The Super Whites The ordinary life of a Super Mum

The Super Whites
My postpartum body and I

This is what having a baby does to you. Can you see it? My first offical gray hair. I left it there because I feel strangely proud of it. Unlike my other badges of womanhood, my breasts and silvery stretchmarks, the linea nigra that you can still trace faintly down to my pubis, this gray hair is not hidden, its proof that I am a grown-up.

What I can do without is losing whats left of my remaining dark hair! Post partum hair loss, I hate you! I had kind of forgotten or chosen not to remember how a few weeks after everything else starts to settle down, suddenly chunks of hair fall out, all over the place. And its a compulsive thing for me, this feeling, pulling, teasing at my ponytail, grabbing the hairs and pulling and one-by-one they come out wherever I am. I roll down the car window and trail gossamer threads of myself in my wake. I find it all over the bed in the mornings, spidery webs across my pillow. Stella has pieces twined around her hands, wrapped around her dummy, in the folds of her nappy. Its all over the floor so that when I crawl around on hands and knees picking up lost beads, I collect hair in handfuls. Its disgusting. And at the rate I am going all I am going to have left is that little wiry gray hair you see above. Nice.

In other postpartum news I now weigh less than I did when I fell pregnant with Amy. I have lost all that I gained during my pregnancy with Stella and more, lots more. I haven’t been paying much attention to numbers but none of my clothes fit, I am wearing a belt of Ron’s that is now on notch number three and I could probably cinch it to four but then there isn’t any room for afternoon tea. Looking at the rate that Stella is growing its plain to see where my weight is going. Combined with the fact that I spend all day with my child who watches me like a hawk and wants to eat everything I eat, I am actually eating a very healthy balanced diet with regular snacks and smaller portions. I am drinking litres of water to keep hydrated and despite enjoying a regular glass of wine, I don’t go past one glass. This all means that with very little effort I am feeling really good about my postpartum body.

I wasn’t expecting this at all. It took me ages to lose my babyweight after Amy and I still looked pregnant months after having her. Despite breastfeeding I didn’t lose the last few kilos that were still lingering and then when I gave up breastfeeding the weight started to creep back. I joined the gym and loved my weekly yoga class but resentfully got on the treadmill and instead did other classes like Core which helped strengthen my muscles but didn’t get the weight moving. Now I am so glad I focused on building my core strength because I think that was a contributing factor to my healthy pregnancy this time around. I was able to walk for my second trimester and well into my third and thanks to a hungry and inquisitive toddler I only gained a total of 7kgs during my pregnancy all of which I had lost before leaving the hospital after delivering of my 4kg Stella!
This photo above is of me the month I fell pregnant with Stella. I was carrying so much extra weight in my thighs and hips. I was unhappy and stressed and really wanted to get pregnant but felt as though I had let myself down by not losing enough weight to have a healthy pregnancy. For someone who has struggled with their weight since my teenage years it was a bad way to start a pregnancy. I was unlucky to have such terrible morning sickness but in many ways it was a blessing in disguise. I lost three kilos in my first trimester and then when I started to feel better I just wanted to eat well and watch my weight gain, unlike last time around when I ate anything and everything I wanted to and as a result I gained nearly 30kgs!!!!

This photo is taken the day before Amy’s second birthday which was ironically the first day of my last period, I got pregnant a few weeks later. I think I look puffy and unhealthy.The difference in my face from then until now is really noticable.

This photo was taken at the wedding of our very good friends in March 2005. It was our third wedding that year, we went to seven weddings in six months in five countries! We had a fantastic year, a celebration of so many wonderful friends and then after I got back from a work business trip to India in September we decided to fly out to Australia and suprise some other special friends for their wedding day. We had been talking about trying for a baby for a while but had wanted to really enjoy our year of travel then when we were in Australia we threw caution to the wind got pregnant straight away! I started my pregnancy at a heavier weight than I would have liked but looking at that photo above I think I looked healthy and happy.

This photo was taken a few days before our wedding day in 2004. I bought my wedding dress a size too small (UK size 12) and spent the weeks before the wedding dieting heavily and working out at the gym daily. Ron and I ran a half marathon a few months before the wedding and really enjoyed running and training together. I was proud of my body and my achievement before the wedding and weighed in at my lowest weight in many years on the day I got married. Of course the crash diet I had been on to fit into my dress backfired as all crash diets do and the weight started to creep back on almost immediately. I now weigh about 15kgs more than I did then but if I was really honest with myself I would probably say that I have 10kgs to lose before I could be really happy with both the way I look and my health and BMI. I love to run but two pregnancys and the extra weight has been hard on my knees and I would need at least two bras to contain my breastfeeding boobs! I just want to be fitter and stronger and if weight loss comes with that then its a good thing. Now that I have two daughters I think it is so important to bring them up in a home where healthy eating and healthy appetites are encouraged. I never want my daughters to think that I have an issue with my body and I want to teach them that living well and maintaining a balance between good and bad is important in all facets of their lives.

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5 Responses to My postpartum body and I

  1. Nicol says:

    I totally understand. Being pregnant with my second now, I worry about the weight. I was happy that at my last doctor appointment I had only gained 2 pounds in the past month. (1 kg) I am very hopeful that because I have been far more active with the pregnancy (walking 2 to 3 miles each day) will help me lose the weight quicker.

    Congrats on your weight lost! It's even better that in some ways you hadn't even tried. I had that after having Livy and I hope for that again.

  2. Lucy Taylor says:

    How lovely to read a bit about you!! my goodness lady you have gone great guns haven't you? You look really lovely and those jeans of yours look great. Give yourself a congratulatory pat on the small behind and have a teensy weensy bit of extra wine to toast! love u lots xxx

  3. Thrifted Treasure says:

    Sounds like you're well on the way already. I totally obsessed about losing the baby weight after all of mine and went on a ridiculous "2 bowls of cornflakes and a boiled egg and toast each day" diet, it worked – I lost 10 kilos in 6 weeks but definitely not at all healthy. Now I find regular walks to be a great fat burner, much better than the misery of dragging myself to a gym!

  4. thejacksonfiles says:

    man i just wrote a long comment and i'm not sure if it went through or not. grrrrrr

  5. Sunny Road says:

    Good on you Sarah. I think you have a really healthy attitude to your weight and you've obviously approached the postpartum phase really well – you look fabulous! You're right that its so important to show your daughters a good attitude to food and weight and all that.

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