Photo credit: First Delight Photography

Photo credit: First Delight Photography

I’ve wanted to write about this for awhile, but it’s a tough subject for me. Still, I wanted to get my story out there, because I want it to be of help to those who might be going through, or have gone though, something similar.

For those of us who are moms, we all know the magic and wonder of pregnancy. How our awesome bodies are able to grow a human being, and how our hearts are able to grow an unbelievable amount of love for them. We also know the struggles. The back & hip pain as we double, then triple in size. The sleepless nights trying to get comfortable. The fatigue, and swelling, and aches. It happens so quickly, it’s sometimes difficult to adjust to. 

Here I am a month before getting pregnant on the left, and a couple weeks after giving birth on the right.

Here I am a month before getting pregnant on the left, and a couple weeks after giving birth on the right.

I remember looking in the mirror those first weeks and not really recognizing myself. My face was still swollen and even my nose had doubled in size. (Nose swelling! Who knew that was thing??) I was looking at a body that was 45 lbs heavier than it was before I got pregnant. I was embarrassed I’d gained more than the “recommended” amount, and that it hadn’t all just fallen off right away. I was frustrated I didn’t have any clothes that fit. I was ashamed I wasn’t “bouncing back” the way I saw other moms were. I was torn between buying new things for my new size, not knowing how long I’d stay that way, or just getting by with my maternity clothes for awhile that were now too big. I’m pretty sure I just lived in leggings and my husband’s T-shirts those first couple months. I didn’t feel great about that, but I was ok with it. I was recovering from a huge event, and I was getting to know & bonding with my little one. I think we’re allowed to give ourselves some grace. I remember my photographer who did our newborn photos saying, “Don’t worry, you shouldn’t have to wear real clothes for at least three months after giving birth”. Sounds about right to me! 

But despite my frustrations, and despite feeling uncomfortable with myself, I was still able to put together outfits that worked for me. No matter how much weight we gain, our general shape stays about the same. The tips for dressing ourselves don’t really change. I did decide to buy some things in my current size, and knowing what to choose went a long way in helping me feel better about myself. As much as I wanted to hide in baggy clothes, those would have done nothing for me, except for maybe making me look bigger than I actually was. People can see us, whether we’re trying to hide or not.

Change is part of life. It’s inevitable and it’s a good thing. Our bodies are capable of immense change and strength. And while yes, change takes some getting used to, the change we experience in pregnancy & afterwards shouldn’t bring us down. It’s something that can be accepted and celebrated.

If you’ve been struggling to dress your body after a change, and guilty that you can’t just magically make your body go back to how it was, you don’t have to keep feeling this way. Let’s talk and see if we can find a solution together.