April 18, 2022
I wonder if it’s just me. I glowed during pregnancy- I felt great, I was healthy, I LOVED being pregnant…so much so that I wondered how I would feel when I was no longer pregnant. And everyone I talked to said not to worry, once I saw our baby girl…that would be it.
And it was. Awestruck and in love in a whole new way from the moment the nurses placed her on my chest. The feeling, the emotions, they come rushing back as I write this.
And my labor and delivery albeit long– nothing unexpected- I delivered how I wanted, no major tearing or recovery or anything that prolonged my stay or baby girl’s stay in the hospital.
We went home after a few days and adjusted to life with baby girl; learning a new schedule, adjusting to our new roles and soaking up all the newborn snuggles and sounds and everything in between.
I felt healthy, tired and a mix of hormones and emotions as I adjusted to being mama and to breastfeeding. I didn’t really think about the weight I still carried and honestly, it came off pretty easily. My maternity clothes still fit for a while and they were comfortable. We had planned for my brother’s wedding so even the bridesmaid dress I wore a month later, fit perfectly.
I wore maternity clothes until they became too big and then we had to shop for some necessities– jeans, bras, the basics.
Having the right size for those was a game changer for me. I now felt more “put together” and presentable, not in limbo- I had clothes that worked and my attitude reflected it.
8 months postpartum and I’m in limbo again.
The jeans I had bought are now a little big and I know I can’t fit into my old ones, just yet (or ever) so I have to spend the time and downsize. Dresses that I used to wear are starting to fit again so I am happy about that as it’s all I wear in the summertime.
Somehow though, with all of this progress in the right direction, I still catch myself and think, “oh my goodness, is that really what I look like?” For me, it’s always a photo. And I think, “oh it’s the angle, oh it’s the lighting, maybe I should have picked a different outfit or maybe I should have done my hair differently” but the truth it, that’s me. That’s what I look like.
And personally, I don’t think I’m ugly…but in these moments, I’m not kind or giving myself grace so the negativity seeps in and I begin to think:
- it’s been 8 months, why isn’t ALL the baby weight gone?
- Why does your face still look like your pregnant?
- Why haven’t you worked out more? You work from home, where’s the excuse?
These are the down days- the days I feel more pretty-ugly instead of pretty-beautiful. And they are few and far between but when I do feel them, the stretch marks seem to be more apparent (they’re barely there), my face still looks puffy (you should have seen me when I was pregnant- think puffer fish) and I would rather stay out of pictures (but really, I want more of them with our babygirl).
Some days I GLOW. Some days my hair is great, my makeup is on point and my outfit hugs everything in just the right way. Bam. Beautiful, confident, glamourous.
Other days, surrounded by a mountain of clothes that didn’t work, my hair doesn’t know what to do with itself and I’m just not feeling the glow.
I am far from having a pity party though. I am more genuinely curious about how other women work through this notion of feeling pretty after pregnancy- because I have a hard time believing, it’s just me that feels this way.
So I’m putting it out there. How do you manage or approach this notion of feeling pretty after pregnancy? Is it something you tell yourself, something you do, maybe a specific outfit you wear or group of people you see?
This mama is curious and trying to collect ideas, motivation, mantras, something to be more realistic about this season, this limbo or cycle I’m in at the moment. Let me know your thoughts by sharing a comment below.
a curious mama