For 39 weeks, and 6 days my body was home to our second daughter. It is where she grew, and developed. My body kept her safe and made sure everything she needed was provided. My body stretched and expanded with her. My body has now done this twice to this point. There are marks all across my stomach where it made room to accommodate my daughters. Those stretch marks may slowly fade, but they will always be visible. Soon they will be light in colour, almost silver in appearance, but still there. A constant reminder of the amazing thing my body did.
It’s been over a week since I had my second daughter. The baby weight is already gone, but what remains is my very soft, squishy post baby tummy. While I’ve never had rock hard, six-pack abs, I didn’t have a squishy tummy until after having my children. After you have a baby, you may find yourself like me with a little something left behind. The empty space that was your child’s home for however long they were inside of you. What is left in their place is often simply called the mommy tummy. While the fashion world may not approve, it is something I have, and it does not embarrass me. I am a mom.
Yesterday I decided to try on my pre-baby jeans. I was actually able to wear my favourite jeans throughout my whole pregnancy, towards the end I just kept them “closed” with a hair elastic and wore long shirts to cover the opening. I am able to do up my jeans, but they definitely do not look the same. My mommy tummy makes for a bit of muffin top, that does not look the greatest. So for now I continue to wait to wear my pre-pregnancy jeans again. For now I continue to wear my maternity pants. You know what, that is okay!
Pregnancy and birth have provided me with so much respect for this body of mine. While looks are one thing, I am absolutely amazed by what my body is capable of doing. I have been pregnant four times. Twice we have experience miscarriages at 12 weeks a long. Twice my body has safely gotten our child to full term. I’ve experienced birth with an epidural, and I have experienced natural birth. Both times I cannot believe my body was capable of bringing a child earth side. One time it took hours upon hours to get to the point needed to deliver, and the other time our baby was here within a couple hours. My body knew what it needed to do to get my daughters out. The amount of pain my body could handle amazes me, and then to feel so euphoric upon seeing my child for the first time is incredible.
Now my body is continuing to provide for my child. While I may not be able to nurse completely, I try to make sure my children get as much breast milk as possible. I had surgery a year ago to remover a mass from my right breast. That mass impacted my ability to breast feed before, and after surgery. My daughters have only been able to nurse on one side. With my first born I committed to pumping for 16 months. My supple increased, and decreased several times throughout those months, but I was so thankful for my daughter to even just get a little of the milk my body was making just for her. I find myself in the same place again, where my second daughter and I are trying to figure out nursing, it’s a learning curve for both of us. This time I am calling in back up, and asking for help. I am also pumping again. I will do whatever I can to provide for my daughter. Maybe I will only make it a month before my milk dries up, maybe I will go over a year again. It is still so unbelievable to me that my body can provide what my child needs.
I have learned that my body can do so many amazing things, and that I need to give it the respect it deserves. My body is providing and taking care of me, but it has also done the same for my oldest daughter, and now my newborn daughter. While I may not have the body that bounces back, I will give it the time it needs. It may take 39 weeks and 6 days before I look like how I did before my most recent pregnancy, and that is okay with me. This is my reality after childbirth, and I will be taking things day by day. I know I need to make sure I take care of myself, in order for my body to take care of my children. I am making sure to focus on staying body positive because my body can do amazing things.
This is me, this is my body postpartum. It is incredible! I am a mom.