post baby bod

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.

rosamund pike


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.

2014-01-15 17.17.15-1

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.

So –

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.

22 thoughts on “Embracing My Post Baby Bod

  1. Lori

    Great post! I feel like I am finally feeling at ease & truly accepting of my post-kids body. With my first it took 18mo to lose the weight, a little less with my second, but my body is still WAY different! But, like you said, it’s totally worth it & a reminder of all our bodies have given us & given them 🙂

  2. Kasey

    My son noticed my stretch marks a while back. I told him they were my tiger stripes. He’s super jealous now. You’re welcome future wife if my son 🙂

  3. Cat @ MaryMarthaMama

    Oh I can relate to this! I just got back to my pre-pregnancy weight after my second pregnancy. My “baby” is 21 months old. It took me about the same amount of time too. Not many women are back at it in 5 weeks like the celebs. I love your perspective, though! Our bodies have done amazing things and they are beautiful- even if they will never be the same again.

    And yes, I totally wore granny panties for like forever! Regular ones hit right at my c-section scar and it was waaay to painful for I went out and bought extra-high waisted granny panties for during my recovery. And I totally recommend any other mama do the same!

  4. Leah

    Ha! I still don’t have my pre-pregnancy body back after my second “baby” is now almost 4! Things on my body just – moved. No explanations, didn’t know it could do that! But, man, I made 2 humans! Pretty sweet in my book.

  5. April Rutherford

    Great outlook! I am caring about it less and less all the time. I will always like to be active, but the eating is probably here to stay :). Thanks for sharing!

  6. Emily, Our house now a home

    You are beautiful and happy in your pictures, that is what matters. I managed to get away with only minor stretch marks that are fading fast. I am 4 years postpartum (don’t usually say that but thought I would support you) and am about 5 pounds from my pre baby self. My oldest is 7! I never gained a lot with my pregnancy’s but breast feeding made me gain weight. My kids have just recently asked about my stretch marks when they have gotten a peek of them. I explained what I did to get these three kids of mine to grow inside me. Just last night my two son’s lifted up my shirt a little and began telling me which one was their favorite. They look at it as proof I carried them, stretched for them. and as my middle child who is 5 said “you are very strong to let your belly stretch that much. Mommy you did it all, grew us all!” My kids see me as a strong, super hero with some stripes 🙂

  7. Michele

    Stop comparing yourself to celebrity moms! Your body will do what it needs to do. Interestingly, I went up a whole ( not half!) shoe size with each of my daughters. There is no fixing that! You look great and I am glad you have a healthy attitude about this!

  8. Mary

    You are beautiful! I remember feeling the same way after my babies. Being healthy for our family is the most important thing!

  9. randi

    “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 man, I laughed so hard. This is sadly so accurate. How do we get the birds to fly back? Does it require a certain someone with a surgical license?

    In all seriousness though, I appreciate your ability to quip about exactly what happens to our body image as we shift into motherhood. And if it makes you feel any less weird about the 5 week pp photo, I looked better 5 weeks pp than I did 4 months, when everything started to just quit on me. So I saw that photo and thought, “she’s not going to look so hot in 3 more months.”

    Not exactly building someone up, but, whatev’s.

  10. Thomasina

    Hi Kelly, great piece and love the reminders. My LO is almost 15 mo and I still feel like I should be at my pre-baby body. But, it will come off when it’s time. (also still breastfeeding).

  11. Leslie

    I’m ten years post-partum (LOL) and under no illusions that I will EVER see that body again, especially since that was #5! I once came within 9 lbs of pre-baby weight . . . oh well. You are beautiful and you have a beautiful baby! Thanks for reminding mothers (and others) what’s really important.

  12. Amy @Planning Playtime

    I’m in the same boat. My baby is just turning one, but I’m still nursing and still wishing I could reconfigure my stomach outline a bit. It’s a constant struggle to not feel self-concious, but you’re right. We are different, changed, not the same. We are mothers, and we are still beautiful.

  13. Agatha

    It does take time! I was into my 2nd year postpartum and my stomach was still bleagh, but as long as you are eating healthy, and feeling good then it shouldn’t matter!

  14. Kim @ This Ole Mom

    I think you look beautiful! You should never compare yourself to anyone. Every body type is different. There are many reason some women’s body bounce back quicker than others ; personal trainer, stress free life, etc. I haven’t lost my weight since having my baby 5 years ago I came to realize that I probably never will ! Now, I focus on the positive things in my life instead of my weight! I enjoyed reading your post. Btw… your baby’s room is cute.

  15. Ali

    man oh man… Pushing out two littles has done a number on my tummy. I am so struggling with remotely even thinking of getting into a bikini ever again. I had high hopes but so far the tankini has won out this year. Thanks for the reminders to take my pride in the flaws!

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