This was the last dress I wore before I delivered Little V. My body was big, different and uncomfortable, but I remember loving how my bump looked and how the dress flowed and felt on me. There was still a sense of feeling attractive in a womanly way, as I carried a new life.
I write this post-partum as I’m wearing a pair of Depends.
It’s amazing what sorts of thoughts run through your head even when your new priority is keeping a baby alive. Your sleep-deprived self is functioning on 1-hour sleep increments and still you have time to think about how your gut is now a deflated tire, how ungracefully you waddle to the bathroom as you grimace from the stitches, and how you hate the hot chick that walked by your car on the way home from the hospital.
Oh, I know the weight usually comes off eventually. Watch what you eat, breastfeed, get some exercise, etc. I get it. But this isn’t about body-envy. It’s about feeling insecure even in the midst of a beautiful thing that just happened in your life. It’s about reading how (insert celebrity name) bounced back from her pregnancy in a matter of weeks in time to wear a bikini for the next runway show. It’s about catching up with your fashion blog reading and feeling a keen sense of personal ugliness.
“Be gentle with yourself,” a friend tells me recently. Tears well up in my eyes and suddenly I’m sobbing, but it feels good. I let myself cry. I had not been doing that.
I think of my daughter, who I have the great responsibility to raise, and pray that I can one day remember to tell her the same. To be gentle with herself. That it’s ok to cry, to let yourself feel, no matter how silly it may seem. That she will always, always be beautiful to me.
Nha Khanh Molly dress (rent it here), Kate Spade Cami crossbody bag (on sale here!)
I remember the waddling, the donut (and not the kind you eat), and the experience of post partum– definitely my least favorite part of the process. Hang in there.
Kristen C says
I love this post. I think your daughter is very lucky to have you as a mom! I also believe that the Holy Spirit will work through you to help her see herself the way God does and will work through her to do the same for you.
There are a LOT of body changes that happen in pregnancy and after – in some ways, so many that you forget to keep track of them all, because what’s one more. One thing that I have appreciated over time has been the hubby saying, “Thank you for going through this so we can have children.” It lets me know that he sees me and that the marks and mush are another reason to love me. Sure, it doesn’t take away the insecurities entirely (I am still really struggling with that, to be honest), but it does help. Also the cutie pie baby helps. And being a few months after the crazy hormones.
Kristen C says
p.s. Love that you’re still making some time to write. I hope it helps you feel like you.
Glad you got a good cry in. I remember needing that too. Such a big change, so glad you’re getting permission to just be. It’s not easy feeling broken and out of whack.
( I love the pics. You look great as usual.)
Your body will continue to change for about 18 months after delivery. With a first child, I feel the bounce back period is shorter. It was definitely longer with the second. While pregnant with my first, I received Victoria Secret catalogs in the mail twice a week (without fail!!) addressed to the previous owner. Talk about a slap in the face. They are in tiny string bikinis and I feel like an elephant. Embrace each body stage, just like growing a baby, your body will change seemingly overnight some times. It is not easy. You will have days you feel great and days you feel lower than scum. Feel the feels and keep moving. Progress, not perfection. That is your stride. And your motto is: This is only a phase and this too shall pass. Don’t get so lost in your own body woes to not fully enjoy your daughter. These days of tininess are fleeting!