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So Unpretty

Every woman has this idea or imagination of how she will carry her pregnancy; will she have a

pretty round baby bump like most women, will she have the baby glow, will she look like the cutest pregnant mom ever, and how cute will her maternity photo shoot be (if she desires to have one)? I never worried about these things because my ultimate goal even before pregnancy was delivering a HEALTHY BABY! That’s all most women want and desire and while most are able to have fun with their pregnancies, some aren’t and I can’t really decide which category I would put myself in because my ultimate goal is to still, at 36 weeks have a healthy baby. I want to do everything right to get this baby here…okay, maybe I didn’t always eat the best but medically I hope, trust and pray this baby arrives healthy as a whistle and we’re all able to go home together.

Although my husband and I take quite a few pictures together and have more Sunday Selfies than we probably need, some were surprised to hear I didn’t desire a maternity photo shoot. After all, I was carrying what I wanted and didn’t need a picture to remind me what I looked like during this time. Additionally, I didn’t always feel so pretty. After being on hospital bed rest for 10 weeks and someone that was used to weekly hair appointments and bi-weekly nail appointments, that all ended and there were days I felt unpretty in that hospital, but I knew I had to continue to keep myself together, encouraged and pretty by any means necessary.

See, I was raised by someone that wears lipstick to bed some nights because she wants to look her best if anything happens in the middle of the night. I was raised around women that took pride in their skin, hair and nails and didn’t mind telling you when they could tell you weren’t drinking your water. Even in the hospital when my aunts would Facetime me to check on me and give me laughs, they would compliment my skin, but I knew who I was dealing with and I wasn’t letting myself go down that road. If you don’t look inside yourself to make yourself feel pretty, like the 90s group TLC said, “you only have yourself to blame.” For me, this meant shampooing my own hair while on bed rest, getting my sister to bring me nail supplies to do my own nails, to the best of my ability and ordering my own wax machine and asking my husband to assist me. I even put on lipstick some days and wrapped my hair in a scarf bun because there was no need for doctors, nurses and other hospital staff to see me looking drab.

I remember one incident when one of my nurses came into my room and I put my phone down. She looked over at my screensaver and said, “is that you?!!” I laughed and said yes! I don’t look like this all of the time. There are a few things that can make a woman or even little girl feel pretty and that’s why life can be so luxurious to us. When I was discharged from the hospital the one place I wanted to visit was the hair salon and oh, I felt myself coming back after “getting my hair combed.” Remember the questions I asked at the beginning of this post? Well, the “pretty” that some women imagine isn’t always their reality. I didn’t imagine my pregnancy like the “unpretty” above or when my skin began to get dark or with skin tags or swollen and throbbing hands and feet or not truly having a baby bump until I was in my eighth month. Nope, that’s not what I nor probably most women imagine but most days I was determined to feel pretty. If you read my recent blog post that is why I say my hospital stay wasn’t the worst thing that could’ve happened because I knew I was in the right place and the ultimate goal was still the ultimate goal: a healthy baby but his mama wasn’t going to sit around looking crazy.

When I got home from being discharged there was even a Mother’s Day package/thank you from one of my favorite local boutiques, Classy Curves Couture that made me feel even more special (check out the baby blue dress). It’s amazing when you have those friends who can remind you of who you are and make you feel as pretty as any woman can feel. As a matter of fact, I started to show swelling feet as the graphic for this blog post but thought that’s so unpretty especially when you haven’t been able to get a pedicure due to the pandemic and scared of germs around you and still being quarantined when possible. So, I decided to get up, put some makeup and jewelry on and don in one of my new fashions for a short photo session. When you have so many unpretty things going around you, who needs another unpretty image sitting in front of them so here I am, feeling all pretty, girly and happy with my pregnant face at 36 weeks pregnant. I read a quote that said “You don’t need to be pretty like her. You can be pretty like you.” So, to every pregnant woman out there, your pretty will not be the same as the next woman – your pretty is defined by you and who you are.

Rock on with Your Pretty Self

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