While the pregnancy journey can attract supportive and informative comments from well-wishers, at other times, it can lead to body-shaming. Eliana Rodriguez was one of those women who faced a flurry of insults from social media users. Here's how she rose above it.
Pregnancy has become more of a public journey for many women with the popularity of social media. Many women revel in the support and encouragement that people send to them during the long and arduous process that pregnancy can be.
But for 29-year-old Eliana Rodriguez from Las Vegas, Nevada, her unusually large and protruding baby bump was a source of curiosity and insults from many strangers.
ELIANA'S VIRAL MOMENT
Eliana was a few weeks from giving birth to her second child, Sebastian, when she posted a viral video responding to some of the comments she received from strangers in-person and online about the size of the belly.
Other commenters said that her pregnant belly was not normal, and another blurted out insensitively: "That's the worst pregnant belly I've ever seen."
Eliana responded to a wide range of comments as honestly and politely as she could. She said she understood that people were curious about the size of her belly.
"I was never rude back. I'd answer, 'Yes, I am huge, and it's hard,'" Eliana told TODAY. She also admitted that while it was quite easy to ignore rude comments online, it was more difficult to ignore the comments she received in person.
Eliana explained that this wasn't the first time her pregnant belly looked this way. Eliana's pregnant belly was also very large when she was carrying her firstborn girl, Sofia.
ELIANA RESPONDS TO HEALTH QUESTIONS
Other commenters worried Eliana's huge belly was due to possible health issues. The possible reasons an expectant mother can have an extra-large bump include a condition called polyhydramnios. This condition causes excess amniotic fluid.
Amniotic fluid is meant to protect the baby and allow it to move. An excess of this fluid can form in the amniotic sacs of one to two percent of pregnant women. Although this condition isn't very serious, it can lead to preterm labor.
Doctors informed Eliana that she had a lot of amniotic fluid, but it wasn't enough to diagnose her with polyhydramnios. Eliana confirmed that doctors checked the size of her baby and confirmed that he and Eliana were healthy.
THE WEIGHT OF ELIANA'S BABY
Soon after Eliana's viral video, some commenters guessed that her baby would weigh up to 10 lbs. But Eliana's son weighed 8 lbs, 3 oz, and 20.5 inches in length when he was born.
Similarly, Eliana's daughter weighed 8.5 lbs and measured 19.5 inches at birth. According to the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Sebastian and Sofia's sizes at birth were in line with the average size of 8 lbs.
But it wouldn't have been much of a shock if Eliana's two children were large babies. Shortly before giving birth, Eliana posted on Instagram that her husband was 10 lbs when he was born.
ELIANA'S QUESTIONS AND OPENNESS ABOUT HER BABY BUMP
Although Eliana's confidence shone through in her viral video, she admitted that she wondered why her belly was bigger than other women's bellies. But doctors reassured her. "My doctors said it was normal because I am only 4'11 and have a shorter torso," she revealed.
Eliana also admitted that while she remained polite in her response to people's prying questions about the size of her belly, she wished people would keep their insulting comments about women's bodies and pregnancies to themselves.
Despite some of the negative comments that Eliana received from this experience, she remained open to the joy of her pregnancy journey.
HOW ELIANA FELT ABOUT THE NEGATIVE COMMENTS
She added that some comments directed at women during such a vulnerable time could easily trigger a negative mindset in some of them, especially if these women suffer from perinatal or postpartum depression. She said:
"I’m aware that some people lack compassion for others, I am a woman of faith, and ... I feel so bad for people saying hateful comments.”
Despite some of the negative comments that Eliana received during this experience, she remained open to the joy of her pregnancy journey. "I was so excited that I wanted to share — we had been trying for a second baby and hoping for a boy, and I am an open person," she said.
Eliana's positive attitude is a reminder that regardless of the negative things people say, our perception of our reality is what can add joy to our lives. Have you ever had a situation where you received negative comments on your appearance?
If you liked this story, click here to read about a woman who was forced to sell her house to survive when her husband dumped her after they found out she was expecting a baby with Down Syndrome.
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