Ok, so in all honesty, I wasn’t sure that I would want to write about my postpartum journey and in rediscovering my body after 5 consecutive pregnancies in about as many years (seriously, we JUST welcomed our fifth little one and our oldest is JUST over 5.5 years old – I am pretty sure I have been pregnant as long as that infamous giraffe was).
I have hummed and hawed about whether this was the place to share my trials and my triumphs … the pain, the set backs, the stark realizations that my body will never be what it once was while simultaneously discovering what it is capable of now … I mean, I wanted this to be a place where we talked mom stuff, where we connected on the struggles we face today as women in a way that was God honouring and good for the soul, in a judgement free space where you could come and feel like you were talking with a bestie.
And so I hesitated, this post stayed in the draft for almost a week, not a word written, just a title and a landing page IN CASE I decided that I would share this journey.
Obviously, seeing as you are reading this, I have chosen to go forward with this stream of sharing, I’ve decided to say *screw this* to my insecurities and my history of dropping the fitness ball, and open up about what it means to have gone through so much in such a short time, what it feels like to look back at a body I once thought was strong, capable but “fat” and wonder if I will ever be that size again. I decided I would share the mental anguish of having to admit that I used to have no trouble lifting 30 lb weights and now the only thing above 10 lbs that I can curl is my child because there is so weird, hidden mom strength that we all seem to have when it comes to wrangling our children.
I figured I would start this journey with some background on what happened to my body in the last 6 odd years.
First, I have been pregnant for roughly 50 of the last 75 months, roughly 66% of the time.
When I wasn’t pregnant I was nursing.
My body has *literally* not been my own for 75 months and, while I am nursing our little lady, I am FINALLY on a journey of discovering what my body IS now that it is not a baby factory.
** we have not decided if “permanent” measures will be taken to shut down the factory, but for all intents and purposes we are done having children. Don’t laugh *Amanda* I know we have said that before, but I mean it this time, 5 is enough for us **
I am starting off behind the eight ball a bit with this journey as pregnancy is no joke when it comes to my body. If you ever wondered what a whale looks like pregnant or what it might look like for a woman to swallow a champion watermellon whole, you’re looking at her.
With an abdominal separation of 6 cm when fully “healed” … meaning like 6 months postpartum, a hernia, and an average weight gain of 50 lbs per pregnancy (if you want to know my TOTAL weight gain at the height of “get this baby out NOW”, I went from 140 lbs to 230 lbs, never having lost all the weight between pregnancies and playing a one step forward, two steps back game with the weight gain).
My body is weakened.
My body is fatigued.
My body needs time to rediscover movement, rebuild strength, and refine itself for the next stage of life. The next stage of chasing each of my five children without a bun in the oven or a little one at the breast.
Don’t get me wrong though, this journey isn’t just about workouts and building strength, this journey will also be about learning to eat RIGHT, most of the time. About changing mine and my husbands mentality toward food and setting a foundation for our children of healthy choices. The two of us get caught in the trap of fast food indulgences *waste of money and SO bad for you* and cheap, quick meals because we both struggle with the idea of meal planning and going without the Nacho date nights. So, over the course of this journey we will share those struggles, the ways we are trying to incorporate healthy choices daily and how we manage it on a tighter than my underwear budget.
This journey will also be about mental victories. About overcoming the shame of my MASSIVE mother’s apron (compliments of a combination of a HUGE weight gain with my first pregnancy coupled with a TIGHT c-section scar that left my “excess” sagging WAY over my belt), and learning how to repair the inside stuff while working on the outside stuff.
So, I hope it’s cool to share this journey with you.
I hope that you will cheer and come along, and I hope that – through it – I can help you to see the beauty in what your body has done, and to find the motivation and the discipline to do the hard things so that the “hard” things become easier everyday.
So this is it – we are “starting” at 208 lbs 1 week postpartum. We are starting with small victories and gains as I work at STOPPING myself from peeing when I stand up (thank you 4 vaginal deliveries in 4 years … I always wanted to test out every imaginable brand of incontinence product at the ripe old age of 31) and slowly allowing myself to accept that there are benefits to meal planning, money can be saved by beating the convenience addiction, and that success may not look like my body that time I went to Florida and wore a bikini LITERALLY the size of a postage stamp … but my body can be rocking, strong, sensual and beautiful … stripes and all.
** ps – if you ever want to start a GoFundMe for the repair of my diastasis recti … I wouldn’t be opposed **