By Randi, Butterfly Baby Doula
This blog is about my journey to finding my own self love; please know I love every one no matter what size they are. You need to define yourself and find comfort in your skin, whatever that looks like to you.
New mom standing naked looking at your body in the mirror, feeling raw and open and vulnerable: I see you, I hear you, and I feel you.
I’ve been there too, not always loving what I saw looking back. Yes, my body is amazing; yes it brought forth my living children and my angels. BUT I can still feel what I feel about my body and that’s ok.
After the birth of my daughter my son affectionately referred to my abdomen as the “jiggley belly,” albeit sweet natured and well intentioned from an adorable little three year old; it did not make me appreciate my body more.
I could see the tummy pooch so many people talk of postpartum, the engorged breasts that would leave my chest striped with stretch marks. The stretch marks on my stomach, on my hips, my breasts, bright pink, with the skin ripely showing how far it had been stretched. My firm baby bump becoming a deflated, saggy, pursed balloon.
Excess skin under my arms that would joyfully join in on the movement when I would clap or wave. The awareness that my body was not what it once was and that daunting thought that it probably never would return to that.
Looking at pictures people candidly took of me looking down at my new little baby, them seeing a mother bursting with pride and love, and me seeing the double or triple chins, the rolls in my stomach and my back.
We are our own worst critics, but it’s ok to not feel happy in your skin. It’s ok to decide to make a change. It’s ok to want to feel healthy and strong in your body. It’s ok to want to look in the mirror and feel proud and happy of your accomplishments.
Health and strength, beauty and pride looks different to every single person. Its perspective and prerogative. Again this is about learning to love yourself and finding your own self worth.
Since my daughter was born mid August 2015 I’ve lost over 80 pounds. It wasn’t fully intentional but it also wasn’t easy. I have celiac disease, so gluten was already out of my diet. Then my daughter had food sensitivity issues so I cut out things that bothered her. Then slowly I cut things that bothered me. It was a slow progression and one that I have maintained.
I’m just now going to the gym and yoga. I feel very strong inside and I want my physical appearance to reflect that. I want to look in the mirror and see past the dark circles under my eyes from lack of sleep, and see a strong and defined body, yet maintain my softness. A body that has worked very hard but is loved and appreciated. A body that may still jiggle here and there, but also defined along the curves.
As a close to my pregnancy and birthing journey I got pictures to capture my body. Are there things I would change? Of course, we are ever evolving humans. Am I proud of them and the way they’ve captured my children and who I was in that moment? Absolutely.
So here I am, in full glory, my fourth trimester body.