The End

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Thank you for reading.

Look Again

I have to face up to something that's hard for me to accept. Since having Emily, my body is different. Sometimes, it feels like it's not my body at all, but some other woman's body that I've been thrown into. I have marks that weren't there a year ago, and clothes I always knew I could fall back on no longer fit well (if they fit at all). I have never been good with exercise, but that's not all of it. Pregnancy changes a body, and it feels like beyond recognition.

For months now I've fought it. I've worn baggy and loose-fitting clothes because I can't bear to look at my new shape in the mirror, a shape that isn't me. I've spent whole days going back up to the bedroom to change my clothes yet again because I'm just not comfortable with how I look.

This is not to mention the fact that there are some clothes I've had to accept I'll never wear again. Some tops and dresses have my boobs making a run for it (if they weren't big enough to begin with, they're even bigger now). Some trousers just won't close any longer... and if they do, there's that awful extra skin that was a once much-loved bump hanging over the waistline.

Shopping isn't easy with a baby, either. I have never had much patience with changing rooms and now with Emily around, it's all too easy to avoid trying things on entirely. But I also know I can't quite get away with not trying things on any longer. Therefore, I just don't shop. (Instead, I shop for her.)

But the other day I had a slight revelation. Why not just embrace it as the new (temporary??!) me? I still hope, and keep hoping, to get to a point where I won't look at myself in the mirror and cringe (or be reduced to tears and/or a foul mood for the rest of the day). But until that day comes, perhaps I'm just making life more miserable for myself by hating the way I look.

The time has come, perhaps, to simply get on with it and carry myself with pride. Hold my head up, push my shoulders back - I am a mum. I've done it, I'm where I've always dreamt of being (just not as the second Elle Macpherson I somehow always pictured myself as...). I have a great life, a husband who loves me and an amazing daughter who obviously thinks the world of me whether my clothes fit me well or not. The rest can come later.


And strangely, since that day, when I started wearing more shapely clothes, not going out of my way to cover up every extra curve, I've felt better. I like myself more in photos and I've had comments about looking like I've lost weight. Go figure.


While on the topic, a friend and fellow mum has begun blogging about a challenge she's set herself: creating a capsule wardrobe. It's beginning to sound like a really good idea, I'm very eager to watch her "journey" unfold. It's not easy, so do pop by and offer her some encouragement!

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9 comments:

  1. Be kind to yourself! As you said, you're a mum. Your body has grown and changed to produce another human being! If it's any consolation, with Maia I lost the baby weight after 6 months and it still took a year for me to go back to size 10 clothes! This time I'm back to original weight but my shape is FAR from being my normal one. I guess we have to work at it (something I'm not good at either). And you do look great (there are pics on FB to prove it).

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  2. Unluckily one of the downsides of pregnancy is that it ruins the female body. However you should be kind to yourself as islandfairy said. All women face these challenges and there is nothing wrong in accepting your current shape. Wearing more shapely clothes is the way to go.

    P.s. I saw recent photos of you and you looked really good in them. Always radiantly smiling. That will always outweigh the different shape!

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  3. Well done you, I really do think that it's all about attitude. If you feel comfortable in your own skin then it shows on the outside.
    I'm breastfeeding LittleMan so dieting is out of the question, and I definitely have neither the time nor the inclination to exercise after catering to the needs of a small child all day.
    And yes, my body has changed a lot as a result of having him, but I recently made the decision to be positive about those changes. To view them as badges of honour rather than war wounds.
    If I'm honest, I was never really that in love with my body to begin with. What woman really is? But all the changes that have happened to it are because it has done what it is made to do.
    Pregnancy is a miracle that actually makes life, and it happened in my body.
    Check me out, I'm a frigging awesome baby maker...... I keep telling myself that.
    And I can honestly say that despite my body being in probably the worst shape it's even been in, I am also feeling the most body confident I have ever felt. My belly wobbles because it carried a baby, I have horrible stretch marks on my thighs (random - that's the only place I got them, and they only appeared while I was in hospital giving birth) from where my hips had to widen to let a baby out, and my boobs will possible never be the same again because they have sustained a baby for six months.
    Can't think of better reasons for being the way I am. And your body did that miraculous thing too. It's hard sometimes but be proud of it.
    x x

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  4. I don't have any answers, but I have been feeling the same way myself. It's getting a bit better now (K is 9 months now). I can fit into some of my pre-pregnancy clothes again but I am definitely a different shape than I used to be. I look ok with clothes on, but underneath it's a different story. Everything is softer and more wobbly than before. However I am trying to convince myself that this is not *bad* just *different*. My husband still seems to fancy me so it can't be all bad I suppose!!!

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  5. When you fulfill a dream, sometimes another one needs to go on the backburner for a while (although having a baby is surely more of a dream for you than having a perfect body is, no?). In the meantime, this is a really good attitude to adopt. You'll be fine!!!! xxx

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  6. A week after I got my gallbladder removed, I started getting stretch marks on my stomach. I'd never had them before and for a while I hated them. Angry, red lines which I didn't want. I found out it was because when you do keyhole surgery, they fill you up with enough air to make your waist expand to 80inches!!
    But then I figured what's the point in being upset about something I can't change? Now I see them as my battle scars.

    It's even more significant for you as you have a baby. It may be hard to accept the changes at first, but you know that your scars and marks and wobbly bits are all a testament to the fact that you gave life to another gorgeous person.

    xx

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  7. This is such a great post, and very brave, too! I'm glad you shared it. I have definitely experienced these feelings. My body is just different. it's not always even bad, but just different. good for you embracing it! it certainly helps.

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  8. Kle.. people are going to be down and confused and are going to start looking up things on the internet and hopefully they will find this post and feel that they're not alone. That's a wonderful thing :D

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  9. Thank you all so much for your kind words. So sorry to have taken this long to get round to replying to comments, but suffice it to say that you all helped so much when I was feeling a bit down - and will continue to do so as I will be sure to drop by this page whenever I start feeling iffy about everything again! :)

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