What Happened to my Body?
November 12, 2010 10:09 am
As many of you have already commented, one of the biggest changes that no one shares with you during the nine glorious months of pregnancy is how many different parts of your body will never be the same after carrying a child.
My body changed slowly each day for nine months to adjust to carry my child and yet I somehow was disappointed when two days after delivery my body still looked six months pregnant. My stomach was saggy, spongy and deflated and my hips were wider than my shoulders. I expected it all to magically snap back into place like a pair of elastic pants as soon as the baby popped out. When it didn’t, I felt like a failure.
Equally difficult to accept was the scar that accompanied my c-section. Thankfully, a dear friend pointed out that ugly scar represented a procedure that saved my life and my child’s as well. Without that incision, we might neither have survived.
I don’t even want to talk about the changes from nursing four children, it’s not pretty. Let’s just say I’m thankful to live in a day where push-up bras and shape wear are readily available. I just wish I’d known about the Belly Bandit in the early months after my twins were born!
With my children being born so close together, it took years for me to begin to accept what was the new norm for my body. Honestly, I still struggle with my body image. On the inside, I’m still the energetic, athletic high school girl that wore short skirts, knee high socks and fitted shirts. She’s now hidden somewhere behind the mask of my new mom body. Adjectives like hot, cute and sexy have been replaced in my mind with strong, powerful and healthy. They are certainly not my favorite adjectives, but they are better than the negative ones that used to fill my mind.
It’s taken a lot of work to reach any sort of contentment with this body, most of it battling in my own mind, some of it through diet and exercise. I sometimes wonder if someone had taken the time to share with me how long it takes your body to fully recover from a pregnancy if it might have made it easier, if it would have helped me form more realistic expectations? Maybe not, I don’t think there is a magic solution to keep other women from the same struggles and insecurities that come with the changes that occur during pregnancy.
How do you feel about your body, post pregnancy? What was the most shocking change you experienced? Have you accepted your new mom body? What helped you learn to appreciate it?