As a mother of 3, I have had my fair share of moments hating my post pregnancy body. I remember after having my first child in 2016 via c-section, I went to JC Penny’s to get new clothes just so I could have something other than maternity clothes to wear. I was trying on clothes that I thought would fit and of course they didn’t. I couldn’t find anything, and I just wanted to leave. I started crying in the car because I hated my body. I always envied those that could just “bounce back” after having a baby, because I was definitely not one of those.

 With Grayson I gained almost 70lbs, a lot of it was from the water weight I retained from having preeclampsia. I had to have an urgent c-section because he was breached, and I had been diagnosed with preeclampsia that day, so he had to come out. I remember the nurses having a hard time even trying to find my pulse in one of my feet due to the swelling. Most mornings I had to bend my fingers back to a normal position because they would get stuck in a bent position and I could not physically move them. He also destroyed my teeth, I had to have over 7 cavities filled along with a root canal after he was born. I’m not even going to lie a few days before I had him, I got stuck in a booth at a local breakfast joint in Manhattan, Kansas. I could fit in it before we started eating, but when it was time to leave, I was literally stuck and almost couldn’t get out.. I laughed, we all laughed, but man I’ll never forget that.

But when I look back at being pregnant with Grayson, I went through so much of it alone. Elliot was deployed all but 4 weeks of that pregnancy. I had NEVER lived alone, and we had just gotten married and just so many first. Just image your husband leaves for deployment and you weigh 180 something and when he returns your 240 something. MANNN I hated my body. After having Grayson, I still did not just drop the weight, I did lose maybe 20-30 of that. I struggled, my self-confidence was crushed, and it showed in our marriage.

Moving on to Braxton, I was sooooo sick with him. I lost almost 30 to 40lbs. I could barely eat almost the entire pregnancy. I had an appointment every two weeks starting at 7 weeks pregnant. I joked how he allowed me to get back to my pre pregnancy weight.. which he did at one point I weighed the exact same as I did on our wedding day. I was miserable almost that entire pregnancy. I was on 3 or 4 nausea medications and got fluids a few times. I ended up with preeclampsia at 34 weeks I believe and had to be induced at 36weeks and 7. I was able to have a very successful VBAC, but the recovery was rough. I had mastitis along with a tailbone cyst and lingering preeclampsia. I had a 2nd degree tear and just man I was exhausted. On top of that Elliot left a month after he was born for a very long 9-month deployment.

Last but not least of course is Rhemington, if you are friends with me on Facebook you probably saw all the struggles, I went through with her. I actually never really lost or gained weight with her. But my body hurt with her, when they say the third or more pregnancy your body just hurts… they are right. I started this pregnancy off with a scare of it may have been an ectopic pregnancy and then moved to a possible threatening miscarriage. I had to take progestogen until I was 16 weeks pregnant. I made it to 24 weeks until I was diagnosed with preeclampsia AGAIN. I spent 12 weeks on modified bedrest and had 2 appointments every week for 12 weeks. I had blood drawn at least 1 time every week for 12 weeks. I did about 14 or more 24-hour urines and I can’t even count how many times I went to Labor & Delivery. I then was induced again at 36 weeks and 7. I’ll say she was the smoothest recovery.. so, I thought. I ended up with a secondary postpartum hemorrhage that required a D&C 10 days after.

I struggled with postpartum depression with all three of my babies and had some other medical issues from it all. Which in turned we decided it was time to no longer have babies. I had my tubes completely removed this past Monday. I had many people say ohh just let Elliot get snipped (which by the way he will be) but we chose for my health that this was best. To say I was ready to completely stop having kids is a lie. I wish we could have more but as you have read my body cannot take it. I had to do what was best for me and my family even if I wanted more babies.

Now, you may say what does any of this have to do with how you feel about your postpartum body… I’ll tell you why. If you would have asked me to do something like this after my first or even second child, I would have said hell no. I look horrible. But my body did ALL that above! It went through hell and back to give me these three beautiful children. I have scars and stretch marks. I have that pouch you get after a c-section. I still have baby weight. I breast feed a total of 18 months and then pumped for 2 months to end up with a FULL deep freezer of breast milk that Rhemi will have until she is about 6-7 months old. My body did that!

Momma’s your body made those babies they went through hell and back to have those sweet precious babies. I know society says we should be XYZ size, but screw that. You are a mother and that right there is the BEST thing to be. Our bodies created life and some of us went on the breastfeeding journey to feed our babies. Even for the mommas that did not take that journey for whatever reason you spent your many nights washing bottles, making them, and the hard-earned money to buy formula (believe me that stuff is expensive I know). We are warriors, maybe not to the world, but to our children. They don’t care what our body looks like, they care if we are there in the middle of the night, when they get ouchies, when they learn how to trace and they shout, “mommy is so proud of me” when they get it right. So, when it comes summer and you don’t want to put on a bathing suit, or you dread trying on clothes give yourself a break. I’m speaking to myself as well. It is sooo much harder to do than to say it, but we are mommas for a reason. Our bodies are amazing and give it a break !