I remember hearing in our child birth preparation course, that each women’s pregnancy is completely different. I thought to myself, how can it be that different? Did we all not have sex, pee on a stick, carry a baby for 36-42 weeks, get really big and then go to the hospital where we pushed out a baby, or in my case had a c-section? I hate to sound so un-classy about the above (I’m usually considered a prude), but it just seemed like yet another thing my child birth prep teacher wanted to be super dramatic about and drag out in another two hour class. But here’s the thing… she was right. We all do have a different pregnancy experience, and each is our own story that will always be special to us. However, I feel like everyone talks about pregnancy, and your pregnancy body, and anything and everything about that time period… but no one really talks about your body’s journey after delivery. That was the part of my pregnancy I struggled with- the Post Pregnancy Body.
Although I had delivered the most incredible blessing that I will ever receive, once I wasn’t pregnant anymore I struggled to understand my body. I would stare in the mirror and try to understand it. YES- it just made a human, and YES- it delivered that human, and YES- it was healthy and was recovering from surgery… but it wasn’t my body, it wasn’t the body I had had for 29 years, I didn’t recognize it and I was terrified it would never come back. Now, I’m married to a man who loves me at any size, but I wasn’t afraid of not getting my body back for any other reason but myself. I have always been an active person who works out five or more times a week and eats a healthy diet, but I wasn’t used to what I was working with body wise.
The first few months were hard, none of the weight I put on was coming off. I would beat myself up emotionally and get so annoyed when anyone would say, “It takes nine months to put on and nine months to take off,” but its true and then some. Six months post pregnancy with constant work outs and healthy choices, I finally started to see some of the weight come off. It was the longest, most stubborn experience I have had physically, to date. Over the course of the next six months, slowly and surely it started to come off more and more. As my confidence would go up, I would then see that girl on my Facebook feed who only gained twenty five pounds during pregnancy, and posted a picture that she lost all her baby weight- and her baby was born four months after mine!! I would then go downhill again, questioning any and all confidence I was starting to get back. But after time, and many emotional ups and downs I learned that just like the “different pregnancy journey’s,” every single one of us have a different post pregnancy journey and we shouldn’t compare ourselves to each other.
This past weekend I put on a bathing suit (a bikini at that) for the first time in two years! I have never been confident in a bikini, and can still tell you that I wasn’t… but I was proud of my accomplishment. I’m proud of what my body did and I’m proud of how it bounced back. I can honestly say I’m in the best shape I ever have been in. But it was a day by day challenge and nothing about it was easy, but it was worth it. My health is not only important to me, but its crucial to my family. The healthier I am for them, the better Mom and Wife I can be. It’s okay to be completely obsessed with our babies, but at the same time frustrated at our bodies, I was there and some mornings, I’m still there. So for all of you Moms who feel like I did, or are struggling…be patient and be kind on your body. It really does get better, but it is hard… so don’t get down on yourself. Were not all freaks of natures who can bounce back so quickly- damn those girls. We’re real women, with real journeys! I know I will be right back here in frustration-ville after the next pregnancy, but I now know the time it takes to bounce back is different per person, and we cant compare ourselves or we’ll just go mad. We just have to be grateful and thankful for what our bodies did, and patient on what we want them to do after that. Man, do I sound like a Mom or what?!