Sometimes I think that reproduction is a little sexist. I could list all the ways the scales are tipped, but I’m sure you can figure it out. In fact, just tonight Michael said to me, “Sometimes I think about how you DID that. You grew a human inside of you and it stretched out your stomach and does all this weird stuff and then at the end we both get a baby but I didn’t have to do anything to get her here.” Can I get a YUP? I mean it’s cool and I wouldn’t have it any other way and stuff, but like, pregnancy is hard. Magical and special and everything I ever wanted, yes, but also—hard.
Because a mother doesn’t just sacrifice her body for nine months, she sacrifices it forever. She houses that adorable little human, and she endures the nausea, the heartburn, the fatigue,stretchmarks, cankles, swelling, etc. etc. Then there’s the whole giving birth thing, which is amazing on at least twelve levels. And afterwards, if she’s lucky, she sustains that little person. (And even if she doesn’t there is a good chance she tried real hard to… which deserves the same amount of brownie points if you ask me.)
Excuse me while I generalize here—but then her body might do some weird stuff. And she may or may not bust her chops to get her body back, as if she could ever really get it back. Because even when that number on the scale gets back to where she wants it, she’ll probably find that her body is just different.
…Okay, me. I’m talking about me. I really don’t want to scare anyone that hasn’t had a baby yet so I’ll just tell you—I don’t know a ton of people that get as huge as I do when they’re pregnant. Like you guys. LOOK AT ME!
And I believe that some women really do bounce back super fast. And then everyone is all like, “WOW! You look amazing! GOOD JOB.” Meanwhile, I’m tracking all my points into my Weight Watchers app and wheezing all over a treadmill four times a week just to try to fit into any pants that aren’t maternity. Once I finally start just looking kind of fat instead of 9 months pregnant I feel so fancy! Seriously—never in my life have I wanted to put a bikini on until postpartum, because after being so huge anything is going to feel tiny. It takes a few good candid pics before reality smacks me in the rear and I realize I totally have such a mom bod, but I still can’t help being impressed with myself because….how did my body do that?!
Scarlett was 9lbs 1 oz when she was born. At the end there, I could feel every pound. Carrying a big old baby like that does some things to you, man. I remember going on a walk shortly after Ellie was born and thinking, “How the heck am I supposed to do this AGAIN and AGAIN?!” All of it. Being pregnant, the bloody aftermath of postpartum, and then the “getting back into your old pants” phase of things. (Good on you, mom. Doing this six times and all.) But as you know, it didn’t take me long to want another. I blame adorable baby thigh rolls…or maybe it’s all those years of infertility that just makes me marvel and marvel at what an amazing thing is actually happening to me while pregnant. When I really think about how perfectly everything has to go in order to deliver a healthy baby, I just can’t believe that I got to experience that twice now.
I have never been one to be happy with my body. Even at my most fit I was all stressed about keeping the weight off and worrying over every ounce gained. It’s crazy to me that I was that hard on myself. I see my body now, and sure, it’s got tons of flaws. A belly button that has been through the ringer, stretch marks, extra skin, and a pooch…but I’m so much forgiving about the way I look now. I’m just kinder to my body. It did me such a solid—giving me my two greatest blessings. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not going to sit here and say that I don’t even wish I looked like I used to—that would be a lie. But I guess I’m just more grateful. I’m happy that I’m a woman and that I’m the one that got to bring my little beauties into this world. Even if the scales are tipped.
Women are so bomb.
P.S. Just keeping it real, here is a little mom bod update for you. 4 weeks postpartum VS 14 weeks