I never really talked about myself after having Jackson. I didn’t discuss the weight differences, the body changes, the mood adjustments. But they all existed. I know this is sometimes a controversial topic but it’s also one that gets searched a lot on the blog. I figured I’d finally talk about it.
With Andrew, I had even less time to focus on myself once he arrived. We had so many things going on in our lives, so many worries and of course we now had two children to nurture and grow. I couldn’t sleep when the baby slept because there was still a toddler who needed my attention. I couldn’t peacefully sit and nurse day in and day out. I had to figure out our new normal in a whole new way and at first it was challenging. Who am I kidding, it’s still challenging.
My first day as a mom of two by myself (once Bry went back to work) I ventured out to the urgent care clinic to diagnose what turned out to be bronchitis. I felt proud of myself for remembering both kids, packing them into the car and grabbing the necessities. I got them loaded into the double BOB and walked to the urgent care clinic, opened the door and…the stroller wouldn’t fit. The rest of the story includes having to walk around the entire building, nursing Andrew one handed while using a breathing treatment with the other and Jackson literally pooping on the floor, Hansel and Gretel style. My only saving grace was that he’s too young to be embarrassed or even realize what was going on. My heart hurt for him as I ran out of there with a half naked toddler, screaming infant and a handful of prescriptions to get me on the mend. Then I learned I had never closed the BOB before and spent 20 minutes in the parking lot trying to figure out how to get the largest contraption known to man into the back of our Highlander. Trial by fire, my friends. Anyway, sorry about that tangent. The point is, I haven’t had much time to think about myself or getting back to my “old” self. And that’s OK with me.
I’m a mommy of two now. When I lean over there’s flaps of extra skin from the 18 months I spent growing my two bundles of joy. I still get up multiple times a night to pee and have to stop on runs, or sometimes even leak (sorry, but someone out there needs to know) because I’ve birthed those kids. I’ve always been small chested and even as a nursing mama, I don’t magically have a larger rack. I do however have an even bigger discrepancy between the two girls. If I had to guess, it’s almost a full cup size difference now. I have stretch marks on my hips and on my boobs. I still crave things I did during pregnancy (donuts, yum!) and still have some of the aversions (ginger, bleh). But this new body of mine is one I’m more proud of then the one I had at 21. It’s stronger and more perfect in it’s imperfections. I no longer look at myself and nit pick constantly (though I promise I have my days where I feel fat in everything and want to just bury myself in my PJs under a big blanket or spend 30 minutes throwing every article of clothing I own over every square inch of our bedroom in an attempt to find something I feel comfortable in just to end up in a baggy sweater and yoga pants). For the most part I’m able to see how amazing my body is for what it’s done and I’m proud of it. I worked hard to get to where I am. I run 4 days a week, 3 with the kids in the double bob which is no easy feat. Up until a month ago I was taking bodypump once a week too and on my days off we’re often walking to/from the park, hiking and exploring new places or running around playing. I’m usually on the go.
My kids are my full-time job and they require my full attention or they’ll very likely die. Those kids are insane and leaving them to simply pee is a gamble. At first I preferred to run with the boys. I hated spending an hour or two during the weekend running when I could be home with them and Bryan. I felt guilty and I missed them. But as the weeks of training wore on I realized that the hour and a half I take Saturday mornings to head to the trail on my own is necessary. It’s necessary for me to have some dedicated solo time, to sweat it out and have some uninterrupted time to sort through thoughts and feelings. When I finish I feel refreshed and I return with more patience and a better ability to be the mom I want to be. It’s also important for Bryan to have some one on one time with the boys. It’s important for them to get to play with daddy alone and for him to parent without my presence. We all benefit from it and instead of leaving feeling a need of urgency to return home and guilt for taking time to myself, I’m able to see it for what it is: a necessity.
All of my pre-pregnancy clothes fit but my shape is definitely different. Before I had Andrew I weighed 113lbs and looked like this:
Awww. Bald baby Jackson!
By the time he was ready to come out I’d gained 24lbs and had swallowed a small globe:
I left the hospital still looking rather pregnant and deflated. I weighed about 119lbs at 5 days postpartum. I missed my pregnant belly and emotionally had a hard time in the beginning with feeling guilty that Andrew wasn’t still baking away. Namely the guilt stemmed from him being in NICU for the first 30 hours of his life but regardless of when he came, he’d have had to go because of his kidney.
At 6 months postpartum I weigh between 114-117lbs depending on water intake, how many cheesecakes I’ve devoured, etc. My hips are still wider, I still have extra skin in my stomach that’s incredibly noticeable when I bend over and my dearest toddler likes to point out my love handles and refer to them as “boobs”.
Self photography is clearly my niche. You totally can’t tell I’m holding a remote in my hand.
Overall I feel and look much like my old self, just with very dark and saggy bags under my eyes and two amazing kids to chase after and love.