The other night I overheard my husband’s friend ask him how I was doing with my pregnancy. I braced myself, hoping my husband wouldn’t say that his wife eats all the time, is often over-sensitive and never knows what we’re having for dinner. He would have been telling the truth if he said those things (he didn’t), but I would have been embarrassed. The last five months of pregnancy haven’t been easy. On top of dealing with nausea and food aversions and other lovely pregnancy symptoms, I also battle a lack of confidence. Here are a few insecurities I often face:
1. I look fat
For me, pregnancy awakened a whole new trial when it comes to physical insecurities. Now I not only struggle with comparing myself to women who aren’t pregnant, but also to my pregnant friends. That’s double the comparison temptation! Before I got pregnant, I looked forward to having a cute baby bump. But I had to suffer in an awkward muffin-top phase for a little over a month before my stomach started looking more rounded out. At 21 weeks, I’m noticing that my clothes are fitting much differently and I have to put away all of my favorite shorts, tops and dresses from last summer.
It’s not easy to watch the numbers on the scale go up, either, especially when this is the time of year that I’d normally be trying to lose my holiday weight for summertime. Thankfully, I’m surrounded by sweet family and friends who celebrate my growing belly and remind me that every pregnant woman grows differently. I should be focusing on the Lord and praising Him for the life inside of me instead of allowing vain thoughts to creep in.
“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” Romans 12:2 (ESV)
2. My friends are going to abandon me
I backed out of a lot of plans during my first trimester. My morning sickness was out of control and I never knew when I was going to have a good day. The baby wasn’t even three months old in utero and it was already affecting my relationships! I began to fret, wondering how my friendships would change after the baby arrives. The group of friends my husband and I made after moving to Maryland last year all had something in common — we were all in our late twenties/early thirties, and none of us had kids. One of my first thoughts when I got the results of my blood test back was oh no, our friends are going to hate us!
I know my relationships will look different after the baby is born, because caring for my child will be put first over coffee dates and book club. But it’s silly for me to spend time dwelling on situations that haven’t even happened yet. It’s also silly for me to be insecure over this issue because I have fabulous friends! Adding a baby into the mix will be new for all of us, but I know my friends will be supportive and understanding.
“A friend loves at all times.” Proverbs 17:17a (NIV)
3. I don’t feel capable of making decisions.
There are a LOT of decisions to make when you’re a new parent. Some are obvious, like picking items to register for and deciding on whether or not to find out the sex of the baby before he or she is born. But you also have to choose if you’re going to change your diet and habits, if you’re going to get an amniocentesis, what kind of birth you’re hoping for… the list goes on and on.
My insecurities over making decisions stem from two issues. The first is that I am often exhausted and the smallest choice (such as what to have for dinner) seems impossible to make. Secondly, this is my first baby. I don’t know all the answers! I can’t tell you how many times over the course of a week I have to take a deep breath and ask God to take control of my jumbled brain. I’m constantly humbled by how little I can do without the Lord’s guidance and assurance.
“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” John 14:27 (ESV)
I encourage you to go to the Lord with your insecurities, whether they’re the same as mine or completely different. Don’t let your doubts consume you. Do not let your hearts be troubled. Our God is a God of peace.
Laura Rennie lives in Maryland with her hilarious husband and constantly shedding dog. She loves reading, writing and playing word games. Her greatest desire is to share Jesus through her words and actions as she learns how to be a better wife, daughter, sister and friend.