My Postpartum Body

samantha and her two children holding a pie

The Backstory:

Long before my children were born I was so concerned with my weight and the way my body looked. A complex created from my childhood.

When I had the “thicker than a snicker” banging body at the height of my athletic career I still looked at myself askew. Looking back at pictures I am upset that I let what probably could be diagnosed as body dysmorphia play tricks on me and be a distraction from enjoying how hard I actually worked to get the body that women nowadays pray to have and pay for.

Fast forward to life after baby number one . . . I was smacked in the face by the harsh reality that my body had changed forever due to the 140 some pounds I put on. A reality that no one ever warns 1 st time moms about!(Note to 1 st time moms - don’t scratch during pregnancy no matter how bad your skin itches, have a certain level of awareness about all the unhealthy craving you have . . . you aren’t eating for two, lather up with olive oil and lotions and lastly hope that genetics don’t play a part in ravaging your body).

I remember when I was little looking at my mother and the after effects that two children had on her body and I never thought twice about it. I never thought one day it would happen to me . . . nor did she warn me about any of these body things when I was pregnant! (Grandmas, moms, sisters, aunties, friends we have to do better with passing down pregnancy info to 1 st timers)

Unlike the few women out there that do go through pregnancy with minimal weight gain, don’t get stretch marks or diastasis recti and after baby is born have the ultimate snapback . . . I experienced the opposite and to add insult to injury had a crippling case of postpartum depression that followed.

Being a 1 st time young mom I was not mentally ready for any of these side effects especially at the stage of life I was in! I was in the superficial about me stage: this is when we as women are finding ourselves, really experiencing life outside of our parents house, where we care more about fun things and having experiences that build lifelong friendships and memories. You know the in between I’m a young adult and about to be a full fledged grown up with responsibilities stage. During this time I was also the girlfriend/wife of a professional athlete dealing with all the obstacles and expectation in that invite only club! For some women in this small elitist circle children become more like accessories that get caught in the crossfire of the bs that that life brings . . . It becomes especially easy to get caught up in the demands of what that lifestyle is “suppose” to look like.

In a nutshell the changes in my body plus the unobtainable expectations of being not only a woman in today’s society but a WAG and already having a deep seeded body complex was the perfect combination to send me into a down spiral. All of this not only destroyed my self-esteem but it made me resentful.