Category Archives: Family

The postpartum skin I’m in

 

Two months ago, I gave birth to a beautiful little girl. She has my heart and she brings me more joy than I ever could’ve imagined before I met her.

She is also the reason my body is different. Very different.

I’ve lost about 15lbs since her birth but I’m still at least 20 away from my “pre-baby weight.” I have a lot more stretch marks than before. I have saggy skin. I have these new big boobs that come with leakage problems and boob sweat. My belly button is wrinklier inside. No seriously. I have a wrinklier belly button. It’s odd. Sometimes I leak pee when I jump or twist or squat. Not all the time. Just sometimes. I cannot move as fast as I used to or work out as intensely as I used to. I look tired (and am tired) around the clock.

This body doesn’t look or feel (or smell!) like the one I had before I had my baby. That’s been a tough thing to come to terms with, especially as my body continues to serve another human being. I don’t look like a supermodel. I didn’t “bounce back”. I still don’t always recognize the person looking back at me in the mirror. She looks much different than the person there a year ago.

But I can’t go back to that body. Not ever. Not really. And I don’t want that body. That body is untouched by pregnancy and birth. That body doesn’t know a world with the cutest little girl in the world. This body does.

After I got the OK from my midwife, I gladly jumped back into activities and exercises that made me feel good. I nuzzled my baby in her Tula and took her on walks, and now that the weather is warming up I’ll be wearing her up into the mountains. I get my sweat on as I wander around the mall with other mamas during Stroller Strides once a week. And, like in these pictures, most days of the week I squeeze an interval workout in at my home that’s now always a little messier than I would like. They’re always less than 20 minutes and some days I spend hours in my sports bra before I find a good time to work out.

I’ll work out while my little one is napping or while she’s playing next to me, and I have to be fine with cutting it short for baby snuggles and meals. This is my new reality. Getting up and active almost always involves my little one. Exercise isn’t just different logistically now. It also feels different. I’m in a much different mental space. A positive one.

I look at my little girl and I think about what matters to me and what I want her to see. I want her to see that I live an active life because I love it. Because it makes me feel good. Because it makes me happy. I don’t want her to think that I do these things because I hate my body; the beautiful body that brought her into this world. I try to eat healthy and stay active because I love my body; not because I hate it. The numbers on the scale do not define me and I do not need to hide my body.

Some days I forget that. Some days I give into the messages around me about what my body should look like and what I should want it to look like after giving birth. Some days I get down. Some days I really miss my old clothes. Some days I wish I was made of celebrity magic and could look fit and well-rested mere months after giving birth.

But then I remember why my body looks so different these days. I remember there’s a little girl watching and listening to me every single day and that I want her to understand self-love. I remember what this body is capable of.

And I will not be ashamed of this body.

This is the body that grew and nourished a life for 42 weeks and 1 day.

This is the body that powered through 44 hours of labor to give birth to a beautiful baby.

This is the body that continues to feed that baby every single day.

This body deserves love.

This body performed a miracle.

I look at my daughter and I absolutely refuse to believe that my body is anything less than extraordinary.

 

 

A letter to my daughter on the eve* of your birth

*I’m using the word “eve” very lightly here as I don’t actually know when you will show up. I’ve started this letter on the computer and in my head too many times to count. I don’t know the right way to start a letter to your child as you wait for her to be born.Continue Reading

Actual Real Life – Episode 4: Texts With Dad

Although we’re buds now, my father and I didn’t always have the best relationship growing up. In fact, I’m pretty sure I said less than two paragraphs worth of words to him from approximately 13 to 17. And yet, in spite of the lack of communication during my teenage years, I managed to turn intoContinue Reading

Happy Birthday, Chewy: Another year of snuggles

Happy Birthday, Chewy: Another year of snuggles

I’m obsessed with my dog. I think he’s the greatest dog in the history of dogs. Even when he smells funny. Even when he eats my food I foolishly walked away from. Even when I’m cleaning his vomit off the carpet at 5:30 in the morning (oh hai, that morning was a blast). I justContinue Reading

My tiny house dream is dead

My tiny house dream is dead

I’ve spent a lot of time in the past year convincing myself and my husband that a tiny house was a the right move for us. I’ve been all over the Facebooks posting tiny houses and swooning over their adorableness. Because minimalism! Because money! Because convenience! I dreamed of us having our adorable tiny homeContinue Reading

The paper anniversary

The paper anniversary

Earlier this month, David and I celebrated one full year of marriage together. A conversation the day before went a little something like this: Me: So we’ve been married a full year now. David: Yup. Me: That’s pretty weird right? David: Umm… no? It’s what I expected. Me: Right. But. It’s still weird. -crickets- Me:Continue Reading

My healthy living story

My healthy living story

This post was originally written for and posted on the Geeked Out Fitness blog. Recently, someone on Twitter asked me how I got into living healthy and making my fitness a priority. I started to respond and then I realized that my story was going to take up much more than 40 characters so I wrote somethingContinue Reading

Perspective – In memory of Poppa Les

Perspective – In memory of Poppa Les

A week ago my world got pretty dark when I found out that my Poppa passed away. Seven days later I’m not any less saddened by the news but I’ve gone through some moments that have helped me to see some things in a new way. Attending Poppa’s wake and funeral not only gave meContinue Reading

Last March 3rd was a pretty good day

Last March 3rd was a pretty good day

One year ago today the Johnson family got 40 pounds heavier when we adopted the quietest dog at the shelter. He slowly got off of his cot and walked right up to the door of his cage, trying to lick my fingers each of the three times I walked by. My adorable friend Trish drove usContinue Reading

My parents made me do it

My parents made me do it

note: I have had serious internal struggles trying to decide if I want my blog to run titles using sentence case or title case and I’ve finally settled on sentence. This is a new take on capitalization for me so bare with me as I come to terms with the lack-of-symmetry feeling sentence case givesContinue Reading