Attempting to Love This Post-Pregnancy Body

I’ve got problems lately with how I look.  I am not at my best yet far from my worst.  I worked hard to get in the best shape and health of my life before I started in-vitro and getting pregnant.  Now, I’m attempting to love this post-pregnancy body.  And it’s ROUGH.

I was talking with a very wise friend the other day who said, “it’s so hard because even if you lose all the weight after having a baby, and weigh the same as you did before you were pregnant, your body is TOTALLY DIFFERENT.”  Amen, sister.  Everything is in a different place.  My boobs are hanging down to my waist and long gone are the days of no bra wearing.  I have to strap these suckers in and make sure they are still readily available at the same time.  You know what I’m saying?

That scar I’ve got from my C-section?  I’m damn proud of it.  Don’t mistake my vanity for not claiming all this as a proud mama.  I’m damn proud of my scar and my changing body and the ability it had to carry these babies and then birth them and feed them and now to let them use it as a playground for their enjoyment 24 hours a day.  I KNOW how lucky I am.  Make no mistake.  But I am vain.  It’s one of my character defects.  And I don’t know that it will ever go away.

My scale tells me I’ve only got about 12 pounds to lose to be at my fighting weight from pre-pregnancy.  And I walk this fine line of saying, “fuck it, I just had two full term twins a few months ago and I don’t give a shit what my body looks like because the babies are all that matters” AND “damn, I want to fit into that dress again and feel like I’m rocking it without a spare tire around my belly.”

I see pictures of myself lately and don’t recognize that body.  It’s a big adjustment to accept that is how I look now.  But I also know I can love it or hate it – accept it as is, or work harder to get it the way I want it to be. I have a choice.  I learned a lot from Stacy and Clinton (pause for sadness as What Not to Wear goes away) and the main thing is, LOVE AND DRESS YOUR BODY AS IT IS NOW, don’t wait until you lose weight.  If and when I lose more weight, that will be great, but if I don’t, I have to choose to love this body as it is today.

I started a Pinterest board called “This is the Best Costume for the Day” (thank you Little Edie) last year before I got pregnant.  Before I was on all the hormones, but then, the most miraculous thing happened.  I was all hopped up on drugs and hormones and then, I got pregnant!  And it’s all chronicled in the damn Pinterest board!  Who knew?  I sure didn’t when I started that thing for fun to show off what I was wearing and try to say, “HEY, I LOOK CUTE TODAY!  Let’s all share how cute we look today just for fun.”

That board has become a living document to my pregnancy and now to the pics with Hall & Oates in them it shows how life is very different after having babies, and yet, I STILL WANT TO LOOK CUTE.  Don’t we all?  Sure, you can say, I don’t give a shit what I look like because I’m just trying to get through this motherloving day with minimal destruction and keep both my babies alive – I don’t have time to put on make up or actual clothes or even give half of a shit.  Believe me, I have those days too.  You just don’t see pictures of those.

I am no fashionista and I don’t have any delusions about that.  The board is simply to say, “hey, I’m here and I look good and feel good and these babies will not suck every single ounce of myself out of myself.”  You feel me? There are a bunch of us doing it now, and I encourage you to try it too!   Babies are the best thing that’s ever happened to me, and yet, without ME, I’m not at my best.  If I let the babies deplete me, they lose.  I lose.   WE ALL LOSE.  So, you have to fill yourself up.  Whatever form that takes, and for me, it’s getting showered and dressed and made up and smeared with red lipstick.

More importantly, it’s about filling up that hole in my soul.  Reading, writing, AA, friends, family and LAUGHTER are what fill me up.  It takes all of that to make me full and able to serve.  It’s what helps when I’m at my worst and don’t think I can change one more diaper that day or hear crying for 5 more seconds.  I log on the internets or text somebody or chat somebody up on the phone (which we all know I HATE, but have to do) or GET OUT OF THE HOUSE and get my hole filled up – what? don’t be a perv.  My dear sweet dumpster husband tells me I’m beautiful and look great.  I’ve got perspective here and that is most important as this is a VERY HIGH CLASS PROBLEM TO HAVE, however, it’s a real issue for me and cannot be diminished just because I would like it to be. It’s a core fundamental thing that I need to feel good about my body and it directly correlates to my well being overall.

I keep saying I’m going to get regular about my workouts and walking these babies every damn place all the time helps, certainly.  But the eating is crazy and what I shove in my pie hole is not helping.  I eat when I have 2 seconds and sometimes it’s crap.  Other times I actually eat really well for half the day and then it all goes downhill by the time dinner arrives and after dinner I just want to celebrate that I made it to baby bedtime and so I reward myself with crappy food.  That is no way to reward myself, BUT IT IS ALL I HAVE.  And for this drunken smoker who isn’t drinking or smoking, it inevitably goes to food abuse quicker than you can say “would you like some ranch on your m&m’s?”

So the dressing for the day and taking pictures and trying to feel like a sexy cute woman is all part of the deal I have with myself to not lose myself.  Health is the most important thing. That means body, mind and soul.  And I think I’m doing ok.  For now.  But ask me again at about 7:30 tonight.

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