There are many things about pregnancy that people talk about (the birthing experience, the pregnancy glow, the baby etc), but there is one thing that persons might not elaborate so much about and that is the post pregnancy body. Now I have to share something because my pregnancy caused some transformations in my body that I did not mentally prepare for. For one thing, I was so excited, body and looks were the last thing on my mind. Secondly, I really did not think it would happen to me. It was my first child and my skin seems really good. Most of all though, I really thought that after the baby, with a few exercises and dieting, I will get right back to where I was. After all, I looked at some my friends, spoke to a few people and it is like they didn't even have a child. I mean after a few months, they went back to their original state. So believe me when I say I got a surprise of a lifetime and it put me in a state of mind, where I constantly have to speak positive things to myself. Let me tell you my story....
As soon as I found out that I got a confirmed pregnancy from the doctor, I purchased my olive oil and shea butter and I started to grease/oil down like a pig. I remembered a friend of mine told me that her mother-in-law said that this was what she did throughout her pregnancy and she did not see one stretch mark. Well in spite of all the oil, I oil down, when I entered the latter part of my second trimester, I started to see some tiny lines. I thought to myself, that was nothing. By then, my nose had already gone up a size, my skin was probably 2 shades darker (it went up) and pimples had taken over much of my neck, chest and back. I was not worried or did I care. I was pregnant. I remembered saying to my husband, it did not matter what this child did to my body, We are having a baby! So when I weighed the last time and realized I was over 200lbs, it did not bother me. I hate seeing unnecessary fat and so I knew I'd get it off (or so I thought). When my feet became swollen and I remembered a teacher friend said to me a few years back, expect your foot size to go up one foot after a baby, it still did not bother me. My feet were small (7/7 1/2) so what was one size up. Then I had the baby and time began to pass, but the impact of the pregnancy was still upon me.
I began feeling depress. I felt ugly and unattractive. The weight gained went down drastically with breastfeeding, except in the tummy (where it matters most). The fat there is sooo stubborn. As I did a c-section, I could not "tie down" within 3 months or start any exercise until I was granted permission from the doctor. Still, even when I was given the go ahead to exercise, my schedule was so busy with the new born that I could not fit it in. When I lie on my back, my belly skin shake like jello. After months of stretching, there was excess, stretched marked skin. Then there was the navel. For 'umteen' years, ever since I know myself, I had an inverted navel. I loved it. It was what we referred to as sexy navel....the type fit for a bikini. Well my bikini days have ended, over, done. So I revisited my doctor. I wanted to know how soon after a baby, your navel went back in ( it was already passed 3 months for me). I found out that normally it goes back in almost immediately, and that I had a hernia. I was told I need to do a minor surgery to repair the hernia (I was tired of surgeries...I had one for the fibroid, one for the baby and now needed one for the hernia). I said to myself I'll wait a little and I am still waiting, but I found out that an inverted navel does not just look good when exposed, it also presents certain benefits when covered, like not poking out of your skin-fit dress or shirt. So I really do miss my navel.
It really is not easy. However, each day I gained strength by looking at my daughter. Every time, I would asked myself, would you have preferred a sexy body over your child, which I know with all my heart, the answer to is no! With that, I would smile. It does not changed the fact though that many of us women are struggling with our post pregnancy body. Some of us have even been driven into post pregnancy depression because of an inability to come to grips with and rise above our physical image. Recently, I looked at a video about post pregnancy bodies and I know that as women we need to support each other. Here is the link that I think will make you feel a bit more comfortable with yourself... http://www.upworthy.com/this-photograph-sparked-mothers-to-show-us-what-their-post-baby-bodies-really-look-like?c=ufb1
Now I am still a work in progress and as soon as I can schedule my time effectively, I intend to get cracking with some directives to achieving an acceptable body image for myself. It might not be sexy according to the media or would it be my original state, but I would be able to look down at me and say Yesss! I did it!