At the risk of showing how insecure and shallow I can really be ;-) I have been struggling with my postpartum body this time around. Before getting pregnant with Baby Girl I was, for the first time, at my pre-kids weight, the same weight and clothing size I was when my husband and I got married 8 years ago when I was 23. After so much work to get so far, losing 80 pounds from my heaviest recorded weight, I feel set back and a little frustrated about having to put away those small, cute clothes.
In a confusing twist, though, at the same time I feel beautiful, and today I realized that I feel more beautiful than I did after either of my older two kids were born.
Is it because of the weight? I don't know, it might be. After my oldest was born I had major body issues in general, having had an unplanned c-section and having to process feelings about my body "failing" in childbirth. My postpartum depression was intense and as quickly as I lost the pregnancy weight after he was born, I gained it back by scarfing down starchy comfort food. After my second was born I felt fantastic, in comparison - no PPD, I healed very well from his birth, got right back into my routine. But I was heavy when I got pregnant with him, so of course I was still heavy after he was born, and I wasn't particularly happy with my hair, and was having some random skin issues at the time, and so on and so forth. I felt pretty good but wasn't feeling particularly beautiful.
This time I don't know what it is. I'm around 160 pounds and around a size 12. Quite a bit larger than the 140 and size 6 to 8 a little over a year ago. But that's okay, I'm fine with it, so I don't know if it's really about the weight. Maybe it's in the hair, I'm quite a bit happier with my hair these days. But I don't think it's really as shallow as that. Maybe it's the self-confidence I got from delivering Baby Girl at home with nobody but my husband and I. (Long story short, labor was looooooong long long, but then when things finally progressed it was FAST and she was born before my midwife arrived!) I think most of what is beautiful comes from underneath, from things that are unseen, things like self-confidence, inner strength, kindness and generosity.
For the past couple of years I've been on a journey of natural healing and wellness, working on myself emotionally, psychologically, and spiritually as well as physically. Maybe all of that under the surface of my skin and my hair and my weight and everything else that is visible on the outside is what shines in me and makes me feel like I've got some of that beautiful earthy mama vibe going on. Whatever it is, I love it and I vow to make a conscious effort to hold onto this feeling, and remind myself of it when I am feeling rather lumpy and dumpy about my appearance.