Post-Baby Body Reprise: 6 Months Out

by Kim on September 14, 2012

When I wrote this post about how content I am with life right now, I forgot to slap disclaimers all over it. I was by no means saying that my life is perfect or easy. Case in point: what were you doing at 3 AM this morning? I was cleaning up a massive blown-out diaper, changing sheets, and soaking poopy things in the bathtub (that’s not even the whole story, but I’m 100% sure the rest is TMI  here). Basically, Mason tried pears last night and his tummy was less than impressed. Pears! I mean, aren’t those like 90% water?? (For real, this site says 84%.)

I also forgot to mention that the 12-hours-straight night of sleep and 2 solid naps that went down the day I wrote that post were RARE. Mase has been doing pretty well with naps, but he’s STILL waking up multiple times at night, and I usually end up feeding him once around 4-5 AM. I’m praying it’s a phase.

The point is that I think you can be 100% content with a non-perfect life. If that wasn’t true, none of us would have any hope of finding happiness, right?

happiness

And while I’m on the topic of addending old posts, I also wanted to follow up on my post about how I really felt about my post-baby body less than 2 months post-birth.

First of all, this is a tricky, sensitive topic. When a woman has a baby, other woman instinctively rally around her to marvel at what her body has accomplished. They compliment her on her baby, her ability to open her eyes each day, and of course, her amazing new body. “You look SO INCREDIBLE for just having a baby!” they will say, 100% of the time.

And if the mom should express any tiny inkling of a negative thought about her body, or give any indication that getting her old body back is anywhere in the first 1,000 things on her priority list, it’s all “YOU JUST HAD A BABY!! Relax!”

Which is nice. Of course. But when I was there, I was dying for someone to be real with me. To let me express what it really felt like and to sympathize without so adamantly attacking the fact that I was even having those feelings.

Because, keeping it real, I struggled a lot to accept my body in those first few months. I knew it would take time, but I was impatient. I was SO sick of stretchy things-I craved pants with buttons. A month after delivery, pregnancy already felt like ancient history, and I thought I looked about as good as I was going to look without plenty of good old-fashioned diet and exercise. In my brain, I was ready to go-ready to work out and push myself again, ready to clean up my diet, and eager to alleviate my own fears that I would never fully “bounce back.”

38 wks 38 weeks preggo

10 days10 days postpartum

3 months 
3 months postpartum

When I read what other bloggers had to say about their post-baby bodies, I often felt like it was all a little too rosy. Of course I was proud of and astounded by my body and what it had done, of course I understood how blessed I was to even be able to have a healthy baby, and I wouldn’t have thought twice about accepting way worse fates in order to experience the joy of having a baby. Whether it was worth it was never a question.

I was just dying for someone, someone, to come out and say “Yes…but this is still hard.” So I decided to do it myself.

 

Now, at almost 6 months post-baby, I have a whole new perspective. I still respect what I wrote then, because that’s how I felt at the time. But if I had known how much my body would still be changing at this point, I probably wouldn’t have come down so hard on myself back then (dang that 20/20 hindsight vision huh?).

Here are some of the things I’m finally realizing:

–I was all about getting myself to embrace and find peace with my new body, thinking I was being the bigger person (literally!), but now I can see that I was trying to do it way too early. I remember seriously considering getting my wedding ring resized when it still didn’t fit 4 months out…but then one day, it randomly slid right on, and now it’s even loose at times.

–I’d always heard that your body was never the same after having a baby, so I’d assumed a lot of my old clothes would never quite fit again. But today, I’m back to my pre-preggo weight, all my old clothes fit, and I’m able to work out pretty comfortably. A few months ago, I couldn’t have fathomed this.

–I tried to dive back into race training too early, thinking the deadline of a race would motivate me. I chalked up any challenges to “this is what I have to live with now" or “after 9 months of taking it easy, I’m just not used to pushing myself” rather than “my body is still recovering and healing.”

–The stretch marks are still there, but oh so so so faded. A few months ago, I couldn’t imagine that this level of healing was possible. I just assumed I was stuck with them forever!

 

So I can finally say that I’m truly appreciating how amazing women’s bodies are in their capacity to recover from pregnancy. (I’ve always been easily astounded by how incredible pregnancy, childbirth, and breastfeeding are-no learning curves there!) I was never willing to say that before because it sounded so taboo-like, that’s just what I’m supposed to say-but now, I really believe it.

And it feels pretty great.

mase and me

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