Pregnancy is such a big topic these days. We have celebrities, advertisements, and TV shows setting a very high bar for us and then dozens and dozens of bloggers supposedly clearing it. Just googling the word “Pregnant” pulls up dozens of pictures of pregnant bumps sporting the latest fashion crazes and beautiful portraits of mommies to be look very angelic.
I even contributed to it a couple of weeks ago when I posted on Facebook a picture of me in a Tardis Tshirt with the Caption, “Look, I am bigger on the inside.” The truth of the matter is that before I took that adorable selfy I showered, blow-dried and flat ironed my hair, added extension, put on about a pound of makeup and slipped into my maternity spanx to add smoother lines.
But, I didn’t stop there. You will notice that I didn’t take the picture with my iphone like all the cool kids do these days, because all the photo with my phone made me look wide. So I pulled out my trusty $2,000 7D Camera for a better performance. Then, I took 29 shots before I got the one I wanted with the perfect expression and a pose that made my figure look the best. Then, I opened Photoshop and balanced the color, shadows, and cleaned up the mirror so that it didn’t look so dirty, which I probably should have washed before I took the picture. But, by the time I realized how dirty it was, I was out of steam.
As you can see from the picture. My two hours of work paid off. It looks fun and effortless.
“To appear effortless takes a great deal of effort indeed.”
A week later I was looking at the great photo I had taken and then caught a look at myself in the mirror. That is not what Pregnancy looks like… at least not on me. So, I took another Selfy and posted that on Facebook too. Pregnancy is hard for me. It feels like 9 months of having the flu. My allergies flare up and became ten times worse than usual. I have some days where I can’t even function. This is what pregnant looks like for me MANY days.
There is nothing wrong with wanting to feel pretty or of wanting that beautiful Pregnant portrait. We want to document our lives and we want them to be beautiful. There is nothing untrue or deceitful about the pretty pictures of our lives. Life is Beautiful, but there is still the other side of that coin. These two pictures represent the two extreme sides of what life can be like. Most of the time we are somewhere in-between.
There are a lot of arguments going on out there that have been dubbed the “Mommy Wars.” It basically comes down to women feeling insecure and poking holes in other peoples live so they feel better about themselves.
I do not want to contribute to that war. I know there are many women out there that enjoy pregnancy and look and feel great the whole 9 months. There are women out there who four days after giving birth look like they are ready for the cat walk. I am not going to say these women are doing anything wrong. Many of them have become internet icon. I am happy for them, for their good fortune, good genes, good cash flow, and if my life was like that I would want to share it to.
But, you know what, I like who I am So, I am going to share my life how it is. We focus so much on sharing and celebrating the beauty in our lives that to often we hide the other parts. Bit by bit the rougher sides of our lives that exist behind closed doors start to make us feel like the beautiful parts of us are a lie. But both the good and the bad make up who we are and are as inseparable as the two sides of a coin.
I am Natalie Westwood. I spent last year not blogging because I had a high risk pregnancy. She arrived in February 2013 via C-section.(my third girl) In July 2013 I had a big surprise and found out I was pregnant again. In September I had a shock and found out it was twins. This pregnancy is even higher risk then the last one. I am 23 weeks along and am exhausted all the time. I didn’t hit the gene pool lottery. Pregnancy is always 9 months of absolute hell for me. Mandatory C-sections make recovery a very long process. No matter how hard I have worked, my body has NEVER been as strong/fit/thin as it was before I had kids.
I know my life is far from perfect, but everyday I get up and do the best I can with what I have. I do not believe that the way I live my life is the only right way to make things work. I very often feel the need to only show the best side of my life to the world and create the appearance that I have it all together and I do not resent others who do the same.
I am Natalie Westwood and I can love myself and my life when things are Not perfect.