Every woman has a certain body shape before pregnancy and a certain body shape after pregnancy. Some women carry around a few extra pounds after baby, some women lose weight, some women return to their normal weight. Regardless of which category you fall into, your body will never be 100% the same.
Like most women, I didn’t enjoy wobbling around like a penguin near the end of my pregnancy. I didn’t enjoy having to go to the bathroom 237 times a day. I didn’t like not being able to sleep on my back. I didn’t like the ripples of cellulite that adorned my legs. There were a lot of things about pregnancy that I didn’t like. However, putting all that aside, it seems as though pregnancy worked in my favor.
First, it changed the way I eat. I actually ate LESS when I was pregnant – less in one sitting, that is. Don’t get me wrong – I still got up at 3am to eat a bowl of cornflakes when I was 7 months prego. I ate many times during the day but less at once. Why? Not because I wanted to or because I was on a “diet”. I ate that way because my baby was positioned in a way that pressed up on my stomach, making it hard for me to eat a lot during one meal. Because I had 2 back-to-back pregnancies (my 2 oldest children aren’t even a year apart), this “new” method of eating really stuck. The old me would have scarfed down an entire decadent slice (or 2 slices) of triple chocolate cake even if I was super stuffed after eating a 5-course meal. The new me will barely eat half a bite if I’m full – even if it’s a God-sent cake that takes the 5-star crown in the taste department. It’s not because I’m practicing self-control or dieting – it’s literally because I physically cannot eat anymore, and so I don’t.
The other thing that changed was that my new “normal” weight after having children was/is about 15 lbs. less than my pre-pregnancy weight (go figure!). After I had my 2nd child, the weight loss came after baby #2 turned a year old. I maintained the new weight (without any dieting or working out) until I got pregnant with baby #3. During my third pregnancy, I gained about 30 lbs, like I did with my first two pregnancies. After baby #3, I lost the 30 lbs farely quickly (after about 6 months). I’m now back to my “normal” weight, which is 15 lbs. less than my pre-pregnancy weight. I’ve come to the conclusion that there must be a law of diminishing numbers on the scale with each child that you have because there’s no other way to explain why this is happening.
In the picture above, I am very prego with baby #1 aka “Z”. Notice my thalfle. Most of you have heard of a cankle, which is when your calf and ankle don’t seem to have a distinguishing point – they just kind of blend in with one another. Well, the thalfle takes it up a notch. Thalfle = thigh + calf + ankle. If you’ve ever been prego, you’re probably familiar with the thalfle. It’s when your thigh, calf, and ankle look like someone drew a fat stick in Paint and forgot to add any curvature around the knee or the ankle, literally making you look like you have a large log as a leg.
The picture above is me 10 days after giving birth to baby #2. Notice my prooch. Most of you have heard of a pooch aka the “muffin top” that seems to adorn women’s tummies after baby (some women have them without ever having a baby). I think the post-pregnancy pooch deserves it’s own name – the prooch. Some women think that when they pop out their baby their stomach will be flat again. Not quite so… regardless of how much weight you gain and what your body is like, your uterus is still HUMUNGO right after birth and will take about 6 weeks to get to its normal size. Thus, you still look 5-6 months prego after giving birth… aka, you have a “prooch”. For most women, the prooch hangs around for quite sometime after giving birth.
If you’re reading this and getting depressed about what the future holds for your body after baby, don’t let the thalfle and the prooch get you down. Some people actually look better after pregnancy than before pregnancy. Like I mentioned earlier, my new “normal” weight after pregnancy is 15 lbs. less than my pre-pregnancy weight. The first pic below was taken in our hotel in Paris when baby #2 aka “E” was 16 months old… it was a couple months before I got pregnant with baby #3 aka “baby L” (can you tell I’ve been pregnant A LOT the past 5 years?). The last pic is from this past New Year’s Eve when baby #3 was almost 12 months old.
I’ve received some criticism about my weight from people who are used to seeing me ginormous and pregnant, but I know that I’m not doing anything to “purposely” keep my weight down (I’ve even gone to the doctor to make sure nothing is wrong with me!), and so I’ve had to learn to blow it all off. For someone who used to count calories and obsess about food and working out, it’s kind of ironic that I haven’t watched what I’ve eaten or worked out the past 5 years and yet my body is much smaller than it used to be. I think it all just comes down to being chronically exhausted from chasing after 3 young children all day long, breastfeeding all day and all night (baby L still wants her boob 43 times during the night), and eating Mediterranean food day in and day out (trust me, I would give ANYTHING for some queso and guacamole!!!!!!). I wouldn’t mind gaining a couple pounds (hell might as well freeze over because I never EVER thought I’d utter those words), but I guess it’s just not in my cards right now…
Are you happy with your post-baby body?