This is a post that has taken me months to write. Every time I sit down to write about my postpartum body and the struggles I’ve faced, I come up blank. No words seem to fit the situation quite right and I spend a good deal of time staring at a blank screen and deleting the words that do appear. In fact, I’ve already deleted two paragraphs before writing this one.
Today is the ninth day of the Love Blog challenge and the topic is acceptance. I signed up to co-host this day with the intent of talking about motherhood and how it’s changed me on so many levels. This change is one that has been hard to accept. It seems like the perfect time to talk about the postpartum body struggles I’ve faced and how I’ve come to accept them (on most days).
Giving birth for the first time was a traumatic experience. I was left with a third degree tear and a pain I’d never experienced before. I won’t go into a ton of detail because you can read my birth story if you want to know more. I mention it because it’s a contributing experience to my postpartum body. It took me months before I felt normal and like myself again.
When I gave birth a second time, I went in with a different mindset and armed with all the tricks in the book. I had a very different experience and was left feeling empowered. Healing seemed to go much smoother and I started to feel like myself much sooner. In fact, I may have overdone it a bit because I was listening to my body.
My Body Changed
At four months postpartum, I found myself talking to my doctor about the possibility of pelvic organ prolapse. It had been a month of odd symptoms that led me to this appointment. A posterior prolapse was confirmed and I found myself struggling to accept this change. With pelvic organ prolapse, your vaginal walls have lost their strength and other organs start pushing in uncomfortable ways. It’s a bit more complex than that but the focus of this post is acceptance. You can read more about prolapse and my story in this post.
For me, this internal change felt so much worse than any external change to my body. I’d never thought about my lady parts much and all of a sudden, I was consumed by them. I was analyzing every little movement and wondering if I was going to make things worse. I found myself worrying about my organs falling out of my body. I feared I would be the boring mom sitting on the sidelines when I really wanted to be the mom doing all the fun stuff with my kids. It consumed my thoughts and affected my day to day living.
I’m not sure exactly when it happened but at some point, I allowed my mindset to shift. I started to focus on what my body can do instead of what it can’t. I found myself looking at my boys and asking the hard questions. Would I change anything if I knew the outcome in advance? Was damage to my vagina worth it?
Healing comes in many forms. For me, a big part of it was mental. I could make attempts to heal my body in all the right ways but without mental healing and acceptance, it was pointless. As long as I was focused on the negative, I found that my prolapse ruled my life and kept me from living the way I’d like. My body could heal and improve but it was no good if my mindset didn’t change with it. Without a mindset change, I stayed stuck in a negative loop.
Like I said, I can’t place the exact moment things changed. I can only say that I kept looking for the positive and one day, the positive finally outweighed the negative. Is my vagina still changed? Yes. Do I still have bad days where I let my mind fall into negative thoughts? Yes.
But the good days are starting to outweigh the bad days and I fully believe that is because I’ve accepted the change. I’ve accepted that my body is different. Giving birth twice is no small thing and there were bound to be some changes along the way. Our bodies are constantly changing as we go through new experiences and celebrate new birthdays. While some of those changes can be hard to accept, body change really is just a part of life. Sometimes you can do things to help your body and other times, you have to find new ways to accept the differences.
I’m choosing acceptance and moving forward with my new body. It may not be the same as my pre-baby body but that’s okay. This body has given life to two boys and I wouldn’t change that for anything.
I’m mentioned above that I’m a cohost for today’s prompt! I’m not cohosting all of the prompts but there are a few here and there. Each time that I cohost, you’ll get the chance to learn a little bit more about the other ladies hosting. I’ve shared all of the bios and links below (including my own in case you’re new here!). I highly recommend checking out these ladies!
Brita Long is the pink and sparkly personality behind the Christian feminist lifestyle blog, Belle Brita. On her blog and social media, you’ll discover more than authentic storytelling–she’s brutally honest about pursuing a fulfilling and joyful life even with Crohn’s Disease and depression. You can find her on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.
Laura is a part-time artist hoping to go full time some day. She blogs at Do Five Things a Day. She has a little black bucket list book filled with adventures. She writes with the hope to inspire. She’s known to be quite the workaholic sometimes. She’s an INTJ- A and she believes a cup of hot tea can solve almost anything. She embraces perseverance. She’s spent a lot of time emerged in self-discovery practices over the last several years, and finds she is still learning as she goes. She is here in the blogging world because she believes the buzz about self-care, wellness, and self-love needs to be heard. You can also find her writing over at www.blogfivebiz.com chatting about blogging and business stuff. You can find her on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.
Meet Pam (That’s me!)
Pam is a former teacher turned work at home mom to two little boys. She blogs about motherhood and all it’s messy moments on her blog Hodge Podge Moments. She also shares play based learning activities at Little Learning Moments. You can find her on Instagram and Facebook.