Muireann taking photos in Uganda


Mac Cool's Uganda Letter

Photographs and Stories by Muireann Mac Cool


B l o g

Bump, baby, Breastfeed! Part 3

20 Aug 2009

When your body changes dramatically for the first time there can be a bit of adjusting and not just with the dress sizes.

For almost seven months, I had little or no bump to show off though my body was changing in many ways that might not be so obvious to everyone around me. I battled with an ever increasing chest and a very cool thing was happening to my back. Like some sort of slick robot it began to straighten and my pelvis adjusted in order to create space for my uterus to move upwards and enlarge to hold a baby.

With these uncontrollable changes my relationship with shopping and clothing faltered. My body had once been a steady friend, predictable even. I’ve more or less been able to be sure of it, give or take a few adjustments. However, with the pregnancy I didn’t know how large my belly would become, where stretch marks would be left and whether I’d ever be able to climb a staircase again without being out of breath.

As I didn’t know what was happening next and I didn’t have the typical badge-mark bump I found it difficult to dress or shop. Shopping for maternity jeans has to be one of the most depressing days of my life. I was suddenly an awkward teenager again. I found no relief. I was now a statistic wearing overpriced ill fitting jeans.

I was very grateful when my mum and sister finally took the decisions for me and bought me a few tops. A trusted friend later took me shopping, helping me overcome the horrible ‘shoppers block’. She carefully selected non-maternity clothing. These were not the typical camouflage gear. I began to feel attractive as I went up a dress size.

Along I plodded. I continued to wheeze at the tops of hills and staircases but I was happy. I ate as much ice-cream as I wanted and gave into all my fruity cravings. The baby kicked and moved and my husband smiled at me in a way he’d never smiled at me before. I tried to think back to our wedding day. Had he smiled like that then?

I transformed. In those last few weeks when my belly finally formed the distinctive pregnancy shape I felt like a ship about to launch and I’m not talking about a massive tanker about to sink. I was the QE2 or an elegant and graceful yacht. I was a swan and I was glowing. I was beautiful again in my body. With bump. With baby.

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