17 weeks

17 weeks, self-portrait, Canon Digital Rebel

I went to the doctor recently and they weighed me, an impressive number I might add, one that I had never seen on the scale so close to my line of vision. As the doctor scribbled it into my file, I managed a weak, “Am I gaining weight too fast?” She didn’t answer at first, just looked at the number, paused and said, “Just keep doing your yoga and your walking.

As I left her office, got home and did my ritual bi-hourly browse through the fridge, an old familiar shame gripped me again. No self-control, are you sure you want to eat that? too many pounds, too fast…

In pregnancy, perhaps for the first time in my life, I felt safe. Safe from all the sucking in, the watching, the measuring, the checking, the trimming, the perfect perfect… For the first time in my life, my belly is relaxed, proud to be growing and stretching and becoming more visible. I want everyone to know, to see that there is a babe growing inside of me. Sometimes I don’t even think it is big enough.

And then this number appears and the judgment follows and all that innocence is crushed. The joy I felt all those weeks on my trips to the Berkeley Bowl market, the peaches I’ve devoured, the strawberries and whipped cream, the chocolate ice cream. All this food has never actually tasted so good, which could be part hormones and partly the fact that I’ve never let myself dive in and enjoy it all.

I don’t mean to make this dramatic. I’m really not all that worried, but a little angry that someone disturbed my food reverie. That even at this precious time, this sacred time of feeding my body and indulging it with exactly what it is craving, that this old voice is so loud.

So I’m letting it go, letting the numbers go, and trusting my body is doing all the right things. And dammit, I’m proud of that big ol’ belly I’m growing.

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Hi, I’m Andrea

On this blog you’ll be learning with me how to use our voices, share our creative superpowers and live life in full color.

As an artist, photographer, life coach + mentor, I’m redefining what it means to be a SUPERHERO — ‘cause in my world, it’s got nothing to do with capes, spandex or sidekicks and everything to do with tenderness, intuition & baby steps of bravery.



  1. Adriana

    You look great! My heart still skips a bit every time I see your lovely belly. I’m so very happy for you and I’m glad to read you’re enjoying every minute of it.
    All my best wishes to you.

  2. Tamera

    Trust yourself during this special time. Don’t worry too much and truly enjoy your pregnancy.

  3. Meshbetty

    Hi! First, I would like to congratulate you on your pregnancy. It think it is great!
    Second, speaking from having one baby and now being pregnent with my second, (I’m in my 32nd week right now…) don’t let your weight issue scare you. The doctor I had when I had my daughter lectured me for gaining 11 pounds in one month. She wasn’t very friendly about it at all. In retrospect I should have changed doctors but in the end I had a very healthy baby! So long as you have a healthy baby and don’t go too overboard on things you should be fine. Enjoy your pregnancy, you will get a big belly soon enough! :o)

  4. Veronica

    Congratulations! As the mom of two, my humble advice is enjoy your pregnancy. Eat the ice cream. Take the naps. Love every minute of it. This is such a special time, and you deserve to revel in it as much as possible.
    Best wishes to you, your husband and your baby.

  5. stef

    damn straight honey! This is your time to grow along w/that baby of yours – ingulge, enjoy and be jolly happy! I went through the same thing but you know what it passes and you go back to devouring those yummy peaches!!!

  6. Moose

    When I saw your picture, before I had any idea what the post was about, I thought: She looks amazing pregnant.

  7. lisa

    during my second pregnancy i felt like my doc wasn’t listening. i felt like i was in a great pregnancy processing machine. i decided i needed something more sympatico, and i really tossed my prayerfull hopes up into the universe. in a moment of total serendipity, i came upon a new medical office. the woman there turned out to be a nurse practitioner. she delivers in hospitals (which i wanted) and she gave me her time and personal attention. it was such a blessing. why do i mention this? just want to remind you, if it helps, that you have the right to tuned-in care. this is a crazyspecial time for you.

  8. celisa

    honey let that baby know what all food there is to look forward to!!!!

  9. Di

    Stay proud, remember ‘size’ is only whatever is ‘fashionable’ … (I have to confess I’m always so sad that I missed that very respectable Rubenesque era).
    You’re doing good and feeding your baby with some left over for you and it’s healthy 🙂

  10. fern

    you look beautiful

  11. wendy cook

    Yes, Yes! Enjoy your belly and enjoy the process! (I casted my belly) Your body will expand and contract with grace and you will marvel over the experience later.
    Love deep,

  12. Annie

    I’m a mom of three. During my second and third pregnancies, I opted not to hear or read the numbers as I stepped on and off the scale. I told my midwife to let me know if there was a problem, otherwise I was content to keep the numbers in the dark. Enjoy the freedom from body image hang ups that pregnancy mercifully seems to give us a break from. You look fabulous and happy…enjoy the peaches.
    I’ve been enjoying your site, lovely pictures and philosophy for most of the year. Thank you.

  13. Boho

    bad, bad nursie!
    you are so fricken adorable, i actually teared up with joy seeing this. all i see is a belly. nothing else looks bigger darling. you are still so tiny to me everywhere else.
    embrace the belly…the pounds…the way food tastes. you deserve to absorb every moment on this journey.
    besides…you are generally a healthy eater anyways. perhaps you will just gain a lot in the beginning and then will hit a plato.
    you look perfect!
    loving you,

  14. sfgirl

    when i saw the pic before i read the post, i thought to myself that the only pregnancy weight i see is your bowling ball belly. you wear it perfectly.

  15. estea

    um, new doctor? seriously, though, listen to us, that’s crazy. you’re healthy, you’re active, you’re not eating junk. My OB never gave a twitch about my weight and I easily put on 65 lbs all 3 times (so did his wife, incidentally) – put that in your weight-gain pipe and smoke it, y’all! I lose almost all of it within a year of postpartum, and am none too quick about it, I just resume my healthy lifestyle and it eventually comes off. Unless you are at risk for gestational diabetes, I wouldn’t give it a second thought.
    Of course not everyone does this, and your mileage may of course vary (and probably will, you are carrying bowling-ball style, honey), my point IS: this is not 1955, we are not our mothers, and you look friggin FANTASTIC. give me his number, I’ll call him.
    ; )
    keep savouring ye good stuff….
    oh, and p.s. the belly cast is amazing. you must, must do one.

  16. Hillary

    Enjoy your lovely belly and all the foods that your body craves. My philosophy when pregnant was to listen to everything my body was telling me and to eat according to my appetite sometimes that meant enough for a logger and other times, not so much. I really found that I didn’t crave anything that wasn’t pretty healthy aside from the odd milkshake etc. So, I say ignore the voices entirely and don’t think about how much you weigh, but about how round and smooth your belly is, about how your baby is resting so comfortably in the home that your body is making for him/her, and about how the food you do choose to eat is nourishing you and your tiny bean.
    One other thing, I agree with the poster who said make sure you feel happy with your caregiver during pregnancy – it is too important a time to worry about not being on the same wavelength as your caregiver. Have you thought about seeing a midwife? I was cared for by two amazing women who honoured my pregnancy, my body’s ability to grow and birth my healthy baby, and all the wishes my husband and I had for our new family. It was a truly remarkable and empowering experience that I continue to highly recommend. We had a hospital birth and were back home within a few hours with a great deal of postpartum care from our midwives. I really can’t say enough about the care I received during my entire pregnancy.

  17. Michelle

    Good for you! I remember when I was pregnant with my first child and I was inhaling batches of brownies, my OB told me that he didn’t think the baby would mind, but that I’d just end up fat. I gained almost 60 pounds and I’m about 5’5″, 130 regularly, so you can imagine! Anyway, the baby came in at 9 lbs, c-section, and I lost all of the weight in about 6 weeks, breastfeeding non-stop. Anyway, I say, enjoy the food, be pregnant, enjoy it and worry about that extra bowl of ice cream at some other point in your life.
    Take Care,

  18. la vie en rose

    that’s what i had to do too when i was pregnant. in fact i started getting on the scale backwards so i wouldn’t see the number and requested that they not tell me my weight. i just asked that they let me know if i was doing okay with the weight gain. i have a history of body issues and i knew i didn’t want those issues to overpower the joy of pregnancy.

  19. Julia

    You look lovely and amazing!! Enjoy that bowl of ice cream, and don’t give it a second thought. My continued blessings to your and your baby. 🙂

  20. chrissy

    eat up, savor life, that;s the best thing you can do for your little one, to show you are a powerful woman who eats life up with a spoon and enjoys every last bite. this is not the time to deny yourself anything good. take it all in for you, for the baby. those fruits are nourishing your baby and your new mommy spirit. it is all good. enjoy, honey pie. like auntie mame says, life is a banquet and most poor suckers are starving! blessings and peace and all good to you and the little one. the one you’ve always wanted. feed the dream.

  21. penelope

    I agree, get a new doctor. I would worry more about what you put into your ear hole than your pie hole. Energy matters.
    ps I gained 81 lbs during my pregnancy and was shocked to deliver 7 lb 6 0z baby rather than a full grown 12 year old. I breast fed and it all came off within about 14 mos. It is like I woke up to all of the amazing tastes in the world while I was pregnant! My senses were alive. Please , go with what your body wants and craves. We get so used to denying these things, pregnancy is liberating in this way. Eat another bowl of delicious chocolate ice cream, dearheart. pss i also feel that you are more likely to overeat or eat to soothe yourself if youa re dealing with judgemental types or people who make you feel uncomfortable. Hang out with your tribe.

  22. Lucille

    When I was pregnant, my eyes would bug out at each weighing, but kind of in an excited way as I had been the same weight for, like, 15 years, and it was interesting to see me reach numbers the scale had never touched.
    Like everyone has said, don’t sweat it. Besides, it doesn’t sound like those pounds are coming on because you’re sitting there eating bag after bag of Doritos! That baby sounds like it’s getting wholesome love in every bite you take!
    My mom loved that I was eating so much! She used to crack up laughing. Because I was never a big eater—but when I was pregnant, if it looked like someone was clearing away my plate too soon, I would grab it unconsciously. I was always the last person at the table. I would take 2nds and 3rds…!
    My craving was McDonalds Double Cheeseburgers–plain, no condiments or pickles. Can you imagine? I’d drive past a Golden Arches and make whomever was driving (or if I was) STOP! One time my husband didn’t want to because he wanted to get home and we had the biggest fight over that! I actually started to cry!
    I remember all this fondly. ENJOY EVERY MINUTE! It’s a unique time in your life! Eat! Love! Pray! Right???? 🙂
    Love the picture!

  23. meegan

    you look fabulous. i want to reach out and rub your little belly.

  24. nicole b.

    you look beautiful, andrea.

  25. liz

    yes yes everything DOES taste better your sense of smell is heightened during pregnancy! coco pebbles tastes like chocolate fondu. enjoy.

  26. amy j.

    Before my first pregnancy, I was a scant size 4. I felt the same exact way you do. I did gain a bit too much…I won’t tell you how much. BUT…it doesn’t matter. The weight, if it’s too much, will go away after the baby comes. I seriously doubt on you there will be much…you’re all belly!
    But here’s a tip, don’t look at the scale. I never did after my first pregnancy, with my second. I never knew how much I gained or what my total gain was. I wouldn’t let them tell me either…unless I needed to know for health purposes. I haven’t looked at a scale since!!!! It’s the most freeing thing in the world. All I knew is that I lost weight after I had my second child…could tell that because my pants got looser, lol. Now when I get weighed, I turn backwards and don’t look. I always tell them not to tell me…that I haven’t known what I weigh since before my last pregnancy, and don’t want to know. I just ask, “have I lost some?” They say I have and we leave it at that. I know I could lose a bit more, but I’m not pressured with that number. So, from here on out, turn your back to the scale and don’t let them tell you and wreck the wonderful perspective you have on all this, which is MUCH deserved. You will only gain what you need, especially if you’re eating as healthy as it sounds like you are. You look amazing. I know all to well hoping for “it” to poke out more and get more visible in those early weeks. Soon the “can I touch your belly” business will begin. Share it with the world girl!

  27. Heather

    This is exactly what is the hardest part of being pregnant for me. Feeling no need to be constanty sucking in my stomache, which I do automatically when not pregnant, even though I was never overwieght. Feeling like I can just eat resonably, and enjoy watching my belly grow. But then going and getting weighed, and having my midwife say “ok you can slow down now” seeing the number and feeling ashamed. Yes just let it go, that is what I am trying to do. I want to enjoy this beautiful time.

  28. samantha

    Oh, baby. And I mean that – oh look at that BABY growing and stretching and hungry for all those mangoes and yummy good things. You are blooming and beautiful – don’t let the world steal your joy. I loved the thought of you with your face in a grapefruit. You’ve ached and prayed and wanted this baby so hopefully, and we rejoice with you in this beautiful belly!

  29. Krista

    Ohhh how adorable. I envy you during this time.
    I absolutely loved pregnancy and ate raw Ahi Poke the whole time with both kids. They are fine, we are normal and are still eating raw fish. Bon Apetite! no worries, Enjoy the day!

  30. pixie

    mmmm. what a beautiful picture of you and your little wee plummie. you have worked very hard for this baby-nothing anyone says can pull you out of your joy. savoring every bite is part of loving your baby up. keep it up, plug your ears and la la la through the next 21 weeks, you and your body know EXACTLY how to do this.
    i read that for my weight at prepreg (98lbs) i could gain 25-40 and be really healthy. my face looked chubby and glowy and my swollen goddess feet didn’t want to wear shoes. i didn’t count one calorie, ate what i wanted when i was hungry (uh, every half hour)and gained 40 on the dot. i don’t want to lose all i gained, but breastsfeeding for 9 months finds me at 102…
    you and your baby will gain exactly what you need my dear. you know how to do this. no second guessing.
    giant hug to you and that beautiful bump -p

  31. Leonie

    you look STUNNING and absolutely radiant.
    juice it up

  32. blackbird

    I don’t think it sounds like you have an unhealthy lifestyle – and so, I’d say – keep doing what you are doing.
    You certainly appear to be fit, with a bump…
    don’t think too much about it.
    That’s the problem with us all, we think too much about stuff.
    I’m so happy to see this picture.

  33. Gabrielle Daly

    Don’t worry about weight Andrea! I spent quite a bit of time in hospital when I was pregnant and put on about 30lbs. I went to the loo just after my daughter was born and , being me, weighed myself. After giving birth and a good trip to the toilet I had lost 16 lbs. Throughout the next year of breast feeding I ate like mad and was 10 lbs below the weight I was when I became pregnant.
    So enbjoy all the delicious things you feel like; you look great.

  34. Tiff

    You look beautiful and healthy.
    You MUST gain weight – and you are doing a great job of it all.

  35. jill s

    it amazes me that i can feel such happiness for someone i’ve never met. just knowing you were in the same infertilty boat i guess…
    just brought tears to my eyes seeing your cute pregnant belly.
    enjoy the treats.
    peace, jill

  36. Kim

    That must be a California thing…? I can assure you that if you were to visit a North Carolina-based doctor, she wouldn’t blink an eye. Hell, she’d probably offer you some cookies in the waiting room. If these mothers can indulge truckloads of grits, gravy, and fried chicken, deliver a healthy baby, and lose most of it within the year, then eat up, babe! Grow a basketball team in there.

  37. Sue

    I love the belly. You are carrying it so well. My first thought when I saw the photo was gosh I wish i looked that good now and I’m not pregnant!
    Can’t wait to keep hearing more about the belly goodness.

  38. christine

    I got teary because you look so ridiculously gorgeous! A lovely mama, indeed. xx

  39. Angela Giles Klocke

    You look beautiful. It’s just a number. Stay with that.

  40. tracey

    You know what feels good. What feels right. Keep following that. And so it will go as you become a mother…

  41. Christine

    Even your home is beautiful! I’m so glad everything is going fine with you. 🙂

  42. snowsparkle

    sweetie, i gained 50 lbs. for my pregnancy, but damn those cupcakes tasted great! don’t worry… the weight comes off with breastfeeding. enjoy. just enjoy!

  43. snowsparkle

    sweetie, i gained 50 lbs. for my pregnancy, but damn those cupcakes tasted great! don’t worry… the weight comes off with breastfeeding. enjoy. just enjoy!

  44. Kate

    Andrea: you look wonderful!

  45. Jenn

    I love you sharing even in a time where everything should be walking on clouds your normal body image stuff still shows up. I think it’s important to talk about that and share how you overcome all of it. We women are so hard on ourselves. We think we should be or look a certain way all the time and it’s just not possible. I think no matter what you should relish in your body and how it is changing, even if it’s in a way you weren’t expecting. Treat your little bump like a science experiment. Watch, photograph and love every silly and strange thing that happens because the end result is going to be mind blowing. Sending you and your bump love.

  46. Leslie

    You look beeeeeeeeutiful! I too gained 50 lbs. with each pregnancy…it goes.

  47. KC

    What belly? I gained at least 50 libs with each (over 9 lbs) baby and today they’re talented, healthy, creative, smart young adults. Don’t stint on healthy food. Worrying about your weight is just self-defeating and foolish. Don’t worry about it “coming off” -think about the new person you’re creating. That’s what matters–not the size on a pair of over-priced jeans.

  48. jen b

    do exactly what your body tells you and you’ll be fine.
    jen -mother of two -gained 40ish pounds with both and lost most of it after

  49. Sue

    I think you look amazing! I gained 40 pounds with Aidan and lost it all and then some a couple of months after. Enjoy this time…eat those cravings and exhale! :~)
    And definitely continue to take pics of your belly. It goes by so quickly!
    (I wish that I still lived in the Bay Area. I would definitely want to meet you. You’re an incredible person and I can’t wait to see {read} what you do with motherhood.)

  50. Lulicious

    I think you look fabulous! Congratulations. Hey, small comfort, I gained 100 pounds – and I wasn’t even pregnant! 🙂

  51. Amy

    Funny, I just did a search on the internet, because I was feeling the same thing you are. I’m seventeen weeks pregnant, and a little worried that I’m eating too much chocolate ice cream.
    Your site is the first site that came up in the search, and I’m so glad that it wasn’t one that confirmed my beliefs!!
    Thanks for the posting. I’ll have to start photographing myself too.

  52. kyra

    Wow. That’s a beautiful photo! You look gorgeous and glowing and alive!

  53. hannah

    you look exquisite!
    look at that glow!

  54. Teri

    You expain exactly how I felt during my pregnancy with regard to the food thing. It was the first time in my life I didn’t have to restrict calories. Midway through, I saw a nurse practitioner instead of my doc and she exclaimed with disdain, “What have you been eating?!” But then the next time, when I saw my doc, I asked her if she was worried about my weight and she said “No! You’re doing fine!”
    Go figure. (HA!)
    You DO look divine!!

  55. kim in Camas

    You look beautiful! Enjoy the food, enjoy your body. I always got on the scale backwards and instructed them to never tell me my weight. I am sure that saved a few moments of talking poorly to myself.

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