Recovering After Pregnancy and Childbirth
March 20, 2012
© Ashley Fraxedas
31w2d- Now safely into my third and final trimester, I’m coasting. I think my body has finally figured this whole pregnancy thing out. It’s hard to picture not being pregnant, actually.
That’s not to say that it isn’t going to be awesome to have my “regular” body back. You know, the body that can throw a ball, run around the neighborhood, sleep on my stomach and give my husband more than a butt-out hug. Certainly, “regular” has changed. Drastically. And maybe I’m just too distracted with the here and now, but I really haven’t given much thought to how I’ll look or feel after childbirth (other than ridiculously in love with my first daughter).
But now that it popped into my head… Will I ever get my old body back?
One professor’s study found that women need an entire year to recover from pregnancy and childbirth. In a strange way, this was comforting to me. If it took us almost a year to cook this baby, why wouldn’t it take just as long to recover from it? In another way, this freaked me out. I have visions of pushing this baby out and everything just goes right back to where it belongs. (I know, I know. This is ridiculous. But a girl can dream, right?!) I have to wait another year to be myself again?
And then I come full circle. Who cares right now! I’m not focused on that part of this process right now. Once I have a healthy and happy baby girl (God willing), I’ll start thinking about recovering. But right now, I’m trying to practice what I preach and live in the moment. Never again will we be preparing to welcome our first daughter into the world. Never again will we feel like we are feeling right now.
Am I nervous about my stomach being saggy and squishy? Yes! Am I concerned that I’ll never feel confident in a bathing suit next to my girlfriends who haven’t had kids? Yes! But isn’t that part of being a mom? You live for something and someone greater. I’ll take a little saggy skin any day. (Note to my daughter in the future: You better be really nice to me, even when you’re a teenager. I gave up my body for you and loved you before you even existed. Sincerely, Mom)
Part of being in the moment, though, is continuing healthy practices during my final pregnant weeks. I’m (trying!) not to use pregnancy as an excuse to overeat, indulge on sweets and lay around the house. I guess in a way, this is focusing on post-baby recovery because I’m trying not to give myself too much to recover from.
Once she comes, I’ll start running again. And playing softball. And going to the gym. But I’m not putting that pressure on myself at 31.28 weeks pregnant. Celebrities lose all their baby weight by the time they have to walk down a red carpet. But I’m not a celebrity with a personal trainer, personal chef and personal assistant.
If it takes 6 weeks or a year, that’s fine. I’ll have a baby girl in my arms.
How long did it take you to recover from pregnancy and childbirth? Do you feel like your body ever got back to "normal"?