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‘I’m 22 weeks pregnant. Oh, what a big belly you already have!’. Why are we even saying this?

If you are allowed to become pregnant for the second time, you will experience it very differently. I sure did, because I got pregnant with twins the first time.

Now that I ‘only’ carry one child in my belly, it is a relaxed experience.

Far fewer ailments, far fewer complaints, much more energy: a totally uncomparable pregnancy. Yet I notice – again – that people always want to say something about your belly. Or about your unborn child. When I say I’m 22 weeks pregnant, most people think I already have a ‘quite big belly’. I’m going to defend that, because well, what else are you supposed to say? ‘Oh yes, that is usually the case with a second pregnancy, that you see it sooner.’ But why am I actually saying this? Why do people actually say this, that you have a small or big belly?

Why would a smaller pregnant belly be more beautiful, or better? Should I feel fat right now, for the term I’m in? Because believe me, this belly will only get bigger in the coming weeks. And I’m very proud of that. I enjoy my pregnant body so much because this time I know it’s suddenly over again. Because now that I’m already a mother I can feel exactly and know what kind of something beautiful you get in return. And I think my belly is tiny by the way: compared to my twin pregnancy, this is nothing. 😉

The opinions of others during your pregnancy are sometimes more difficult than you think. What a big belly, what a hustle and bustle with twin toddlers, how inconvenient that you both work so much, how much you hope for a girl after two sons. At times it feels like I have to explain myself, the baby in my tummy and my family. But believe me, mothers: you never have to.

Live your own life, let someone else do the same. Be kind to each other – often that other mother has it spicy enough without you seeing it. I won’t be the one to say something about someone’s family composition, pregnancy, belly, baby or timing. I wish everyone their own most beautiful life. A life in which you don’t care much about the opinions or comments of others, that too. I allow myself that too. But that is sometimes easier said than done: I am still insecure about my huge belly in front of the mirror.

Tessa Heinhuis (33) is the mother of twins, Bodi and Daaf (3) and pregnant with the third. She lives with her family in ‘t Gooi and is editor-in-chief of Mama Magazine.

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