This post is kind of hard to write, hard because I can honestly only share how I am feeling, and hard because how I am feeling is not necessarily how I want to be feeling. Fill in the blank.... After having kids I feel _______ about my body. For me the answer is awkward and uncomfortable... not that I don't love my body don't get me wrong it has done amazing things, run marathons, climbed mountains, and given birth to two amazing little girls. It however is different now, things don't sit the way they did before, and clothes don't hold the same shape they use to. I feel at times like a stranger in my own skin, unable to see the person I was before in the mirror but not quite comfortable or sure of the person I see now. I want to preface this by saying this isn't a post about weight loss, or gain, or really anything specifically to do with weight or dieting or eating disorders (Which if you are looking for help in those areas definitely speak with your physician) this is just some honest thoughts on my postpartum body.
I feel like I walked out of my second birth tired and a few more steps behind than after my first. After Jessamyn I bounced back fairly well, things weren't the same but it wasn't too different either. After Ophelia I feel like when I look in the mirror sometimes I don't recognize myself... There are more grey hairs, wrinkles, sagging places, and definitely less muscle than before. There are also a lot of things I am proud of I mean my body did do a crazy amazing thing giving birth and should be given credit for that, but it is taking more time this go round for me to recognize that and more positive reinforcement on my part to even feel remotely confident in my own skin.
SO yes I am being honest right now when I look at myself I feel awkward, I feel like I am learning how to dress, and hold myself, and just appreciate myself in a new way. it is hard it is like going through some sort of weird post-baby puberty where I am kind of not quite sure of myself and not terribly confident BUT I am okay with that and I think it is important to recognize that. I want to be aware of it because I don't want to pass on any body insecurities to my daughters and I also just don't want to go through life uncomfortable in my skin. There is so much pressure to just bounce back after giving birth, to reach your pre pregnancy weight and be put together. Seriously it is hard... I am still losing hair thanks to those pregnancy hormones, breast feeding makes it hard to find bra's that fit right, and as I work out and hormones change clothes that fit one day are too big or too small the next, and for some reason after I work out now my right hip is always sore. PLUS thanks to breast feeding there are still so many hormones and emotions running through my body that honestly sometimes drive me crazy. SO I guess all this to say I am a work in progress, I don't have it all together, and right now I feel awkward.
I am not sharing this because I want pity or advice though more to say it is okay to be where you are at... I am okay with where I am at. Postpartum is a long journey for both mama and baby and I think we don't discuss this enough. We don't open the discussion enough for women to say they don't feel okay or need more time to recover. I am sharing because if you too are struggling with your body image after having a baby I want you to know you aren't alone and it is okay to struggle... we don't have to have it all together all the time and the same applies to how we feel about our bodies.
SO know that your body is amazing, it grew a tiny human and then gave birth which in and of itself is crazy hard and beautiful. Your body is also now different, pregnancy changes you... and at least for me it doesn't go back the way it was before... but also know the new changes can be so beautiful too. That is okay though and knowing that, being aware that things have changed I think is good. SO no I am not currently confident in my skin but I am okay with that and aware of it and giving myself time. Body confidence isn't something you can force and isn't something that is going to look the same for everyone but one day soon I will look in the mirror and see confidence, and strength... because I know it is there I just need a bit more time to find it.