My baby daughter will be 4 months old on Sunday. Like most new moms, after her birth I was anxious to get my body back, since the magazines at the checkout told me how important it is to do so.
There was only one problem: I didn't lose my body while I was pregnant. Did I do something wrong?
Here I am at almost 13 weeks pregnant. I still have arms, and a butt, and a face, which I'm pretty sure are all parts of a body.
And here I am at about 19 weeks pregnant. Looks like my soul is still inhabiting some sort of carbon life form here.
And at 30 weeks pregnant. Yup, I still see lots of things in this photo that make me think I had not lost my body by this point.
Thirty-seven weeks pregnant. Am I missing something? It really, really looks like I still had a body here.
And here I am one month after my baby was born. Huh, I see a hand, and a head, and arms, and indications that there are some lower extremities that aren't in the picture. It really seems like I still had a body. Wouldn't my husband have told me if my body had gone missing? Or my parents? How do I get my body back if I haven't lost it?
Can you tell that I do not like the way that new moms (or women in general) are treated in the media? I do not have to get my body "back," and I don't appreciate the notion that women lose their bodies while carrying a child. My body did some incredible work and created my beautiful and healthy daughter. It labored for over 12 hours to bring her into the world. It produces nature's perfect food for her. It gets up in the middle of the night (and the beginning of the night, and the end of the night) to comfort, change, and feed her. I most definitely still have a body.
That being said, I'm not going to pretend like I don't want to fit into the clothes that I used to wear -- but I'm not willing to do anything crazy to get there. I've been putting my daughter in the Moby Wrap and walking for about 30 minutes a day. I'm breastfeeding. I'm making fun yet gentle goals, such as challenging myself to get at least three servings of fruits and three servings of vegetables every day (which is not as easy as it was before I had a baby attached to me 20 hours a day).
That's it. That's all I'm doing. I'll fit into my pants when I fit into them (and some of them are already back in my rotation). There is nothing I need to "get back," because I didn't lose anything. In fact, I gained much more than I lost: a child, love and appreciation for what I'm capable of, and a new way of seeing my husband now that he's a dad, among other things.
I hope all new moms feel the way that I feel. And I hope we can all stop focusing on what we allegedly lost when it's so clear we now have more than ever.