Tiger Stripes and Jello | How Pregnancy Changes Your Body
I'm not talking about the tiger stripes you get from a bad self-tanning job, or the amount of jello you craved while you grew your little bundle of joy. No I am talking about stretch marks, your gelatinous belly and so much more.
From the moment of conception your body starts to go through some major transformations. Things start to shift, grow, and distort. During pregnancy your ever-changing body is beautiful. It is a sign that you are growing such a miracle. You probably even took weekly pictures to see how much you've grown. You embrace those stretch marks as a reminder that your baby is making room inside you. But what you aren't prepared for is the aftermath of pregnancy and what it does to your body.
Basically you are just a human incubator and your baby is using you as a host. It will suck every nutrient out of you and cause havock on your body. It is all cute until you're left with what was once a nice belly bump but is now just a thick saggy mound of jello. Your stretch marks are now just sad squiggles down jello mountain.
A lot of women are told not to worry about the weight that they gained since they will lose it very quickly after birth, especially if they are nursing. It will "fall right off". Well that is a LIE! It will not fall right off, you will not go directly back into your "pre-pregnancy jeans". Nope! You will lose a bunch of weight just from expelling your baby and all it's fluids, but that's about it. You will go home from the hospital still looking pregnant, just a little more deflated than when you were admitted. Even if you are able to lose all your weight, chances are you will have to invest in new clothes. Your body has changed. Your hips are now wider, and may stay that way, and things have shifted that may never shift back.
Not only do you have a new baby, but you have a new body. When I complain to my husband that I still have a belly and my clothes don't fit 5 months postpartum, he quickly reminds me that it took 10 months for my body to change, so I can't expect it to change back over night. He is so right! It took 10 months to gain 25 pounds, so why did I think it would just vanish in a mere 2 weeks?
I think we have such unreal expectations of how our body is supposed to preform after child birth. We see celebrities that are back to their oh so skinny self two days after giving birth. Well if I could pay thousands to have a little tummy tuck after delivery, I would look thin too! But that is not normal. As mothers we are in such competition with other moms (which is sad). We are always comparing ourselves to each other with who lost the weight the fastest, who is in their pre-pregnancy clothes first. I say WHO CARES?! Seriously, I gained weight for the health of my child, and I am spending more time worrying about taking care of him than if I can fit back into my jeans. I must give Princess Kate kudos for baring her postpartum belly bump to the world. She still looked pregnant, but she didn't care, she embraced it!
I am not saying that it is easy to look at yourself after giving birth and not cringe. Do I like my stretch marks or my sagging belly? No, but I didn't get it from eating McDonald's, I got it from creating a life. I think we forget how and why we got like this. We should be looking at ourselves in the mirror and be proud of the way we look! We gave up our body's for our precious little babies. We did it for them, and they are forever thankful! And in time the stretch marks will fade and your belly will shrink.... just in time to have another!