I’ve been thinking about it for awhile and have decided that I’d like to share my post-babies belly with you, dear blog readers. For all the mamas I know, I hadn’t ever seen what a real belly looked like after having a baby…except for random before and after weight loss ads on late night tv. I feel like every woman deserves to see the way pregnancy can affect her body and have realistic expectations about it. Obviously every woman’s body is different and will respond differently to pregnancy. Part of my post-partum belly story is that it had stretched to accommodate three whole humans rather than just one, and I was on bed rest for close to two months, which couldn’t have helped in the retaining muscle tone category.
My belly button has not yet returned to an innie. My linea negra is also still hanging around. Not sure when that will go away.
I wish I had taken pictures each week since the babies were born, but alas, I had a c-section to recover from, milk to pump, and babies to see in the hospital. The recovery part is finally behind me so I actually have the strength and energy to do a few things before the babies come home!
For the first two weeks or so after the babies were born I looked about six months pregnant. My uterus is still not back to its normal size, so its hard to know how much of this I’ll need to actually work off. I’ve already lost about 35 lbs of the 50+ that I gained, and that’s without being able to exercise. My ob has set my expectations though…I will have extra skin that will always be there unless I have surgery someday. I’m gonna venture a guess that raising triplets and sending them to college is going to trump any elective surgery in my future.
I’m really looking forward to being able to exercise soon. Yes, to help lose baby weight, but also because I miss being in control of my body. I’d like to continue to post pictures of the belly every so often just to see the impact of moderate exercise (believe me, I’m not a gym fiend, I’m sure this will be a slow process) and maybe to inspire other moms and mothers-to-be who might be reading this blog. No matter how quickly you return to your normal clothes or you have the outward appearance of a fit body, pregnancy forever changes it and its tough to see this body you’ve had your whole life change so drastically. I look in the mirror and its almost as if I’m getting to know myself as a new person sometimes. Its not something we talk about much, nor do we need to dwell on it, but I just want to put it out there for you other moms to feel encouraged and know that we’re all in the same stretch-marked boat. We may not ever be able to fit into our wedding dresses again or feel comfortable being seen in a bikini, but hey, we have some cute kids to show for it, right?
This just made me laugh and I have to share…best comment by a total stranger happened when Justin and I went out to dinner for my birthday, about 3 weeks after the babies were born. I was waiting for him to come pick me up outside the restaurant when an older woman who was walking very slowly by me stopped and said with great enthusiasm, “You got a full tank o’ gas in your car don’t ya?!”
And if there are any husbands reading this, be sure to tell your wife how beautiful you think she is. Often. She may not believe you, but she needs to hear it anyway.
If you’ve had a baby (or more), what did you do to get your body back? Are you a runner, do you do yoga, or just chase babies around the house?