Postpartum // What Nobody Tells You

So I've been avoiding my blog the last couple months. Motherhood is wonderful but I'm having a hard time with myself. Everyone tells you about the exhaustion and how much you'll love your baby, but no one tells you that after birth it still feels like you're in someone else's body. So I'm going to break the silence and share my experience. Hopefully it will help other women out there to not feel so alone. I applied lotion and oil constantly and worked out a lot during my pregnancy walking 2-4 miles and lots of yoga, I ate really healthy but I still gained 55 lbs and got lots of stretch marks. I don't know what I could have done more. I didn't have one stretch mark until the last two weeks of my pregnancy and then they came like moths to a flame. I lost 25 lbs in the first two weeks postpartum. But these last 30 lbs do not want to leave. I haven't been able to muster up much courage to be in front of the camera. And when I do feel courageous I'm horrified at the images. I feel like my usual self until I look in the mirror or get dressed. Getting dressed can be traumatizing at times. Nothing looks right, nothing fits right. Daniel has been so kind and patient with me - when we go anywhere. I change at least five times trying to find something that makes me feel good. He always tells me how beautiful I am but I can't even hear it. I say that's nice of you to say, but I know I am a whale. I really want to break away from this self-criticism and treat myself how I would a friend. But it's so difficult. 

As a woman I think it's very important to feel pretty and feel like yourself. My breasts, with breastfeeding have gone up to DDDs, I have stretch marks on my stomach and my hips, I have a bit of loose skin still, my arms are still thick from pregnancy, my face is fuller, my hips are wider...I know it's only three months out but still. I'm currently a stay at home mom, which I feel so lucky be. I love being with my daughter. She is a ray of light, and brings me so much happiness. I'm constantly changing diapers and being spit up on and she pulls my hair regardless if it's up or down. Between my motherly duties and the physical changes I feel like I'm being stripped of my identity. I am clinging to myself with every ounce of strength I have. I refuse to cut my hair or wear "mom jeans" and generally abandon the person I used to be. I believe my old self and new self can live together. Motherhood transforms you in so many ways, emotionally and mentally I find it to be pretty spectacular. But I am really struggling with the physical changes. It's weird because I think of being a mother as the ultimate celebration of femininity, yet I've never felt more asexual in my life. The breastfeeding makes me feel like a cow, literally. My breasts are no longer sexy to me at all. I hide them constantly in over sized shirts and sweaters. I don't even want my husband to look at them. In time I know I will get back to feeling like myself again. But in the meantime it's not easy...

On a positive note, I absolutely love having a baby. I can't even begin to describe the love and happiness she brings me. She is such a happy baby with the sweetest little soul. She smiles at me all day long. She is pure magic. There is no greater joy than holding her in my arms. It's so amazing to look at her and see Daniel and I swirled together in this gorgeous little person. My love for her grows exponentially every day. In three months she has already grown and changed so much and it's such a privilege to watch. Her personality emerges more and more with each passing day. She is sweet, smart, funny and strong. I really want to improve my relationship with myself so I can be a good example for her. I don't want her to be insecure or to hate on her body. I want her to love herself because she is perfect exactly the way she is. Motherhood definitely drives me to try to be the best version of myself. And I hope in time I can look at myself and see that I, too, am perfect exactly the way I am.

1 comment:

  1. Randi, bravo for bravery! A lovely post. For the record I think you are absolutely beautiful - I've told your husband I'm lightweight obsessed with your style and knowledge of red lipstick :) please be kind and gentle with yourself. You will bounce back and feel like yourself again a little more each day- but in the mean time you on a bad day is still fu$@ing fabulous! And lots of people make New Years resolutions to lose more than that- and didn't just have a baby either! Hugz- and keep posting! Please :)