Body after Baby.

I hesitated to write this post because the last thing I want is to urge comparisons among mothers, or women for that matter.  I thought maybe it was too vain, etc.

The truth is though… it was struggle and it continues to be a lesson for me as I wade through the thoughts of “doing it again” and so I want to record it.

Before I got pregnant I weighed 107 lbs.

People don’t freak out on me.  I am petite and am 4′ 11” and 3/4. A normal BMI for me is 95 – 111 lbs.

So when “they” tell you pregnancy will probably make you gain 25-35 lbs.  I thought man, that’s a lot, but… I went on to gain more like 50.  I definitely “ate for two” and ate what I wanted vs. the extra nutritious 300 calories your baby/body needs.

I didn’t have that awesome beautiful pregnant body like I imagined.  I got huge.  Now partially, I have come to the conclusion that there isn’t a lot of room for an 8lb baby to go on a 5ft frame. Taller ladies have more room for the baby to grow. Seriously though, I worked out and walked for miles right up until Haddon was born.

So many people told me, oh don’t worry you will nurse it right off.  So I wasn’t too worried about it, but then I had trouble with nursing.  We moved.  Micah got a job.  I was about to go back to work.  Lots of life was going on!  I continued to eat what I wanted because I “needed the extra calories to make milk”.

I can’t remember the exact month but I realized I wasn’t going to be one of the ones that just “bounce” back. I started running and eating better.  A friend of mine told me not to worry because normally after you quit nursing you lose the last couple pounds.

The temptation to quit was strong!  I hardly make more than a bottle anyway.  I am almost there. etc etc.

Then around 9 or 10 months postpartum, Haddon quit nursing on his own.

I continued with the healthier lifestyle and I did get back to pre-baby weight, even a couple lbs below.  My body is changed though, it will never be the same, and that’s okay.  I bore a child and as one of my new favorite quotes says: “you don’t participate in co-creation with God without being marked by the experience.”

The thought of doing it all over again is nerve-racking.  Not to mention the other healing of your body, hormones, etc that occur throughout the year…

It is a lot of sacrifice.  But then again, isn’t that what we do for our children as mothers?  Sacrifice our bodies, our energy, our time, our money, etc day in and day out.

Another friend of mine told me before childbirth, this is one of the most Christlike things you can do for your baby.  You are literally breaking your body for his.

When I decide I am ready to sacrifice like that again, or God decides for me… (like He did with Haddon haha) I know I will treat myself differently during pregnancy.

But I will also have a lot of grace with myself… I read the following this morning from an article about princess Kate showing her still bulging uterus a day after the prince was born:

“Here let me tell you: it’s a big deal to have a baby. After you have a baby, you are left with a softly pooched out tummy and aching nether-regions, sore breasts and your entire heart now laying beside you making noises like a kitten. You are weepy and exhausted, gloriously alive and powerful. You are a life-giver and so now you want both a nap and a hearty roast beef dinner for your troubles. Your skin is criss-crossed with stretch marks because you don’t participate in co-creation with God without being marked by the experience. You became a mother and, no matter how many sit-ups you do, your body will bear the imprint of that truth for the rest of your life in some way.

It can take a year, maybe longer, for a woman’s body to recover from birth. And right after having a baby, one’s focus should be bonding, nursing, sleeping, trying to figure out who the baby looks like, eating well, and healing – not on how soon one can fit into pre-pregnancy  jeans or appear on a D-list celebrity rag in a bikini.

Now Kate looked beautiful and well dressed, of course, unlike us peasants in our maternity yoga pants and nursing bras for weeks after giving birth. (I have my suspicions that she may have been standing there in her heels wondering how much longer before she could go back inside and sit on the ice pack again though.)  I’m no dummy either – I know she’s going to drop the baby weight quickly (and she likely has a nanny so she’ll look more rested than even those of us without infants any longer).

But still, she walked outside with her adorable baby belly on display and the world noticed. She did not hide her body and she did not demure from the truth of what she had just accomplished. I could have cheered because truthfully I’m a bit proud of my own pooch, I earned it three times over.”

I didn’t get stretch marks with Haddon but I might next time around, and if I do.  It’s okay.  This body is temporary anyway and my husband could care less.

Who else am I trying to have a certain body type for?

I’ll tell you – it’s not you, it’s me.  I picture myself as a strength training, fit in my old jeans, tan teenager.  That isn’t me anymore though and that’s okay.

I still want to be fit – more of the reasoning these days are mental and health related reasons versus vain ones but I’d be lying if I said they didn’t still exist.

I won’t share the before/after pics because it isn’t necessary but I will share my pooch belly from when I had Haddon (in my yoga pants of course) – see it? 😉

Image

It was his home for 9 months, it takes a long time to build a home and it took me a long time and a lot of discipline to almost “flatten” out the land again.

When it’s time to build again, I pray to God that I will keep an eternal perspective on the process during and after; not letting fleeting beauty get the best of me.

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Posted on July 30, 2013, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. Good for you for exploring your thoughts and fears so transparently. This helps women! And what an accomplishment to get back down to a pre-baby weight. It’s okay that your body is different. My hair lost its natural red…so i keep it read and support a hair dresser in the process!
    Besides – we’ll all get new bodies to go with the new earth. More important is your HEART….but then we can’t always see that and we are SO obsessed with looks. I just turned 56 and I don’t like the fact that my skin (i.e. face) doesn’t look young any more. but I decided that if I smile and am warm towards others, that is what they’ll notice, not what I look like!

    Bless you!

    Maria

  2. Sarah Foster (Scruggs)

    Sarah,
    I’m no longer in the social media world but still enjoy reading your posts from time to time. I just gave birth to our second son two weeks ago. We were pregnant with our first sons together and like you, I looked forward to showing myself more grace and appreciating the life giving ability God poured on us by letting us bring His creation into this world during my second pregnancy. For the most part I would say I did well with this, but sitting here almost two weeks post partum with a stomach that looks like spider man had a personal hand in decorating it (no stretch marks with my first..like 10 with my second!) and hormones flying, I allowed myself to forget the beauty and privaledge it is to bear the likeness of our Creator. Just wanted to share that God used your open heart to set mine straight! 🙂

    • Sarah, thanks so much for commenting! I think about you still and wondered where you went (most likely because we had pregnancies so close) 🙂
      I hope your family is doing well and congratulations on your new baby!

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