Hello everyone, I have struggled with writing this post for a while. It is a hard topic for me and has been one of my biggest struggles yet! Our bodies change so much over the Course of child-bearing. We get used to all the changes of our growing bellies, possibly new stretch marks, not fitting into anything anymore. How ever we all think that everything will be fine after baby is born. Nothing can quite prepare you for that first look in the mirror after baby is born.
With my first two pregnancies, I was so small that after I had my girls, I pretty much lost the weight instantly, I didn’t get any stretch marks. For some reason, I figured this pregnancy would be the same. Maybe it’s the fact that I’m older, this pregnancy was nothing like my first two. For one, I grew everywhere!! and I mean everywhere, my boobs are insanely huge, to the point where I don’t even like them. I actually got stretch marks on my stomach this time as well as my thighs. I gained way more with this pregnancy, it was at one of my last midwife appointments when I stood on the scale and it read 170 lbs that I realized losing the weight this time would not be as easy. When I first looked in the mirror after I had my little man. I was shocked, I still looked 6 months pregnant, I was swollen every where. My face looked different, I still had all of my swelling. I still couldn’t get my damn flip-flops on, when the only thing that should fit your feet, doesn’t. It’s a little more than frustrating! I waited until my husband had left to get the other kids, I won’t lie, when I looked at my body. I burst into tears, knowing that this journey ahead of me, would be very long!
In the first couple weeks, I actually managed to get down to 155 pounds, I was eating healthy and doing far infrared saunas. We came back home from LA and I continued to eat healthy. At the 6 week mark I started going to walk stairs, doing an at home work out program. Then my dreaded injury happened. I fell while holding my little guy. Instead of letting him fly out of my arms. I held onto him and dropped in place. I fell on top of a big wooden pallet, when I went down, my leg bent to the side and all of my weight came down on top of it. I heard a popping noise and slowly laid my baby down on the ground. Luckily my mom was right there and grabbed him immediately, he was unharmed. I thought my leg was broken, the pain was so severe that I could feel my arms and hands shaking. I felt super nauseous, I eventually with help from my mom and friend was able to get off the ground and over to a picnic table. I refused an ambulance as I had figured I just badly sprained my ankle. After icing it for a while, I walked to the car and every step was agony. I drove us home and the entire way, I was in so much pain. When I got home, I could not put any weight on my leg at all. My husband had to carry me inside. It turns out that I had torn all the ligaments in my foot and sprained my knee. I was on crutches for 4 weeks and a boot cast for a week or two. Doctors said I would be off my foot for 8 weeks. With 5 kids, you have a lot of motivation to be up quicker. Also the fact that my poor husband was doing all of my stuff along with his crazy work schedule. During my injury I ate horribly, I couldn’t do anything. I was in bed for almost 3 weeks. Crutches and me do not do well together, I had a few falls, luckily none of them injured me further. I felt so defeated that I just stayed in bed for the first few weeks.
When I finally started walking again I weighed myself, I was 172 lbs. I had gained everything back plus. I cried again, as I looked at my body in the mirror. I felt horrible and I continued to eat chocolate and junk food whenever I wanted. I wasn’t myself, It was hard to be in a great mood, when I felt so crappy inside. I was so hard on myself, my husband told me to “stop being so hard on yourself, you have a beautiful baby boy, that you have always wanted. You will get back to normal, this is just a phase”. I looked at August, his tiny little hands, his sweet little smile. He was right, look at what my body created and carried. I should be loving my body, not hating it. The hardest part is having nothing that fits. Wearing sweat pants and my husbands shirts and jackets. Not wanting to go anywhere, because I don’t feel like I look nice enough.
It has taken a very long time, a lot of work. It’s taken looking in the mirror and telling myself that I look great. Telling myself that this stage will be over soon, I will fit my clothes once again. I struggle with getting to the gym, it seems it’s always one thing after another. August being sick, me being sick, the other kids or not having someone to watch August. I keep telling myself, I just need to get to the gym once, than I’ll be hooked and nothing will stop me. I am taking things slow, I started eating the Atkins diet. I have no sugar and I eat a very low amount of carbs everyday. I have lost 9 pounds in 2 weeks. It is not as fast as I would like, it’s something. I’m losing weight! I am walking more with the kids, trying for 3 times a week and just eating healthy. I know once everyone is healthy, I will get back to the gym. I’ve really had to change my thought process, my thoughts were sabotaging my efforts. I was so angry with myself and holding on to all of that, Stopped anything from happening. It may be slow, but I’m taking steps to better myself.
Love your self, no matter what! You can always get back to where you used to be. It is difficult, it can be done. Tell yourself, I will do this! Look in the mirror and say you love yourself. You will be amazed at how much it will change you. Any step forward is a step in the right direction. A postpartum body is a miraculous thing, love it. Your child is here because of your hard work. Love every stretch mark, every dimple, your hormone changes. Without any of that, you wouldn’t have your precious little baby. Love you!