Why I couldn’t love my post-pregnancy body

Weigh scales

After losing Ewan, I really struggled with the post-pregnancy weight. I’ll share something that could have been hilarious, if it wasn’t so tragic. Only 2 or 3 days after giving birth, I went to the wardrobe and pulled out some of my pre-pregnancy trousers and tried to put them on. Needless to say I failed…. miserably. Looking back it kind of makes me smile, that I thought all the weight would disappear once my baby had been born. I clearly blocked out the doughnuts, pizzas and general crap that I had eaten (unnecessarily!) over the past 6 months.

Those first few weeks were really tough. I was carrying around all this extra weight with a huge flabby belly. All I could think was that if I had a baby in my arms, I wouldn’t give two hoots! There would be a reason for my chubbiness. And quite frankly I know I wouldn’t care. I used to get quite angry. It wasn’t fair. I had lost my baby and to top it all off, I thought I looked a complete mess!

Adam and I didn’t eat awfully well initially. It was much easier to order Chinese, pizza or grab rubbish from the freezer that didn’t require any thought or effort. Ok that isn’t strictly true. We did have some lovely hearty food from kind family, friends and neighbours. But on the other days we ate crap! And we also drank a lot of wine! As is the case with alcohol, it dulls the senses. It wasn’t really ideal. But for a short chunk of time, it did help. Although it didn’t help with the weight.

Less than five weeks after Ewan was born, my brother got married. Before Christmas, anticipating that I would be 37 weeks pregnant by that point, I ordered a beautiful maternity outfit from JoJo Maman Bebe. I was so excited to wear it. But instead I ended up having to drag myself out in public to go shopping. My mum took me to a local department store. I half-heartedly picked a few things out and we went into the changing rooms. None of them fit properly and I just looked awful. I remember bursting into tears and mum giving me a huge hug. I just wasn’t in the mood.

A few days later, Adam and I went to the Trafford Centre. I can’t remember if it was a conscious decision to go late at night. I think I was still avoiding crowds as much as possible. We wandered around and finally after much looking, I finally found something I was comfortable with. It was actually quite a cheap dress from H&M, but it was the only thing that made me feel anything other than fat.

Wedding 2 Wedding 1

On the days itself, I actually felt quite good. I bought a few nice accessories to jazz it all up. But when I look back at the photographs, the first thought I have is how big I look. Which annoys me! Because I actually loved the outfit, loved the accessories, loved my hair. It was a wonderful day, but also a tough day. I still couldn’t forget that I should have been pregnant. I saw some family and friends for the first time, which was emotional for us all. There was a pregnant guest (who I didn’t know). Watching her (or trying not to) was really hard. One of the most beautiful parts of the day, other than the ceremony, was during my brother’s speech. He talked about the people who couldn’t be at the wedding, Ewan being one of them. I was so incredibly touched.

You might think my moaning about my post-pregnancy weight is pretty irrelevant and a bit shallow. Why the hell was I worrying about how I looked given everything that had happened? It’s hard to describe. My best effort is this – I was in a tough place. To say I was low is a bit of an understatement. And under normal circumstances, how I look wouldn’t bother me too much especially if everything else was going well. But because of my mental state, being overweight as well felt like a bridge too far.

I did manage to lose some weight eventually, although within a few months I got pregnant with Dylan. How I lost my other pregnancy weights? That was a different journey and a different story, for another day.

6 responses to “Why I couldn’t love my post-pregnancy body

  1. Of course it’s not shallow – it must have been so devastating already and feeling bad about the way you look is just adding to the mix of emotions.

  2. Sorry for ur loss. My weight has always been a constant battle and I have lost 6 stone in the past. I can’t image how it must feel to have lost a child and how u would feel about ur body.

  3. I do not think it is irrelevant I think it is important, thanks for sharing your story.

  4. I don’t think moaning about anything is irrelevant or shallow. All feelings are valid, no matter how fleeting. I think that you say it well when you say it was the last thing that you could deal with at the time.

    I’m so sorry for your loss, and you wrote Ewan’s story so beautifully xxx

  5. I can not imagine what you went through. I do not think that it is shallow to get upset about your weight at all. It was something you could control in the situation you found yourself in. You look lovely in the photos. It must have been a very hard time for you both. x

  6. Rachel, I am so sorry for your loss, first of all! I do not think you were silly at all, worrying about your weight, your body had gone through so much but as you say, there was no baby to focus on so I think anyone in your case would have done the same. I lost Georgie when he was 5 months and ever since, staying on top of my weight has been a major struggle. I need to have a look at your weight loss journey posts for tips!xx