Now that I have officially passed 9 months in, 9 months out I wanted to look back at the 18 month process of growing and recovering from growing my little human 😉 I’ve been pretty vocal about the fact that being pregnant wasn’t my favorite and wasn’t something I was exactly looking forward to but I was always a little bit curious of the process. So, let’s jump in on a little recap of my pregnancy and postpartum journey.
I do want to preface that this was my unique experience. Kudos to all mothers and your pregnancy/postpartum journey however that looked for you. You are amazing and I am in total awe! Truly 🙏
One of the FIRST things I googled when I found out I was pregnant is how much weight gain is considered a healthy pregnancy. Not only that, I wanted to see the weight gain broken down. If you’re curious like me, here’s what google says!
My #1 priority was God willing, to have a healthy pregnancy and I was determined to allow my body to gain the weight it needed to gain. With some pretty severe body issues in the past, I am so thankful that I was at my absolute best mindset to deal with the body changes I always dreaded whenever I would think of having a baby. And I am so happy to say that I did it (I gained a total of 30 pounds with Alessandra) but it definitely wasn’t easy. I gave myself a lot of pep talks and would always bring focus back to the most important thing, the healthy development and delivery of my baby!
The process, the experience of being pregnant is nothing short of a MIRACLE and if I could wrap it all up in three words it would be to trust the process! Your body knows what it needs to do. I think because it was my first pregnancy I didn’t really show until 25 weeks. I’ve heard with multiple pregnancies that you start to show a lot faster than with your first? I just remember there was a point where people finally started to realize that I was pregnant and hadn’t just gained a few pounds, haha. Ben would tease that it just looked like I had eaten a few too many cheeseburgers for the first bit *in a very loving way of course.
While I wanted to be gaining enough, I also didn’t want to gain too much because I knew that would only make it harder for myself postpartum. It’s one of the reason’s I looked into what pregnancy weight gain consists of. I knew that if I gained the proper amount of weight I would only have 7 ish pounds of actual fat to deal with at the end. On the other hand that’s still 7 pounds and it doesn’t just magically go away, lol.
Did you know that the reason they recommend gaining 5 to 7 pounds of fat is because it acts as insurance for your baby once they are born to help increase milk supply, etc?
I monitored my weight gain by weighing myself once a week. I had heard that sometimes it can come in a flood at the end and that’s definitely how it happened for me. 34 weeks is when it all hit the fan! The “are you sure you’re not having twins”, etc comments came in like a flood which was it’s own thing to process and deal with but honestly, the worst part was the swelling.
I was still working at the salon and some days were long trying to fit in as many clients as I could before maternity leave. I am not exaggerating when I say the swelling in my feet was SERIOUS (picture below for reference). I will never take for granted normal size ankles, ever ever again! Ben had to go buy me basically oversized slippers, looked like black uggs because my feet didn’t fit into any of my shoes. I was having a mini panic attack that none of my shoes would ever fit again and believe me the concern was very real and hard in the moment.
Something that really intrigued me right after birth was documenting how much weight I naturally lost, without trying. I wanted to see if google was right in the breakdown so I kept a weight log out of genuine curiosity and here’s how it went.
Just a little reminder, a 30 pound weight gain broken down is 4 pounds of increased fluid, 4 pounds of added blood volume, 2 pounds of breast tissue, 2 pounds of uterus tissue, 1.5 pounds of placenta, 2 pounds of amniotic fluid and 7 pounds of fat, protein and other nutrients.
One week exactly after birth: 19 pound weight loss (the swelling in my ankles also went down 7 days after birth, thank you Jesus ♡). After that I lost a pound a week so in the first month I lost 23 pounds total, just like google said 🙌
As for those last 7 pounds, I definitely have not bounced back. Losing the baby weight was the LAST thing on my mind as I adjusted to motherhood. In fact, I kept wearing my maternity clothes for the first couple months because I didn’t want the pressure of fitting back into my clothes just yet. I wasn’t ready to actively start trying to lose the weight until 6 months PP and it has taken me 4 focused months to lose the last few pounds.
I have read a lot about postpartum over the past 10 months and every woman’s story is so different. Some women drop the weight with breastfeeding, while some don’t until they stop breastfeeding. I personally have noticed the biggest difference as my hormones have started to level out in the past few months.
Like my mom would always say, it takes 9 months to make a baby, you should expect at least that to lose the baby weight. AT LEAST.
I am certain that my episiotomy is what extended my healing as some women are good to go within a week, lol. But I distinctly remember feeling like I had been hit by a bus even after we were discharged and back home. I just know I never could have left the hospital without Benjamin. I couldn’t have carried our bags out and I definitely couldn’t have carried Alessandra in her car seat, let alone drove. To be honest I could barely walk and almost fainted in Walmart when we made a quick stop on the way home. Definitely should have waited in the car but you learn pretty fast what your limitations are!
There is something to be said about making it through those first 7 days though, haha. Once you have, it’s almost like a magical switch you start to feel so much better (minus the sleep deprivation) and health care definitely has it figured recommending 6 weeks to take it as easy as you possibly can. *With my episiotomy it took me 6 months before I was completely healed, will spare you the details but if you can avoid that you’ll be in much better shape than me 😉
In conclusion, now that I have been through it (I’m thinking once was enough, haha) I can say with confidence that you can trust your body. Focus on making the best daily decisions and DO NOT worry about bouncing back but instead trust that your body will start to level out. I don’t know if your body ever feels the same as it did pre-pregnancy (because it’s not, you birthed a human and it has permanently changed) but be encouraged in that you CAN feel as good as you did and your body can be even better than it was before. Our bodies are remarkable and having a baby is the most natural thing, even if I didn’t particularly enjoy it, xoxo, Emm.
P.S. If you’re currently in your own pregnancy/postpartum journey remember to give yourself so much grace along the way ♥ You are literally wonder woman in my books!
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