Welcome to the Jungle: a Guide to Navigating Your Post-Baby Bod

Today I am pee-in-my-pants excited to be featuring a guest post from one of my favorite writers: Hannah Mayer of sKIDmarks. I was over at her blog talkin' 'bout pooping the other day, so she's returning the favor by dispensing some wisdom that should be graciously shared with every pregnant woman you know (which, for me anyway, is approximately half my Facebook friends list).

After you read this, go check out Hannah's blog (there's a link at the end). But only if you're in a place where you don't mind if people see you cackle like a crazy person. Don't say I didn't warn you.

And now, ladies and gents ... HANNAH. FREAKING. MAYER.

Five years after the birth of my first child, I still get a little startled when I catch a glimpse of my naked self in the mirror. Though I work out five days a week and have gotten back down to my pre-baby weight(ish), things are just a little more... different. For instance, my hips have the surface area of a coffee table. And after a few drinks I like to entertain my friends with a little game I call “Titty Titty Toe Touch."

Chances are, if you read Rita's blog (and who doesn't), you are deep in the family game and a primer of preparation for your first postpartum full frontal is useless. You're over the initial shock and well into the acceptance stage. But there are many women out there who at this very moment are curled in the fetal position on their bedroom floor while their mind races with images of butt implants and halter tops that will never again see the light of day. 

So if you feel so inclined, share this post with a rookie preggie. Because when it comes to matters of the flesh, I think we can all agree that knowledge is power.   

Unless you are a freak of nature or a Kardashian, chances are that pregnancy and childbirth have really done a number on your body.

Over the past nine months a stretch mark sneaked in here, a patch of fur cropped up on your back there, until before you knew it your body was a host to a cornucopia of foreign objects. Then, in a sudden blaze of glory, your many-pound baby was expelled from you in one of two equally cringe-worthy ways, leaving behind a path of destruction that is now your thorax.

At some point you're going to have to get acquainted with your new self in the mirror. This will happen once you're home; there's a reason hospital rooms are void of full-length mirrors. They've got enough problems keeping you healthy and alive and don't have time to prevent new moms from jumping out the hospital window.

It's not pretty, but knowing what to expect can help you digest what you're about to see. My recommendation is to just to rip it off like a Band-Aid. Dim the lights, shoot a glass of scotch, and drop your robe. Breathe in the monstrosity that is your new torso.

First, you will be disappointed to see that you still look seven months pregnant. Don't worry – your uterus has been through a lot and this is just her way of telling you that she's super pissed. Eventually she'll cool down and everything will shrink to its final resting place of only four months pregnant. Unless you eat a big Mexican meal or drink a lot of water or put on a swimsuit. Then back to seven you'll jump until you take a big poop. It's a good idea to bring a pair of maternity pants with you everywhere.

Moving further south you'll see something resembling a chipmunk skiing down a mountain on two gorilla fingers. Meet your new vagina. In some cases, there may be something that appears to be coming out of your new vagina.

At first I thought my friends were just trying to scare me when they told me these stories at my baby shower. Something fleshy and organ-like that is not surprise twin baby falling out of yourself? Where's the punchline? But as it turns out, it's not that uncommon for your small intestine or actual vaginal insides to fall right out of yourself because of all that pushing you did. No big D. You'll quickly learn that with your new vagina what was once cause for major alarm is now just a quick post on your New Mom community message board.

If you've had a C-section, you'll notice a large abdominal skin flap hanging roughly to your knee caps that certainly was not there before you got pregnant. It does not go away. I named mine Lucille. Lucille and I like to shop for tankinis together.

Now for the fun part. This will go against every God-given instinct, but you're gonna have to lift the flap. It's important to regularly check things under there and make sure your incision is healing properly. It's also important to ensure there are no homeless men hiding out looking for a warm place to spend the winter.

For every part of your body that sucks, there is one that is totally redeems itself after you give birth. I'm talking about your boobies. They are defying science and all laws of physics and they are glorious. Try staring straight ahead – chances are you'll catch them in your peripheral vision. See how the cartoon-like nipples follow your gaze? Paint a couple of eyes on them and you can surprise your husband with a little barn owl role play.

The good news is that, over time, most things will recoil back into the place nature intended. Maybe not your stomach, and your boobs will probably deflate and look like someone pinned a pair of fleshy socks to your chest. But your calves will definitely slenderize. A little. Let's just say that you're going to have to rely on your wit more than ever before.

So take a deep breath and congratulate your body for performing the miraculous feat of strength that is bearing a child. When you start to get depressed about how you look, just remind yourself that at one point in your life you were hot enough for someone to have sex with at least once.

And remember – everything is fixable.* 

*with enough money and plastic surgery 

 Now get out of here and go pee your cankles away.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 

   Fun fact - Hannah is either:
a.) a former welder
b.) a former hand model
c.) a former Navy SEAL
d.) a former sandwich

You'll have to visit sKIDmarks to find out. And trust me, you won't be disappointed.


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