Something I knew would happen after Grayson, but never really thought in depth about, was how I’d look at myself after having a baby. Having a baby really does weird things to your body image.
You’ve grown with this body through good times and bad, and then when you get pregnant you start noticing all these changes that people had told you about but you don’t really consider until they’re staring back at you in the mirror.
Your boobs change, your nipples change, you get more hair (EVERYWHERE), some people find their skin gets better and others find it gets worse, your teeth can get brittle, your stomach gets bigger, you get stretchmarks, you get swollen and that’s not even the half of it. You get used to looking at this ever changing body for 9 months and then one day you’ll blink and its changed again.
The baby is no longer in your belly but in your arms, and yet your stomach still looks bigger and just slightly more deflated. Your stretch marks are still there, and your hair starts to fall out but then you also find random tufts of hair sprouting all over the place. You might find that you’re still slightly swollen in certain areas and that your boobs look lopsided or that they’ve joined your stomach in looking deflated. You may also find that you have new scars that were or weren’t expected.
Some days I would look in the mirror and get quite tearful, I’d never appreciated my body growing up (as many teenagers don’t). I’d stare at my lopsided boobs and my extra weight and stomach that acted like jelly when it was touched and wonder if I’d ever feel any love towards my body.
But then you look at this baby, that YOU made and that YOU carried and YOU birthed. Your body did that, and this human is here, and safe, and absolutely beautiful. So if my body could keep something so beautiful so safe, then doesn’t that make my body beautiful?
We’re nearly 15 months down the line and although I still struggle to dress and like this new body of mine, I definitely don’t hate it as much as I did when I was younger. It helped keep my baby safe, so what if it means carrying a few extra pounds and some sad looking boobs.