I stood in front of the mirror and cried.
I didn’t recognize the woman before me.
“I don’t even know her… I just want my body back”, I wailed to my hubby.
“Well I think you look beautiful” he said.
I am three days postpartum and my milk had just come in.
My breasts are engorged. They’re hot, hard and shiny.
My stomach is all flabby and the brown tummy line is still visible.
My face wears the brown mask under my eyes and on my top lip.
I have skin tags under my arm and under my boobs (not that you can see those ones anyway!).
My legs, bum and arms are all dimply, and everything I touch wobbles.
I dare not sneeze, cough or laugh as I’m not sure what will happen downstairs!
I swear I am in someone else’s body.
Tears stream down my face as I look at this stranger in the mirror.
I grieve for my former super fit, gym junkie body. The body that could squat 100kg, run 20 kms and lift weights with the boys at the gym.
I am now four weeks post partum. “I thought I would’ve lost it all already”, I complain to hubby. “I just want my body back”.
I have just started walking again, but in short intervals as I am still bleeding downstairs and my pelvic floor is still very heavy.
My abs are separated so definitely no crunches. ‘
My tummy still has the line, my face still has the mask, and the tags aren’t coming off.
I can still see the dimples and everything still wobbles.
To top things off, my nails are now peeling, my hair is falling out, and my hair is turning pube-like near my temples.
I wonder to myself how long it will be until my old body is back.
I am 12 weeks post partum. “I’ve lost some weight,” I exclaim excitedly to my hubby. “Only another few kilo to go”.
I am walking ten kms every few days.
My abs are no longer separated so I’m smashing out Pilates.
My baby is regulating my milk so my boobs are half their size.
But my tummy is still lined, my face is still masked, skin is still tagged and I still have pubes for hair.
Now with the weight I’ve lost, my stretch marks are starting to show more. The wobbles still remain, as do the dimples. I wonder if I will ever get my old body back.
Now it’s today – five and a half months post-partum.
I have lost all my baby weight and a little bit more. I walk regularly, Pilates every week and run every now and then. I feel pretty good.
But today I realised something…. I still haven’t got my old body back. And you know what… I probably never will!
Despite the weight I’ve lost, the exercise I’ve done and the healthy foods I’ve eaten, I still don’t have that gym-junkie body back.
But I’m actually okay with it.
My body has done something remarkable. My wobbly, dimply, brown lined, stretched marked, tagged, masked, pubes for hair body has not only grown my beautiful baby boy but it has fed and nourished him for the last five and a half months.
It has performed its role better than any marathon runner’s body could have, it has performed better than any rower, cyclist, or swimmer’s body could have. It has grown a baby… another beautiful human being!
Now it’s today.
I am five and a half months post partum, and I wonder why I ever wanted my old body back.
But this body – the one I have today – is the one I want and the one I am most proud of.
I’m not sure… I could certainly be wrong….but I think for the first time in my life, I have body acceptance.
At least that’s what it feels like to me.
How did you feel about your changing body?