Updated: Dec 4, 2020
Hey everybody! Thank you for tuning in once a month as I share my journey as a young mommy. This is December so obviously, this will be my last post of this year and I have thoroughly enjoyed this outlet! Today I am going to continue my discussion on my postpartum experiences. I am going to cover how body image and self-esteem affected me after having my baby.
Everybody who knows me knows that I love me some food! While I was pregnant with my first child I ate, A LOT. I went in!! I started a new job when I was 4 months pregnant and that job was in uptown Charlotte. The food options were limitless, and I was in heaven. OMG let’s pause for how greedy I sound right now... So anyway, I did not take care of myself at all honestly. At my 30-week appointment, my doctor calmly and politely told me that I gained too much weight in my pregnancy. From that point on I was afraid of what I was going to look like after I had Bailey. By the end of my pregnancy, I had gained 60 lbs. After I had my child, I had other things going on, so my weight was at the back of my mind. However, when things died down with my health, I started to lose weight. I quickly lost 25 lbs. but then my weight loss slowed down significantly. By the time I was 2 months postpartum I was looking in the mirror not liking what I saw.
I did not realize that after I had my baby my body was going to be proportioned differently. That was a lot for me. I know I’m not alone in this. I was used to looking a certain way and after I had my baby, I did not look that way. I’m going to be honest; I did not feel beautiful while I was pregnant with Bailey but afterward, I was going to try to recapture my appearance. I was not prepared for the rollercoaster that I was going to go through with my body image. Because my anxiety and depression were so strong at that time I was not motivated to workout or eat right. Eating comforted me but when I would step on the scale, I saw a person that was unattractive. I always wondered what people thought, especially my husband. I will never forget my first day back at church. I was not fully aware of how my body had changed until I saw that picture. I could have cried at that moment.
I had a c section, so I was told that my midsection was going to take some work to get back to the place I desired. I have always struggled with my self-esteem and moving from being huge and pregnant to post-baby fat was a hard transition for me. I envied women who came out of their pregnancies without a scratch or snapped back quickly. That wasn’t my story and I thought it was going to be. I did get comments about my chunkier appearance from unsuspecting people. This added fuel to my fire. Going through this body transition early in marriage took a toll as well. I knew that my husband married a skinny Beth and this girl with this extra stomach tissue wasn’t her!
After I started to get my body back into shape, I got pregnant with my second child. This time I did not gain as much weight as my first. A year after giving birth to Joshua I lost 50 lbs. and was feeling the best I’d felt in a while. As soon as I lost those lbs. I got pregnant with Jeremiah. My pregnancy with Jeremiah was rough and I will cover that in another blog. My weight climbed yet again.
After Jeremiah was born, I dropped weight quickly and was on a good path until…quarantine! Yes, quarantine has kicked my behind. Emotional eating caused my weight to climb again and the body issues began to creep back up. Trying to get your body on track and coupling that with 2020 has been a struggle for me. I no longer have the luxury of going to the gym on my lunch break at work because I am at home. This past Thanksgiving, I did something that I had not done in a while. I posted a full body picture(pictured above). OMG, what? Lol. I figured if I did not see myself as beautiful, nobody else would. So, if there is a summary at all to this blog it would be this: self-worth will come before anything else. I am learning to fall in love with the person I am right now. This Bethany may need to work a little harder to get back to a healthy place but that does not diminish my beauty. Childbirth is hard and the things that come after it can be life-altering but we are warriors! We are confident Moms!