On Fatness and Fear

I keep having moments where I FREAK OUT about how close we are to actually inseminating! La said yesterday – just think, a month from now, you will have sperm INSIDE of you. It was kind of creepy and gross but also YES, yes I will. I have not had sperm inside of me since approximately 2004, and even then it was by accident. So.Weird.

Some of the scary shit is hitting me now, though. The biggest fear I have is that I won’t be able to get pregnant. There is no evidence or even suggestion that this would be an issue, its just an irrational fear. No one in my family has ever had problems conceiving and I’ve been getting my period (and, thus, presumably, ovulating) pretty much every month without fail since I was 13. But the fear persists until I talk myself through it.

Then there is the fear of being pregnant while fat. I want to let you know that I have been fat all of my life and I have spent a LOT of time working out what that means for me in terms of health (physical and mental) and wellbeing. In about 2005, I started down a journey of body acceptance that works most days. I hang out with radical fatties who resist the idea that thinness equates to health, goodness, or beauty. Most days, if the pants don’t fit, its the pants’ problem – not my bodies. My fabulous, superhot babe of a wife is a fattie too and I think she is just dreamy. Lucky, she thinks I am too – not in spite of my body but because of it. Its delicious and wonderful.

I’m not worried about gaining weight while I am pregnant. I understand that 1) I will, because you are supposed to no matter what and 2) I am most concerned with having my body be a place where a baby can grow in a healthy space – and that includes not subjecting myself to body terrorism just as much as it means laying off the caffeine, eating more kale and drinking lots of water.

I’m really afraid of being pregnant and no one knowing it. I’m afraid of being pregnant and people thinking I’ve just gotten even fatter. Not because I’m necessarily worried about being fatter, but because I want to be seen as a pregnant woman.

I’m also afraid of being treated differently in the medical context of pregnancy. There are all kinds of myths about the dangers of fat pregnancy that aren’t actually true, but get perpetuated in the same way that other myths about the dangers of fatness do. I’m afraid of being denied the option to labor naturally. I’m afraid of being forced into a cesarean without cause. I’m afraid of being judged and ridiculed and being considered a bad parent before I’ve even become one, all because I am a fat lady.

Last night, I wanted to try and hunt down pictures of pregnant fat women. Can you think of a time when you have seen a picture of a fat lady pregnant? I don’t think I ever have. The pictures we see are usually thin women with big basketball bellies. That’s not even the norm for all women of non-plus sizes. My co-worker, who is a bigger girl but by no means would be considered ‘fat’ doesn’t have a belly like that. I appreciate having a few examples to look at right here and now, to reassure me that baby bellies vary as much as mama bodies.

I found this amazing blog in my search. In particular, you should check out the plus size pregnancy photo gallery (be careful, it’s not safe for work – unless you’re lucky enough to be a sexual health educator like me, in which case pictures of pregnant bellies and boobies don’t make your boss mad) It made me SO happy. The rest of the site also has articles on medical bias, great tips about pregnancy and childbirth, and lots of other awesome resources for fatties in the family way. It was like finding exactly what I’ve been longing for – and I am ready to be well armed once I do get knocked up and I have to advocate for myself.


This article is awesome too! 



I’m still kind of scared. Maybe scared isn’t the right word. . .because I know that whatever baby bump I get is going to be an unusual one. In addition to being a fat lady, I’m also almost 6 feet tall, and my torso is pretty long. An ex girlfriend who was a doula told me that you can roughly predict your baby bump size by measuring the space between your hip bone and the bottom of your ribs. Mine is almost the entire span of my hand. Most other folks I’ve met have a fraction of that. Between already having some good space in my tummy area, plus the layer of fat (although, as La tells me, I am a flat stomach fattie, which is another way of saying my ass is like a small bedside table but my belly doesn’t really stick out – *not* that I have abs!) means that I could make it to 7 months without anyone being any the wiser.

Right now, I’m trying to stay focused on what is in front of me: a week of work (with awesome projects), an 18 hour drive cross country with a babe and a bulldog, time with the out-laws in Indy, another drive back, another week of awesome projects at work and then . . Try #1. And all of that will happen while I am fat and loved and healthy.

OH YEAH! AND . . .On January 12th (when I may already have sperm inside of me!!!) I will be getting a tattoo of the badass pinup Hilda on my right thigh. She is such a babe and La says I kinda look like her (except my boobs aren’t that nice – I said that, not La) and I’m so excited to have her as my inspiration! This is what she looks like: Image


4 thoughts on “On Fatness and Fear

  1. I reckon pregnant women look beautiful no matter what their size. It might take longer for people to realize you were preggas, but once you hit a certain stage surely it will be visible. It’s difficult not to focus on irrational fears when conception is the subject. Let’s face it there’s so much to obsess and worry about, so much that can go right and wrong. But I wonder if there’s a certain appeal in being pregnant and people NOT knowing…

  2. I have a friend who’s pregnant right now and she’s a bigger girl too and she’s lost, like, 20 pounds. She’s not really sure how to feel about it. She’s 20 weeks along and just had to buy some maternity duds, she just barely starting to show, but weirdly enough the weight loss is so much more obvious. She’s kind of freaked out by it, a little, but because she’s got enough extra weight so she could lose the 20 without any detrimental effects, her doc’s told her not to worry about it. She hasn’t even been that sick. She just…dropped the weight.

    I was afraid that I couldn’t get pregnant, too. I’ve had enough oops moments in the last year or so (due to our increasing laziness about using b/c) that I thought sure I would’ve gotten “accidentally” preggo by the time we gave up the b/c altogether. I had a bout of pelvic inflammatory disease when I was 25 that conjured up all kinds of nightmare images of fallopian tubes choked with scar tissue—despite having an ultrasound of my girlworks two years ago that showed them to be absolutely, perfectly, 100% healthy (my doc thought I might’ve had endometriosis and/or fibroids because of my very baaad periods). It only took me four cycles.

    In other words, you will be fine. And pinup Hilda, she is made of hotness and awesome. 😀

  3. I totally hear you on the fatness and pregnancy visibility. I’m experiencing it from another angle, fearful of others’ reading my fatness as pregnancy when I’m the non-gestational parent. The best to you and La!

  4. Hey, just found your blog and really enjoy reading it. I’m a fat queer transguy who’s pregnant with my first child. I also enjoy the Well Rounded Mama blog. I feel a whole mix of emotions/thoughts about fatness and pregnancy. On one hand being read as a chubby guy makes the pregnancy less visable, which is sometimes what I want. On the other hand, I do feel pretty invisible as a pregnant person (for many reasons!)

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