Postpartum body thoughts.
Back in July I talked about how wanting to get my pre pregnancy body back would be like me trying to get my 8th grade body back. And I still feel the same. I knew my body would be different after I had a baby and I felt peaceful about letting my body size journey as it needed to. Just like our bodies know how to gain the perfect amount of weight in pregnancy, they know how to find the weight they’re meant to be at after the baby is out.
So knowing all that, I was surprised when last Saturday I was trying to find an outfit to wear to a nicer lunch outing we were going on and as I was taking on and off outfits I started feeling really negative and sad that nothing fit.
On the drive to the lunch I was telling Andrew about my frustration and how I feel confused because I thought I was so at peace with whatever body size I end up at and also confused because I felt like I hadn’t had any intrusive negative thoughts about my body since having Jojo…but if I feel at peace with my body looking so different now than why was I upset that nothing fit? That’s when Andrew (being the genius he’s become as he’s come along on this intuitive eating/positive body image journey with me) said, “feeling at peace with your body size isn’t the same as having no clothes that fit.”
That’s when I realized I don’t care my body is bigger, it just really sucks to have no clothes that fit! I just need to go buy some freaking bigger pants.
I know the importance of having clothes that fit. But in the midst of all the changes in the past 2 months I kinda forgot. And at the end of pregnancy I still had clothes that fit me, so I felt confused why I didn’t have any clothes to wear now. But after thinking about it I realize that the majority of the maternity clothes I bought were made to accentuate the baby bump and had extra fabric in the belly area to accommodate a growing baby. Without a baby in my belly it just looked like there’s a dorsal fin coming out of my belly area (or a ventral fin for those of you who have had to take an anatomy class lol). So most of my maternity clothes don’t work anymore and that left me with one pair of maternity jeans and a handful of shirts that fit my current body. And while I loved my maternity jeans in pregnancy, I’m so over how my pants with the maternity panel never seemed to stay up and I was always having to hike them back up.
So. I texted my friend Liz and asked her to come shopping with me. I pumped some milk and had it ready to go in the fridge in case Joanna got hungry. And then I left Joanna alone with Andrew for the first time and went shopping to buy some clothes that fit my current body.
As I was in the dressing room trying on outfits I told my friend that I didn’t really feel like myself. I had told Andrew as we were driving home from the hospital with Joanna that, “i’ll probably have an identity crisis in about a month.” To which he said, “okay, we’ll talk about it then.” Right now my body doesn’t feel like mine and I think that’s probably kinda normal to feel after having a baby. Going from 9 months pregnant to 1 month postpartum is such a drastic change to watch happen to your body.
I’m curious to see what my 6 month postpartum mom bod is made to look like. Maybe it’ll be bigger than my body was before. Maybe it’ll be smaller than my body was before. The only thing I know for certain is that there’s a lot of uncertainty as to what size my body will end up at. AND I know my body will change again because at some point we hope to have another child. My goal is to focus on living a fulfilling life and I know I can do that at a number of different body sizes. I think it’s crazy we can get so attached to our bodies staying the same size/trying to make them smaller when our bodies are meant to change.
Since buying the new clothes I feel a million times better. For a second there I forget how important it is to have clothes in your closet that fit. Have you seen this Buzzfeed video about the power of having clothes that fit? LOVE IT.
I ended up getting one pair of pants (they’re green and I love them. definitely going through a green phase and it’s my fav color to dress Jojo in too), 3 shirts (one being a velvet tank I’m in love with + 2 flowy ones) and one dress (that I may end up taking back because I realize now that it’s impossible to nurse in).
Nursing friendly is KEY for me right now since I’m trying to get more comfortable nursing in public places so I don’t have to just sit at home all the time.
I’ve written a lot of content on body image and if you’re struggling with disliking your body and/or constantly trying to change your body size, I hope you’ll read through those posts. For me, my mantra now and always is…I’m not choosing a body size for myself, but I am choosing how I want to take care of myself.
For me taking care of myself will never mean trying to get to a particular body size. Two ways I’m taking care of myself now are 1) buying myself some pants that fit and 2) working on rehabbing my pelvic floor after birth with pelvic floor strengthening exercises.