Once my baby arrived, I started to wonder about the magic of the ninth month and if this slogan would hold true for me. But I quickly realized there was so much more to it than just the number on the scale.
Right after my baby was born a lot of the nurses commented on how flat my belly was. This made me smile. I mentally gave myself a high five every time I heard this as if somehow I could take the credit for this. So imagine my surprise when I finally got out of bed and was able to slowly hobble over to the shower. I glanced at the mirror and discovered my belly wasn't flat at all!! I had a strange little pouch of a belly with saggy droopy skin. Clearly I was a bit delusional and expected my belly to be bikini ready instantly. I was wrong. It takes time for the uterus to shrink back to normal size and then for the skin and muscles to tighten up over it. I made a mental note to jump on our exercise bike as soon as I got the go ahead from my doctor around the 6 week mark. That never happened. Instead I watched as all the weight melted away within the first few weeks, thanks to the awesomeness of breastfeeding. In order to produce breastmilk, the body burns up to 500 calories per day, depending on supply and diet. So without doing anything, I lost most of the weight before my baby was 3 months old. I currently weigh about 15lbs more than I did pre-pregnancy so I'm finally considered "normal" on the BMI. I feel like I cheated on this one because I was breastfeeding. Once I stop breastfeeding we'll see what happens, a lot of my friends tell me I will gain a ton of weight once we wean. I'll try not to worry about that for now.
|In my last trimester|
|Four months post baby|
Prior to getting pregnant I wore shoes in a size 9. During the pregnancy my feet were understandably swollen, and most of my shoes felt a bit tight but I assumed that this would all be resolved once the baby was born. Here I am at 9 months post partum and my feet are stubbornly remaining at size 9.5! I don't really understand it but I guess its not the end of the world. Except that I now have a a very large collection of shoes that no longer fit me.
During pregnancy my hair was just bizarre. It was thick, unruly and out of control and because I didn't want to relax it, I put it up in braids as you can see in the photo. My hair was so tangled once I took the braids out that I got frustrated with it and decided to chop it all off myself. Such a liberating feeling! I currently have a mom cut that is low maintenance and requires nothing other than washing and occasional combing.
I smugly went through my entire pregnancy with the assurance that I wouldn't get any stretchmarks. I came to this conclusion because many people had mentioned that stretch marks were genetic and since my mom didn't have any I assumed I wouldn't get any either. In the last few weeks of my pregnancy I started to notice a shiny spot of skin right on top of my belly button. The skin felt extra smooth there. I rubbed a bit of lotion on it and forgot about it. But as days went by that spot of shiny skin was still there. I started to get the sneaky suspicion that this spot of skin was a stretch mark in disguise. The patch of shiny skin just seemed to get larger and larger but I still couldn't confirm what was for sure. Its embarrassing to admit how many hours I stood in front of the mirror straining my neck to examine my belly in the hunt for the treacherous stretchmarks. By my due date there was no denying it, I had a perfect ring of short little stretchmarks neatly circling my belly button like happy rays of sun from a cartoon.
Right after the baby was born, the stretch marks looked awful. It sounds vain, but its true. It bothered me to the extent that that I decided to try the overpriced Mederma stretch mark therapy.
This cream is supposed to be used twice a day for 12 weeks in order to see results but I gave up after a few days because I kept forgetting to use it. In the end, by some miracle the stretchmarks all faded away by themselves so I'm as happy as a bunny once again. But I do love my husband's theory that pregnancy stretch marks are a badge of honor that should be worn with pride. I'm also a fan of the Birthmarks poem by Cassie Fox:
"A mark for every breath you took, every blink, every sleepy yawn.
One for every time you sucked your thumb, waved hello, closed your eyes,
and slept in the most perfect darkness.
One for every time you had the hiccups.
One for every dream you dreamed within me.
It isn't very pretty anymore.
Some may even think it's ugly.
It was your home.
It held you until my arms could,
and for that, I will always find something beautiful in it. "
~ Cassie Fox