I haven’t written many postpartum updates since having my second son, because nobody wants to hear the mundane details between the lack of sleep, feedings and leaky breasts. Everything worth noting is all to do with my sweet little guy. However, I’ve hit a postpartum milestone. It’s been exactly nine months since giving birth.
To other new Moms, the nine month mark may come and go without importance, but it’s been wracking on my nerves. After you’ve been thrown into Motherhood and you start looking at your postpartum body, you wonder when things will “return to normal.” It becomes an assessment of the damage done.
There’s a phrase that everyone loves to tell new moms:
“It took 9 months to gain the weight and it will take 9 months to lose the weight.“
I can’t even tell you how many women told me that with a smile on their face. When you’ve got nothing else going for you, those little words offer a sense of hope. It can feel like a promise because it makes complete sense and sounds totally believable. So you trek along and keep telling yourself the same thing.
Unless you’re like me and you hit the nine month mark, feeling like a failure. As I train for a marathon, cross train with barre classes, strive to eat healthy and write as “Fit Disney Mom” I feel far from fit now. I’ve fallen short because I haven’t lost all of the baby weight yet.
It’s been horribly frustrating with the second baby. I had a rocky start with a prolapsed bladder (you can read that story HERE) and suffered from two stress fractures in a six month time frame. Even though I had set backs, I held myself to the expectation that I should be 100% by August. Instead of viewing them as set backs, I saw them as excuses.
The amount of pressure that new Moms put themselves through is exhausting. I truly believed I would fit this 9 month mold and now I’ve had to change my goals. I’m exercising for my health instead of a perky booty. I have to convince myself that the number on the scale isn’t my self worth and doesn’t reflect a fail like I think it does.
I question if other Moms are judging me for my tummy instead of seeing me as a friend. It’s also affected my marriage since I’m much more self-concious of my body. Losing the baby weight after my first was pretty easy, so I never thought I’d be in this current situation.
I know Moms exist who can walk out of the hospital wearing their old jeans and have 3rd trimester abs that I’d be jealous of. I see your Instagram photos – you’re awesome and I commend you. That just isn’t me.
If you’re reading this and you know a new Mom, I beg you to pick your words carefully. Sometimes kind words, like “9 months in, 9 months out“, reach further than you know and become misconstrued.
If you happen to be in the same boat as me, let’s take it one day at a time and forget about all those numbers – the one on the scale, on the calendar and the back of my jeans.
I’m going to just focus on being healthy and let the baby weight come off when it wants to, because it clearly has it’s own time table. The most honest thing women told me about having a baby: “They are totally worth it” and I’ve found that to be absolutely true!
If you want to follow more of my postpartum fitness and marathon training, you can find me on Instagram!