I am now 15 weeks postpartum and Ava has been getting so big! She is definitely a little chunk. A lot of the nights she has been sleeping through the night or only waking up once around 3 or 4 am and during the day I have started to get her on a nap routine. Some weeks are harder than others, but she is all worth the lack of sleep.
I have gotten back into my workout routine as best as I can. There are some weeks where I can work out 5-6 times and then are other weeks I only work out twice if I am lucky. I try not to get stressed when I have one of those weeks where it is hard to get to the gym and instead go on long walks to get in some kind of exercise.
I am not going to lie; I have struggled with body image during this postpartum journey. I almost didn’t want to put up these pictures comparing 8 weeks to 12 weeks, but when I think about it I am happy with the changes even if they may seem small. In 4 weeks I lost an inch and a half off my stomach and built back up my back muscles and did this in a healthy way. I didn’t starve myself or workout to the point of exhaustion. I got here slowly, but that is what will keep it off and keep me happy while doing it.
I am guilty of comparing myself to other women who have had babies and telling myself if I just went on a crazy diet then I would lose this belly quicker. Neither of these things are helpful in the long run and I know the negative effects of getting on a quick fix diet. I am not looking to just lose my belly pooch in a couple weeks to feel better, I want to lose it in a healthy way so it stays away and so I am not miserable because of an unhealthy diet.
I have continued to focus on eating the best I can and workout when I can and this is resulting in losing inches off my stomach little by little, but I am getting there. I feel like a hypocrite feeling like I want a quick fix and that my belly is not shrinking quicker than I thought it would, but at the same time I am human and have the same struggles every other woman feels and the pressure to look a certain way.
I promised myself that after pregnancy I would not take my body for granted like I did before pregnancy and be kinder to myself especially now because my body did such an amazing thing. I am also trying to keep in mind the saying “9 months on, 9 months off.” It is so true! How can I expect my stomach to grow and stretch over 9 months, but then expect it to shrink back down and be flat within 3 months, it’s unrealistic.
I have gotten back to my pre-pregnancy weight and I got there pretty quick, but I have a belly because I lost A LOT of muscle during pregnancy so yeah, on the scale I am back, but body composition wise I am not. This just goes to show that the scale can mean nothing that is why I started measuring my stomach instead.
I am still dealing with the healing from my C-section as well. I tried to do a little running the other day and the muscles below my incision on both sides started to get sore. At first I told myself to push through, but that would be stupid of me. Clearly my body is telling me it is not ready for running yet and I definitely felt that the next day. Someone I know told me that after their pregnancy they tried hard to get back in shape quick and this actually resulted in them messing up their hips because their body just wasn’t ready to go back to working out so intensely so quickly.
It really is hard to not have my body back the way I wanted it to be at this point. I am not just talking about the way it looks, but also the way it functions. It really does feel like my body got beat up inside and out. I guess because I had so such an amazingly easy pregnancy that I thought my recovery would be a breeze as well, but I was wrong. I feel down some days about this, but I know that I just need to give myself time and do the best I can and that I created a beautiful and amazing human and that is what matters. My body will recover over time and get back to where it wants to be when it is ready.
Being a mom is hard and recovering from pregnancy can be just as mentally and physically draining because you really don’t ever get time to just rest up. After that baby is out it is go go go till who knows when because being a mom never stops, not even after they are 18 and are “technically” an adult. Women do not get enough praise and respect for being mothers, society looks at moms as if it is just what we are suppose to do, but it is harder than a lot of people will ever know. Next time you see your mom or a mom just doing “mom” things like trying to grocery shop with their kids or hauling them around, just stop them and let them know they are amazing and what they do is amazing. I think moms need more of this.