It’s fascinating. Most Post partum conversations revolve around two things: sleep (mostly, baby’s ability to sleep, how many hours of sleep you are getting, are you napping while baby sleeps as you are supposed to, what’s the longest stretch of time baby sleeps, etc); and your body.
By your body I mean my body, I mean all of the incredibly amazing bodies of the women who spend 9 long months of making another life inside them, pushing the little body out through an inexplicably small orifice and then feeding that said new tiny human from your body again. Those are the bodies I am talking about. But let’s talk about mine in particular.
I gained 20 kilos while making a tiny human. That. Is. A Lot. (more than 40 pounds). I lost over 10 kilos in the first few weeks after she was born. I was sure most of the weight was baby and water, boy was I retaining water! I was sure the rest would shed off as quickly (except for a bit which would stay in my now ginormous milk producing breasts!)
So I lost a lot of that weight and I was like, fabulous! once my uterus shrinks down to what it’s supposed to be I will be back to my pre-pregger body. Yes? no! of course not. A lot of the weight I put on is fat because, well, because I was pregnant! kind of obvious. I exercised throughout the pregnancy until I could basically not move, I ate healthy and I put on weight because that is what amazing bodies that make humans do.
A month after my miniature dragon was born I tried to put on some pants I hadn’t touched in 10 months. I was sure they would fit. My mind hadn’t wrapped itself around the fact that a lot of the weight is still there, clinging to my hips and thighs.
I confess I had a meltdown.
Why did I have a meltdown? Because I was sure, absolutely positive that a few weeks post baby I would fit into my clothes. Why? because all celebrities do, don’t they? because that is what was supposed to happen. Because for years I have felt that being thin and fit meant I was worthy of being loved.
My adoring husband calmed me down, he told me how beautiful and sexy I am, how aroused he is by me, how incredible I am. He kissed my tears away and told me that he believes I can get fit again once I recover and start working out again. He believes I can do it if I want to, but he does not expect me to. He, at no point, has made me feel that I need to be a small size in order for him to love me.
It is strange, this stage in life. In all of my singlehood years the illogical formula in my head was that I had to be a certain size, look a certain way, be able to wear certain clothes in order to find someone to love me.
Now I have someone who has seen me get big, who has heard me fart away, who has seen me in labor in excruciating pain and mooing like a cow, who has seen my shirt get soaked with breast milk, who has held me, who thinks I am the most beautiful being in this world… and it has nothing to do with my size.
I am dieting (in my case it means snacking on apples instead of cookies and eating ice cream once a week instead of daily!), and I am very eager to go back to heavy work outs (because they make me feel so good, go endorphins!). But I want to do that for me, to feel more in control of my body. Not because I need to get thinner to receive love. Not because I need to get thinner to be a woman worth loving. But because I want to.
I have love no matter my size, and that, my friends, is one more lesson motherhood has gifted me with.