(aka...learning to love the skin I'm in)
Owner and Stylist at Curly Girl Boutique
Picture this… It’s a beautiful, sunny day. I actually had a chance to shower and do my makeup just right, an anomaly for a day at home with baby. I picked out a kick-ass outfit, packed the kiddo into the car, and drove to my hubby’s office in Loring Park. I felt awesome…beautiful actually.
I was on a mission to finally get some lifestyle photos taken for my website and Facebook page. I started Curly Girl Boutique in January when I was 8 months pregnant, and I had yet to get some full-body shots of me in the clothing I offer. Someone who works in my husband’s office is freelancing as a photographer, so I took advantage of the opportunity to use the cool alleyway and sunny day to finally update and upgrade my images.
We spent about 30 minutes together. I am by no means a model, but I was having fun posing and laughing at myself. And I thought I totally rocked it. I was so excited to get the images back. Two days later, the email popped up in my inbox with the Flickr link for the edited pics. HURRAY!! So fast! I opened them….and then my heart sank. My eyes were drawn to the double chin. The thicker-than-used-to-be middle section. The back roll. The breasts that have grown to a size that I have no idea what to do with. All of the negatives leaped out at me, and my eyes filled with tears. What I saw in the photos was not the picture of myself I had in my head.
I usually consider myself a pretty self-confident person, so I was actually taken aback that I was taking this so hard. The emotions these pictures stirred up were heavy and deep. I heard from so many friends that your body changes so much in pregnancy, but here I was staring it in the face. I’ve run the script through my head time and time again…”My body is amazing. It created and birthed a human. It is continuing to sustain and nourish this human.” But it just wasn’t helping. I was in a funk.
And I have to be honest…while I’ve come out my funk a bit, I’m teetering on the edge. It’s hard. I found the changes I went through during pregnancy so beautiful, but now…well…I find the remaining battle scars difficult to process. I know it will take time. It took 9 months to grow my beautiful baby boy, so I need to give my body grace for at least that much time…if not more.
In the meantime, I am learning to love this body and change the image of myself in my head...although the learning process is slow and agonizing. I went through the photos from my shoot again and found images that I felt expressed my personality and showed off the person I am today...someone who is 3 months postpartum with the most beautiful, precious baby boy in the world. Someone who is learning day by day how to be best mommy for Miles while also learning to love myself and give myself the grace and patience that I deserve. I’m also finding little ways to incorporate self-care into my life on a daily basis…little things like giving myself a manicure or applying a face mask before bed or treating myself to a fun piece of clothing from my boutique. All these things help little by little.
I’d love to hear from you too. What are some things you did that helped change your view of your postpartum body? Let me know in the comments!