Sarah Had a Baby | Meet Sarah

WhosIts'N'WhatsIts

This article is part of a series about a woman with a vagina who gave birth to a baby. The intended audience is women with vaginas or anyone interested in birth from the female perspective.

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I gave birth on June 25, 2017, at 10:30 pm after 24 hours of induced labor.

My baby girl was 6.9 pounds and 19 inches long. She is healthy and doing all the normal infant activities such as sleeping, crying, pooping, and eating. She also has a fun hobby of never letting me sleep for longer than 3 hours at a time, my little bundle of joy. Although I could go on and on about my little one, this article is to focus on my body and my acceptance of its changes.

During my nine months of being a host, I gained 35 pounds. In the beginning, the weight gain was hard for me to accept. I was gaining weight in the belly, but didn’t look pregnant yet. My pants were tight and uncomfortable, my shirts seemed to stretch in places they never used to. Once I began to have the “baby bump” I felt more comfortable with my climbing numbers because it was apparent I was pregnant and not fat. I hate to admit that last thought but it is true. My view of my body has been mostly negative for years and after my latest relapse with my eating disorder, I vowed to be more kind to my body.

I like to think that I am invested in the body positive movement. I notice diet culture that surrounds us and it pisses me off. I am trying to find freedom for myself from food and poor body image. It worked before I was pregnant, it should work afterward, right?

I guess I didn’t think it was going to be this hard. I didn’t realize how much my body would change after giving birth. I have stretch marks all over the bottom of my belly. I have loose skin that folds over my pants. My maternity clothes are too big but my pre-pregnancy clothes are too tight. I am in this awkward stage and it is difficult to navigate through. Add raging hormones and it is a shit storm inside my brain.

I feel the pressure from society/my own unrealistic ideals of what I should look like after having a baby. I remember working at the YMCA as a lifeguard and seeing moms with better post baby bodies than my own pre baby body. These fit mommas had no sagging skin or stretch marks. They also had abs and were maybe a size two, which I have neither of.

This is my journey through the treacherous relationship that I have with my post baby body. I plan to be frank about my thoughts and feelings so to not sugar coat. I always hated magazines that posted articles about how amazing women felt about their bodies after losing the baby weight. I seethed as they were praised and put on a pedestal because they “got their body back” so quickly. That’s not the norm and I plan to voice my experience, sleep deprived and all.