That is not really the story of this post-baby body. I think mine is more typical. During my pregnancy I gained 33 lbs. I think that's pretty good. I credit a lot of it to being active and not going crazy with food.
I really have a love/hate relationship with my new body. Sometimes I am really proud. I'm proud that I carried a baby past my due date, that my body continues to nourish him, and we had a natural birth. I'm also proud that I have lost all of the extra pounds (according to the scale) and that my pre-pregnancy clothes fit. Sometimes I look at myself and even think I look good.
However, there are other times when I just can't stand it. While the scale says a lower number, I still see the bigger belly that just won't go away. I see my hair that has JUST started to become manageable again. I see my pre-pregnancy clothes fitting, but not the same. I see other new moms that are smaller and seem to have their old bodies back even though their babies are younger. No one tells me I look good or seem surprised to hear that I had a baby. A third grader even asked me when I was having a baby. I often feel like I look 5-6 months pregnant.
Then, there's the hardest thing for me to deal with.... stretch marks. I just want to cry over them. What's hard about the stretch marks is that not everyone gets them. Also, no matter how hard I work, they will always be there. I know there are women that can embrace these as "battle scars" and what not, but I can't. I just can't. It kills me that I didn't have ANY until about 39 weeks. Since I carried Heath to almost 42, they just got bigger each day. I had read over and over that there wasn't anything to do to prevent them, so I didn't spend a lot of time worrying about lotions. Sometimes I think that if I had, I wouldn't have them. Because of them, I will never be able to look at my bare stomach and think I look good. I will definitely never wear a bikini again (not that I would have anyways, but I would like the option).
I know this all sounds so vain. It's actually helpful that I work, because I have less time to think about it. Of course, that also means I have less time to do something about it!
While I don't know if I will ever LOVE my body again (I don't know if I ever did before, actually), I just want to get to the place where I am proud more days than not. I want to feel good about how I look in spite of the stretch marks instead of only if they weren't there.
And just to give myself some perspective... this is what I looked like 9 months ago.....
And for all of my complaining... I would have a hundred more stretch marks for my Heath. He's sooo worth it!