It’s Mother’s Day. A day when the world is celebrating the incredible women who have nurtured people into existence whether literally, figuratively, or spiritually. I could praise these birth mamas, single mamas, adoptive mamas, step-mamas, grandmamas, almost mamas, foster mamas, stay-at-home mamas, working mamas, homeschooling mamas, all the mamas alllllll the live-long day. But that’s not why I’m here right now.
I’m here to tell you about my own mama story and an embarrassing truth about it. So, let’s start back at the beginning of my #momlife. I birthed all three of my babies naturally. I mean, crunchy granola natural with no medical assistance of any kind. Baby #1 was a water birth. I was on all fours to push out baby #2. And I caught baby #3 (barely) while I was standing. All three were gorgeous (albeit painful as hell) experiences.
I could pause for you to praise my bad-assery. (It’s a word for reals.) But that’s also not why I’m here right now.
The truth of the matter is that somewhere between carrying those beautiful babies and bringing them into this world, I wrecked my body. Lots of parts of my body. But I’m here now to talk about my lady bits.
See, my second baby, my sweet precious, angel baby Caden weighed in at a whopping 10 pounds, 11 ounces. Carrying him around until a week after my expected due date demolished me physically. From the first moments following my newborn’s arrival into the world, the nurse insensitively told me that my body would never be the same. I wanted so desperately to prove her wrong. So I did all the things – 6am gym workouts, Body and Soul classes, in-home workouts with a personal trainer, CrossFit, aerial classes, yoga, running, bungee workouts, barre classes, breathing exercises, Beachbody, worked with a health coach, fasted, limited calories, drank the shakes, ate the bars, received acupuncture, wore the wraps, slathered on the creams, and saw a nutritionist. And although those things undoubtedly helped in countless ways, they didn’t fully heal my trashed pelvic floor. Despite all of my best efforts over the past decade+, my muscles down under haven’t ever quite been the same as was evidenced by that fateful 5k where I pretty much peed my pants the entire damn time.
But there’s hope for me yet! Per the advice of several doctors, I’ve made a decision to have a procedure that will (fingers crossed) correct this issue. It’s a big gamble, as all surgery is. But I’m hopeful that my body will be stronger on the other side of this experience.
I share all of this not to open up my life to judgment, but rather to help encourage other mamas who struggle with any post-pregnancy body issues to not feel so alone. Look, the truth of the matter is women have the distinct honor of carrying children. But with the privilege of building and birthing people comes the unwanted gift of a brand new body. Loose skin, hair falling out, lack of bladder control, hormonal shifts, weight gain, widened hips, increase in shoe size, stretch marks, and libido changes just to list a few. Add to that the cumulative months of our lives spent nursing babies and the list of breast changes could rally Santa’s to-do list. My wish for you is that you’re able to naturally affect positive change in your postpartum body and feel amazing in your own skin. But even if that’s not fully the case, I know that you, like me, would do it all over again in a heartbeat just to bring those sweet humans into the world.
And let me just go ahead and say this in advance – thank you. Thank you for lifting me up sans judgment. Thanks for cheering me on even if we make different choices in parenthood and life. Thanks for your sweet words, prayer, thoughts, and comments to me. Thanks for saying kind things both to my face as well as behind my back. Thank you for caring for me so well even if we’ve never met in person. You all amaze me and I’m tremendously grateful for this community and your friendship. I’ll see you on the flip side!