Give it a year...

I write to you, dear MBP readers, on the eve of my son's first birthday to bring you a message of hope and encouragement for the year(s) to come... especially if you just had a baby. 

So, I am going to take an unpopular stance here. I hope you all don't mind too terribly much. In a culture that says we have to be hitting the gym ASA-frickin-P after we have a baby to get a jump on losing the baby weight - I'd like to suggest that you give it a year before you put any real effort into losing the baby weight.

Here's why: look at my face. I think it says it all here. I have been through the ringer. Samuel is my third baby, and he was my first c-section. Look at all the hospital bracelets on my arm. It is no joke having a baby. One of those bracelets clearly says "FALL RISK" - because, at any moment I could fall down and pass out... from having a baby.  Now, I will admit, the female body is a phenomenal creation. We are so strong, so able to go to literally the breaking point (being sawed in half or birthing a whole human from your loins) and recover from it. Happens everyday. The major point I am trying to illustrate here is... having a baby is a big burden on your body. 

Gosh, just look at that sweet little face. Makes you forget all the pain and suffering. Except it still happened. All of your organs literally had to be relocated so that your body could accommodate this tiny human. Stuff was smashed into cramped quarters - your bladder, your stomach, all your intestines...and they had to adapt. And they did (as well as possible) - and you survived (as well as possible) for nine months this way (emphasis on the ninth month). But guess what ladies? Those vital organs now have to find their way back into their designated parking spots and probably do a little re-adapting. Maybe a little healing. A little recovering. And yeah, six or eight weeks is great and all so that you don't bust your stitches but let's think about this logically... 

Now, I'm not a medical professional with any official advice for you- but I have had three babies. And maybe you've had more (or maybe you are an actual medical professional). In any event, I can tell you, it takes some time to get your body back after you have a baby. Not even talking about losing weight here. Just talking strictly organs and structural things. Like your hips for instance - those bad boys had to adjust to carry that baby in your belly. Your back might have gotten a mine... from the odd new posture you had to adopt as your center of gravity changed. 

Next, consider the hormonal side. Um, your body is now in baby feeding mode - whether or not you breastfeed. And I don't know exactly how long those hormones are flowing around, but I can tell you personally, I did not breastfeed Sam and I still had breast milk until about last month. (I know, shocking.) But those hormones that produce breast milk also tell your body to hold on to some extra fat stores so that you can feed your baby. It's just science here, people. It is a process that does not end after you have the baby. It goes on - until your body is finished with the process - however long that may be. 

Now, let's put all of this into perspective, for the folks in the back. You spend nine months growing into a version of yourself that may be closer than not to double your normal size. Your organs have migrated to unknown territories or have gone on vacation (we are looking at/for you bladder muscles). You may have just been sawed in half or birthed a whole human out of your loins. You are a fall risk. Your body kicks into feeding the baby mode and refuses to let go of the fat stores you have developed (rightly so) for maybe a year. And Becky on the internet tells you that she just fit into her pre-pregnancy jeans a week after giving birth. And you seriously either want to find Becky and call her a liar to her face or never leave your house again. Again, hormones... (Disclaimer: no Becky's were harmed in the writing of this post...I hope. No offense to actual Becky's who fit into their pre-pregnancy jeans one week after giving are living in an alternate universe. Also, anyone who "just likes working out" or "just wants to be their best self" can take a flyer at the door and come back when they have three kids and a back hump. There, that oughta cover it.)

So, beautiful, strong, able women of MBP... I say to you: Give it a year. At least. Put down that workout video. Block Becky. Be patient with your body as it sorts out what just happened to it for the past nine months. I can honestly tell you that I started doing sit-ups after my second baby at around six months and I don't think my stomach was ready yet and I developed some odd stomach segment of raised muscles... it was weird. Thankfully I had a third baby so all of those muscles were ultimately destroyed and I get to try again. My son will be a year tomorrow and I have not done one sit up. No weird stomach hump. Win-win. 

In conclusion: Let yourself be a little messed up for a while. It's called healing - and it is a longer process than you or I might like to endure in this speed of light, instant gratification world we live in these days. My hips have been hurting the last month or so... I think they are changing position to reflect my new baby-less body. Maybe I'll lose my back hump eventually... here's hoping! But why kill yourself trying to "get back to your pre-baby jeans" when you legit can't rush it. Ok, that's all I got. Peace out, girls. 

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