Respecting my Postpartum Body

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This is me! Full term, 205 pounds of swollen, ready to pop, hot pregnant mess! This wasn’t even my first time where I let myself go a little thinking the weight would all melt off after. This was my THIRD! Despite trying to eat healthy and stay active I still gained 50 pounds. I was working as a waitress a couple of days a week and I was a full-time stay at home mom so I wasn’t sitting around. I was always on the move and exhausted before Miss T even arrived. Sigh! Luckily, I had done this pregnancy thing twice before and I’d managed to lose most of the weight after.

Recently I heard a Mom say, “My body is ruined. Having kids ruined my body!” I could relate. After having my first I’d gained 50 pounds and had acquired stretch marked from my ribs to my hip bones. I felt as if I was “ruined” physically. I mean, it’s not like I ever filled out a bikini very nicely, but my two piece days were over and I was pissed off about it! One thing that men don’t understand is that during pregnancy you grow and grow, and regardless of whether you enjoy the process or not, it’s gradual.  Then many of us get home we look in the mirror and wonder what the hell we are looking at. I mean, over night we go from excited to meet our beautiful creation, to a deflated stomach, engorged throbbing boobs and typically swelling from all the fluids that were pumped into us. It’s like….

dude-wtf

I felt uncomfortable in my body most of that first year after having my first Miss Piece’s. I worked out, went back to playing soccer, and started running more. But it was never really the same as before. My husband and I decided to try for our second after our daughter turned one and two months later I was pregnant! Fast forward to Mr. Man’s arrival and I knew what to expect. I didn’t gain as much so I felt a little better after, but my body changed again. Someone told me before I had him that your body changes after every pregnancy and I was like, “Really!?!? Come on! I had just started getting used to that one!” And it was true. It was different again. Because when your body stretches to support a basketball sized munchkin a couple of times it’s taxing and takes a toll! After I had him I decided to train for a half marathon to get myself back into shape and lose the baby weight. It was during that process that I started to grow a deeper respect for myself and my ever changing body!

I look at the picture of my full term self and see how insane pregnancy is and how amazing the female body is to house and grow a human! As I stated in my post Learning to Run. I never used to like running. I LOATHED it really! So to set the goal to run a half marathon seemed like a fantasy goal. I didn’t know if I would even be able to do it. But in the process of training I was doing something I had never done before and I was fascinated at what my body could do after ballooning to have a child. I was losing the weight and I was definitely looking better physically, but it was the way I was developing an appreciation for my body and its capabilities that changed my perspective on things. It’s pretty amazing how a female body can expand and contract! It morphs into a massive beast (in my case anyway) and then if you work hard, it can turn into something new and strong and impressive again.

Me now 1Me now 2

Here I am now. I’m nothing impressive really and I know that. But I actually like this body now much more than my most fit and lean 18-year-old body; I think just because I appreciate it more now. I stopped focusing on the things I didn’t like and started looking at the things that I do. After nursing three children a total of about 25 months, my boobs are never going to be the same! And my stomach which will always have those tracks of faded stretch marks and a bit of a pop; they have changed to make my beautiful children and it was worth it! But now when I look at myself I see my legs again, which have always been thick and full, but also very strong! They are getting more defined than they have been in many years and can run further at 34 than I ever even thought I could run at 18. I’ve tried and will continue to try to look at things in a positive light because that’s the example I want to set for my children. I want my two girls to appreciate their bodies for what they are and can do, and not for how they look.

It’s a constant battle in life to keep positive as I referenced in the importance of a positive inner monologue. We see celebrities out there bouncing back and looking better than ever. Well screw them! We are the ones working hard to power through life without trainers and chefs or nannies to take care of our kids. We are the REAL deal! So be kind to your bodies; mothers and women alike, and give yourself a break! It’s so much easier to be happy in your life when you love instead of criticize; and I think that goes for the appreciation of our bodies as well.

Until next time….. Thea 🙂

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19 thoughts on “Respecting my Postpartum Body

  1. Aw I love this! Thank you for sharing, I also suffered from terrible stretch marks and forever are in a one-piece but I am learning to be okay with it too.

    • Thanks Katie! I remember right before I had Piece’s the OB said, “I see you’ve got your warrior marks!” It was the best thing for her to say to me! Like they are a badge of honor or something, haha! 🙂

  2. Aw. Your post made me smile…remembering when I was concerned with “I’ll never look the same again” and “my body is ruined.” Haha. After 10 babies, I view those stretch marks a bit differently… I EARNED each one! You are so right, sweetie, carrying a baby inside your body and giving birth is an amazing process and a wonderful gift!

    I ran my first (and so far my only) 5K at the age of 49. It’s never too late to get back in shape. Keep pressing on!

  3. I am in the final stretch of my first pregnancy and I am definitely freaked out over the changes that have already happened to my body, the idea this this thing is going to keep getting BIGGER (she’s already crowding my ribs, there’s not much room left!), and of course what I am going to look like when she’s no longer IN me. So thank you for posting reassurance that I am not alone, and won’t be alone afterward when I am frustrated over the inevitable changes to my body. I think you look great! Keep on keeping on! And thanks for liking me on Facebook, I am happy to have discovered you!

    • I saw some of your pictures on your page and you look GREAT! The 3rd trimester is tough! I’ll be thinking of you and look forward to getting to know each other more! 🙂

  4. Very well said. I was on strict bedrest right out of my first trimester and a lot of it in the hospital. I gained 60 pounds and it was devastating, especially since I had just lost 50 pounds before I became pregnant. I still haven’t lost the weight. Thank you.

    • Thank you Nakisha! Pregnancy is hard, and I can’t imagine bed rest for that long! It took me about 8-12 months to lose the weight after every pregnancy. I used the weight watchers program and set weekly workout goes to keep short term goals. If you lost 50lbs before you can definitely do it again! 😉

  5. I think we have to embrace our post pregger bodies. Some people go back, some don’t but it doesn’t matter cos it’s the inside that matters! You look great. Via Creative Bloggers Network

  6. good for you! i posted similar photos recently. i gained 70 lbs despite eating healthy. it was like my body was in control of me. this was my first baby and i had preeclampsia and gaining 10lbs a week the last few weeks of pregnancy. i am proud of my c-section scar. you look great!

    • Thank you Jacquelyn! It is hard; I felt like my body was doing its own thing during pregnancy as well. We do our best and it’s all worth it in the end right!?!

  7. Wonderful post. 🙂
    It’s so important to be happy in one self. Society today has forgotten the beauty of the woman body, curves and all. 🙂

    You look beautiful!

    #CreativeBloggersNetwork

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