The Fourth Trimester

When Wendy was about 3 days old, I went to Walmart on a late-night grocery run (because 3 kids under the age of 4!?), and when I was checking out, the teenage cashier asked me when the baby was due, and that she thought pregnant women were just Adorable. I told her the baby was due like a week ago but I had her three days ago, and she apologized all over herself, but I told her it was ok, how could she know? my body still looked pregnant.

Then I told her how *most* women, even those of Princess Kate beauty, go home from the hospital with at least a little post-baby belly, it’s just how God made women’s bodies to work. You are Kidding me, she said, looking at me, in my flip flops and workout pants and maternity shirt. No, I am for real, this is how most women look. She just raised her eyebrows and said that she thinks kids are so cute but not for her.

I was surprised too about what a post-partum body looked like. I guess I was never around (or never paid attention to) post-partum ladies when I was growing up or even when bryan and I were first married. I really want my daughters to know about these normal sort of changes so they aren’t as surprised as that cashier was when they don’t fit into their skinny jeans (if those are still popular—let’s hope not!) on the way home from the hospital with their families years from now.

Even with this being my third baby, it is still so hard not to feel insecure and just generally negative about my body image while post-partum. I know it is a very worthwhile sacrifice, my “figure” for three daughters, but I am still not ready for real pants yet (thank you, inventor of jeggings and tunics!)

Why would it bother me though to look post-partum, when I knew to expect it, I’ve been through it twice before, and I know it is just a season? I suppose it is really because of feelings of entitlement—that I Deserve to look like how I used to look—feelings of wanting to “conceal” any imperfections so that I can appear to be “perfect”, perhaps fear of being rejected or looked down on? I don’t really have any wisdom to share here, just questions I’m asking myself.

Bryan sent me shopping today to buy some things that fit (he’s pretty awesome that way). I hate shopping, unless it is thrift shopping or yardsale shopping. I like to wear my clothes until they have holes in them (and a little past then), and I prefer to have not bought my clothes at all but to just wear hand me downs from my sisters or friends. If I do buy clothes, I like to buy my clothes for $10 or less. Bryan says this is being a little cheap and that we can actually afford for me to wear clothes.

So today was a little bit painful. I went to an Actual Store, with just one kid (like a vacation!), and tried on so much stuff that fit horribly and awkwardly until I finally found  some leggings, cropped pants, a couple tops that will work.  When the girls get home from their parent’s day out day, I’ll give a fashion show, which they will adore (especially if they get to  try on mommy’s clothes too). there will be dancing and and music and high heels involved. and less time spent criticizing myself for not being my own ideal.

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5 thoughts on “The Fourth Trimester

  1. Ooo, I meant to ask, what was the Actual Store you visited? I have been wanting to get some leggings! I think they’re cute even if not recovering from childbirth. 🙂

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    1. Old Navy! They have a sale right now, $10 for leggings. I got some leggings and some really cute crop pants that are audrey hepburn-ish (i used to have some just like them from anthropologie, but these were more affordable!).

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  2. I know what you’re going through. I had many of these feelings after my first (am now expecting my second), and I am hoping to handle this transition better the second time around. It took me 14 months last time to get to my pre-pregnancy weight, so I hope I can just be patient and realize that it is part of the motherhood journey. But I agree; having to go shopping for more clothes is so irritating! (I kept a lot of my in-between wardrobe from last time, so I’m hoping I don’t have to shop much this time.) Good luck to you! Enjoy the new baby, and congrats!

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    1. I kept the inbetween wardrobe after baby #2, but everything was worn to pieces by this baby! The hardest part of post partum shopping for me was not knowing at all what size I was and having to try on all these different sizes of pants, ugh.

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