I gave birth to my daughter on July 30th, 2016. I had an emergency C-Section and when I say I had literally NO idea on what was going on with my body, I literally did not have a clue. During my recovery process after my surgery, I did a lot of research on it because I wanted to know what it was going to do to my body, I also wanted to know how my healing/recovery process was going to go.
Crazy thing is there wasn’t much information on it and the ones that I found were more opinion based so it was tough. I was so sure that I was going to have a natural labor so that was all I researched and watched prior to my due date. When I say I had literally no idea what was going on with my body I really didn’t and it was traumatizing, it was hard for me to recover because I didn’t know how. For the longest time I just thought it was a quick procedure where they cut me open and get the baby out, come to find out I just had a MAJOR surgery and this recovery process is going to be hell because I have to heal from the inside out. When I got home and the swelling went down I actually lost a lot of weight and I was so happy about that. I only lost so much weight because I was on pain killers and I wasn’t eating like AT ALL as it ruined my appetite, I was in so much pain all I wanted to do was sleep. I was trying to recover and stay still like the doctors told me to but that just wasn’t my reality, I remember shortly after I got home from the hospital I went to school to sign up for Fall Semester and it was a lot of walking. I was trying to take care of my daughter which required a lot of bending and moving which led to my staples popping out and my incision bled out, I woke up and there was blood all over. I went to the ER and the doctor literally told me to SIT STILL or else I will never recover. Mentally and physically I wasn’t in the same place, I was on go mode in my mind but my body was screaming no. My reality now: Now that my body is somewhat recovered and I say that because I still feel pain in my incision from time to time, it still feels numb, and although I’ve been cleared to work out and continue with everyday activity I still feel like my body is tearing apart depending on what I do. My body doesn’t feel the same at all and that’s a hard reality for me. I spend a lot of my days looking at my old pictures when I was skinny and I had NO stretch marks or when I’m on social media and I see society praising bodies that aren’t real or natural. I used to compare myself to other people a lot and questioned why I couldn’t “snapback” like other moms or why I couldn’t get down a consistent diet/workout routine. Life is all about finding balance and that’s where I struggle a little bit, it’s hard making time to do something that requires a lot from you when you have little to NO energy left at the end of the day so I am still trying to figure out what works best for my and my daughter as I make my schedule around her. I won’t lie – I do get free time and when I do I usually choose rest, I rest because all week I am up at 4:30AM and I don’t get home until about 5PM and my day doesn’t stop there, I am not trying to make excuses but this is just my reality and my struggles. I know very well that I can go work out and I can do this or do that but my mind is set that this flap that hangs over my incision line will never go away no matter how hard I try because every time I workout that mid section I feel like my body is ripping apart. Over time I’ve learned to really accept my body for what it’s been through, of course, I still get down about it but I’m not ashamed of my body or totally unhappy with it. I carried my daughter for 9 long months, I was in labor for two days, I had a major surgery, I had to recover for months with no physical activity, I had PUPS rash while I was pregnant that spread down to my thighs, and I can go on. At some point you just have to appreciate and embrace your body – I know that the changes are in my hands and I will make them as I go. I just see so many moms that struggle with loving their body after birth and that was me and still is me sometimes. The main thing that really helped me was doing things that made my body feel good and NEW like drinking water all day, eating something healthy, or exercising (little things). My support system played a big part in my acceptance, having people that remind you and reassure you that there is nothing wrong with how you look but they’re also there to push you and help you get to a healthier lifestyle. I wear a lot of black clothes and oversized shirts that would hide my body. When I wear leggings or jeans it is not the most appealing thing to look at because of my muffin top. My boobs definitely got some hang time and they don’t sit up like they used to, they also have stretch marks. I have stretch marks at the center of my stomach that almost looks like loose skin. There is a lot of beauty in acceptance because acceptance is freeing – if you ask me what my goals are regarding my body it would be to feel comfortable, to not have to consider every single thing I wear or how I take my pictures because my flap is going to hang out. I want to feel light and free like I used to and right now I don’t know what that looks like, I don’t know what dress size that is, or what numbers I want to see on the scale. I just want to restore that love and confidence in myself again when it comes to my body. Two years later and I’m still trying to figure it out. My best advice is to stay focused on your own journey and to truly find the beauty in it. With Love, T.