Originally I had planned to write a post about body image. Something that I have struggled with – as many of us do – and I thought that pregnancy would be the one time that my obsession over what I look like would dissipate, partly because my body is changing for the most amazing reason in the world and also because how empowering for a female to use her body to create another human being. Clearly, I am not that enlightened. My changing body has been a source of stress for me. To add insult to injury, I then had a text conversation with my best friend about all the celebrities who are pregnant:
As I was thinking, “Great, the one time in my life I got a free pass not to compare myself to celebrities, so many are pregnant and now I still have to deal with being compared to them…” I got a call from my doctor. I went for my first trimester sequential genetic testing a week prior. My doctor informs me that for my age my risk for Down Syndrome should be around 1 in five hundred and something. This ratio expresses my baby’s chances of having this genetic disorder. Based on my blood work, mine came back 1:180. Of course this sends me into immediate panic. Why are my chances higher? Is this bad? Is this considered high risk or a positive result? My doctor quickly eased my concerns and said they will know a lot more after the second round of blood work. As a mother, she said she understood that this information can be scary but that I should not be alarmed. So now it’s just a waiting game until I go in for the next round of blood work. I’m rattled but realize there is nothing I can do at this point.
Body image is an important issue. But as I hung up the phone, all I could think is that I would give anything for my baby to be happy and healthy. I’d literally cut off both my arms. It puts it in perspective. What really are a few stretch marks, clothes that are too tight from an expanding waistline and widening hips, and a few pimples. Trivial details. I will do my best to embrace the changes in my body as a sign that things continue to progress. I cannot promise, though, this will be the last time I’ll bring up body image.