My postpartum self was unrecognizable. I didn't feel like myself and certainly didn't look anything like the woman I was before pregnancy. Things changed and shifted in ways I never anticipated and, to be honest, I hated it. The biggest change of all was the widening of my "child-bearing" hips. Jeans fit differently, and I became more self-conscious than ever. In fact, I was so uncomfortable I neglected to realize all the things my postpartum hips wanted (and needed) me to know. Thankfully, they're just as relevant now, even all these years later.
I gained an impressive (read: dangerous) amount or weight with my first pregnancy, only to be outdone by a larger number with my second. I was miserable in my own skin for a long, long time. Even after the births, I couldn't find anything to "shrink" me back down to what I was before. The truth was, my body refused because, like my insides, I simply wasn't the same person I was before — I was (and am) a mother. To look the way I had before means desiring a period of time when my kids weren't here.
You could say my body's been stretched and deflated more times than a balloon with tiger stripes to prove it. However, after all is said and done and even after all the struggle to find normalcy after the fact, I have two beautiful children so I can't complain (too much). Besides, no matter what's different about my body during and after pregnancy was a short term situation with long term benefits. Even as I write this, I see my hips from the corner of my eye, probably wondering what they can say to ease my insecurities. If you're feeling the same way, here's what I think your postpartum body is telling you (whether you want to hear it or not).