I frequently have people ask me how I “got my body back” after having Alex. I usually just brush the question off, but I’m going to address it here through several points. Because basically, the whole “getting your body back” statement is a big fat ball of lies.
Individual Physiology Plays a Factor
When I went to my two-week postpartum “incision check” appointment, according to the doctor’s office scales and records I was 2 pounds away from my pre-pregnancy weight. I know that’s not how it works for some people, but that’s how things played out for me. That doesn’t mean that I looked like my pre-pregnancy self. My stomach was still round and soft, but my anatomy did what it was going to do during that time, regardless of what I did or didn’t eat or how I did or didn’t work out.
Some Things Are Forever Changed
Even when someone is back to their pre-pregnancy weight, the body has changed forever. I now have a c-section scar. I breastfed my baby for 10 months and pumped for another two after that; breasts change after nursing. My stomach puffs out easier if I have even the tiniest bit of bloat. My body just works differently now. And I don’t even know of all the ways the insides may have changed from having a baby, but I do know that internal organs have to move to make space for the baby, so maybe those have settled into slightly different positions.
Someone Else Stakes a Claim
I think being a mother gives another person some rights over your body just as part of the deal. When you get pregnant, somebody is living inside of you. Their whole development is dependent upon your body. Then you give birth and are awake at all hours of the day to take care of this tiny person that makes all kinds of messes all over you. If you are nursing, your body is serving as a food source for this person. And then when you wean, it’s still not like you get any kind of privacy back. Alex goes into the bathroom with me a lot, because apparently being in a room away from mom for a minute is horrible! I know that I didn’t give my mom privacy for many years as a kid, interrupting her showers/baths/toilet/sleep. It just goes with the territory.
I Never Forfeited Ownership
But even though you are kind of “leasing out space” you never actually lose ownership of your body. It may feel like it at times, but it is still YOUR body. It didn’t go somewhere else while you had some other person’s body for the duration of pregnancy. It was your body, doing something different and extraordinary. It had to change during that time, just like if you get way into Crossfit or way into eating pizza while playing video games… the body is adapting to the situation but it’s still yours during that time.
Your Heart Grows
Now I have no scientific proof of this, but I believe your heart grows in size. Not literally (as far as I know) but when they lifted the baby out of my abdomen and my husband told me that we had a girl, my heart grew about 4000 times. The amount of love I carry for this little girl is just bursting out of me!