You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘post-baby body’ tag.

Where’s Waldo Has Nothing On Me

I was recently asked to provide a new photo for my blog and I came to the startling realization that since I’m my family’s resident photographer there were virtually no photos of me to be found. It’s rather sad that the profile photo I’m currently using for my blog was taken during my pregnancy with Hannah roughly eight years ago. Seems like pregnancy is the only time I make a real effort to get a shot of myself and even then it’s more about the little person I’m carrying then myself. Going through photos was like a Where’s Waldo search as most shots of me were photos of my kids where I’m accidentally captured in the background. It got me thinking..are you guilty too?

This photo of Sydney and myself was taken by my good friend Sean Wall-Carty at Sam Sylvester's Disney Character Christmas display in Malboro. If you haven't seen it. I highly recommend it. He even added the characters from Frozen this year.

This photo of Sydney and myself was taken by my good friend Sean Wall-Carty at Sam Sylvester’s Disney Character Christmas display in Malboro. If you haven’t seen it, I highly recommend it. He even added the characters from Frozen this year.

Are You Erasing Memories Of Yourself?

I don’t think it was intentional, at least at first, that I stopped getting in photos. I was just always the one manning the camera. Then the more kids I had, the more in love with them I fell, and the less I loved my post-baby body so it was easiest just to take photos of my husband and kids. I even put off doing a family portrait, opting to only get the kids photos done so I could have more time to shape up before the next one. The last family portrait we had done was almost 5 years ago when Jay was just a few months old. At this rate, maybe the next family portrait will involve a cap and gown. I know I can’t be the only mom or dad who is accidentally erasing the memories our kids will have of us at birthdays, events, vacations, etc. We probably should pass the camera to someone else and get in the shot for our kids’ sakes.

I made a conscious effort to give the camera to my husband so I could get in on this photo with Hannah and Sydney meeting Santa at the Santa Express that visited South Fallsburg last night.

I made a conscious effort to give the camera to my husband so I could get in on this photo with Hannah and Sydney meeting Santa at the Santa Express that visited South Fallsburg last night.

You Are Beautiful Mom!

When my mom died I had the hardest time gathering the few pictures I secretly took of her since she absolutely hated having her photo taken. She didn’t like the way she looked, but she was my mom and that meant that of course she was beautiful. She was important and special and I’m sad that she didn’t see herself the way I did. I suspect my kids think I’m beautiful too, even when I don’t think so. I think that it’s just the nature of being their moms. We love them so much and we want to capture that in every shot, but I think it’s time that we capture ourselves laughing, playing, being silly, and just being there. Sure even without those pictures of us maybe our kids will remember we were there, but maybe they will want to share those memories with their children one day.

Advertisements

I sometimes wonder if the term “baby bump” was created specifically to “out” pregnant celebrities. Every tabloid cover is filled with pictures of celebs sporting the tiniest little nothing of a stomach with a circle around it questioning if she is in fact pregnant. Pregnancy creates some crazy speculation in people. Is she pregnant or just getting fat? When is she due? Is it a boy or a girl? Most of the time the concern is all in good fun or to avoid an embarrassing mistake like assuming a woman who has gained a few pounds is pregnant. I think the reason is this – the mystery and power of a woman’s body being able to give birth to another human being is just so crazy and awe-inspiring at the same time. But what nobody tell you is that “the bump” many times doesn’t go away just because the baby is out.

My husband with baby Hannah. Will created "the baby bump" as a non-verbal way to communicate "I love you" to our baby.

My husband with baby Hannah. Will created “the baby bump” as a non-verbal way to communicate “I love you” to our baby.

Those Awkward Teen Years

I’ve always been amazed at the moment right after giving birth where your stomach seems to deflate almost like a balloon as soon as the baby comes out. Then months later I look in the mirror and think, “yup, looks like my stomach deflated alright.” BUT I’ve learned to look once and then let it go. I’ve spent so many of my teen years feeling uncomfortable in my own skin; teased for being too skinny, being flat chested, having braces, etc. I wish I could go back in time and smack myself for not appreciating my body, for letting others make me feel bad about myself, and feeling like if only I could change x, y or z then I could actually be pretty. I wasted my youth, waiting for the stars of adolescence to align perfectly in order to be happy with myself.

Body Image Struggles

Anyone who knows me, knows that my 30’s have brought the era of the “I don’t give an F@#$.” It’s made life a lot more beautiful let me tell you. I no longer care what others think about me and there is something so incredibly freeing in that. But the more important question to ask is this, “How do I feel about me?” I’m ok with who I am as a person, but what about my appearance now that my body has undergone four pregnancies and three births. As I was typing I was tempted to say three pregnancies, but that wouldn’t be accurate. I lost my first pregnancy at only six weeks. For all my early angst about my body, losing my baby is the only time I ever really looked at my body and said “I hate you.”

Making A Deal

I literally begged it to stop bleeding out the baby I wanted so badly. It was the one moment in my life I really didn’t want to be in my own skin. So when I made it past the first trimester with my oldest daughter Hannah I made a silent agreement with my body that I wouldn’t criticize it anymore. It was giving me another chance, one I wouldn’t squander by lamenting my stretch marks. I remember my mother touching my very pregnant belly and saying, “My God Erin, you don’t have any stretch marks.” Well, that WAS the case until two weeks before I gave birth to my beautiful daughter. Then came Jay who weighed nearly 9 pounds at birth and brought the additional complication of gallstones for which I had to have my gallbladder removed when he was just 2 months old. So add to the sketch mark collection some surgical scars and a botched hernia repair which permanently changed my belly button from an innie to a halfie – still in but kinda trying to come out. By the time I got pregnant with Sydney I just stopped seeing any of it.

Bye Bye Bikini

I’ve really never been the bikini wearer, even when I was younger and could have pulled it off. But after I became a mom I knew I was saying goodbye to the possibility forever. So there are women out there who have babies and go on as if nothing has changed. My sister is a good example. Her vacation photos of her in a bikini at the beach with her three kids is nothing short of envious. BUT I think it’s the exceptions to the rule that screw women up forever. We look at them and think well if I only do x,y, or z I can look like that too. But pregnancy does things to a woman’s body that make it impossible to go back to the same body you once had. How many of us are still pining away for that pre-baby body? Maybe we always will, much like if we are blessed enough to live till we’re old we’ll lament our non-wrinkled faces.

The Human Growth Chart

But do me a favor ladies, next time you look at your body and see the markers of pregnancy don’t wish them away. Don’t think of them as battle scars. Instead see them as a growth chart. Trace each line of the growth of your precious baby or babies. There are women who would gladly sport your so-called “flaws” if it meant they had a baby in their arms. Jennifer Garner said it best when she named her post-baby bump Violet, Sam, and Sera. She’s proud of her body not for what it looks like, but for what it gave her and we could all take her lead on that.

 

The New Definition of “Baby Bump”

So if I may submit for your consideration a new definition of “baby bump.” When Hannah was a baby, my husband invented a silent communication of “I love you” to our child. He leaned his head towards hers and she did the same, culminating in “the baby bump.” It’s a tradition we’ve carried on with our son and soon it will be Sydney’s turn to learn “the baby bump.” Because of my husband’s invention my kids have been saying “I love you” long before they could talk. I’m willing to lend you our family tradition if you want to try it with your babies. Let’s reclaim “the bump” in the name of love and gratitude for the precious gift of life and start loving our bodies because no matter how “flawed” anyone thinks they are, they are pretty freaking awesome!

About Me!

This blog is where we comment on the issues and topics Hudson Valley parents deal with every day. We invite you to join us! Please leave us your comments.

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 60 other followers

Categories

Advertisements