A friend referred me to this site when I told her, in shock, that I couldn’t fit into any of my pre-pregnancy clothing. I guess I had assumed, having always been a rather thin girl, a model and a dancer, that I would somehow magically bounce back into pre-preggo shape right after birth, like the Hollywood stars do. But that’s obviously a myth, and I’m slowly learning to accept it.
A lot of my previously held illusions were shattered by pregnancy. I thought I would be “lucky” and escape the Stretch Mark Monster, but I didn’t. I thought I’d be healthy and not gain too much weight, but at 42 weeks, I was 170 lbs. I had started at 120 lbs. I thought my breast wouldn’t get too big, since I barely fit an A cup before pregnancy, but they’re grown and grown to the point where I think bigger isn’t better, even where boobs are concerned!
After my labor, I forced myself not to look at my body, because I knew that if I did, I would freak out. I thought to myself “maybe if I ignore it, by the time I look at it again, it’ll have gotten better”. Having taken these pictures of myself standing naked in the bathroom, I realize that I won’t be going back to who I was before. I had worked so hard to keep myself in picture-perfect shape, I had used all the lotions and potions to keep my skin smooth and young, and suddenly, everything about my appearance was totally out of my control. I think I didn’t let my husband see me naked until a week ago.
It’s been a long road and I know I have more healing to do, both inside and outside. I have to let go of my illusions of the “perfect hollywood body”. I have to accept that I am forever changed by my maternity, and that the new form I will gradually achieve is just as beautiful as the one I wore before. And when I look at my beautiful daughter, somehow, it doesn’t matter or hurt as much.