The Mama Diaries: How I Feel About My Post-Baby Body
I guess I should use the correct terminology which I believe is 'postpartum', but I hate that term. It's weird. Anyway, wording aside, here we are finally chatting to each other. It's been about a month since I last posted (not including the podcast show notes) which is easily the LONGEST time I've gone without writing to you since I started blogging about four years ago.
Why? I lost my creative mojo in sleep deprivation and podcasting and generally hanging out with my amazing baby. Lots of things have happened actually, including having to rehome our beloved Sinbad (I might write about this one day) and generally fighting a foreboding sense of overwhelm. None of which I expected to happen to be totally honest.
What I did expect to happen was to feel revolted and critical of my body as soon as I birthed my baby.
But that hasn't actually happened at all.
Because, for the first time in my life, I am being very kind to my body. I haven't had a meltdown each week and declared I'm fat. I haven't spent every second comparing myself to everyone else out there and bemoaned the lack of perfection.
I have had wobbles, of course, but they've been just that. And they certainly haven't left me feeling overwhelmed or devastated or desperate to 'fix' myself.
Why? I dunno. I can't explain it but I've genuinely never felt more proud of my body and everything it's achieved and is still achieving. I honestly can't explain this mindset shift but I have a feeling it stems from my incredibly positive birth. Not the one where I was born....I don't remember that. I'm talking about my planned home birth emergency c-section.
As you know, I planned a home birth which ended up being an emergency c-section. And like many other women, I constantly hear the negative rhetoric surrounding this scenario which, if I did feel crappy about it would make me feel even more crappy.
You know the sort I'm talking about right? The GP who asks you: "What went wrong?" or the friend who says she hopes she can avoid the same and have a 'natural' birth or the countless people who pussy-foot around asking you about it because they think it must be so traumatic to relive.
I wanted the c-section, and I recovered from it well and quickly so, for me, it was a totally positive experience. Because guess what? I got a BABY out of it! Why anyone would forget that and be hung up on a 'failed' birth plan is beyond me. It happens though, and it makes me incredibly sad to think of the countless women upset because their birth experiences weren't positive.
Because of this, I'm supremely grateful for my post-baby body.
Because I'm so grateful my body laboured for 27 hours without crumbling. Much. I mean.....I walked to the ambulance so that's pretty epic.
Because I can feed my baby from my body and help her grow. That BLOWS my mind.
Because I can get up each morning whether I've had eight hours sleep or two, and continue to care for her....with a
teeny bit LOT of help from my friend caffeine.
Because I managed a 3k run one morning, a spin class another and yoga whenever I can.
But mostly, because I can walk everywhere with my baby strapped to me (if I want), lift the damn buggy up and down the stairs whenever I need and carry my little bean around all the time. I am SO lucky I can do these things.
It probably sounds a little po-faced, a little worthy to say I don't care how my body looks and that I am only interested in its wondrous abilities. I'm only human, so obviously it's a little annoying to think I wasted so many years thinking I was fat when I actually should have been walking around in a bikini whenever I could.
But I honestly don't waste half as much time as I used to bogged down in self-loathing. Yep, I have a squidgy mum tum where I used to have a nice flat stomach. I never wore a crop top then so I'm not about to bemoan the fact I won't be doing that now.
And realistically, nobody is looking at that little bulge because.....well, nobody cares.
The next time you worry about how you might feel after you have a baby, and how you'll 'shift the baby weight' give yourself a slap. And then eat some cake ;)
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