This is probably the hardest post I have ever and will ever write, because you all think I’m so confident, yet really? I’m just as insecure as the next woman. I still don’t have the confidence to post this, but I’m going to press Publish just because I can’t move on until I do.
Post-Partum. Body Shaming. Confidence. Issues. Trust. Deny. Hurt. They kind of all fall in to the same bracket when you’ve had a baby. Here’s how I fit them into a sentence, for myself, right now:
This is my now 8 month Post-Partum body, I still don’t like it.
I only need to stand in the mirror stark naked before I start body shaming myself in my mind
I don’t have a whole bunch of confidence like I did when I was a size 6
I definitely have a whole bunch of issues right now and most of them, I’ve caused myself
I don’t really trust anyone when they say “You look good for just having a baby”
I will always deny my confidence issues when someone asks if that’s the problem
It really fucking hurts to see myself, seeing myself, the way I do
Note, only one of those sentences is followed by a full-stop, because the rest are open for negotiation, because I’m waiting for the day I finish them off with a positive spin, the sentence with the full stop is the one causing all the damage.
I am a HUGE fan of women empowering women, our bodies are beautiful things – we can create PEOPLE, from just a simple little egg, our bodies nurture them and help them blossom until they can survive out here with us and then we do the same?! Isn’t it crazy? I didn’t realise until my first successful pregnancy, just how beautiful pregnancy actually is you know.
The not so beautiful part? Afterwards.
Post-Partum shaming is a real thing.
I actually remember taking a photo of myself about 10 DAYS after I had Bear and uploading it to Instagram and somebody that was probably 15,000 miles away from me actually wrote (and I’ll never forget it) “you’re asking to be ridiculed, look how large you still are, go work out”.
Ever since that comment, i’ve searched and searched for Workout DVDS online, to help me in the areas I feel I need help in. I’ve doubled the amount of makeup I wear, I really freak out about my hair, I rarely walk further than the shop that’s maybe 500 yards from my house, because I’m scared. I’m terrified of crossing-paths with some beautiful confident woman that gives me that look, that ‘you should never have left the house’ look. The heaviest I’ve probably ever been is during my pregnancy, I put on 3 and a half stone with my Bear. in all fairness, most of it went to my thighs and my backside, as my belly stopped growing at around about 22WKS and didn’t really play catch up until 28WKS onwards, so even then I had quite a bowling ball roundish belly.. Admittedly, after giving birth to him, I had such a jelly belly but I was back into a pair of jeans around the 2 week mark, yet
social media says that’s not good enough;
So I guess I began to feel like it wasn’t good enough – I hid from it for a while until I got really down, I knew it was coming, but I don’t think I truly knew, how much it had affected me, until I articulated it into this post.
Me and my partner had a trip away planned, we went clothes shopping for me, naturally I would have been attracted to little crop tops and high-waisted jeans, a few leotards with some low rise jeans, some shorts, a backless top – anything of that nature, because I was so fucking proud of the way I looked and my shape that I would most definitely show it off.
The first place I wanted to go, was to the H&M Basic range, so I could get some nice thin over-sized T-Shirts to hide my belly in, but be relatively cool in. Then New Look, they had nothing, I welled up on the way out, I saw so much I loved but I couldn’t see ME in it.. Last place? Primark.
My partner found a gorgeous blouse that he said he could picture me in, which was nice because we know men don’t really say much when we go shopping! Went to the changing rooms, came back out, told him it didn’t fit and asked him to put it back.. The part he doesn’t know?
I sat, wearing this gorgeous pastel pink and white striped shirt, on the bench in my changing room, sobbing.. The clothes, were gorgeous, the body I was putting them on, was not. It wouldn’t have mattered what i’d tried on that day, I still would have felt hideous;
all because that girl on my Instagram said so
8 months into this, I still haven’t undressed 100% in front of my partner and I won’t, for a long time. I still don’t want the lights on, in relation to anything like that, I lock the bathroom doors – it’s safe to say I was fully ashamed of my body, because I let somebody else reinforce that I should be.
That’s made me really bitter, I’m really bothered at the fact I’ve let somebody make me feel a way only I should be allowed to make myself feel. Somebody else that isn’t me has got into my head. I used to be such a care-free ‘happy’ person, that really couldn’t have given a flying fluff what anybody thought of me, now it terrifies me.. It needs to stop, you can’t make someone feel this way, it’s not ok. We’re supposed to be just as proud of our Post-Partum bodies, as we are of our babies!
So guess what?
You don’t get to shame my post-partum body, only I do. I am NOT ashamed that my body protected my baby. I am NOT ashamed of those stretch marks. I am not ashamed of the fact my belly button sags in nor am I am ashamed of my joey pouch. My body protected my baby from so much worse. So no, IT’S MY POST-PARTUM BODY AND YOU ARE NOT ALLOWED TO SHAME IT. NOR ARE YOU ALLOWED TO SHAME ANY BODY ELSES.
We are beautiful women, creating beautiful lives and we need to learn to empower each other over that.
You are beautiful. Before you were pregnant. During your pregnancy. After you had your baby and even more so now! Start to believe it. You’ve earned it. Don’t ever let anyone shame you.
As always, ALL my love, A.
Instagram: @missr0we (with a zero)
- Many Faces of Mum - 6th January 2017
- FlatLay Fun [Week One] - 5th January 2017
- Tommee Tippee Perfect Prep Experiment - 21st December 2016
- You Can’t Be Seen To Be Struggling.. - 15th December 2016
- I’m Not ALWAYS a One Woman Army - 11th December 2016
- 40 Facts About Becoming A Parent - 6th December 2016
- Dear Mum - 2nd December 2016
- My First Time Mum Fears - 29th November 2016
- It’s MY Post-Partum Body, Why Are YOU Ashamed Of It? - 19th November 2016
- I’m Still Me, But ‘Me’ Is A Mum Now… - 16th November 2016