Before falling pregnant I had an idea of what my postpartum body would be like. Purely from seeing woman after they had had babies and assumed that it wouldn't be that much different after I'd lost my baby weight. But there a few things you don't get told about the after effects of carrying a child and giving birth.
I had no idea how long it took for your "bump" to start shrinking. I'd say, I still had a visible bump for a good 6 weeks after having Violet. Granted it was a lot smaller than my 36 week pregnancy bump but it was certainly still there. I was firmly stuck in my maternity clothes for a few months purely for comfort and for hiding my extra bit of tummy and I'm not ashamed to say I only got rid of my maternity jeans last week. And another weird thing, your stomach feels like putty, something else I had no idea about. Even now, 7 months postpartum, my stomach feels like play dough. And the a "pouch" from my section is certainly an interesting addition to my torso and FYI does not look flattering with anything high-waisted. Of course, I could do something about it but lets be honest - I didn't exercise before having a baby, I'm certainly not going to be starting now.
I think the biggest adjustment to my body, is of course the scar across my abdomen. It wasn't expected and therefore not prepared for but stares me right in the face every morning. The majority of the area around it, is completely numb and weirdly makes me feel sick when I touch it. But thankfully my wonderful scar is pretty neat and tidy and even after taking a whole five months to get used to, it has grown to be one of my favourite things.
Oh let's not get me started on my boobs, I mean if we can still call them that. Pre-pregnancy I couldn't complain, they were in the right place and I could easily get away without a bra if necessary. Post baby they just look sad. Despite not being able to breast feed and only expressing milk for under a month, they still look pitiful and have certainly seen better days. Thank god for padding, underwire and M&S measuring service!
And guess what? It's not just the obvious areas that change. Here I am, with thinning hair and one bicep bigger than the other, from carrying V on my left side. My thighs rub together when I'm walking about and my hips could easily rival Shakira's. And to top it all off emotions are ridiculous and I'm not sure I can still blame them on hormones. Oh the glam-mum life.
But despite all these changes, I'm still me. I might look and feel a little bit different but those silvery stretch marks all add to my story. I might never squeeze into my size 6 jeans again but that's okay. I'm in a new and improved body, I grew a human and I have the scars to prove it.