Thursday, September 01, 2011

The Shape of a Mother

A few months ago, while complaining of my saggy skin to Aunt Michelle, she pointed me to this website, called shape of a mother, a website out to prove that the shape of a mother is a beautiful thing! (because it is!) Women submit stories about post-pregnancy bodies and share, comment on them. I submitted my story awhile back, thinking I would never hear from them again, but today I got a comment from someone who read it, since it is on the front page! I have loved reading through this website (especially those poor mothers who had mutliples!) and realizing that I am not alone in my post-baby body insecurities. There is something so powerful in knowing someone before you has "been there, done that." and is willing and open enough to talk about it.

Just a fair warning, (even though my post contains no nudity), there is some nudity on the site (since people send in photos along with their stories), so clicker beware... and you've probably heard it a million times by now, but here is my story, as written for SOAM.

the link is here: Shape of a Mother - Ruth

Or you can avoid the possible nudity on the site and read my post here:

25 years old, first (and only) pregnancy, cesarean, baby boy
Pre-pregnancy weight: 110 lbs. (best shape of my life!)
Weight gained in pregnancy: 45 lbs.
Current Weight at one year postpartum: 115 lbs (5 lbs to go!)
Before baby, I was working out sometimes 2 hours a day (don’t worry, I ate a lot to make up for it!) and as I continued in my pregnancy, all the things I used to do (I ran, swam, biked, yoga-ed, weights, pretty much anything and everything) went by the wayside and all I could do was walk and swim the last few months of my pregnancy. I continued to eat what I wanted and craved which was mostly healthy, but still A LOT to pack onto my small 5′ 1″ frame.
After some craziness (20 hours of labor), the little guy was suffering too much to go through more labor and I had a c-section. I wish I had done a better job to mentally prepare myself for it, because it was a SHOCK. 6 weeks I could basically do nothing, not even carry my baby in his carrier. Even though I was working full time as an art teacher at the local high school, I set about for 530am workouts to lose the weight. I breastfed/pumped for 8 months. Even with the stress of working full time, I lost just about all of it within 7 months and was so happy!!!
BUT…. nobody told me what would happen to my body and I was in for a HUGE shock. When people told me my bikini days would be behind me, I told them of course it wouldn’t be, in my mind, if I lost the weight (ate right, and worked out REALLY hard), everything should go back to normal, right??? wrong.
Then someone pointed me to this site.
And I was humbled. And left in awe. Some of these women have bodies that were so much more affected than mine.
And yet these bodies really are beautiful. This site is wonderful and I just wanted to add my voice to it.
I wish someone would have sat me down and told me a few things.
And if there are any other pre-baby girlies out there who are in need of some post-baby advice:
1) Its a LOT of work to get back to your pre-baby figure, but it is MUCH easier if you are in good shape BEFORE you get pregnant (I won’t be getting pregnant again till I lose those last 5 pounds!)
2) Breastfeeding is a GREAT way to burn more calories… but be forwarned that it will make you SUPER hungry 24/7
3) If you eat well and work out, your body may go down to size within 9 months (9 months up, 9 months down) but expect about a year.
4) Extra skin. Its a sad truth. But hopefully it goes away after all the kids?
Photos are
(me in black shirt) Pre-pregnancy, the day I found out I was pregnant
(me in green shirt) 40 weeks pregnant
all the other photos are 10 months postpartum, different angles of the saggy skin I never knew I would have to keep! and the c-section scar that my doctor told me would DISSAPPEAR in 3-6 months (it DIDNT)
and my little man :)


MotherRunner said...

I LOVE this website and tell all of the women in my life about - pre-kids, pregnant, post-kids... it's so good for all of us to appreciate the beauty of a post-partum body.

You look amazing, by the way, and I'm one of those mamas of multiples on there with crazy baby stripes. :)

Missy said...

Ruth first may I just say that you look amazing now! You are so brave to post your story and one day you will get back to where you want to be...even though you are freakin tiny! lol

Melissa Kent said...

Ruth you are amazing! I'm so impressed and inspired by you. 5:30am workouts? Now that is dedicated! And you do look fabulous :)

anna. said...

sometimes i forget how huge you were when you had dustbuster in there. baby basketball!

anna. said...

p.s. by huge, i mean, awesome. you know that.

Gwen said...

I read your post on SOAM and saw the link to your blog. I have two little boys and am trying to work off the last few pounds from my second pregnancy. I think you look awesome. It's inspiring to see a post-partum body on someone who's very active and think that mine can look like that, too, with just a little more work-way to go!

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