The way I were – fuzzy, but fit.
So, uh…I hate my post-partum body.
Two months and five days after having had Peanut, I am mostly back to my original size, but the body I once had (and loved) is a lumpy, misshapen shadow of its former self.
Where do I begin? I haven’t any stretch marks, but my stomach looks like a deflated black balloon, sagging and dark after having been stretched and distended for the better part of nine months. My thighs, once strangers, now chafe and rub like two sticks making a fire. And at least once or twice a week, someone comments on how much wider my hips have become. While I have never been busty, I loved my pre-baby A-cups (and my A+ cups during), but in such a short span of time, regular pumping/hand-expressing have already taken their toll. Once firm and perky, my feeders are now kind of squishy and a little bit sad-looking.
Nothing fits. I still can’t squeeze into my clothes pre-Aisha, but all of my pregnant-sized attire is either too big or too loose. My c-section scar alternately throbs and stings, so anything that fits at my waist or lower is out.
But it’s not just the *visible* after-effects of pregnancy that have me down.
My knees are shot. I have a very small frame, and even in early pregnancy, an extra 10-15 pounds in front drastically affected my centre of gravity. A surplus 45 turned a once sexy strut into an awkward waddle. The giant beach ball I was carrying two months ago has given way to a bouncing baby girl, and some seriously sore joints. My skin, once smooth and mostly unmarked, is plagued by keratosis pilaris. I feel like a walking book of braille. Every time I rub my hands over my legs, I sigh.
* * *
I had my six-week checkup at the start of the month, and got the go-ahed to have sexy time again. But to be honest, I really don’t feel sexy these days. I used to cringe when I heard friends and co-workers talk about keeping their shirts on during sex because they were uncomfortable with their bodies after having kids. As someone who was always happy to be naked – with or without an audience – I realize with some sadness that right now, I am one of those women.
So as not to get too bummed about how I look, every day I put on the nicest “home” outfit I can find, style my hair and carefully apply my makeup. People often drop by on short notice, so it’s nice to be prepared in that instance. But really, I do it for me, because I really would rather stay in my pajamas or loose-fitting clothes, pile my hair up and eat ice cream all day.
I know that this will change, once I start eating better and get back into an exercise routine. I’ve made peace with the fact that I’ll likely never be a size zero again, and for the first time in my life, I can truly appreciate the slimming properties of dark and stretchy clothing.
My only consolation is that my new dimensions will inevitably require a new wardrobe; When winter is definitely over (one never knows – what with this being Canada and all), I’m going to have a closet sale. Shoes. Boots. Dresses. Pants. Everything must go!
I wish I could sell this new body of mine.
17 thoughts on “post-partum impressions, take one.”
I think you look fantastic! Please don’t be so hard on how your post baby body looks now. I know the feeling. Been there with 2 c-sections (1st baby was 10 lbs and my 2nd was almost 9 lbs) and I am petite gal too. You can be happy with your body again. Trust me.
Your first baby weighed about as much as Aisha weighs now? *blinks*
Thanks for the pep talk. I’ve never had to deal with any clothing/body/size issue (wah, said the skinny girl) so I’m having a hard time with this right now. Silly, but true.
I think you look amazing! Your body has just created another person, after all. I’m a mommy of 4, and while you may never get back the exact body you once had, you can totally get back in great shape!
Four?! Kudos to you, Jeanne. And thank you for the compliment. Most days I *feel* all right, and then I go to put on something I wore last summer, it doesn’t fit, and then I get all stressed out. 😀
You look good!! You made a human and now you’re taking care of her 24/7 and you still look great. You should be proud. I totally commiserate with how you are feeling though. For me, there is nothing worse than 3-6 months postpartum. It gets better!
Thanks, Maggie… Last night my mother and I made the commitment to start hip-hop abs by Sean T. I was doing his Insanity workouts prior to getting pregnant, but after basically a year with no exercise whatsoever, I have to take is slow. It gets better, I believe you…I’m just REALLY impatient. ha! xo
I tried yoga right after Tessa was born…. It was kind of a miserable failure because I am the least flexible person in the universe. Since we’re finally starting to get warm here, I’m going to do some walking and then give the yoga another whirl. Good luck to you!!
All of these are perfectly normal thoughts and feelings. You are so not alone. Hang in there–there’s light on the other side, I promise.
Thanks, Kayla! I am trying to stay optimistic. I think there’s a bit o’panic because summer is on the horizon and I want to wear shorts and dresses again (without feeling self-conscious). 😀
The c-section scar will definitely get better, but it takes time. My daughter is 8 years old, and the actual scar itself still feels odd when I touch it. However, the area around it is totally fine. And really how often does the actual scar get touched? Never, unless I do it to see if it still feels weird. Don’t beat yourself up about your feelings! Just know that you’re not alone. You look fabulous, take a look at that baby that you made, and roar like the incredible woman you are!! 🙂
Amy, my scar itches constantly. The skin around it, though, is numb. I don’t have issues with the scar, but the tummy above it. 😀
You look great. We moms can be so hard on ourselves. It’s hard to actually comprehend what growing and birthing and nurturing another human being can do to our bodies. It took 9 months for your body to accomodate to it’s new necessary shape – it can take just as long to get back. Slow and steady, just like u got here.
Tell your body daily how much u appre iate what she’s been through. Rub ur scar like a hero might rub a medal. That scar is a badge of honor reminding anyone who sees it that your body was CUT OPEN so that the child you love could enter our world. That’s awesome!!
Christy, you make good sense. I have never been patient. I’ve been semi-brainwashed by kabillionaire celebs who have personal trainers and dieticians and expect that I should have a “better body” after two months. The thing is, I know it’s all horseshit, but I feel bummed all the same.
And yeah, I was CUT OPEN, dammit! Rawr! I made a human! LOL 😀
Plus those celebs have custom Spanx sewn into their clothes and air-brushing. It’s the rapidly changing hormones that make us perseverate on things we know aren’t part of reality. But again, it took 9 mos to get those hormones to sky high levels. Its gonna take some time to get back to normal on that front too!
You’re spot-on with that. Nine months to get a big belly and crazy hormones. She’s out, now.
Two months down…seven more to go.
I can relate to this post. I gave birth to my twins last year and I am still not back to my “normal” size. I am blessed with my three kids and like you do I wear makeup, dress nice and it makes me feel sexy and beautiful. We all go through it do you are not alone! You will love your body again trust me it just takes time.
Twins! Congrats to you…My reply is late, but Thanks, Ros Emely…I’m still working on it, shrinking little by little. I don’t quite hate the body I have as much as I did a few months back, but I’m also getting down to a smaller, more familiar size. Thanks for the support. 😀 ❤