Monday, February 10, 2014

THIS post baby body

I thought 9 months after pregnancy would be as good a time as any to hash out my thoughts on the post-baby body.  This is a topic that has become quite the rage after Kate Middleton stepped out of the hospital in a fairly form fitting dress to show her still-there bump.  Of course, if you fast forward a few weeks, she was back to being rail thin.

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!

1 comment:

  1. I had the same experience with stretch marks! I didn't get any until way late in the game, and sometimes wonder if I'd used lotion or cream if I could have avoided them. Ryan calls them my baby stripes - I like that better than battle scars. :)