B.A.M! (Body after Mommyhood)

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Another installation of the Parenthood Chronicles focusing on the body of a mommy or also known as B.A.M! (body after mommyhood) and what no one told you was going to happen.

It truly is amazing that the body can create and carry a tiny living human being but in all honesty once that little human comes out, the body you started off with is more than a little different afterward.

Above you see the picture of what used to be a sweet little yellow butterfly highlighted with magenta on the tight smooth skin of a 16 year-old hip bone. Fast forward 15 years and that butterfly has done one hell of a metamorphosis into some sort of insect you see smashed and smeared on your windshield. Interesting how no one warns you to not invest in a tattoo located on your torso if you plan on birthing children. I have 4, not once do I recall there being some sort of cautionary line in the waiver papers I signed. Beware the same goes for belly button piercings. BAM!

On to boobs. Being a huge advocate of breastfeeding I’ve done my time with a baby on the nipple and a pump close at hand. Anyone who has been pregnant can tell you once those pregnancy hormones start pumping up so does your bra size. If it wasn’t for my huge swelling belly I could have competed and won numerous times on some wet t-shirt competition circuit during my pregnancies. HOWEVER, fast forward past the hormones and the milk producing days and you have been left with two skin bags hanging out on your chest. The braless and bikini days of the past are a fading memory as your four-year old tells strangers that “those” are what his mommy feeds his brother and sister with. BAM!

Stretchmarks aren’t just for Biggest Loser contestants. Carrying children causes a superhero power allowing your skin to stretch. But someone messed up and the memo was not delivered to the skin production department because once this skin falls back to its normal resting site, sans baby, there is a clear mapping of where the birthing battle was conquered. Hips, tummies, thighs … I’m pretty sure that after having her first baby Shakira discovered NONE OF IT LIES. After speaking with several mommies, I’ve found that no one part of the body is spared from the raised and battered skin of carrying a baby. BAM!

The cocktail of prenatal vitamins and hormones makes for a head of thick locks while preggo making it easy for all women carrying a child to be the center of a shampoo advertisement. If your sweet little one is born with a mop of fine hair, right around the time theirs begins to fall out making way for new, you will notice yours falling out in mass quantities to make way for none.  That’s right all that glorious thick hair you primped and styled for 9 months will begin to fall out leaving you and your baby resembling Seinfeld’s George Costanza for awhile.  Did you know that you can also become so stripped of protein during a twin pregnancy  your eyelashes stop growing? Yep, it happens and I was a victim in November 2012(BAM).  Even my eyebrows became a victim with the inner portion of both brows coming in WHITE after having my first born. WTF or BAM??? How about WTF BAM!!!

Relaxin is more than just what you find yourself doing during pregnancy. It’s a hormone your ovaries produce to basically “relax” everything else in your body to make way for baby, including your feet, nose and teeth. Your hips spread, your teeth move, the arches of your feet drop and your nose begins to enlarge. Once that baby makes his/her way into the world … BAM! those changes sometimes stay permanent.

What’s the skinny? As in the skinny you once were before babies is a different skinny after babies. The pounds are lost and you may even be a smaller size post producing little spawns of wonder, but those favorite jeans fit differently, almost awkwardly. That body skimming dress can’t be worn without a shaper underneath and that bathing suit that fit so exquisitely on that Honeymoon trip looks like something belonging to your babysitter. It will take some time but you will discover new ways and fits to dress your bod, it will just come down to embracing that BAM!

If you are a mommy that has some how escaped BAM and still rock the body you donned while boozing it up in bars pre-minions, good for you I’m sure your career as a Victoria Secret model will prove to be very successful. As for this BAM, my hips are now wider creating a lap for three to sit on at once, arms stronger from carrying little ones during long nights, lips fuller from dishing out butterfly kisses, calves defined from chasing and playing, wrinkles deeper from laughter, mind wiser from worry and experience and heart bigger from so much love and gratitude. Plus my husband will tell you …it IS all about the BAM!

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