Pregnancy is not a glowing time for me. To be frank, it’s mostly not even an experience I’ll ever look back on with much fondness – it’s 9 months of sickness, of being tired, of watching your body stretch and stretch and wondering if it’ll ever go back to how it was before. And for my first pregnancy, I avoided having any photos taken. I’d refuse to be in the photo whenever anyone got their camera out. I felt too sick, I looked too awful – that wasn’t how I wanted to remember things.
But I look back now on my first pregnancy, and I have two photos to show I was ever pregnant. Just two. They’re not great photos, just quick snaps that my husband took on his phone (forgive the state of our ‘in progress’ hallway!). And in the first one, you wouldn’t even know I was pregnant!
But do you know what? Despite the fact that I felt awful, I don’t look anywhere near as bad as I’d thought I did, and I love both of those photos (it’s amazing what a bit of red lippy can do!). I love them for showing that time in my life. Because however much you hate being pregnant, you’ll forget so many of the awful details of it, and you’ll look back on it with more fondness than you ever thought possible.
And this time around I vowed I wouldn’t be the same. That I would ask my husband to take photos of me more often, that I would capture this time in my life. And I started off well – I asked him to take the photos. But when it came to looking at them afterwards, I found myself deleting them, hating the way I look. I look so tired, and you can see that in my face so clearly. I’ve put on weight, not just with the bump, but my bum appears to have doubled in size and my face is looking distinctly puffy. There’s a reason why all of my pregnancy update bump shots have my face cropped out!
But it hit me this week: I’m doing exactly the same as last time. Deleting photos because I hate them now, when I’ll be looking back in a year’s time wishing I’d kept them. Hindsight is a wonderful thing and I think we look back on our lives with kinder eyes. Those flaws that I see now are just the reality of pregnancy. It’s a tough and tiring time, and it’s understandable that I look tired. And maybe future me will understand that and be more forgiving of those flaws than current me.