Thoughts On Learning to To Love Your Postpartum Body


If swearing offends you, please considering skipping this post. I realize it is not classy, but sometimes it just has to be. Because sometimes coming against injustice and stereotypes requires fight mingled with levity to keep us sane. And to my grandmothers who read my blog: I have not lost my faith… swearing actually it helps me recover it a little more. (But I am still sorry for offending you a little bit.)

It’s real this time. There’s has been something about the 3rd (4th really for us) kid that just makes it harder to get “back” that body I had before I started creating humans. It’s amazing really, if you think about it. There you are, a normal human being and then all of a sudden your belly grows and one day, out comes ANOTHER HUMAN BEING! Holy miracle, it’s crazy.

We are all squishy and breasty with milk and its ok because we have this cute little tiny person that needs us so much and is so cute. But then it happens, months go by and the squishy isn’t so cute and we are tired and we just sort of want our old life back a little bit. The “new normal” isn’t quite the normal we were hoping for. My first and even second kid the weight came off easier, but this time around I am in a new zone. So confident was I that this weight would come off the same way that I bought just ONE pair of jeans for the summer, certain it would “get me by” until I was able to naturally fit back into all the clothes I would like to wear. So, I was wrong and I need more than one pair of jeans, because baby this body is sticking around.

When I tilt sideways I feel rolls I didn’t have before. When I sit down the flattening of the thighs is wider, I try to pretend I don’t care and just flop down so my daughter doesn’t accidentally catch some form of demented body image from me at so young an age. I let my son squish my stomach and ask (again), “are you sure there is not another baby in there?” No, buddy, there’s not baby, but thanks for asking.

I do think health is really important, actually. I eat very cleanly and actually quite restrictedly. I am healing through fibromyalgia and my diet helps a ton with that. I want to stay healthy for my children and my husband, and for the dreams I have brewing inside of me. I have hopes of sleeping normally again at some point and I think my IQ might return as well as the ability to organize thoughts and maybe even my house.

But what do I do when my healthy body doesn’t look like it once did? What if my old clothes are permanently…my old clothes? I have to face this. I have to face this because I am not living with a closet of clothes for “some day” when I lose that weight. No, I will not live like that. I am not getting rid of them yet, I am only 4 months postpartum, but I can feel the “extra” on my body is different this time. And I am not quite sure if it is sticking around for good or if it will just take longer to get rid of. But for now, I am not even pulling those clothes out of the basement and trying them on. Hells no, I went to a sale at Old Navy and bought myself another few pairs of jeans, I did.

And you know what, I am NOT SUCKING IT IN. I haven’t done this a ton in the past, well, maybe I have but haven’t been honest with myself. I am going to sit down and let it squish out. I am going to feel these new rolls down my back and think “Holy Shit! I just created 4 effing humans in just over 5 years! You rock that, Kimberly! Damn straight, girl, now go put on your swimsuit and play with your kids in the pool.”

Because you know what dawned on me a bit ago? When I (or you or anyone) are lying dead in that casket no one is saying “I really wish she had gotten rid of that sack hanging from below her upper arm when she waved, that was grossing me out” or “Those dimples on the side of her thighs when she sat cross-legged, come on, how could she have not known about that?” or maybe about how your chin was bulkier than you would like it, or how your pockets puckered out of your pants because your hips are wider than the pants made allowance for (damn pants).

NOOO, none of this is what is going on. People don’t cry because of this stuff. They will be crying because they miss YOU, because they miss ME! It will be about the relationships and the way we made them feel, and the joy, and dreams, and contributions – big and small – we all made to each other’s lives. It will be about the inspiration and faith and arguments that we now laugh about.

Now I know I just went from cellulite to a funeral and you are all like, whoa girl. But sometimes it takes a bit of a jolting perspective to get to spending our time on what really matters in life, ya know? I like to go from the big picture and move backwards, that is when I make my best decisions.

So… Men and women, whether you have born children or not…Eff the magazines. Eff the industries that lie about our worth. Yes, be healthy so you can (Lord willing) live long enough to enjoy all that life has to offer. But shut the front door on the lies and love the body you have and all it does for you. Babies? Biking? Art? Hiking? Caring? Teaching? Talking? Loving? Traveling? There are SO MANY WAYS we live life through our bodies.

Sit with your crossed legs and lets your dimples shine, bitch.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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