Well here I am about 3.5 months postpartum with baby number 2, and I have some thoughts to share and some feelings to get off my chest. I know many of you read my blog because of my first postpartum experience 3 years ago and because of my diastasis recti journey. I hope that because of my experiences and my writings I have been able to inspire and give hope to those of you struggling.
I wrote in one of my old blog posts (I believe it was my diastasis experience) that I was really scared to get pregnant again because of how much I was physically and emotionally struggling with the effects of diastasis, and I went through a time where I didn’t WANT to become pregnant again. But then as I fought for myself and fought for my healing (it felt like a battle, it really did) and over that next year or so after I was able to heal and return to full function and health, having another baby started to cross my mind. I wasn’t scared anymore that my body couldn’t handle another pregnancy, I didn’t feel ready to have another baby, but I wasn’t scared anymore. Then I got pregnant way sooner then we were planning and then 9 weeks later suffered my first miscarriage. That was hard but made me realize I did want to have another child. Then almost 3 months later I got pregnant again, this time I was able to carry that pregnancy full term, welcoming my sweetest little boy in September.
The last year and a half have been a bit of a rollercoaster. My body has gone through so much with pregnancy, miscarriage, pregnancy again, delivery, recovery… and emotionally and mentally I’ve gone through a lot. I was planning to share my postpartum journey this time around from the very start, updating monthly, all that jazz. But something happened this time postpartum…my perspectives have changed, I feel that they have deepened and expanded in ways I didn’t know they would. After my first baby I was obsessed with getting back into shape. I was consumed with my physical appearance, it affected me so deeply. Looking back I think that is because I had never gone through something like that before. I had always been in shape and comfortable with my body, I had never truly had to WORK to like what I saw in the mirror. Plus, I was a new mother, my world had just been flipped upside down. I felt that I was in control of nothing in my life any more. Becoming a mom for the first time is amazing but HARD!
So this second time around as I started sharing my journey and brainstorming what I would share I realized something- I just don’t care as much. I found myself at odds, feeling like I SHOULD share and document my physical journey but realizing I was in no rush to. Feeling like I SHOULD be getting back into a strict exercise and nutrition routine but realizing I was okay not doing that yet. Feeling like I SHOULD be posting pictures of my body and the changes that are happening but realizing I just really don’t want to. Why am I defining my postpartum progress in two pictures- the before and the after? Like those 2 squares summed up my worth and improvement. I just felt over it. But then I remember how I felt when I was struggling so much my first time, I just wanted to see pictures of other women who had successfully healed DR postpartum. It felt so important to me. And I’ve had so many women reach out to me because of my first progress pictures.
So, I don’t really know exactly what I am trying to say. Because I understand the value of progress pictures and seeing others improvements, but I also feel a deep desire to move away from the emphasis on appearance. Because to be honest for the first time in my life I FEEL comfortable with my body at a time when I am ‘heavier’ and less toned. I was doing my MuTu Core work the other day and I looked down at my belly. My linea alba was wrinkly, I am still covered in stretch marks on my lower abdomen and hips, and I have looser skin than I ever have before. But my first thought was how none of it bothered me, and I paused surprising myself, and realized how I truly meant that thought. I wasn’t just saying it hoping to believe it, but I really meant it. I still have about 15 pounds extra on me, I’m not strong like I was before, and I still don’t fit into my pants. And I am okay with that right now. Do I want to eventually lose the extra weight? Yeah, I do. Do I want to tone back up? Yeah, sure I do. Do I want to fit back into my pants? Yeah, I don’t want to buy new ones haha.
But the difference this time around is I don’t feel this obsessive NEED for any of that. This time around my focus is less on how I look and it came about so naturally, and that makes me really happy. I think I appreciate my body so much more now and what is has done for me and all it has gone through. I feel a confidence that I CAN reach a level of “fit” that I can be happy with and that allows me to relax a lot more through this postpartum time. I am recognizing there are different seasons in life and right now my season is taking it slow, enjoying more, and not getting so caught up in image.
I think I just feel very over this comparison game, the “what my body looked like before” and “what my body looks like now” and the pressure to show that because I am in the fitness industry. I realize that I can inspire and educate and teach without having an emphasis on what the results can look like. Because every body is different and a functional core and pelvic floor doesn’t have one look and it doesn’t necessarily have a “fit” and “toned” look. When did a flat core and a functional core become the same thing? That is something I didn’t realize 3 years ago, but that I realize and embrace now. Personally and what I hope my clients realize as I educate and help them heal and strengthen their cores and pelvic floors.
I had diastasis again after this second pregnancy and as I applied all I have learned my diastasis is now closed at 3.5 months PP, my transverse is reflexive, and I feel strong in my core. But guess what? I don’t have the flat stomach I did before. But I have a FUNCTIONAL core. And for right now that is enough for me. I am enough, just the way I am.
And I hope that you feel enough, right now, no matter where you are at in your journey, no matter what your physical state may be, because you ARE enough.