Friday, March 22, 2013

The Complicated Post-Baby Body

Three-and-a-half months ago, we welcomed Calvin into our world. And although overall I very much enjoyed being pregnant, I was ready to welcome my post-partum body to my life. Since then, I've vacillated between disappointment and acceptance of the way I look. Early on, during my maternity leave, it hardly occurred to me to care, since I was so busy learning to care for my lovely new baby, and it didn't hurt that I didn't have to put on "real" pants if I didn't want to.

Ah, maternity leave...

Then, things changed as I started back to work and got into a nice groove with Cal. Suddenly, after close to a year's hiatus, I had to remember how zippers and buttons worked, and look at least somewhat presentable. And it was not easy trying to find pants that fit. My body was (and still is) changing, and it wasn't easy to see the bigger number on the labels, not to mention the frustration that the same size seems to mean quite different things to different brands. I've quickly discovered that it's an added challenge having a baby right at the beginning of winter, which (obviously) drastically limited my ability to get outside for fresh air and exercise. Not an excuse - just a fact.

one of our (so-far) rare outdoor walks

Along with this frustration comes guilt that I shouldn't feel this way because it suggests that I don't think Calvin was worth it. Of course this couldn't be further from the truth. I love my son so, so very much, and I would have sacrificed anything to bring him into this world. And now that he's been my life for 3 1/2 months (plus 40 weeks and 5 days prior to that if you count my pregnancy), I know without a doubt that having him was the best decision I have ever made.

such a joy

What I've come to realize is that both feelings can co-exist. I can be head-over-heels in love with my child alongside not being too thrilled with the current state of my post-baby body. And it doesn't matter to me what other people think of how I look - it never has - I just want to be content with myself. I know there's a road ahead of me to travel to get back to where I want to be - I just hope it's not too long a road.

he just saw my jean size, haha

For now I'll look forward to the warmer days of spring (whenever those may happen) and many more opportunities to come to get outside and be active with Cal. And I'll focus on the immense pride I have in my body's ability to have created my perfectly healthy, beautiful little boy.

love of my life

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