Throughout almost my entire pregnancy I stayed really small. I had slender arms and legs, my neck and face stayed thin, and my baby bump was small and cute. During the whole 9 months all I heard was, “You’re young and in shape so you’ll look great after you have the baby!” I knew a couple of younger, in shape moms who looked great right after theirs too! It was such a relief to think that this pregnancy wasn’t going to change my body!
After I had Liam, I didn’t immediately look like I did pre-pregnancy. Far from it, actually. I left the hospital weighing 40lbs more than before I was pregnant. I learned that most women actually still look a few months pregnant the first couple weeks postpartum because their uterus hasn’t shrunk back to it’s normal size. So even after a month, I was still feeling pretty confident it would be easy to get the weight off. I started a work out routine. I went on two walks a day with Liam and while he napped, I worked out at home. I eat healthy and drink lots of water because I breastfeed, so this was beneficial to my weightloss goals. And I did actually lose a little weight! Although is wasn’t anywhere close to 40lbs.
It felt like I was trying way too hard and still not losing enough to be significant. I read in lots of places that breastfeeding sheds the weight right off of you. This wasn’t the case at all for me. Although breastfeeding can burn up to 500 calories a day, it didn’t help me lose one pound! I still work out everyday and go on walks with Liam, but I am still around 30lbs from being the weight I was before pregnancy.
The other day, I was looking at myself in the mirror. My hips have gotten bigger, I still have a flabby belly, my breasts have a whole new look, and my slender arms are long gone. As I was standing there feeling sorry for myself, I heard my son talking and playing. The sound of his sweet voice made everything better and made me forget all the worries about my body. I looked over at him and his sweet face made me realize that I’ve been looking at myself all wrong.
My hips are larger because they helped me give birth to the most amazing, wonderful blessing in my life. My belly housed this little human to grow him and help him thrive. My breasts feed, nuture, and comfort my baby boy. They have helped me create a strong, long-lasting bond with him. And these arms might be bigger, but they are also stronger so I can hold and take care of my little one as he grows everyday. I am beautiful. I am made for him, and he is made for me.