“How do you still fit in regular jeans?”
Pregnancy is strange. When I was pregnant last time around (3+ years ago) Instagram stories wasn’t a thing, I was blogging sporadically and pregnancy was somewhat similar to what I imagine it was like for centuries before-somewhat private. My friends knew about my months with placenta previa, trips to the ER for ultrasounds, varicose veins and navigating pregnancy with an newly one year old on my hip. Things are different these days.
I feel a responsibility to share the good, bad and the ugly this time around but it’s always challenging to determine how much is too much. Since I shared my miscarriage last year and was quite open about the long journey to being pregnant again I never want to sweep that season under the rug and share a false representation of “now I’m pregnant and every hard thing has disappeared!” There is, however, only so much you can share with people you don’t do life with on a day to day basis. I never want things to be taken out of context and despite me being an oversharer by nature, the journey to get to this point in time has me a bit more protective over this pregnancy than I have been before.
One thing I did want to address and put as a reminder for all of us consumers of content through blogs, Instagram, reality television or whatever it may be is this: you’re seeing a portion. A single portion of someone’s day, week, pregnancy, parenthood, marriage, friendship, job, life. Just a moment. It’s been thought out and planned and even the oversharing was decidedly shared. Not everything is as it seems simply because it’s just a glimpse.
I was reminded of this last week when I shared that I’m still wearing my pre-pregnancy jeans after someone asked where they could purchase them. From a few people there was a shock asking how I could possibly still fit into them at week 16 in my third pregnancy. I feel that nervous panic too when I see some of those Instagram unicorns in a bikini with a completely flat tummy precisely one week after giving birth. I feel it as I watch exercise videos of impossibly fit women in their third trimester committed to getting to the gym every day.
Social media can make us feel behind in our own lives.
Inferior to a hypothetical version of ourselves.
The reason I still fit in my non-maternity jeans is that I started off this pregnancy ten pounds lighter than I’ve been in my whole adult life. Part of that is me not being as muscular as my body before Oshiolema and the other part of that is me completely changing my diet and just plain losing weight. Despite me knowing my pants didn’t fit, I never bought a smaller size. For over a year I’ve worn and continued to buy pants that were too big because I never quite accepted how much my body had changed. There’s another story there for another time, but that piece of information may change the initial reaction to me still wearing the pants. Truth is-they were a full size too big all along.
I feel the stress in people’s minds when they ask “how often do you work out?! I’m further along than you and have hardly worked out at all!” Or “how often do you and your husband go out for date night? We hardly ever can make the time!” You may see me in the gym today, but you didn’t see the months I could hardly make it through a walk. You see O and me at the movies but you didn’t see the first year of Oshiolema’s life when we went on exactly two dates. Two. We all have grace for our current seasons-nothing more, nothing less.
I want to enter the New Year with better blinders for myself on social-media but also making sure to be as intentional as ever to make sure this space is always real. I have no desire whatsoever to portray an “aspirational” life here on Gold & Graphite. I want this to be a space where the Lord alone is glorified and I never shy away from sharing both trials and triumphs.
“Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.”