Monday, April 17, 2017

10 Years Postpartum

"When will I no longer look pregnant?"

This was the first question I asked my doctor during my 6 week appointment after the girls were born.  I was still wearing maternity clothes and looked very much pregnant, but with a singleton.  The week before, a stranger had asked me when the baby was due.

"Possibly never," he responded.

I stand just under 5'4" tall and have a very narrow frame.  Carrying triplets to 35 weeks and 6 days had stretched out my mid-section beyond by body's ability to naturally recover.  One of the reasons why I liked my doctor was the fact that he was straight-up honest.  He always told me the truth and never was one to sugarcoat.

He then added that I would most likely need surgery to return to my pre-pregnancy state.  During my c-section, after the girls were born, he was able to stitch some of my abdominal muscles back in place.  I hadn't known that until my 6 week appointment and it explained why my recovery had been so incredibly painful.  I still remember weeks, and even months, after the girls were born, feeling pain and pulling in my midsection after moving.  For example, sitting on my bed and scooting over.  Ouch.  Thank goodness he did what he was able to do though.  I can't imagine how much worse I would look now without that.  I can actually see where he was able to reconstruct my abs too.   It's all on the sides.  My uterus was too big for him to do much else.

I've given serious thought to surgery these past 10 years and, for many reasons, I just can't do it.  I still sometimes think that I can make it "better" with diet and exercise.  Truthfully, the stretched out skin is never going away without medical intervention.  I could care less about stretch marks.  The only time during the past 10 years when I've had a perfectly flat stomach has been during times of terrible sickness.  Norovirus and food poisoning.  Basically, I need for there to be nothing in my body for my stomach and intestines to remain flat.  Most days, by the end of the day, I have a legitimate food baby.  I'm so used to it by now that it's not a constant thought.  Sure, some people think I have a gut.  Whatever.  I have three beautiful little girls whose combined weight was a few ounces shy of 15 pounds.  Come on!

I feel like there's even more pressure now than ever to look thin.  I like how more and more people are changing their eating habits for the better and/or adding more exercise into their lives, but sometimes it's just completely unrealistic.  For example, weighing all of your food.  I can never and will never weigh my food.  And I don't want my girls thinking that this is normal.  I have a fast metabolism and was a constant runner for year and years.  Because of this, I never dieted.  I always followed the rule of only eating when I was hungry and not eating when I was full.  This worked for me.  I will say it's more difficult now that I'm older.  Your body changes.  Everything starts to droop.

Admittedly, I was in a bit of an exercise funk in March and the most I've been working out is three times a week.  I keep thinking I could/should increase that to five, even if cardio on two of those days is walking or biking.  But as we all know, sometimes life simply gets in the way.

Yesterday morning, I pulled a pair of pants from my closet to wear to my SIL's for an Easter brunch.  This particular pair of pants was purchased during a time when I was running more mileage (about 5 or so years ago.)  I remember trying to wear them to work two years ago and they were far too tight, but yesterday they fit.  So I guess I'm doing something right.

I still believe in moderation when it comes to food, and I will never admit to how many Cadbury Creme Eggs I've consumed this Easter season.  I will tell you this - our grocery store began selling them shortly after Christmas, so it's been a loooong "Easter season."  I am slightly frustrated with my running mileage and my inability to increase it as of late.  My knee has been bothering me but it's not consistent or an injury, more like old lady stuff.  But I'm going to keep on keeping on.    

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