So you have just given birth? Now what — right? You are probably looking down at what was a firm, bowling ball like belly for almost 9 months and are seeing things a little differently — and mushy. Whether you loved your body pre-pregnancy or not, everything changes after giving birth and there are many stages that you will go through as your mourn what you used to have, but find solace in what you have gained.
“I’m going to start an awesome diet and fitness routine 6 weeks postpartum and bounce right back.”
The beginning is the stage where you become super energized about the new routine you are going to start, meeting your fitness goals, and getting your shape back. It is a stage of euphoria as you hold your wee one in your arms and know that with every cell in your body that you are going to be fitting right back into those skinny jeans soon, because mom knows best.
“Okay, things are going to take a little bit more time than expected — and that’s okay.”
Once you have had that six week post-pregnancy appointment and your doctor gives you the big “ok” to working out again, it all becomes real — and you have to actually start doing all of those things you have had planned out in your mind. You start your workout routine and realize that slow and steady is the better approach and the end result you are seeking might take a little longer than planned.
“Damn, I really should have never complained about my body before I had a baby. Why didn’t I ever wear a bikini back then?”
Yes, realizing what you had before you became pregnant will become a part of your daily life. You will almost have a constant eternal battle with your pre-pregnancy self, wishing that you weren’t so hard on yourself about your body before pregnancy, wore that bikini, and were overall more confident.
“I hate my body.”
Unfortunately things sometimes get worse before they get better, and mourning the loss of something is no different. You will come to a point where you look in the mirror and feel discouraged, lose confidence, and dislike what you see when you look down. While “hate” is a very harsh word, I found myself saying this in my head many times after I had my son, even though I didn’t really mean it. You will get over these feelings, promise.
“I love my body, because I grew a human inside me, and I’m thankful for every stretch mark because they mean something.”
While this final stage might take years to get to, you will finally come to a place where you realize that strong truly is the new sexy and you did something that took all the strength that you have inside you to bring your child into this world. This is not something to take lightly, this is heroic. Do you think your husband could have done what you did? Probably not. Looking at the things that you have gained in life after having kids makes everything that happened to your body well worth it.
This post first appeared on Ravishly.