Over the past 5 months I’ve been searching (at times frantically) for a blog with some confidence boasting images of new moms gradually working off the baby weight…and then I came across this image. (This image is, in fact, the exact image that pushed me over the edge and into a blog.) That’s Hilaria Baldwin 24 hours after giving birth to her third child in three years.
Admittedly, she’s looks amazing. I hope to one day look that amazing just in general, without having to give birth 24 hours beforehand. In fact, she looks shockingly similar to what I looked like at my skinniest, when I was a vegan after eating a burrito. Furthermore, if that’s what I looked like 24 hours after giving birth I too would take a selfie in my underwear and post it for all the world to see. Shoot, I would print out an 8×10, laminate it, & frame it. I’m sure she was trying to be encouraging and inspiring. I’m sure that was somewhat of an exposing image to share. And for that, in all sincerity, I applaud her. However, I’m going to take a wild guess and say that most women do not look like that 24 hours after giving birth, or a week after, or month after, or for some of us a year after. I’m 5 months out and I don’t look anything close to that. Now, of course we likely have different body types, her body likely metabolizes food differently than mine, she’s a yoga instructor, she’s fit for a living, she’s probably taller than me (fingers crossed by at least 5 inches) but that doesn’t exactly help. You see, what I felt when I looked at her picture was embarrassed and ashamed of myself. Embarrassed and ashamed of what I looked like 24 hours after giving birth because I looked nothing like her. It’s as if suddenly I forgot that my body, big and bulky as it got, grew a healthy, beautiful, little human. I should be proud of my body. I should be incredibly grateful for it. But I felt none of that, just shame and embarrassment. Honestly, that’s my problem not hers. That’s my own unwarranted self-loathing. Feelings of embarrassment are not new pertaining to my pregnancy weight gain. In fact, throughout the last months of my pregnancy I felt embarrassed a lot. I was huge and people commented endlessly. Strangers commonly said things like, “Whoa,” “Just about to pop, huh,” “You got twins in there?” or simply “Look at YOU!” For the most part it was fine, I was so excited to have this baby it didn’t really matter too much. But what really got to me was when people would ask when was due. I couldn’t lie…so I’d tell the truth…and then they would look at me like I was insane, because usually I still had a couple months to go. I doubt Mrs. Baldwin looked like this 9 months pregnant. But I did. That’s me five days before having little Lula. So, obviously I looked very different 24 hours after giving birth than she did.
In case anyone else out there needs some encouragement and possibly a more common image of a woman 24 hours after giving birth. Here I am! That’s me 46 hours after having Lula. (Sorry, we didn’t take any pictures exactly 24 hours after.) That band I’m wearing was to help keep my still huge tummy from painfully falling over my cesarean incision. Today, I still don’t look like Hilaria Baldwin and I still have 8 to 13 pounds of baby weight to go. But I’m getting there slowly and that’s…honestly disappointing some days, but in reality it’s perfectly okay.
I’m going to stay focused, consistent, and I’ll get to my goal. When I do I too will post a selfie of my amazing post baby body in my underwear. (Just kidding.) However, I will post what I’ve been doing to take the baby weight off & if any other Mama’s out there have some tips, please let me know…asap!