View my original entry here.
When my son was born 5 weeks early, with severe IUGR and weighing only 3lbs, I was angry. It was all my body’s fault. I learned not long after submitting my original entry that my heart was struggling with the pregnancy and I had developed pregnancy induced hypertension. My placenta was only 2/3 the size it should have been, because my heart wasn’t pumping adequate blood supply to it. I was hospitalized, medicated, and watched 24 hours a day. I was in danger of a stroke or toxemia.
I lost 25lbs of baby weight in 4 weeks. Breastfeeding for 5 months combined with healthy eating took off another 20lbs. Since then I’ve lost about 5-6lbs more, for a total weight loss of 51lbs since I delivered 8 months ago.
My body is healthier now than it has been in years. I went from a 12 before becoming pregnant to an 8 post-partum, and I’m still slowly losing (in spite of weaning my son – I pumped exclusively for 5 months because he was unable to latch.) It made a baby to the best of its abilities – we couldn’t have known that my heart wouldn’t like pregnancy. After all, I was only 26 years old, no health complications, and I should have been low risk.
It’s hard for me to get to know this new body — it’s smaller, and I feel good physically. I can see changes in my appearance, and I have greater confidence in spite of the breasts that have flattened out (thanks to breastfeeding!) and that crease from hip to hip. I have a love-hate relationship with it — I love that it’s smaller and that I’m wearing a size 8. I hate that it is not good at being pregnant, and that I’m not sure if I can ever have more babies.
It’s a day by day process — I can easily accept the stretchmarks all over my breasts and thighs, but I’m having a harder time with the unknown of what will happen if I try to conceive again. Another pregnancy could be fatal — to the baby, to me, or to both of us. I don’t know the risk yet, but it’s there.
For mommies who grieve the loss of their bodies through pregnancy, try to remember the beauty of your children. You are SO BLESSED. Look back on your uncomplicated pregnancies, your chubby healthy babes, and the exciting potential of more amazing little ones in the future. You have much to celebrate!