Postpartum body image
I sat in the doctor’s office asking her to confirm if the lines on my stomach were in
fact stretch marks. She answered in the affirmative, assuring me that they would
fade after I had my baby. I responded telling her, “Well I guess with each pregnancy
you let little pieces of your vanity go.” I said this without really meaning it. I wasn’t
ready to surrender my vanity, and I’m still not.
Little did I know that when my pregnancy with my second child was over, a few tiny
little stretch marks were the LEAST of my worries. While my first pregnancy altered
my body, my second pregnancy irreversibly changed it.
Now, my stomach ripples and wrinkles when I suck in or flex my abdominal
muscles. Now, I have a muffin top of excess stomach skin when sitting. I don’t like
that no amount of crunches will ever undo these things. I also don’t like that I’m not
easily accepting these things.
Are some people reading this saying – “that’s a skinny girl’s problem.”? Probably. Do
I feel guilty for feeling this way because I know how blessed I am to have my health,
a healthy husband and two healthy children? YES!
Do I love my two babies any less? No. Does it mean I would trade them in for a
perfect body? Absolutely not. Do I think all women should look like their pre-kid
selves after having kids? No.
Giving voice to the fact that I’m struggling with a superficial issue is not easy. And
while I know that beauty comes from the inside, this is not a truth that erases my
I know I’m not alone.
I know I will arrive at self-acceptance someday, and I look forward to that day. I’m
just not there yet.