Tuesday, August 13, 2013

"kiss that belly" {goodbye!}

When I was pregnant my toddler would always come up to me, tug my shirt up and kiss my enormous pregnant belly.  This unsolicited affection always made my day, and made me daydream about how, once the baby was born, they would love each other.  You see, I viewed the kisses as his love for his future sibling, whom I would talk to him about constantly.
ready to pop.  yeah, that belly button will never be the same.
But I think I had it all wrong.

Now that I am not pregnant, and haven't been for almost three months, Cormac still kisses my tummy.  He will stand at my feet, point to it, and say urgently, "Kiss that belly!"  and will not move on until I have bent down, exposed a part of my belly, and let him plant one right on it.

Tears always fill my eyes.  But now for a different reason: because he loves me and my postpartum belly unconditionally.  Even if I don't love it.   Even though it makes me feel vulnerable and self-conscious.  Cormac knows nothing of those insecurities.

He only knows that that he loves me...and that "Din-ola came out of that belly!" 

+ + + + + + + 

Even though my toddler has unconditional love for his mama, extra belly fat or not, my feelings are another story.

A post-partum tummy is a sore spot (no pun intended) for many woman after they have had a baby (or two, or three...) and isn't necessarily something we want to expose.

My belly is not what it used to be.  After two pregnancies, even though I managed to elude any stretch marks, my belly button has been distorted, I still have the dark hormone line running down the middle and probably will for a few more months, the skin is looser and I have a layer of something (fat? skin?) over my abdomen that I refer to as my "mini spare tire."
8 weeks pregnant with baby two

I have begun the process of working on getting back to my pre-baby tummy.  I have been running, planking, doing crunches, etc.   I haven't started cutting calories yet, due to breastfeeding, but that will come eventually.

I'll admit, I was a little frustrated when I got pregnant unexpectedly -- just when I finally got my body back to where I was feeling really strong and fit again!

(you can read about my first post-pregnancy "belly journey" HERE}

Then I had to start all over - barely a year after having Cormac.   Actually, because I had worked so hard to get back into shape I started my second pregnancy in a really good spot - maybe in better shape than when I started my first pregnancy.  It also helped me to continue working out as much as possible while pregnant.

***If I can recommend anything to ladies intending to get pregnant, it is: get into the best shape that you can BEFORE you get pregnant -- and try to stick with it as long as you can during!  I can't tell you how much easier my recovery was this time and how much faster it was to get back into my pre-baby jeans.  No joke - huge difference.***

So here we go, folks.  Time to kiss the belly goodbye.  I'll share the six-weeks post-partum "before photos" when I have made some sort of real progress.

Until then, if anyone has any awesome ab exercises that helped you post-pregnancy-- I'd love to hear!