnancy affects everyone differently. Yes, I could have exercised more, ate a little better, and drank more water but the reality of it is… pregnancy is not really that beautiful. I think people make up the “healthy glow” to make pregnant women feel better, but it certainly didn’t make me feel better when I was considering wearing a Moo-Moo (not really sure how that’s spelled) because nothing fit. The thing is it only lasts for a short time in our lives and now that I’m on the other end of it, I only think about how fat I was when I see photos, and even then I don’t really care. When your self-esteem can’t take any more jabs, try to remember that you’ll always be beautiful to your child and it will all be over soon.

      You are going to be a mother and that is the most beautiful experience in the world. I have more happiness in five minutes with my daughter than I’ve had in my whole life combined. It is the most alive and beautiful I’ve ever felt!

      🙂

      Like

    • Thank you, Jessica, for sharing that experience. I’ve never been pregnant, but am a widow now. Anyway, what I can identify with is, a changing body shape, especially when reaching middle-age. I used to wear the same clothes for years too. I could even wear clothes that I wore at 15, but I guess at some point one has to face up to reality and what else…middle-age spread, particularly around the middle, hips and top of thighs. It’s hard going, especially when work makes me sit down most of the time, with little time for any exercise. What consoles me is that I’m not the fat type and like vegetables and fruits better than solid proteins and fat, but the downside to it is that I sometimes don’t have enough of those (bad) things, so don’t feel very comfortable or happy, except when I start eating an amount of them, once in a while. So, watching what I eat goes on, people are surprised that I don’t avoid sugar, sweets or chocolates, as long as I don’t over eat those, they help keep up energy levels. Being pregnant, at least, gives you a reason, and a goal, and a wonderful end result to look forward to. Well after that you’ll still be your former-self. There are exercises to help you get back in shape. Not to worry, it’s not a life sentence.
      As for me, this is a chance to change my style – isn’t that refreshing! I love big baggy clothes, they’re cool (here in the tropics) and can really be elegant. Back to the 1920s! Love it!

      Like

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