Ta-da! Hoping you are doing well, despite the chaos the motherhood gifted you…
Four years after taking that pregnancy test with the home pregnancy kit, I still reminisce about the double line, which gave me the ultimate happiness of my life. I was the happiest and blessed person in the entire world. Ten months from then, I know I would be holding a baby who I will love no matter what.
But, no one prepared me for the journey of motherhood. When I initially hesitated to become a mother saying that I was not sure if I have the maturity or responsibility to handle a kid, people said that I could never be ready. I was so sure that I will know if I was ready.
The confirmation of pregnancy, nevertheless, added joy instead of fear. I know before I saw my kid that I will go to any extent to take care of him/her. That’s when I knew that I was ready for the new person in my family. I still try to perfect my skills as a mother and fail, but I have also learned that I need to be the best mother to my kid, not a perfect one.
With my bump growing every day, I tended a little stronger, proud, and confident of my body. For ten plus years, I have spent my days hating my body; solely because I felt embarrassed about people calling me skeleton. I tried eating a lot and moving myself to tears before finishing the plate and developing issues related to digestion after.
Pregnancy gave me a reason to love my body. Moved by how amazing my body works to let a child grow inside, I respected the bump and the flaws of it. Everyone who met me after I got pregnant admired my beautiful baby bump. The bigger it grew, the more people loved it.
Every time the doctor said how healthy my kid was at the end of monthly scans, I was nothing but proud of the body that I disrespected for so long. It took ten months for me (and others) to understand that a lean figure does not associate with an unhealthy body. For a while, people stopped insulting about my body, and I was delighted about it.
As I said, nobody prepared me for the after-effects of childbirth. Months after delivery, my stomach still looked like a pregnancy bump, and I was not expecting it. I never read about stretch marks or the permanent change of one’s body after pregnancy. Those who adored me for the healthy bump now sighed if I could get my body back.
So many teased louder behind my back, while some even pitied for my situation. Something threw me off the guard when someone asked, seeing my tummy, “Congratulations, when are you expecting the second?” I was not ready for that. I tried to brush it off by looking at other positive comments from people. For someone who went through a rough phase because of her body all through her teenage, it was not easy.
Try some exercise, as simple as walking, or yoga and meditation. Try dieting. I had so many suggestions pouring in when I didn’t remember asking for it. I was too fat for people who suggested me to drink milk with honey to gain weight earlier. Now, the same people proposed to me to drink hot water with honey for weight loss.
The body that made me feel proud now made me feel pathetic. I tried everything to shed some pounds, which led to eating disorders. I devoured a day and stayed out of the kitchen for the other days of the week. As a result, fatigue became a standard part of my motherhood.
It led me to so many questions about society and life. Why does our community love bigger bumps while insulting the recovering body after delivery? Why nobody normalizes the raw truth of postpartum bodies? Why is it so hard to accept a body with few flaws like stretch marks and tummy? Why are we expecting our bodies to go through an immense change after doing something admiring, like growing another person inside for ten months?
If we are proud of what our body did with pregnancy and childbirth, shouldn’t we love it more after the process too? A tree that still stands after going through a storm cannot be the same as it was before, can it? It will have a few scratches, some dents, and also bear a loss of a few branches. But it will be stronger and prettier than before.
Similarly, a body that goes through pregnancy faces many ups and downs, both emotionally and physically. Is it fair to expect a flawless transformation? Though many celebrities and social media influencers have come forward to normalize the postpartum tummy, we can’t deny the hesitation we face when it comes to our bodies.
I still face a dilemma while trying to wear some dresses that I bought before the pregnancy. Even when it fits, I feel insecure about what people would say, seeing those extra pounds of fleshes on hips or thighs. Perhaps, it is not just the society that needs a change, but also me.
I let people insult my body figure when I was lean; I allowed them to call me a skeleton and felt awful about it. I also allowed people to assess my postpartum body and give me suggestions on weight-loss programs. I say I allowed them because, at some point in time, I felt it was easier to make self-deprecating comments about my body. When I criticized myself, I allowed others to join in and pitch their thoughts.
Pregnancy bumps taught me a lot of good things. But postpartum body delivered two life-changing lessons:
- Nobody is going to tell you this: parenting begins the moment you decide to get pregnant, and there is no return to your original self after that decision.
- You can be insulted or admired, as long as you let people do that to you. If you want people to stop being mean about your body, you have to love it first.
If you are a new mom, then comment us about how your postpartum body transformed your life.
See you on my next post. Bye-bye, boop. Good day!