Tuesday, April 03, 2018

Post Csection, Post Breastfeeding Body

In honor of Csection Awareness Month I am sharing my story about my post-csection and post-breastfeeding body.  I'm going to preface this by saying that I am about to get very real and vulnerable as well as transparent with this post.  I am also going to say that many people may not understand why I would be writing a post like this so I will also say that if this post is offensive in some way than you can kindly exit your browser and move on.  This is my experience and these are my feelings. 

Ok so now that that is out of the way, I've always been very thin and petite naturally.  I've never really had to watch my weight or watch what I eat, being thin runs in my genes on both sides of my families and I've always considered myself pretty lucky for those reasons.  The same thing came when I got pregnant.  I gained about 40 pounds but didn't have any stretch marks and didn't really get big anywhere except my belly and my swollen feet at the end.  Other than that I didn't even really go up in bra size I mean I was literally all belly.  

Even though I'm naturally thin, it doesn't come without its own set of insecurities and body shaming.  Being told to "eat a cheese burger" (trust me, I eat PLENTY of cheese burgers!) or being asked why my chest was as flat as my back were comments I have received several times throughout my life.  I guess it's nothing that a push-up bra can't fix in a pinch, but still, sometimes hurtful and unnerving hearing those types of comments.  Similar were the comments after Georgia was born of women saying that they "hated" me because of how thin I was so quickly.  This is honestly a side of postpartum that rarely ever gets talked about because the struggle is often the opposite, but this is the reality for a lot of women.  We are body shamed for being too thin while others are shamed for being too thick rather than celebrating the fact that we just birthed a baby we are quick to start trying to get back to our "pre-baby" body when in fact we should be resting and recovering from all that we put our bodies through. 
When I was in labor with Georgia and ended up being told I would need a csection I was devastated because I had never even considered needing one.  I was taught a very valuable lesson about birth and how much it can change.  I thought I was being flexible with my birth plan but clearly wasn't.  I ended up with an amazing OB who left me with one of the best scars I've ever seen, meaning that it's very very faint and hardly visible at all, plus its extremely low.  I instantly noticed a change in how my body was after all the swelling from the csection.  I knew that it would be different, I mean I just grew and birthed a tiny 8lb human, of course my body would be different!
After Georgia came I lost my weight in just a few weeks with zero effort.  I was breastfeeding which in my case was also helpful.   I was constantly eating, I could not keep up with the demanding diet of breastfeeding fast enough!  I thought I ate a lot when I was pregnant but the breastfeeding diet was a whole different ball game.  So my body after pregnancy bounced back quickly and I was thin with the biggest boobs I've ever had in my entire life.  Keeping weight on was a challenge but I knew I needed to keep up with demands of my body in order to provide the demands my baby was making from breast feeding. 

At 12 months I began the weaning process so that we can move forward with our next embryo transfer.  I am now officially over 13 months postpartum and about six weeks post breastfeeding and my body has again changed.  I am weighing less than I did while I was breastfeeding (I'm about 108lbs, was about 110 when nursing), I have no shape at all.  I am a twig.  My supply has dried up leaving me with less on top than I've ever had.  Some people I'm sure think I am crazy for thinking that this is in any way a bad thing, but I am still adjusting to how I have changed physically over the last 13 months & since stopping nursing.

I would do it all over and over again if I had to, regardless of how my body turned out in the end.  It was worth it all.  And sometimes csection mamas are made to feel as though the birth of their baby wasn't worthy or was the "easy way out" when in fact it is really the opposite.  The recovery can be horrible, it can cause issues with breastfeeding, and it makes it impossible to do the simplest of tasks.  But I am a work in progress when it comes to loving my body & my body image.  I never really have loved my body, but I am trying to go easy on myself and accept me for me.  I think this is really important as women and mothers of daughters because there is so much pressure to have a perfect body.  We need to embrace our bodies and our scars and be kind to ourselves whether we are mothers or not.  I wear my csection & other scars proudly and working to make peace with feeling beautiful with my postpartum self, and all that she is.

11 comments:

  1. I've tried VERY VERY hard over the years to try not to compare my experiences to other Mothers, and to not hold my own hang ups over them. My issues with my body are just that, MINE. It isn't an easy thing to learn and it isn't always natural (slightly jealous of how quickly you lost the weight, but I definitely don't hate you for it!). We're all in this together. It's hard and it's rough, and no one knows the struggles like other Moms. I wish we could all just support each other more. Thanks so much for sharing!

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  2. Girl that scar is a lot prettier than mine. But I went through 18 hours of tough ass labor and I am proud of every scar, stretch mark, and needle stick that I had to do to bring my precious angel into the world. You are gorgeous and don't ever make someone feel like you aren't!!!

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  3. My scar is just like yours. My doc did an excellent job making sure it was a nice little war victory x2! I’m the opposite where I have always struggled with just a little extra weight. I can’t say I give too much effort to get it off, but as I approach my 50’s I know the time has come to really put in some effort. I believe, like you, women need to celebrate our bodies...thin, think, small chested, large chested, short, tall...and lift each other up. We are the ones who bring these amazing beauties into the world!

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  4. You are an amazing mama! We all have our own stories and definitely shouldn't be shamed no matter what. Thank you for sharing your story with us :)

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  5. I relate to this so much! I could not keep weight on for the life of me while I was nursing, I hated it! Thanks for sharing!

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  6. Very well said. I had an emergency c-section and was very bloated with water weight after. My scar is more visible than yours but it is my battle scar from birthing twins. I lost a ton of weight quickly after having my girls and gained the huge boobs. I haven't been pumping and breastfeeding for two years now and my body is back to its new normal. I can relate so much to your post and how I have felt after having my girls. Thank you for sharing this.

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  7. Can’t remember if I’ve ever commented here before or not, but I just wanted to say thank you for all your posts and sharing so much. I found your blog over a year ago when I started the whole infertility process and was considering ivf. Maybe two months after you posted about having to get an egg donor (which I read and thought “I could never do that!”) I found out that was my only option. We had an incredible friend donate her eggs and now we have a beautiful 9 month old boy! I love him so much and can’t imag any other scenario or my life without him. I also had an unplanned c section and also lost the weight drastically fast. I’d been so swollen for so long and had pre-eclampsia so when I lost the weight I looked gaunt and ill. Which people said to me and then followed with how lucky I was. Ugh. But I feel so good about everything now and am in total awe of what my body did. My husband tells me all the time how even though it looks different it’s beautiful because of what it did and I am starting to believe him. :) Thank you again for your blog and always sharing your life so openly! Georgia is beautiful. Good luck with your next round!

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    1. Haha, I guess I found your blog over two years ago! Time is flying by!

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  8. I'm so happy that I didn't focus on getting my pre-baby body back... at all. I didn't diet, I didn't work out, I didn't breastfeed, I just let whatever weight came off at whatever pace it did. I had way more to focus on than my weight. And to be honest, I was pretty happy with my body. By 6 1/2 months pp, I had gotten 11 lbs away from my pre-pregnancy weight but I was happy with my weight- and then of course I got pregnant again. This time around, while I'm excited to get into shape (not my pre-baby body. I just want to focus on toning up and being healthier), I'm not putting any pressure on myself. It takes however long it takes. I rather be focusing my time on my girls and my family than constantly obsessing over my body.

    As a fellow c-section mama (my 2nd and last one is in 1 week), I get so much shade thrown at me. Not just from other people and mothers but also from doctors, midwives, and nurses. I chose to use the same practice this pregnancy as I did when I was pregnant with my Rory b/c I was familiar with them and they did a great job on my c-section. However, there are a ton of doctors, nurses and midwives there that are very judgmental and anti-c-section. It can be very frustrating, annoying, upsetting and hurtful but ultimately I just wanted familiarity and to know I wasn't going to get a botched c-section job.

    https://dogmomchic.blogspot.com/

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  9. I adore this post and you, beautiful Mama! I can relate to you 110%! I've had soooo many comments after babies regarding my "thin" size yet here I am struggling to be happy with my ever changing not so normal body. Then I'd feel wrong to say how I felt because it could be offending to someone struggling in the opposite way. I'm 20 months PP from my 2nd c section and 2 months PP from hernia surgery (caused by pregnancy) and between the scars, the loss of all boobs/body shape, and the challenge to lose the belly weight plus the "roll" where the c section scars are... it can be discouraging! We're in this together that's for sure!

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  10. Thank you for sharing your story!

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