I told you that I would be real, with y’all. Here is my body, 8 days postpartum. I’m not going to get them out to compare them, but I’m pretty sure you could compare this to my 15 or 20 week belly shot. Ugh.
So, this time around in pregnancy, I vowed to be better. I didn’t vow to eat better, or exercise more, though I did try to do both of those in the beginning. In general, I eat what I can tolerate in pregnancy and I’m more active than I want to be with also having small kids, so it is what it is. This time, I wanted to be better at accepting where my body was and to realize that all good change takes time and to not get all bent out of shape about how I looked after I gave birth. I figured having 3 kids to take care of would be challenging enough – the rest could wait.
Well, our pediatrician has 3 different waiting areas – a well kid waiting area, a sick kid waiting area and a newborn waiting area. My husband and I took our new baby (4 days old) for his first visit and he headed to the newborn waiting area while I waited on paperwork we needed to fill out. I saw there was another couple in there waiting with their baby so instantly it was an easy comparison. They have a newborn, we have a newborn – we are sort of the same! Why do we even do that? Why even make that correlation? I guess we are always inadvertently looking for people to connect with that are like us. But let me tell you – we were not the same. She looked like she hadn’t even been pregnant. She had workout clothes on – relatively tight workout clothes, and, I shit you not, a flat stomach. And it just hit me the wrong way and made me feel bad about where I was, still looking at least 5 or 6 months pregnant. And here I had been proud of myself for digging out a pair of jeans that fit me, that morning.
But here’s the thing. Of course, you know there’s a thing, right? The thing is, that what someone looks like doesn’t actually tell you anything about that person. For all I know, this lady at the doctor’s office could have adopted. Or she could have had complications and given birth at 30 weeks instead of the 40 it took me. She could have been sick her entire pregnancy and not gained the *ahem* 40 or so pounds that I did. She could just be a bitch that looks really damn good immediately after she gives birth. I kid, I kid. She seemed perfectly nice. But the reality is that we don’t know each other’s story. And as easy as it is to place quick judgement simply based on what we see on the outside, we have to do better. Because frankly, what she looks like and what her pregnancy was like has nothing to do with me and my pregnancy and is actually none of my business.
And this is what I’m working on – concentrating on my own journey and being ok with the fact that I’ve worn leggings out in public more than I’d care to admit and that there’s no reason to rush “getting my body back” because I never actually lost my body. It’s still mine. But my body did do something amazing and gave me this new, beautiful, perfect baby boy to complete our family. Sure, maybe I could pay a little more attention to what I’m eating and it’s possible that I really didn’t NEED those two bags of mini Reese’s Cups, but I’m still celebrating. And the emotions and the hormones? Don’t even get me started. And don’t touch my Reese’s.
So we take a deep breath and we relax because while we may be on similar journeys, they are still each our own and need to be appreciated as such. So, if you’re struggling today, remember that you are amazing and perfect and just where you are supposed to be. Your size today doesn’t have to be your size for eternity, but either way, that size doesn’t determine your value.