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On Falling in Love with My Postpartum Body

laurenLast week I was rushing to get out of the door for a dinner my husband and I had scheduled with friends. This was one of the first times in three months that I was leaving Macks with a babysitter and getting some much needed alone time. Since Macks isn’t a huge fan of bottles, I was trying to nurse him up until the last possible minute before I had to get dressed and out of the door.

I’d been thinking about what I would wear on our date for the entire day. Too busy to actually rummage through my closet, I thought about what I had and mentally put an outfit together. As soon as I finished nursing Macks, I quickly went to my room, grabbed the outfit, and began to get dressed.

I put the skirt on and tried to zip it up as quickly as possible only to find that it wouldn’t zip all the way up. It wouldn’t zip because it didn’t fit.

For the last three months I’ve been too scared to try on my pre-baby clothes. Living in my maternity jeans, workout clothes, and dresses, I was avoiding the inevitable. I knew I wasn’t back to the weight before I had Macks, but I didn’t know how much further I’d have to go to reach that.

Trying on that skirt just told me that I wasn’t quite there yet. But rather than cry and have a mini breakdown inside (which is exactly what I did after having Avery), I found another dress in my closet that did fit and went out for a night with my husband.

My body has been through a lot in the past five years. With four pregnancies and three little ones, it needs much longer than three months to recuperate. After that six-week postpartum visit, it’s very easy to get down on ourselves. After all, we’ve been cleared by our doctors, we are finally getting used to the routine of having an infant, but we still don’t look like “ourselves” in the mirror.

While I might not look like I did this time last year, having Macks and this new body has completely changed my perception on my body image. Those curves that I would have hated last year, I am now embracing. Macks hasn’t only brought joy to my life, but he’s also brought me confidence. Confidence to know that it’s not about what I look like three months after having him, it’s about how I feel. Confidence that comes with being excited to wear a bathing suit during bathing suit season because it’s a chance to enjoy being outdoors with my kids and not focus on if my tummy is flat.

I love this new me. Because the new Lauren isn’t worried about the person staring back at her in the mirror, she’s focused on the life she can live with it.

Read more from Lauren at her personal blog, A Mommy in the City, where she chronicles her life living in New York City with a suburban mentality. For more updates, follow Lauren on FacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram!

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