I had a baby...and I never looked the same. Actually, I might even venture to say that I like this body more sometimes. Other times I want to put it on nothing but a kale smoothie diet till my flat tummy comes back.
Here is the deal, you get big, doesn't matter if you had hyperemesis and didn't gain that much weight on your own, or went on an eating spree for 9 months. Your belly grows as the baby grows from the size of nothing to a watermelon! Happens to every woman, from the mom down the street to the high society royal family. You get pregnant, you get big, your body stretches. END OF STORY! However, even right from the beginning, society expects us to be in preparation for our post partum workout and diet. It is a race to get that old body back as soon as possible, and the 9 months of pregnancy is just a waiting period before you can hit the elliptical and be visually acceptable again. I am calling bull. We see women draped across magazine covers with their almost suddenly perfect bodies, and giving us their hints and tips on how to become skinny minis again. Yea, you might be able to loose the weight, and yes you might have even escaped the dreaded stretch marks (I will endorse coco butter till my dying day. It works, trust me) but your body will never be the same. So here is the truth, well at least the truth as I see it. You become pregnant, and whether you flow tears of joy or fear you realize in that moment life will never be the same. If the pregnancy test doesn't make it clear, then
the morning sickness will.
Suddenly you are put in your place, and realize life isn't about you, as you enjoy the kicks and hiccups of the little darling proof of miracles inside of you.
Then in your hormonal, emotional time, that is a cross between ecstasy and miserableness, you hit full term. Your back aches, your feet swell, and all you can think of is ways to make your little one finally come out! I tried spicy food, long walks, bouncy roads....every old wives tale I heard, I tried.
Finally the big day comes, and you spend your hours, and even days breathing through contractions and pushing through what they call "the ring of fire". Now I can go into detail of why they call it that, but I won't. Just know you'll get through it, and won't really remember how it felt when you see your child. Then, it's one bloody, aching, sleepy, ravenous mess. You have nurses checking every 15 minutes that you're not bleeding to death, and all you want to do is hold your baby and eat at the same time.
You just did the hardest thing humanity can possibly do, pat yourself on the back and stop wondering when your belly will go down!
So let's fast forward through all that, you're home now with your little one and reading through a magazine about how the latest mommy star lost her weight weeks after giving birth. You look down and see your pudge and begin this cycle of self loathing. For me, I went from having absolutely no curves to instantly gaining hips, a bust, and a tiny lower pouch I have yet to get rid of. I refused to take pictures from the waist down, and was frustrated at the fact I had no idea how to dress my new shape.
Truth is, it's really not that bad, actually I look healthy and finally get guessed older than 15! Yet there I was, waiting the dreaded 6 weeks before I could exercise again.
Here is what I have come to realize - I no longer have that super straight frame, I was a size 2 with no bust, and didn't have to worry about this thing called 'support'. I jumped 4 sizes, and so what?! My body is now built for cuddles and hugs, for giving tickles and loving. Plus honestly, I don't think my husband seems to mind my new shape. So forget those women who focus more on their flat abs than enjoying the first parts of motherhood. Chances are you're body will go pretty much back to your "normal" with a few little reminders. You have now gained a new beauty, a new glow, and possibly even a few more dark circles from sleepless nights. You are a mom, proud, beautiful, and strong. Wear whatever badge you have gained from giving birth. Embrace it instead of loathing, and stop comparing yourself to other moms. We all had different pregnancies, different bodies, and will show our post partum in different ways. Love you, who you are, right now!