I can’t believe I’m sharing these pictures with you. Not even my own MOTHER… not even my SON’S FATHER… not even my BEST GIRLFRIEND has seen these maternity pictures… because I hated the way I looked in them and honestly, couldn’t believe I even let my photographer talk me into shooting them in the first place!
But I choose to be vulnerable and share ALL of my story with you because I don’t ever want you to think it was EASY for me or that I have it all figured out. It’s important to me that you see the success story, but that you also know that I FAILED… HUNDREDS OF TIMES before I succeeded.
A question I hear often: WILL MY BODY EVER BE THE SAME AFTER I HAVE A BABY? Truth be told… every woman’s experience is SO different.
Have you ever seen those adorable pregnant women who have cute little basketball bellies, and if they turned their back to you, you wouldn’t even know they were 37 weeks pregnant?! They seemingly “bounce right back” to their formerly fit selves before they even check out of the hospital, without leaving a trace of evidence that a tiny human was living inside of them for the past nine months. GOD BLESS THESE WOMEN!
Before I got pregnant, I used to see these ladies and think, “I CAN’T WAIT to be pregnant and adorable like them!”
Then I got pregnant. And this was SOOO NOT MY EXPERIENCE…
I was already 175 pounds when I found out I was expecting and then proceeded to gain another 70 POUNDS in 9 MONTHS.
For the record… Tye was only 8 lbs, 9 oz at birth! The other 61 pounds I attribute to Pizza Luce, Ben & Jerry’s and Wendy’s drive-thru.
I did not have a cute little basketball belly. I looked like I was having twins or triplets, and I used to get stopped in the skyways of Minneapolis by other women who would say things like, “Any day now, huh?!” when I was only in my second trimester.
GOD HELP ME.
I was pregnant EVERYWHERE. My knees were pregnant. My nose was pregnant. And my butt was just as round as my belly and stuck out equally as far on the backside of my body.
I have stretch marks EVERYWHERE. My breasts. My hips. My butt. The backs of my KNEES. My calves. I have loose skin. And after 24 hours of back labor and two failed epidurals, I had to have a c-section, which means I have the infamous scar and pooch on my lower abdomen, that no matter how lean I get, never seems to go away completely.
BUT… I am HEALTHIER and STRONGER than I have ever been. And I have learned to love my body, imperfections and all, because, I MADE A FREAKING HUMAN, you guys! A handsome, smart, kind, hilarious little boy who loves LEGOS and reading Captain Underpants and shooting hoops and superheroes…
And I would gain and lose the weight all over again in a HEARTBEAT because my life means nothing without that little boy.