This post is going to be all about what every.single.woman struggles with after giving birth: the post-pregnancy body. Maybe some people struggle with this more than others, and some days have been better than others for me. Here goes!
On one hand, there are some days when I feel like I should wear my post-pregnancy body with pride. It did, after all, grow an entire human being for 9+ months. It produced everything she needed and nurtured/protected her until she was born. With the help of lots of work on my part, it allowed me to have a natural, epi-free birth, despite being induced with pitocin (which some of you know can be the kiss-of-death for natural births.) Now that she’s born, it makes milk to nourish her growing little body. How miraculous is all of that? One would think that a few small stretch marks and wider-set hips would be a small price to pay for all of that.
On the other hand, I miss feeling skinny and fit. I can fit into all of my pre-pregnancy clothes, but it’s not always pretty, and I miss fitting comfortably into those clothes. I want to feel good in my own skin again! I am tired of feeling like my hips are never going to go back down. Don’t get me wrong; I’ve always had child-bearing hips. It just seems like they are a lot wider now than before…and let’s not even mention the love handles that have surfaced!
I was 100% happy with my body and my appearance before getting pregnant with Audrey. During pregnancy, I gained 46 lbs. It was very, very hard for me to see those numbers climb, and to deal with the feelings that came along with my new weight and appearance. Now, though, I’m not ashamed to admit how much I gained; it was what it was, and that’s obviously the weight I needed to put on for a healthy pregnancy. I ate healthily and walked 4 miles a day, so if that didn’t stop the obscene amount of weight gain, then Audrey clearly needed those extra pounds. I have dropped 40 of those 46 lbs, and seem on track to fulfill the “9 months on, 9 months off” weight mantra. HOWEVER, being back to pre-pregnancy weight does not equal pre-pregnancy body. When I stepped on the scale the other day and saw that I only had 6 lbs left to lose, I was in shock because I feel like my body is not even close to looking like it did before being pregnant and even though I know better, I think I’ve always just associated pre-pregnancy weight with pre-pregnancy body.
It is a frustrating journey, and by no means is this a pity post…it’s just a reflection on the issues that every pregnant woman has to deal with to some extent. I’ve heard that some people hold onto some extra weight until they wean their babies and then it all falls off. Maybe that will be the case for me, or maybe I’ll be able to lose those 6 extra pounds before that. I guess we’ll see…but hopefully I’m the latter since bathing suit season is just around the corner.
Here are some visuals. The first picture is 10 weeks pregnant (so pretty much before anything in my body changed.) The second picture is the last belly picture ever, and was taken a week before Audrey was induced. It’s not my favorite picture ever, but I figured I’d better put the picture of me at my biggest in just to be fair, ha ha. I was 36w5d pregnant. The last picture is 6 months post-pregnancy.