There were two things I was anxious about by the end of my pregnancy: What the after care would be like post delivery, and what my body would be like after the baby had joined us in real life. Both of these things I could not control, which is why I was fairly worried about them. Not worried in the “I’ll never be the saaaaaaaame!” way… just in the “oh man, what is this big unknown thing going to be like?!” way. Plus… vanity. I’ve got it. I was also really over being pregnant and really over maternity clothes and really over feeling blimpy.
I googled post-partum bellies to get a look at my future. Some were totally unrealistically amazing, some were over the top bad… basically it left me with absolutely no idea what I was in for. But I made a deal with Kamel that I was only allowed 1 major body-related meltdown in the first month after baby… because!! I knew that I wouldn’t bounce back like nothing had ever happened in that short amount of time, that I would spend the majority of that time healing, and that I needed to not dwell on the things I couldn’t control. So… I gave myself 1 meltdown.
Here is a photo of me the day before I went into labor:
There is a baby in there!! A real one! Fully cooked! Ahh!
And then this is me the first full day back home (I gave birth on a Friday and this was on Monday):
I had already deflated quite a bit, but I came home from labor/delivery only losing 10 lbs. I was a little disappointed because I had heard of other people losing 15-20 lbs right off the bat. I mostly just wanted to be impressed by the amount of stuff that came out with baby and say to people, “See? all of that weight?! well ____ amount was ALL BABY, people!” … but that didn’t exactly happen. Still, I was 100% cool with my little postpartum baby bump when I got home. I was pretty distracted and focused on making sure Gabe ate food, didn’t die, and was cuddled excessively.
One week after giving birth I was shocked at how the bump had deflated further:
And yes, those are my giant postpartum pads on the bathroom floor behind me. Because after baby, a giant period commeth… but guess what? It isn’t so bad either.
And then this weekend Kamel snapped this photo of me scoping out my tummy while getting dressed:
I wrestled with whether or not to show this photos because… underpants. But ultimately I think I’ve shown more on instagram in my bathing suit. That is my tummy and my hips. My boobs are the size of … I’m not sure what… definitely bigger than a softball, smaller than a bowling ball… and they ache like a motherfucker. But a post on my experiences (and all of the LIES) breastfeeding will come at a later time.
For now, I have this: The body is magical. MAGICAL! I did not have a C-Section and I did not have any cutting during delivery (tearing and stitches yes), so my recovery may already be faster and more straightforward than other women’s. But I also haven’t been able to work out except for the occasional short walk because I still feel like someone has repeatedly punched my vagina into oblivion… and! less than 2 weeks ago I was ridiculously pregnant (see photo 1 for evidential proof)! This is one of those things, again, that I do not feel I have very much power over. I was really really in shape when I got pregnant and I think that always helps with things. I know that I would have had a more difficult time, physically, with pregnancy, if I had been out of shape – that is for sure. But, I wasn’t able to maintain any kind of workout regimen aside from the laborious and lumbering walks 4-5 days a week. And still, the body repairs, the body goes back. I’m sure it is different for everyone – people are like freaking snowflakes – but I wanted to share that at least at this point, it doesn’t have to be so traumatic. Even if you are like me and have a lot of anxiety over weight, fitting into your clothes, and have struggled to maintain a weight – any weight! – without yo-yoing all over the place… it doesn’t have to be so bad.
Now then, the scale. So I had only lost about 10 lbs with delivery, and I had gained about 50 lbs total during pregnancy. FIFTY POUNDS! That is a lot of pounds. As of today I have lost 25 of those 50 lbs. The coolest thing about not being pregnant anymore is NOT BEING PREGNANT ANYMORE! I can move! I do not have insatiable hunger! I am a normal human once again! Except I also have this fancy ability to feed my kid with my own calories. Yes, Gabe, take all the antibodies and nutrition you can… also, thank you for jump starting mommy’s metabolism, you’re a peach.
Do my old clothes fit me? No.
Do I still have a belly that I am self-conscious of? Yes.
Will that belly be around for a while longer? Probably yes.
Did I come home from the hospital with a cute little boy and some interesting loose back skin I wasn’t anticipating? Yes and yes.
But have I had any meltdowns about my body (except for that one time I ran out of sweatpants because I had put off laundry 1 day too long…)? No!! Because it really isn’t that bad. It’s not perfect. I don’t look like those people who are all, “oh yeah, I had a baby last month and I’ve been in spin class for the last two weeks!” No. But it’s not at all a horror show, I don’t feel helpless, and even if those last ___ lbs are stubborn and annoying, even if I can’t fit into my pre-pregnancy jeans until Christmas, even if all of that – I’ll work the problem. It’s no use lamenting. My body did something super cool. It popped out a human with all of his limbs intact. I’m giving it a round of applause, I’ll beat it up with pushups and sit ups and squats later.