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I Control My Body, My Body Does Not Control Me! (Danielle)

July 27, 2011

My age: 35
Number of children: 2 – Daughter 3yrs, Son 5 months

No one ever told me anything about what happens after pregnancy – the fatigue, depression, mood swings, bleeding for weeks, body changes – the list goes on. I was prepared for my baby, but not prepared for what pregnancy did to me.

I got pregnant with my daughter the month I turned 31. It was the first month we tried and my husband and I were ecstatic. I don’t remember much about the pregnancy except the fear and the aches and pains toward the end of the pregnancy. I have been a runner since the age of 19 and so continued to run while pregnant. I ran up until I was around 32 weeks along. In the end, I gained 40lbs and got severe, sudden onset pre-eclampsia and had to be induced. My beautiful baby girl was born healthy and full-term at 37 weeks weighing 5lbs 11.5oz, 17in long. She is the joy of my life.

After her birth, I continued to have high blood pressure for a couple of weeks and developed PPD along with strange looking bruised spots on my lower legs which I later learned can be caused by high blood pressure. I was unable to breastfeed my daughter because the doctor gave me water pills which dried up my supply. This didn’t help with my depression. I had suffered with depression before, but nothing prepared me for PPD. I do not believe in taking anti-depressants so I handled my PPD the way I always handled depression – I ran.

At first I thought the running was going to kill me. I remember the first time I tried to run I barely made it 100 yards. I could feel my tummy jiggling and that really upset me. I wondered if I would always feel that and I had thoughts of giving up and accepting failure. But I kept trying to run, even holding my tummy and wearing tight fitting pants to hold it in. Eventually I could run a mile, then two, then three and more. And eventually my tummy stopped jiggling.

In 3 months I dropped all of the pregnancy weight (I had 25lbs to lose) and, though still slightly depressed, I felt more like myself than I had for six months prior. Around that same time I ran a 10k and finished in an hour flat. It felt good! By 6 months postpartum I weighed the same as I did prior to becoming pregnant and was a whole dress size smaller.

I got pregnant with my second child almost two years later. This pregnancy was a lot more memorable and I was very comfortable with being pregnant. I took belly shots and documented the pregnancy up until the day I delivered my son at 39 weeks. I gained 35lbs and, as with my first pregnancy, I ran up until I was 32 weeks along, but, unlike with my daughter, I continued to walk every day for 30 minutes until he was born. There were no complications with his delivery. He weighed 6lbs 13oz and was 19.5 inches long. He is the love of my life.

This time I lost all of my pregnancy weight by 4 weeks postpartum. I believe it was because I pumped for four weeks to give my son as much breast milk as I could. I did not get PPD either. Instead, I felt amazing! I started running again at 2 weeks postpartum. A month later I added toning exercises. I currently work out 45-60 minutes a day, five days a week, and vary my workout between running, cycling, step aerobics and body toning exercises. Do I have to work out so much? No. I could keep my body looking like it does working out half that much, but I LOVE working out. It is time for ME and I feel powerful when I do it because I know that my body doesn’t control me – I control my body.

I am now 5 months postpartum and weigh the same as I did pre-pregnancy. I did not get any stretch marks from either pregnancy and the extra skin I do have is minimal. I do remember having less extra skin after my first pregnancy than I got this time around and it upsets me a little, but I know that if I continue to watch what I eat and exercise that the skin will eventually return to how it was pre-pregnancy, just like it did after my daughter. I started out a C cup and with each pregnancy, went up to a DD cup, and then back to a C cup. The only thing different about my breasts is that they are a little less perky, but otherwise look the same.

My only complaint about my body now is that I have spider veins in my lower leg and still have those strange bruise-like spots on one calf. I plan on getting laser vein treatments but am waiting until I know for sure if I will try for a third child. My doctor told me the veins are genetic, but considering the other genes I could have inherited, I am not complaining.

I could not find any photos of me pre-pregnancy for comparison, but I can tell you my body looked the same about six months after my first baby as it did pre-pregnancy.

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11 Responses to “I Control My Body, My Body Does Not Control Me! (Danielle)”

  1. Jill Says:
    July 27th, 2011 at 9:55 am

    Yay congratulations on your hard work! It seriously paid off you look AMAZING! Congrats on your children as well :)

  2. shannon Says:
    July 27th, 2011 at 11:00 am

    I love this…”my body doesn’t control me – I control my body”. I am going to start saying that to myself! I am only 25, I did get stretch marks, loose skin, and had 2 cesareans…I am 2 years pp with my second, and I still have about 15 lbs to lose (I am 125, want to be 110). I love this saying though!!! You look great.

  3. Dee Says:
    July 27th, 2011 at 12:18 pm

    You look fabulous. I love your energy and I’m glad you shared your story. I got a few spider veins on my thighs during pregnancy. I don’t think they’re bad enough laser vein treatments, though. And I also get bruise-like spots all over my legs all the time. I thought I just bruised easier after pregnancy, but maybe it’s the same thing. I dunno if I have high blood pressure or not, though.

    I love seeing a woman in control of her body! Congrats the great body and 2 children!

  4. Karla Says:
    July 27th, 2011 at 12:45 pm

    Great attitude! I know what you mean about the me time…I dont exercise to look good…it’s the only time a day I have to do something for myself! so I enjoy it!!!! :)

  5. mrspetunia Says:
    July 27th, 2011 at 8:07 pm

    You look phenomenal! I’m glad that exercise was enough to treat your PPD. I have suffered from depression off and on all my adult life. I got off my meds and really got into exercise as an alternative about two years ago. While I loved working out, my depression stubbornly persisted. After an emotional year I got back on the old meds and felt tons better (though I still work out like a mad woman). I guess that I’m just writing this as a note to self and anyone else in the same boat that treating depression through medicine is NOT an easy way out and does not equal failure. I think mental health is similar to physical health. Some of us can do all the “right” things (e.g. work out, eat right, rub ourselves down with cream every waking moment) and still have bodies that clearly show the signs of motherhood. Likewise, some of us can do all the “right” stuff to attain mental well being (e.g. think good thoughts, exercise, go to counseling – whatever) and still suffer from mental illness. No shame in that. Just luck of the draw. So, in my humble opinion, if a little pill helps, go for it!
    BTW, to the poster, I know you weren’t trying to imply that you had anything against anyone on antidepressants. You stated very clearly it was just your personal preference to try other avenues of treatment and I’m so glad it worked out! And you do look awesome!

  6. French fries Says:
    July 27th, 2011 at 11:09 pm

    Congratulations on your children and your body!!
    You look amazing. I love your will power and that you like to be active and eat healthy ^^ seriously, it is inspirational.

  7. k Says:
    July 28th, 2011 at 6:36 am

    congratulations not only on looking fantastic, but on having such a healthy attitude towards your body and keeping it healthy.

  8. Lisa Says:
    July 28th, 2011 at 9:33 am

    Congrats. Your hard work has definitely paid off.

  9. Danielle Says:
    July 31st, 2011 at 6:45 am

    Thank you everyone! I appreciate your comments and stories. Each of you is an inspiration!

  10. April Says:
    January 12th, 2012 at 9:53 pm

    Exercise causes the body to release endorphins which are feel good hormones. I guess that’s why working out made you feel better. You have a really good attitude!

  11. Bella Says:
    February 15th, 2013 at 7:40 am

    You have such a great body! You recovered perfectly!

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