I have to start by saying, a women’s body is an amazing thing. Every night before bed I look at Liam sleeping so soundly in his crib and think what a miracle it is that such a beautiful being was grown inside of me. It should be no surprise to me that my body isn’t the same as it was prior to getting pregnant. It’s a lot of work to grow a baby (especially one as giant as he was, haha). I feel lucky that my body was capable of growing a healthy boy and I’m proud to be a mamma now. But to be honest, I wasn’t prepared to feel so unhappy about the way I looked post-baby.
Before I was pregnant I was working hard to be fit and strong. Selfishly, I wasn’t prepared to give up all of that hard work to have a bit ole pregnant belly! Throughout pregnancy everyone said I was all belly and that I’d be back to my old self as soon as the baby was born. And I believed them! Huge mistake. I thought that since I ate relatively healthy and maintained my regular fitness routine throughout pregnancy, I would have no trouble losing the baby weight.
I clearly remember the surgeon finishing stitching me up after my c-section and saying ‘there you go, back to your nice flat belly’. I was pumped to finally not be pregnant and have this huge basketball on the front of me! Once the drugs wore off and I was able to actually get up, I was horrified to see that I was basically still pregnant. WTF, doc! This seriously bummed me out. I mean, I knew not to expect to walk out of the hospital in regular jeans, but I still appeared as pregnant as my best friend who was 7 months pregnant! It took a painfully (literally, since I was healing from surgery) long time before all the swelling went down. In fact, I think something is still swollen in there, but the doctor assures me I’m fine…
Of course I was hopefully for a quick turn around once I was healed and able to hit the gym again. You know what they say, breast feeding melts away unwanted baby weight, and carrying around such a big boy in his car seat will give me Michelle Obama arms. Add on top of that Crossfit a few times a week and it was a recipe for success. Well folks, it’s all a lie. I haven’t stepped on a scale in months but I can tell by looking in the mirror that all my hard work producing breast milk hasn’t made my abs reappear. I make an effort to take Liam out and about every single day but my arms still flap. I look like I have a food baby even when I’m starving because the kid needs a bath, a bottle, a bed time story and his cuddle cow before bed. I may be slightly exaggerating, but the fact is I’m just not happy with my body right now.
What doesn’t help is the stretch marks that I was so pumped on not having throughout my pregnancy. Somehow they all magically appeared the day I gave birth. How is that fair? I’ve been through several bottles of gobbely goop that is suppose to make them go away, but they are still there. (Related: I am now on the market for a cute one piece bathing suit this summer, if someone would like to send me this I would be your best friend!) Don’t even get me started on the boobs. Exclusive pumping sucks the life right out of those things (see what I did there?).
Some women take pride in their ‘mom bellys’ and their stretch marks, tokens of the life they grew. Some women hate their csection scars. I am neither of these. I will wear my csection scar proudly, as that is what brought my child into this world. The extra jiggle and the lines on my stomach that aren’t the outline of a six pack can take a hike! I don’t need THAT many reminders that my body grew another human.
If all of that isn’t bad enough, my hair comes out in clumps, regardless if the baby has grabbed a fistful to try and eat or not. But, I never do my hair anymore. Or put on makeup. Or change out of yoga pants. I’ve kind of spiraled into this hot mess of motherhood. All of you moms out there who leave the house put together in your normal, fabulous wardrobe just plain suck for being so lucky.
I know that I am still healing and that I can’t erase the effects of nine months of growing life overnight. I am eating well and getting as much exercise as I possibly can. I am getting stronger and slowly seeing change coming, I just need to keep working hard and be more patient. I need to remind myself that everyone is different, and that getting my figure back is going to take time and work. It’s all worth it in the end because I have a healthy baby boy who is the love of my life. And hey, if I didn’t have to leave the house, I probably wouldn’t be so worried about any of this. That being said, I could really use a haircut and a shopping spree. Anybody? Beuler?