I have a confession to make: Pregnancy is not what I expected.
I know every pregnancy is different. Some women throw up for nine months straight while others never even feel queasy. Some women get crampy and irritable while others glow and have the best time of their lives. "Normal" is relative to your personal experience.
I have always viewed myself as progressive and modern. In the years that I was dreaming of being pregnant and trying to get pregnant, I had great fantasies of what I would do and how I would act when my dreams came true.
As someone who used to be the size of a small house, I always looked as pregnancy as the one time to be able to let go. I figured I would embrace my curves, the roundness that is supposed to be there. Nobody lectures pregnant women on what or how much they eat. It's the one time in a woman's life when a protruding belly is a good thing and not an object of scorn.
I always envisioned myself to be the girl in the form-fitting clothes, even baring a little taut rotund midriff now and then. Naked preggo bellies are so cute to me!
Alas, my dreams have not matched my reality. Instead of rockin' my baby bump, I feel more like the girl immortalized in the "Rockin' the Beer Gut" song that I hate so much. I don't feel voluptuous and curvaceous. I feel frumpy and awkward.
I have cute maternity clothes, but they are all far from the sexy styles of what celebs like Gwen Stefani and Nicole Ritchie have worn in their prenatal stages.
I'm not miserable by any stretch of the imagination. After all, my only experience with morning sickness was about 10 days of feeling like I was on a boat in stormy waters. I don't have half of the maladies that other pregnant women get. Pregnancy is truly an enjoyable experience for me. I feel like myself -- only better.
I just don't feel like a sex symbol. And that's perfectly OK. It's not what I expected, but it's who I am right now. I might feel differently as the pregnancy progresses or during my next pregnancy. But for right now, I'm just learning to accept the changes my body is undergoing and embracing my form as it emerges.