The first time I looked in the mirror after giving birth to my son... well, it was terrifying. There are no other words to describe it and there was no amount of preparation for the person starring back at me.
I had gained over 70 pounds with my first pregnancy! With every visit to my prenatal Dr, I dreaded stepping on the scale. Its not like I was eating donuts, burgers and candy everyday, but it happened.....70 pounds of pregnant.
I remember standing there feeling shocked that my baby belly was gone but it was hard to recognize my new body. I was no longer pregnant, but I no longer had the body I did before I got pregnant. Who was I?
One of the biggest surprises for me, was after my milk dropped down! I was not prepared for that. I stood there starring at myself, half laughing, half crying at the two huge basketball like objects leaking milk and protruding from my chest. I was obviously expecting change and read every pregnancy book out there, but when real life happens, so do your emotions. I was completely shocked.
Right then and there in that hospital bathroom, I made a pact with myself that I would not allow myself to feel ashamed about my body and that I would never be afraid to look at myself in the mirror again.
I told myself that in whatever shape, form, size or body type, every other mom had those same feelings. I was not alone. From the swelling and stretch marks to the pain and soreness... it was real, it hurt, and everything felt squishy and out of place.
My post pregnancy journey had started. Little did I know, my newborn son would be up eating mostly all night, and day. Little did I know, that with every passing day, the swelling went down, the soreness went and away, and my body knew exactly just what to do for my hungry baby.
I was a full time breastfeeder and before I knew it I had lost almost all the weight, plus a little more in the first year of my sons life. I made some eating healthy choices and completely cut sugar out of my diet. I learned to listen to my body and trust it. I also learned how to be kind to myself.
Standing in front of that mirror for the first time, I knew I would never be the same women I was before having my baby, I was a better version of the old me. Stronger for myself and even stronger for my new baby.
My body isn't perfect, I have the marks show, but I wouldn't change it for the world. The sacrifices you make for your babies and children are always worth it mind, body and soul.
The next time you doubt yourself and beat yourself up about not having the "perfect body," know you are not alone. You are beautiful, amazing and one of a kind. When we can open up and be real with each other, thats when beautiful things happen and we can truly accept ourselves for who we are.
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Lots of Love,