Near the end of my pregnancy I wrote about body positivity and rocking my bump. About how great pregnancy made me feel, and that I wanted to hang on to that post pregnancy, remember that my body had grown two beautiful humans and that was awesome no matter how my shape had changed.
Well I’m here to tell you I’ve failed. Miserably.
I do not feel like the awesome warrior I did. I do not feel remotely empowered or like I’m owning my body.
I feel tired. I feel lumpy. I feel achy. I feel drab.
I was “lucky” that not long after I’d given birth I was back to my pre pregnancy weight and back in my usual Jeggings. I was already over weight and hadn’t actually gained a huge amount so this wasn’t like the “spring back” you see from celebrities, but it was gone.
But then life happened.
Weight Gain – I make bad food choices, I didn’t make good on my original plans to have delicious and healthy meals prepped and ready in the freezer. I snack on convenience food, fast food, chocolate bars. And when Christmas hit, well that was just another excuse (not that I needed one) to eat every single pig in blanket within sight! It was ok, I’d grown a person. And looking after two small humans gave me the need to consume so much sugar. Or carbs. Or preferably both. And my weight ballooned to being the heaviest I’ve been. Ever. Including during pregnancy.
I know that this diet is neither healthy or helpful. I’m getting the energy boost from a sugar hit, but I’m also getting the lows of the comedown. And then the tiredness hits harder and the cycle continues. I say it often but I really wish I drank coffee, at least a caffeine hit would be a bit better than an early morning sugar dose. I know this can’t continue.
Breastfeeding – Occasionally I feel totally badass for breastfeeding. I’m fascinated by what I can produce to nourish my baby. And when I feel like it might not be enough, I take a look at my chunky little baby and am reassured, most of the time. However, there’s an aspect that I wasn’t really prepared for. Fashion.
I need to be accessible at all times. Accessible without flashing too much flesh. Vest tops layered with a bigger t shirt or jumper has become my new uniform. Which is great, it’s comfy and can take what this job throws at it. Or throws up on it. But I am constantly thinking about my tummy. Is the vest covering it? Is it riding up as the baby wriggles? Is anyone looking at my flabby belly!?
It’s like a constant reminder of the weight I’ve put on. Sat on the sofa, being held hostage by this adorable and hungry bundle, and avoiding eating a decent hot meal so I don’t risk spilling anything over him.
Hair Loss – During pregnancy your hair pretty much stops falling out. Your hormones have got better things to do than to keep up with a normal cycle or hair loss and regrowth that is normal. So it kind of ‘stocks up’. Your hair seems thicker, healthier and you fell fab. I felt fab.
Then a few months after you’ve given birth, those pesky hormones panic. They’re trying to get back to normal. Essentially they panic, and it seems all the extra hair they’ve been clinging onto need to go. That instant. Next thing you know you’ve got enough hair to make a wig just from one brush.
For some unknown reason, this is happening more in the areas above my temples. I know that this is a common thing, for the hair to thin and regrow around the temples and hair line. But mine seems excessive. And there is nothing that makes me feel less confident than the bald patch on the left side of my head. It’s not a “thinning patch”. It is bald.
I am a mess. I couldn’t feel further from the glowing, curvy woman I was just a few months ago. And it’s down to me to fix it. If all it took was for someone to tell me I was still beautiful, I wouldn’t have a problem. Mr H has told me daily, at the very least once a day, how beautiful I am to him. But unfortunately I don’t feel it.
So I know I need to take control. No one is going to deliver healthy meals to me, I need to organise them. No one cares what I look like when I’m feeding, if they see anything it’s the super cute baby and not my flabby tum. And if they do? Sod it! Hair grows. I’ve had to adjust my style to distract from The Patch, but at some point that hair will grow back (and no doubt I’ll be back to have a small whinge at the fluffy, sticky out regrowth, but I’ll forget about that for now).
I want that feeling loving my body and myself back.
Did you struggle with postpartum body issues? what is your best tip to overcome them?
Mrs H xxx