Written by: April Vargo
I remember always being afraid of what pregnancy would do to my body. I can't tell you the number of people who I've heard say, "my baby ruined my body!" I would be lying if I didn't admit to being slightly concerned.
I've always been an incredibly confident person, but when it came to my body, I definitely had some insecurities like anyone else. I've always had a more voluptuous, curvy, chubby figure. You know that extra little bit of cellulite on your back side or a stomach that never seemed to want to be flat.
When we found out we were pregnant I was wondering what that might look like. I worked really hard to keep moving and eat right. I remember being so excited watching my bump grow. Towards the end I felt like a giant ball. I lost all of my curves and instead just looked rather round. By the last week of my pregnancy, I was retaining water so I felt like everything was just a little more enlarged and animated.
I started to wonder what I would look like once the baby was born. Would my stomach just hang down by my thighs like a pancake? Would my hips stay as spread as they had become? Would my husband find me attractive?
It should be noted, that my husband has always made me feel attractive and loved. I am not one of those women that puts my validation in how others see me. However, it was definitely a thought that crossed my mind.
After I gave birth there were immediate changes I noticed. The most shocking was due to an allergic reaction by the fetal monitors. The gel that was used in the application of the monitors caused a huge rash in the two locations on my stomach. It looked like I was a burn victim. I remember being absolutely horrified and taken aback by what I had just seen. My husband asked the doctors and nurses if this was common. They said no, they really never see this, but if you have sensitive skin, you can react to anything. Hello sensitive skin!
I had still retained water from my C-Section so my feet and legs were swollen for about a week or so. I remember looking at them and being like, "man, have they always been this big?" As the water left I started to see shape again.
What I was not expecting was how much more confident and in love with my body I was, maybe the most I had ever been. I looked in the mirror and started to see definition in my face, curves instead of round shapes. I realized my hips were bigger, but not necessarily a bad thing. My stomach is a little loose as a result of the delivery and the C-Section, but it started to slim down rather quickly.
I realized what a badass this body is. It carried a whole other human, just went through a major surgery, and was stronger than ever. I found myself loving my new shape, new look, and the way I felt.
I've also noticed this response in my husband. Instead of him finding me unattractive, like I was afraid, his response has been incredibly positive. He's been super attentive and very affectionate.
I realized many of my fears were completely unfounded. My body is not ruined like I thought it might be, it's been enhanced. It's not the same as it was before. There's a few more marks, stretches, and spreads than before, but there's something kind of beautiful in that.
The sense of power I feel also made me think about the image I'm going to pass down to my daughter. I want her to see a mom who is confident in herself and proud of her body. This is how I want her to feel about herself as she grows.
I look forward to getting back to yoga, working out, and seeing what else I can do physically. The journey has been a positive one, and has taught me that I'm a lot stronger than I thought and physically capable of much more than I thought. I am super excited to see what else it can do, and how it will continue to evolve.
What were your feelings about your post pregnancy body? Did you have any fears of what might happen to you physically? How have you changed and evolved over time?