To grow and deliver a tiny human being is no small feat. The impact of pregnancy on the human body can vary drastically from one person to the next. Some women come out unscathed while others have lasting scars and/or conditions to remind them of their journey to motherhood. In fact many try, to no avail, to conceive spontaneously only to be faced with years of infertility or recurrent pregnancy loss. Some mommies have lovingly adopted children or welcomed bonus babies into their blended families. So, with families nationwide celebrating Mother’s Day today, I wanted to take a look at pregnancy and motherhood from the perspective of a few mom friends.
Accepting a post-baby body
When asked, what do you love about your body after kids, answers ranged from loving their new cleavage and curves to lustrous locks! Here are a few of my favorite answers:
I love that I can nurse, makes me feel like I have superpowers!
My hair was amazing! My skin was flawless and glowing. But I think I was most in awe of my ability to carry life and felt like a Superhero!
I lost weight with twins so I loved that!
The amazing thing called breastfeeding.
I’m appreciative of what my body accomplished by giving birth to 3 healthy children.
The fact that I was able to carry twins to almost 40 weeks and they were 8 lbs each, really speaks to how fit and healthy I was before having them. My body was strong and I am happy that I was able to carry with no complications whatsoever.
I really like my c-section scar. It’s like my mommy badge of honor.
I have a weird relationship with my belly! It’s scarred & saggy but after being skinny all my life it makes me feel full, womanly and motherly; even though it’s not conventionally pretty, I love it.
Body changes that are hard to cope with
When asked, What would you change about your body after kids, the overwhelming response was stretch marks and weight-gain. Additionally, this is what they had to say:
The stretch marks and the bulging belly.
My entire midsection. Stretch marks, pouch, diastasis recti, and the hernia.
Flabby tummy and inability to hold my pee!!
I wish I could go back to my body and brain not being compromised. I get headaches more frequently and tired more often.
I want my flat stomach back.
After 3 kids, the squishy belly skin.
My stomach got so big with each pregnancy that it’s so stretched. A tummy tuck is in order!
This muffin top!
My stomach is pretty flat but after twins it’s loose. If I couldn’t tighten up & wear a bikini again, I would.
What no one tells you about pregnancy
When asked, What do you WISH someone had TOLD YOU about pregnancy/motherhood, this is what they had to say:
That it’s hard. People romanticize it. It’s hard work and you’re tired. You can lose you.
I wish someone would have told me about all the negative side effects of pregnancy. They glorify glowing skin, hair, and a crazy sex drive I experienced the opposite and was disappointed.
The hair loss when your hormones settle down.
Post partum shedding and how intense it can be.
Its okay to just be lazy some days.
That it’s ok not to get it all done. It’s imperative to do self care. Enjoy a support group outside of your family.
That I could totally function on 2 hours of sleep!
To wrap my stomach.
Those moments when all you can do is pray and cry for yourself. Also, the moments when you think (very quietly) that your kids are ruining your life. It’s a brief moment but no one prepares you for it!!
That it’s ok to talk about the dark side.
That you can actually lose your memory, mental sharpness… my brain was legit foggy sometimes.
There are NO breaks.
That your partner won’t be as attentive as you need them or anticipate them to be.
That I am not super woman. To “snap back” after pregnancy is often unrealistic and society puts a lot of pressure on moms.
I would tell mom’s that no matter what other veteran mamas tell you, feel confident in your choices and in your decision to do things “your way”. No matter the method what matters is a healthy baby.
Sharing the knowledge with new moms
When asked, What would YOU TELL someone about pregnancy and/or motherhood, this is what they had to say:
Although motherhood is a blessing from God, it is by far the hardest job you will ever have.
Every woman and pregnancy is different. Enjoy it but learn to mute unnecessary advice.
Find enjoyment in every moment with your child because time just flies by so fast! Take as much maternity leave (if you’re working) as you can afford because you’ll appreciate that bonding time. No one can prepare you for the infinite love that envelopes your heart and mind when you have your child, so enjoy!
Embrace it and eat everything you want!
Get a village, like right now. Find other pregnant friends, new moms or married moms. Create a support system for yourself.
It’s the most exhausting, exhilarating, time consuming, rewarding job in the world! My children have taught me a level of love I didn’t know existed.
It’s ok if it’s hard or if somethings aren’t instinctual. It’s ok if you don’t feel the way people say you should. It’s ok to have your own journey.
That it would test you mentally and physically like no other job. -ML
That you’re your baby’s number 1. If your little one is smiling, laughing, growing, and loving, you’re doing it right. No matter what the blogs, google, in laws, or standards say… you’re doing it right.
The same thing I wish someone would have told me; it’s ok to ask for help and accept the help when people offer!
Prepare to be utterly confused! What you thought you knew you will not know. What you thought that you didn’t know you will instinctively know somehow. Up is down, in is out, left is right and right is wrong! The love for that baby makes you a superhero. What you thought love felt like or looked like will change 180 degrees and you will be unrecognizable. Enjoy it all!
There’s no rule book on parenting. Just go with your gut and it will all work out.
How much I’d fall in love!
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