“There is no race to bounce back”
Every woman recovers from child birth at her own pace, and “bouncing back” quickly is not always the norm. A quick cruise through social media might suggest otherwise with tons of photos of moms looking amazing very shortly after giving birth. One mom wanted to share her own experience to show other women that while that might happen for some, it doesn’t happen for all.
And that’s totally OK.
Kristen Sullivan had her second child a month ago, a baby boy named Gavin. Already mom to a toddler son, Sullivan tells Scary Mommy she “bounced back” quickly after her first pregnancy. But her recovery from her most recent little one has gone differently. She took to Instagram to show the before and after photos.
It took me 4 days to decide whether or not to share this. But recently there have been moms reaching out to me based on some things I've shared, so here goes. The left pic is 3 days before I delivered Gavin (my 2nd child), the right pic is 3 weeks postpartum. I'm sharing this to show moms that sometimes it doesn't matter if you're thin, ate right and exercised during pregnancy, sometimes your body grows in such a way that simply doesn't allow you to "bounce back" in friggen 3 weeks. I feel like all I've been seeing is new moms sharing their amazing postpartum bods, 11 days after birth, 2 weeks after birth, etc. And while that's wonderful for them, for many others, KNOW that it's not realistic! While I won't be totally sure till 6 weeks, I have a strong feeling that I've got #diastasisrecti (separation of the abs), in which case I'm determined to get the PT I need to heal. I've also been wearing a postpartum corset for extra support. But in the meantime, I'm giving my body a chance to breathe. Did you SEE how far my belly stretched?! There is no race to bounce back moms. We'll get there!! #postpartum
Sullivan writes, “The left pic is 3 days before I delivered Gavin (my 2nd child), the right pic is 3 weeks postpartum. I’m sharing this to show moms that sometimes it doesn’t matter if you’re thin, ate right and exercised during pregnancy, sometimes your body grows in such a way that simply doesn’t allow you to “bounce back” in friggen 3 weeks.”
She says, “I feel like all I’ve been seeing is new moms sharing their amazing postpartum bods, 11 days after birth, 2 weeks after birth, etc. And while that’s wonderful for them, for many others, KNOW that it’s not realistic!”
Sullivan also suspects there may be more at play than baby weight when it comes to her post-pregnancy abdominal muscles. “While I won’t be totally sure till 6 weeks, I have a strong feeling that I’ve got #diastasisrecti (separation of the abs), in which case I’m determined to get the PT I need to heal. I’ve also been wearing a postpartum corset for extra support. But in the meantime, I’m giving my body a chance to breathe. Did you SEE how far my belly stretched?! There is no race to bounce back moms. We’ll get there!”
10 days of this little muffin in my life. I finally went through the photos that Danny took with our good camera and found this moment. Cards on the table: up until I went into labor, I was very anxious about delivering. Since I was induced with my 1st, I so wanted it to happen on it's own this time. My due date came and went, and because of my #gestationaldiabetes, the plan was to be induced 2 days after my due date. By the grace of God, I went into labor on my own on the night of my due date. Contractions came on strong at home, I got through them walking around the house for awhile (and actually smiling after each one!), we went to the hospital (that was a fun car ride), and I was 4 cm dilated. I got an epidural (not trying to be a hero here) and rested for awhile. Eventually they broke my water, and things moved along quickly after that. I realized the epidural wore off on my right side, but it actually helped me feel super ready to push, along with the fact that my body remembered the feeling. Thankful for the wonderful staff at Winthrop for guiding me through the 45 mins of pushing, listening to my requests and seriously rooting me on. I can't believe I'm saying this, but it really was an overall positive experience this time around. Do not be afraid, advocate for yourself when needed, and trust your body. 💙 #birthwithconfidence #birthwithoutfear #birthstory #bestofmom
Sullivan experienced what so many moms do — two pregnancies, and two totally different recoveries. She tells Scary Mommy, “I’m 35, it’s my second pregnancy, and my body just grew differently,” she explains. “It housed an 8 pound 9 oz baby boy in there!” She also reiterated her suspicion that due to her small frame and the way she’s recovering that she may have diastastis recti and plans to see a women’s health/pelvic floor specialist to repair it.
Sullivan tells us that while she understands a fast return to a pre-baby body might happen fast for some, that it’s not always the case. “I’m not saying it’s unrealistic to bounce back quickly, I’m saying for many other women, it may not be, and that this is normal.”
Due date is 4 days away! Thankful for my sweet sister who insisted on taking James for the day/night so that Danny and I could have some alone time and get some last minute things done. Sanitized some passies, repacked the hospital bag into a larger one, and now getting what is prob my last mani pedi for the next few weeks. Even though I'm uncomfortable, I'm thinking a date night might be in order. What do you preggos do to pass the time in these final days? 😍 #bumpdated #39weeks #thewaitinggame #anydaynow 📷 @maxgreyphotog
Sullivan stresses that sharing the photos and her story is no indication of her own feelings about her post-baby body. “I’m not unhappy with my body currently, I’m embracing all it went through this past year, and that’s part of the message I wanted to get out there.”
“Don’t expect results so soon… It can take quite awhile, and even if your body is never the same again, embrace it all, because it did some amazing things!”