Paul is 3 weeks old today, which means my body has been postpartum for three weeks now.
Four weeks ago today, this was my body:
I love this photo. Big, beautiful, and full of baby boy.
No doubt about it, I’m one of those women who “carry all out front”. I’ve been told that I’m lucky, because looking like I swallowed a basket ball is totally in style, apparently.
I’ve now carried around 4 basketballs in the past 7 years, and I’m feeling a bit physically and emotionally ravaged.
When the kids came to the hospital to meet baby Paul for the first time, the first things Nola said to me was: “Mommy, why do you still look pregnant?” I laughed it off, because in the eyes of a 4 year old, her mommy still looked pregnant.
I agree. The first few months postpartum, you do still look pregnant. Those women who wear their skinny jeans home from the hospital? They don’t exist.
This morning, Michael and I went to run errands, which included a trip to Target. The minute we walked through the doors, we were smacked in the face by the display of teeny tiny bikinis. Although the temps are freezing here in Central Indiana, apparently, it’s time to get yourself a fresh string bikini for the beach.
I mumbled: “Now there’s something I’ll never need again”.
Jokingly, giving me a sarcastic grin, Michael says to me: “Babe, you just need to find your Swimsuit Confidence“.
But the truth of the matter is, no matter how hard I work out, I’ll never wear a two piece again. And quite frankly, it’s ok with me. It’s the least of my worries.
You see, while that beautiful maternity photo of me was taken less than a month ago, this grainy self-portrait of me was taken yesterday:
Me, 3 weeks postpartum, after my 4th pregnancy.
This is the belly of a thirty-something year old woman, who has carried 4 full term babies. This women loves rich chocolate cake, is lackadaisical when it comes to exercising, and enjoys a good beer every once and a while.
Yesterday my friend Casey posted over at babble about loving our postpartum bodies and embracing our imperfections. At her request, I begrudgingly sent her the above photo for a slideshow, but made her promise to keep my identity a secret. (hi, my name is “Jo”)
I shouldn’t be ashamed. And it’s sad that what just a few weeks ago I found beautiful, can quickly become a source of self-hatred. What pregnancy has done to my body is normal and natural. I am not a hideous and deformed creature who answers to Momma.
I’m a modest gal. And it’s true, I don’t love the way my belly looks. You will not fine me frolicking in the sun wearing a teeny tiny anything.
But I love my babies, and I wouldn’t trade my four kids for all the rock hard abs on Miami Beach.
(my belly, it’s squishy-ness makes a fantastic resting place.
I used to have a beautiful body, but now I have beautiful children. (thanks, better in bulk, it’s so true)