I would be lying to you if I told you that I love my flabby soft belly bits because they are the precious reminder of the life I grew inside my body. True, shortly after Paloma was born, I was examining said flabby soft belly bits in front of the mirror, and I said to my mom, who was in the room with me telling me encouraging wisdom words only your momma can tell you, You know, even if this belly doesn't go away, I am totally OK with it.
Well that was then, and this is 4-months-later now, and I am not OK with it. I want to be, but I am not sure how. Isaiah, my sister, and my mom keep telling me how great I look, and honestly, I do think I look great, but something just feels off. Not my emotions or anything like that, thankfully, but feeling good in my skin? I am just not 100% there yet. And I write "yet" because I am confident I will be soon enough.
After Hunter was born, I was back in pre-baby clothes very quickly. In fact, I was one those women you might get jealous of because nursing made the weight MELT OFF. I couldn't eat enough to keep the weight on. At one point I had to go buy new pants that were smaller than my pre-baby size (and like a fool, I held on to those pants! ha! such naive, wishful thinking). Heck, I am currently very jealous of the post-Hunter's-birth me. The situation is very different this time. I am sure it's due to all kinds of things: second baby, diet, not exercising much pre-pregnancy or during pregnancy (or post-pregnancy for that matter), genes, etc.
I have been doing the Tupler Technique for 3 weeks now, and I have to say, my abs, they don't feel nothing like steel. It's my hips, isn't it? Actually, yes, it's my hips. They just haven't gone back into place, and honestly, I don't think they will. When I look on the scale, I am fine with what I see. When I look in the mirror, I see me. Regular old me. I don't see much of a difference outside of the flabby soft belly bits. I am happy to say that at times, even, I think I look beautiful.
The thing that gets me, though, is getting dressed. Wearing maternity pants for the first few weeks after the baby was born? Totally normal. Wearing maternity pants up until a couple of weeks ago? Utterly demoralizing. They didn't even fit right. The stretchy part would slide off my hips, and I was constantly pulling up my pants. I finally realized that I needed to stop that nonsense, and I bought myself some clothes in my new size. Deep breath. There, I said it. My new size.
When I walked into Target, I told myself to ignore the numbers on the size tag. Buy what fits. And so I did. I bought a pair of white denim shorts and a pair of jeggings in a size that is two sizes larger than what I wore pre-baby. That's all I have been wearing, and it feels good. Not great, but good. It feels good to wear something that actually fits me and isn't completely unflattering. Still, I usually don't buy clothes from Target because to me that's fast fashion that I will probably just donate at some point, and that sort of shopping mindset doesn't align well with my "conscious consumer" goals. BUT, I have my eye on these pants from Everlane.
This is my body, and I am so thankful for it. This body that overcame what felt like insurmountable obstacles* to conceive, carry, and birth two precious little humans deserves better. It's time I treat it right and dress it well. If I buy those pants, the best thing that could happen is that I stay this size, and I have a fabulous pair of pants. The worst that could happen is that my hips go back to how they were, I lose the flabby soft belly bits, and I need to sell the pants on Tradesy. Did you get that, friends? I would be more bummed about having to sell pants that are too big for me than to stay this same size. That's Progress, no?
Maybe I do know how to embrace my postpartum body. The first step is wanting to be OK with it, and I am already there. I want to fling my arms open wide and embrace this new body. I don't have unrealistic goals of being a size 2 again. (Can you believe that's how small I got when I went on a special diet to help conceive Hunter?) I truly believe there is absolutely nothing wrong with my new size. It's just something that will take some getting used to, I guess.
The last step, it seems for me, is the action of buying nice clothes for my new body. This step has been the hardest because when I take it, it means I've accepted that some of my old clothes will very likely never fit me again, which really means accepting I will never have my old body back. I have to be no longer in denial that I need new clothes for the new me. Well, if I think of embracing the new me as an excuse to go shopping, then that is a step I am very willing to take.
Be good to yourself, friends!
*Just wanted to point out that the post I linked to about infertility, I just realized that Hunter was conceived right around the time that I wrote it!