My body image issues seem to be subsiding. Now that I am growing more and even strangers are able to tell that I am pregnant, I am more able to accept my changing body--at least visually. Instead of wondering if people think I've been making too many stops at the donut shop, they know that I'm pregnant, and that's a wonderful thing. (It also helps that my colleagues come by my office to ask how I'm feeling and tell me how fantastic my hair and skin are looking.)
But still I am struggling to accept the physical limitations that pregnancy is putting on me: I keep finding myself frustrated with things I think I ought to be able to do. Things I used to be able to do. A hike a few weeks back, on a trail that I found somewhat challenging (mostly because of my fear of falling) in April, left me limping with pain in my lower back for two days. In a recent yoga class, I discovered that plank pose, which has always given me a good arm workout, actually requires a fair amount of core strength--which isn't something I seem to have a lot of these days, not with an aching back and abs that are moving out of the way to make room for the baby. Speaking of abs, I used to be able to do 500 crunches. Now? Yeah, not so much.
"You just need to adjust your expectations," Brian keeps telling me. "Let go of your expectations," my yoga teacher says. "Practice non-attachment." Easier said that done, but I am slowly but surely taking their advice. While the rest of the yoga class does six sun salutations, I do four, moving at my own pace, putting up-dog in place of plank and cobra, rising carefully from my forward bend to avoid dizziness. I am cautious around the house, requesting that Brian carry laundry up and down the stairs for me, so that I don't do in my back again. I once walked a marathon, averaging a pace of 16 minutes a mile; now I walk a flat course on a treadmill, barely making it two miles in 40 minutes, so that I can keep my heartrate under control.
I figure this is good practice. All this letting go of expectations must be a rehearsal for motherhood.