Here’s the secret: After pregnancy and childbirth, your body will never be the same again.
I am sorry to be the bearer of such bad news, but it never will be. I wish it wasn’t the case, but it is.
Lucky for me, I had prepared myself for this one beforehand. This change was one I knew was coming. I heard all the hype over and over again about getting your pre-pregnancy body back, but harbored no such delusion. I’m not sure if all women are like me, but I certainly knew as I watched myself grow and expand throughout my pregnancy, that there was not any way I was going to get the body back that I had before pregnancy. I expanded to enormous proportions in ways I didn’t know were possible. Every muscle of mine stretched out. At one point during my pregnancy, I thought I developed a hernia. Every time I sneezed a stabbing pain shot all through my body. It was searing and hot. I ran to my doctor.
“It’s not a hernia.” She pronounced. “Your stomach muscles have just split apart.”
“That can happen?” I asked, incredulously. She nodded, still feeling along my ever widening baby bump. “Will they go back together after the baby is born?” I wanted to know.
“Sometimes. Sometimes not. It all depends.” That was her answer.
The changes kept coming. My bones popped out. My hips felt as if they were being shoved apart in a spiteful game of let’s see how far away we can get from each other. My barely A cups became perfect C cups. This was the only change I welcomed and of course, it was the quickest to go away. Everything about your body will be different.
It is possible for your body to go back to resembling normal, however, it will never be exactly as it was before at least for those of us who don’t have the option of plastic surgery. It doesn’t mean you won’t lose the weight. The weight can be lost, but your body has been forever altered. And let’s not forget that it is impossible to get rid of extra skin (unless of course you go under the knife).
I’ve always been an athlete. I’ve ran four marathons since giving birth and I am in fairly decent shape. I get lots of compliments about my body, but they don’t see me naked. And yes, in clothes, I look pretty decent. The truth is that I still have a small pooch (thank you split stomach muscles). I just hide it well. It doesn’t seem to be going anywhere no matter what I do and I have done a lot (okay, not lately because I’ve been too busy eating Rocky Road).
My days of proudly wearing midriff baring shirts are gone, but let’s be real. Should I really be wearing midriff baring shirts at this point? And even if I did, where would I wear them to? The park? Pre-school drop off?
Comparing your pre-pregnancy body to your post-pregnancy body is like comparing a forty year old body to a nineteen year old body. They are just fundamentally different. My advice? Just accept it. Accept your post-baby body. It makes it easier. I promise.