After 40 weeks in the making, our little man has arrived safely. He is scrumptious with soft chubby cheeks and the cutest dimple in his chin. There has been plenty of cake, balloons and cards as well as lots and lots of cuddles. However, as all eyes turn to baby and away from me and my no longer impressively sized stomach, I admit to feeling a little lost without my bump.
From week 36 I complained every day about my ever expanding stomach and about being the size of a house. I was uncomfortable, I waddled and lived in a remaining 4 outfits that I managed to squeeze in to. I was getting impatient. I was so grateful that I was not allowed to go over my due date and the end was in sight. I couldn’t wait to get things going and to meet my little one.
Then the day arrived. In a haze of tears, exhaustion and joy he finally arrived and I have never been happier – however, I found myself already giving my body a really hard time. I straight away was annoyed at myself for looking so rubbish. Within the first week I had stood on the scales, tried on a my old clothes and found myself looking at calorie contents. I had cried many a time when I went to get dressed and God forbid I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror. The realisation that maybe I had enjoyed eating way too much throughout my pregnancy left me feeling guilty and kind of repulsed most days.
As women, our bodies are pretty awesome. During pregnancy mother nature showing us some of her best work. The fact that we can grow a little person inside us just blows my mind. Then baby arrives. The months and months of it just being you and them are gone and you are suddenly left with the reality of the post baby body. In my case, a jelly belly that found itself hanging over my c-section scar and so many stretch marks that it looks like I’ve got the London Tube Map across my stomach. I imagine we all experience this differently. I would love to be one of those wonderful women who just crack on and don’t give it a second thought but I just can’t stop it getting to me.
I found myself missing my bump. Don’t get me wrong…I was so happy to have my little one with me. To be able to cuddle him, kiss his little nose and have him grab your finger so tight that you never want him to let go. For me, the reality of no longer having my full bump meant remembering what it is like to be flying solo again. My stomach no longer needs me to gently rub it or protectively shield it from daily life. The acceptance of my post baby body means thinking about loosing weight, investing in a good moisturiser and breaking the bank buying sheer amounts of Bio Oil in attempt to make my stomach a little better. It has meant throwing out my bikinis, investing in some less frumpy swimsuits and packing away anything bodycon.
Now I’m approaching the six weeks postpartum point, I’m trying to take a more positive way of thinking towards my body. After weeks of moping and avoiding the mirror, I figured it was now time to snap out of it. My mum told me that the only person that can truly make you feel good about yourself is you! It is not about focusing on the negatives. It is about accepting what my body can and does still do for my child to love and nurture him as he grows. From cuddles and kisses to wiping tears and hand holding and everything else that we do as parents. It is about not inviting or listening to the post pregnancy baby comments, however innocently meant and not taking them to heart.
In spite of my overly optimistic memories of my pre baby body I was never a size a 8 with a washboard abs and a thigh gap. That doesn’t mean I don’t want to fit in my old clothes or enjoy buying new ones and I do like to feel good about myself– and that’s the bit that doesn’t feel so easy right now. I realise now that I should be proud of my body. It has given me one gorgeous little man (I may be biased but in my eyes he’s the best) and within six weeks I’m pretty much back to what I was. Yes I’m wearing a size up and yes I will forever be scarred and have a slight overhang, but those things gave me the best thing I could ask for. Us women need to stop being so hard on ourselves, be proud of our bodies and focus on enjoying life, not what the scales are saying!
I’m trying to think of my stretch marks as little (well not so little actually) celebration marks that I have successfully brought the cutest little man into the world. I know it’s going to take a while for me to loose the weight. Now I’m at six weeks I can start exercising a bit more and I will be signing up to slimming world in the next couple of weeks. However, I still have to take it easy and I want my main focus to be on enjoying time with my baby boy and not what I’m eating. As for me adapting again to a body with no baby, that is going to take a little time and maybe a little more cake…