Pregnancy Took My Body From Me … And Gave It To Everyone Else

By Lauren Chval
Chicago Tribune

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) Interesting first hand perspective on pregnancy. Specifically, Lauren Chval shares her experience of walking through the world while pregnant.

CHICAGO

Since entering my third trimester of pregnancy, I always have to have headphones.

I walk about half an hour to and from work every day, so headphones were always a part of the commute. But the first time I forgot them during my seventh month of pregnancy, it wasn’t just an inconvenience.

“Nice belly, baby.”

“Hi, Mommy.”

“Looking good, Mama.”

With headphones on, I was blissfully unaware of men on the street making comments about my pregnant body. Without headphones, my skin prickled with embarrassment and discomfort. The second time I forgot them, I stopped at the first convenient store I came across for a pair of overpriced headphones. The $25 was worth it to drown the comments out.

Strangers are not the only ones who want to talk about my body. “You’re so tiny!” some tell me, mere moments after someone else has said, “You’re getting so big!” How do I respond? “Thank you!” “Sure am!” “Yep!” Is tininess what I should be aspiring to in pregnancy? Or is bigness? The answer is neither; I should be aspiring to healthiness, but no one ever says, “You look so healthy!”

I’m not used to my body being a topic of conversation, it’s always been thin with no attributes to write home about.

At age 15, I unexpectedly had to go to the doctor while visiting my aunt and uncle. I stepped on the scale, 114 pounds, and the nurse went to write it down. “Enjoy that,” my aunt said with a trace of smugness. “You’ll never be 114 pounds again.” She was right; I weighed 112 when I got pregnant.

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