About eight months after my second child was born I was at a physical. We got to the questions surrounding my post natal health when I said “Ya know its weird, my feet havent unswollen yet.”
My primary looked at me with equal parts pitty and humor “Oh honey, if they haven’t unswollen yet they are not going to.”
This was a devastating blow. I live in the North East Kingdom and half assing footwear is not an option. In the winter you can loose a toe if you are not getting footwear that is warm enough, in mud season boots straight up fall apart if they can not withstand the dense sticky mess, and well you just don’t want to compromise your barn boots and end up with worms.
With some quick mental math I realized I needed to immediately replace about $800 work of foot wear. Balls.
A few months after my third was born I was doing yoga in my room, while in plank pose I happened to look down and saw my stomach skin hanging almost to the ground. This was shocking. I have always maintained an active lifestyle even when pregnant, and this felt like some sort of bodily betrayal. How dare it after how well I had treated it?
This unleashed all sorts of self judgement. I am by no means unattractive or overweight. Before my childbearing years my body type may have been described as a 2X4. Flat chested, no hips, skinny. At 5 feet 8 inches this body type had served me well in my lifetime. I had always felt comfortable in my own skin. During my pregnancies I had gained enough weight to shock old friends. However had quickly lost the weight each time and though everything had ”gone back to normal”. The whole thing left me a bit unnerved.
Recently over lunch, a friend asked me if my boobs have gotten bigger since having kids. I had never thought of this before, but without missing a beat stone face replied “Longer, yes. Bigger, no.”
So please now add saggy boobalas to the ever growing lost of bodily insecirites.
The most recent revelation was a few weeks ago in my yoga teacher training. Our anatonomy teacher was talking about how the hip bones are connected to the bones of the feet. This blew my mind. Since my last pregnancy, I have had much wider hips. As I have lost all the baby weight my hips have gotten smaller, and yet I have these lingering (as I call them) saddlebags. These points that stick out. I have been optimistically thinking (much like my feet) that over time the issue would resolve itself. When my teacher dropped that knowledge bomb on me I realized my hips are not gonna get smaller. I can hit my step goal each day, eat healthy, do yoga, chase my kids around. It doesn’t matter. The saddle bags are here to stay.
This was a moment of defeat. Once again in my experience of motherhood, I had no control over the situation. So what now do I do with my large feet, saddlebags, a stomach that touches the ground and saggy tits? I suppose the only real option is to love them. It would be unrealistic to expect that my 2X4 physique of years past would produce the wonder children I now raise. That the 2.0 version of Kaylin comes with new wisdom and strengths. I think this question is close to my previous one of aging gracefully. Accepting these changes and not tying up our self worth with bodily measurements.
So when I look in the mirror now I try to find something beautiful. To appreciate these changes as gifts in their own right. That loving these changes is akin to loving my children and loving myself. And without a doubt loving this hot mom bod.