My mom loves to tell the story about how she left the hospital after I was born: in her skinny jeans. She will quickly point out that they weren't buttoned up, but that she was happy as a clam to just get them on. She is also Norwegian, and blessed with a long, lithe figure that hasn't changed much since she was a teenager.
Most of us aren't that lucky. When I left the hospital after my first child was born, I still looked six months pregnant -- which is totally normal. My uterus had just gone from the size of a wallet to the size of a suitcase, and the shrinking process (not to mention the leaking, bleeding and other lovely side effects of producing a child) was not going to be quick. Shortly after arriving home, a friend came to visit. I'll never forget the look of confusion on his face when he saw my still-swollen belly ... and the baby in my arms.
I loved my child more than words, but I certainly didn't love my misshapen body. Thankfully, I was too busy with the aforementioned baby to really worry too much about what I looked like, and breastfeeding and lots of walking got the weight off relatively quickly. But, much like parenting in general, it's not easy.
So today I am asking you to please lay off the "post-baby body" judgments. I can only imagine how impossible it is for celebrities to balance being a new mother whilst under the microscope of the media. They are barely out of the hospital before we are exclaiming about their quick return to pre-pregnancy size. But let's get real: of course they are back in their skinny jeans -- they have chefs, trainers and managers who are expecting them to be back to form ASAP (not to mention the industrial-strength Spanx they must be wearing).
Most of us muddle along without those luxuries, and reading about Heidi Klum in her size 2 jeans just weeks after the birth of her child doesn't do much to strengthen the bonds of female solidarity. We love nothing more than the news of a celebrity pregnancy; it proves that they really are like us! But how about a reality check once the baby is born -- give us all a few months to get used to our new lives and new bodies without feeling like we need to be red-carpet ready a week out of the hospital.
Check out our gallery of 25 stars who proudly showed off their post-baby shape and had us thinking, maybe they aren't like us after all?