Has anyone noticed that after the baby is born belly pics are rarely shown? There are so many cute pics of the growing belly but I rarely see pictures of how the uterus or abdominals are shrinking. I am going to do this – and the reason why is below:
We had a dinner party for a friend several nights ago and I was in a rush to get prepared. In my scramble to clean the house and put the children to bed I had about 5 minutes left to dress myself. I grabbed the first semi-formal shirt I remembered fitting. I knew it was a little tight but I figured if I held my belly in it would not only work but also be impressive that I had lost so much weight only 5 months postpartum.
What I had forgotten is the last time I wore that particular shirt I had been maintaining my workout routine and watching my diet. This party however, was coming after a minor surgery with almost a month of no exercise and minimal diet management. On top of that we were preparing a big, delicious rib eye meal – I don’t know what I was thinking.
By the end of the night I noticed a couple of friends staring at my waist area as we were talking, I thought “that’s odd”, but figured I had spilled a distracting stain on my shirt. After the last guest left I went upstairs to change and stood mortified in front of the bathroom mirror. I looked like I was pregnant with another baby that was at least 5 months along!!! Mor-ti-fied.
It took me almost a full day to get over that. While driving to church the next morning I was lamenting to my husband on how embarrassing and horrible the realization was (I know, dramatic). My husband was the one who pointed out that instead of calling him to continue my lament, I should be focused on the fact that I was driving to lead worship at my new place of employment for the first time – there was something better I could be doing with my time.
It hit me that I am no where near as confident in my body image as I thought I was. Essentially, when I was pre-baby it was easy to be confident because I was at my desired weight and shape. Now that I am not, my comparisons and competitiveness are evident.
I believe there is freedom in recognizing the process, and rather than attempting to hide reality and pop up x months later saying “ta-da!”, I am embracing honesty and reality. Here goes…
*I am starting this process at 6 months postpartum*