learning to accept my post-baby body
My baby girl turned two over the weekend and it got me thinking about the past year and how I wanted to write something that could recap this current stage of motherhood. I thought about going back in time and sharing my birth story but let's get real - after two years those memories have gotten a little hazy and all I can remember is the first moment I laid eyes on Lily (aka maternal instinct has blocked out the pain memories haha). So then I came to thinking - why don't I share something that I'm still dealing with on a day-to-day basis? Post-baby body image.
In one way or another, your body is never going to be the same as it was pre-pregnancy. Any woman who has completely skipped post-partum side effects is probably an alien :P, to be serious - I just don't know any women who have the exact same body, hair, nails, skin etc that they had before getting pregnant. I say that while being extremely grateful that my post-baby body situation could be much more extreme, I'm definitely not playing the victim card here but I want to get real for any mamas-to-be out there - things will change.
I had great hair all pregnancy up until about 3 weeks post-partum when all of a sudden my hair was falling out like crazy. It was all over the house, all over my bed, all up in my hairbrush and I've found them multiple times in Lily's diaper haha. At first it was very distressing, but from what I read online, there is not too much you can do about it. The worst bit is the fuzzy baby hair regrowth at the base of your hairline. Two years later, I'm still growing out what looks like a half-attempted fringe. Annoying but in the larger scheme of things, not that bad.
Honestly where have they gone? This was something I didn't see coming. I've gone from a D cup to barely filling an A. I can barely fill a bralet anymore which on one hand is great for wearing more open and slinky tops/dresses that don't require a bra - but on the other hand, leaves a lot to be desired. I'm not going to lie, when I look at my breasts I don't have a feeling of self-satisfaction. I look at them and think, man I used to take these things for granted haha. But would I go back and change how things were done and not nurse? No way! Bringing it back to the title of this post, it's just something I have to learn to accept (and/or change with surgery :P).
Once my period resumed, my skin went absolutely haywire. The hormones in my body were not leading to an ideal environment for perfect skin. They were all over the place meaning I was breaking out with pre-pubescent like pimples and the dreaded 'back-ne'. I'm glad to say that things have equalised a little in this department as I've gotten myself onto a really great skincare regime and have been seeing an naturopath (more on my skin routine soon).
Weight is something I haven't struggled with since giving birth and I know that I'm very lucky to be telling you this and that most women don't have the same circumstances. Whether it be genetics or a healthy and moderately active pregnancy/post-pregnancy - I'm proud to report that my weight is pretty much the same as before I was pregnant. Of course, there's things I'd like to work on, for example building up some body strength/core strength etc, but things could be much worse/tougher.
When it comes down to it, I wouldn't reverse or change any of it because it was thanks to this body that I have a very healthy and happy two-year old. It sounds kinda sappy but it's the honest truth, my body is a constant reminder of what's possible when it comes to growing, birthing and nurturing a baby. And either I can be upset that things aren't the same as they were, or remind myself daily to accept - with or without the flaws and imperfections.
For the mamas out there: what changed for you? Do you accept it? Or do you try and change your situation?
Photography: Jeremy Wong