I’m sure you’ve heard it so many times.
“I lost all my baby weight in one week!”
“I didn’t get any stretch marks during my pregnancy!”
“I fit into my pre-pregnancy jeans before I left the hospital!”
To all you moms who have said these things, look. I’m super happy for you. I’m glad you had that experience.
But bragging about your perfect postpartum body is NOT what you should be doing.
All over social media, moms who have had a baby and “bounced back”, proudly take photos in their swimsuits, of their “postpartum” bellies, and constantly tell you how much weight they have lost.
That’s great. Seriously. We are happy for you.
But it makes us normal moms feel like WE are the abnormal ones. Because for each one of those perfect moms, there are twenty normal moms who are dealing with lingering weight, awful stretch marks or varicose veins, saggy belly skin, droopy boobs and absolutely no confidence.
But why in the world would we broadcast that ugly body all over social media?
So, alas, it stays a secret. And childless women are left thinking that they are to expect these perfect bodies. Then they go and get pregnant and end up shocked at the end result.
Whether you are a pregnant woman wondering what to expect, or a postpartum mother feeling like you’ll never get yourself back, here’s the truth:
EVERYONE IS DIFFERENT.
And that’s really all there is to it.
I was that pregnant lady that tracked my calories and nutrients. I chose only the best for my baby. I did prenatal yoga every day. I went on long walks. I sat in deep squats to open my pelvis. I bounced on my birthing ball. I avoided reclining to keep baby in the best position. I gagged down dates every day to “open my cervix”. I drank raspberry leaf tea like it was water.
I earned a saggy belly and an awful birth.
My fellow pregnant friend ate junk food and lived her life.
She had a very smooth labor and birth and is now wearing her bikini again looking like a teenager. As much as I love her, a little part of me hates her for that.
My biggest truth for you is this:
YOU CAN ONLY DO SO MUCH.
Your body is programmed a certain way. It has to do with your genetics, combined with the kind of babies that your husband puts inside of you.
I had a mother that got severe stretch marks, and a mother-in-law that had two massive boys that destroyed her.
You know what that equaled for me?
A massive child that completely destroyed my stomach and almost tore me open because of my absolutely awful stretch marks.
Yes. You can exercise during your pregnancy. If you are some sort of bodybuilder or workout guru, then you very well might be able to counteract any genetic pregnancy frustrations.
But the ugly truth is that you are basically a slave to your baby and your pregnancy.
While it is best for you and your body for you to keep active and to be careful with your weight gain, there is always a chance that your body is going to do it’s own thing anyway.
The most important thing for you to remember is this: DON’T COMPARE YOURSELF.
It hurts, it sucks, and it brings a lot of ‘what if’s’ to mind.
Be ready for your story to be different than anyone else’s you have heard.
You might have a great labor, or you might end up with a traumatic one.
You might have a belly sagged and torn beyond recognition, or it might bounce right back to normal.
You might gain 10 pounds and feel great and energetic, or you might go up 80+ and really struggle to lose it afterward.
You might lose all your weight from breastfeeding, or you might keep on every single ounce until you wean.
EVERYONE IS DIFFERENT.
And every part of your pregnancy, birth and postpartum story will be as unique and beautiful as that human being that grew inside of you. Own it.