Heart, Motherhood, Pregnancy

learning to love my mom bod

When I got pregnant, I knew my body would change in amazing and beautiful ways to grow and nourish the new life it was creating. I knew stretch marks and varicose veins were a real possibility, and as my pregnancy progressed and it was clear I’d most likely be having a very big baby, a c-section scar became a possibility, too. I knew I’d still have a belly for quite a while after I delivered and that my body might stay stretched out in new ways forever. All of these things were obviously okay with me – all I wanted was to have a happy and healthy baby.

As expected, my belly got huge when I was pregnant. Like really, really, HUGE. Luke was 10 lbs and almost 24″ long when he was born and I’m only 5’2″. There’s not a lot of real estate for such a big baby, so my belly really had no option but out.

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I’m only 32 weeks here – I didn’t deliver until 41 weeks!

Ten days before Luke was born. Look at that belly!

Ten days before Luke was born. Look at that belly! (That poor tank top).

Fast forward to about 2 days postpartum. I was still in the hospital and I was finally cleared to have a shower. The first time I got dressed after delivering, I ended up going back into my room and crying. I obviously still had a belly but now it was soft without a baby in there. Even though I knew it was coming, I didn’t really know it was coming and it was hard. Add post-delivery hormones and exhaustion and it’s not really a surprise that I got upset.

Lucky for me, my belly started to go down, and breastfeeding definitely helped it happen faster. About three weeks postpartum, I went up to the cottage for Labour Day and actually felt pretty good about where I was at.

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However, that’s pretty much how my body stayed. I follow tons of moms on Instagram and they all seemed to get as tiny as they were before pregnancy within a month or two. Some of them even talked about how they were smaller. That was definitely not the case for me.

Although I’m about the same weight as I was before getting pregnant, I definitely do not look the same. The combination of having such a big baby and a c-section didn’t do my stomach any favours. I was left with loose skin under my belly button and it’s pretty much covered in stretch marks. Plus, my abdominal muscles were literally cut in half so everything is just softer. So even though I’m about the same size, I definitely look bigger.

I won’t pretend that sometimes I’m not sad or frustrated about this. I know it’s dumb and vain, but it still bothers and upsets me sometimes. But! I’m getting better at remembering that I’m actually one of the lucky ones and I know I really shouldn’t be complaining. I try to remember that there are so many women out there who would love to have stretch marks or extra skin on their tummies if it meant that they got to be a mom. And really, who cares if I don’t have the “perfect” body? My husband calls my stretch marks battle scars and I think he’s actually proud and amazed at what my body accomplished. Those stretch marks are a reminder of how my body grew our son. My body grew a whole person. A whole person. That’s pretty freaking incredible.

“A mark for every breath you took, every blink, every sleepy yawn.
One for every time you sucked your thumb, waved hello, closed your eyes, 
and slept in the most perfect darkness. 
One for every time you had the hiccups. 
One for every dream you dreamed within me. 
It isn’t very pretty anymore. 
Some may even think it’s ugly. 
That’s OK. 
It was your home.
It held you until my arms could, 
and for that, I will always find something beautiful in it.”
– Cassie Fox
So, although my body definitely isn’t the same, and I’m not sure it ever will go back to how it was before, I’m learning to love and appreciate the way I look now. Those stretch marks and loose skin are a mark of my motherhood, and I definitely wouldn’t trade motherhood for a flat tummy. I’m learning that all of these things are a badge of honour, and something to be proud of.

Plus, look at that face! He’s so worth it.

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1 Comment

  1. Shannon

    August 10, 2016 at 2:19 PM

    This is so good! Our bodies are amazing for what they did….and you look great!

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