I got off work early unexpectedly one Friday afternoon a few weeks ago. And I chose to spend that surprise free time swimsuit shopping.
Because I was in the mood to torture myself, apparently.
Let’s face it: I’m nearly 15 months postpartum (is that a phrase I can use? I should probably say “I had a baby over a year ago”) and, um, I don’t totally recognize that girl in the mirror sometimes.
Don’t even get me started on pictures.
We live in a world of impossible standards. For example, this is Rosamund Pike of Gone Girl fame (the book is on my ever growing reading list) at the Golden Globes this year. At 5 weeks postpartum.
FIVE. WEEKS. POSTPARTUM.
I saw her on the red carpet and thought, “But how do you wear mesh underwear with an evening gown?”
What, did you not wear the mesh underwear for a sweet forever? Or granny panties? Just me? Fine.
For comparison’s sake, here I am at 8 weeks postpartum:
I’ve lost weight since then (shout out to my BFF Fitbit for holding my competitive self accountable), but not all of it.
Every weight loss “due date” I set for myself has come and gone. 6 months, then 9 months, then a year….gone. I’m still carrying around 7-10 lbs (depending on the day and the number of tacos consumed) of weight I gained during pregnancy. But this is a weight I’ve been before, but my body, my body has not been this before.
Things have just, shifted. I’m sure most mommas can relate to this. Everything went south for the winter and no one seems to have plans to return to their original spots for the summer. Le sigh.
Oh and stretch marks? Check and check. Those appeared late in my pregnancy just as I was thinking I would escape stretch-mark free. Should have known better. This was me just before I went to the hospital.
Large. Not so much in charge.And poor cell-phone quality pic. This was taken with haste because, as it turns out, contractions don’t tickle.
But, here’s the thing, and this is the important part so pay attention:
My body grew and created an entire new human.
And if I let that sink in, it really becomes overwhelming. Because this little girl, ya’ll. She is funny. And sweet. And curious. And precocious. And, just, more than I could have dreamed.
Those stretch marks? Reminders that I made room for her as she grew.
The “shifts”? They’re signs that I fed her well from my body for over a year.
Those extra pounds? Maybe they’ll go away once G has weaned. Maybe they’ll stick around. But I’m going to do my best not to worry about them.
Postpartum bodies really are pretty beautiful. I’d even venture to say the “flaws” are some of the best parts.