It hasn’t just been a mile stone for Gabe, it has also been a milestone for me. Me and my body. We have made it 6 months since pushing another human out of us. That is still such a weird, magical, crazy, unbelievable concept. From me came another human. Shut the front door!
Anyway – the last time I did a check in on how the ‘ol bod was doing I was 6 weeks postpartum. For a quick recap here are some photos:
And now… 6 months after giving birth…
I’m having a hard time figuring out how I want to express how I feel about my body right now. It’s not awesome. I was actually feeling pretty amazing about my body, like really amazing – super impressed, in awe, etc until about a month ago, maybe a little less. Mostly how I feel is: I prefer my body 6 weeks postpartum rather than 6 months. Everything made sense to me at that point. My little tummy made me feel strong and sexy. And at this point I definitely do not feel sexy… or strong for that matter.
I was really focused, while on maternity leave and even for a while after going back to work, on getting my strength and in-shapeness back after all my body had gone through with pregnancy. August ended up being a really difficult month. I did not have the time to work out, not even once, and I stopped breastfeeding completely, and I had my first period since May of 2012. A lot of shit happened. The whole family was sick, we moved, I traveled for work, family passed away, vacation full of cookies and FOOD in all caps. It was just a lot. Too much.
I have always had a relatively firm body. Even when I was struggling with my weight, I had a certain tautness to my skin, I had muscle, I ran, I was an active person. Since giving birth I have noticed an incredible … flabbiness (I don’t know how else to explain it) to my skin and body in general. My legs are soft, my butt is soft, my stomach…. my stomach is beyond soft, it is loose.
Typing that last sentence made tears well up in my eyes. I’m actually haulting the list I was just making in order to tell you that. When I am talking to Kamel or when I am acknowledging out loud how things with my body have changed since pregnancy I am very matter-of-fact. This happened. I am not going to be exactly the same, and that’s cool, but I think calling out the things that startle me the most (especially in this space) makes them really really real for me. And I feel incredibly disappointed in myself. I am mad that I am upset and I am upset because I feel like I could have been trying harder and doing more – that is the perfectionist in me.
When I touch my body now, it is very very soft. I do not like that. I don’t recognize it. It scares me. I touch my own skin and it feels like a stranger.
When I look down at my stomach while I’m sitting, it folds over on itself. It has ever since I gave birth and it had never EVER done that before, not even when I was at my heaviest pre-baby. And I am no where NEAR that number on the scale. Last time I checked (we got rid of our scale during the move in order to buy a better one, which we have yet to purchase) I was 5-8 lbs above my pre-pregnancy weight, but that number truly means nothing when your body has changed in so many other significant ways.
I know that a big part of that softness is hormonal. I’m not sure how, but I know that the changes with not breast feeding anymore etc etc have taken hold. I also know that I will have to work really hard to get back to being in as good a shape as I was before I got pregnant – something that is important to me for my health and also to make the 2nd pregnancy as easy and healthy as I possibly can. So Kamel and I are both working on it with a workout schedule through Nike Fit. We’ll be posting leader board updates on instagram as the weeks go by.
I have also cut out the majority of my refined sugar intake. I mean, I live in the world and refined sugar is in the world, but the majority of our diet (minus the week of being on vacation) revolves around vegetables, quinoa, lentils, wild rice, oatmeal, nuts, fruit, and lean protein. I’ve also completely given up diet coke. It’s really not so much a “diet” as eating in the way that makes both Kamel and I feel really great, and is completely sustainable and enjoyable. Plus I enjoy having to think about my food a little more, making active choices on what goes in my body is really awesome.
I’m not loving me right now. I hate admitting that because I feel like I was doing SO WELL with the loving. But ugh. I don’t like what I see. I am mad at myself and I worry about having another baby and doing it all over again…
I feel like I am kind of in the middle of this after-baby-body-bullshit stuff. So ending this post is becoming difficult. There have been some good things, not everything is AHH STRANGER IN THE MIRROR RUN RUN FAR AWAY. For example…
See the photo with my shirt pulled up? My stretch marks are almost completely gone. Yay!
Also, my hair is finally growing back and I have stopped shedding like a nervous dog. I am just shedding my normal amounts now. And the new growth on my head (A LOT of new growth, a shocking amount of new growth!) is maybe a little over an inch long? And sticks straight up when I part my hair. It’s really trippy to see.
Oh! And my boobs (although, they too are weirdly soft) have gone back to their normal, manageable size. Another reason for finally being able to kick it up a notch in the workout department. There was no way in hell jumping jacks were going to happen with those bowling balls flying around. I couldn’t even fit into my sports bras until a month ago. I finally went to Nordstrom and got myself 2 new bras in my usual size 3 weeks ago, and can I just say I have never been more happy to see an under-wire in my ENTIRE life. I love you real bra! I LOVE YOU SO HARD.
So, if you see me hobbling around San Francisco it is because I am very sore from re-building all of my muscle.
I feel sad. And I feel like I shouldn’t feel sad, and I feel like it is all my fault that I feel sad. And there are tears. But I’ll figure it out, and at my next postpartum check in (at 9 months out), I’m hoping to have a different story to tell you. For now, blah. I wish it would stop being so fucking hot in the Bay Area so that I could wear sweaters and other none-skin showing outfits. I feel a strong desire to hibernate.