When Daniel took this photo, I was just five days postpartum. We had gone to the pediatrician earlier that afternoon, our third time since arriving home from the hospital with James. Neither of us had slept the night before—or any of the nights before, come to think of it. Instead, we sat on the floor of James’ nursery and tried to comfort him as he wailed, looking at each other (crying at each other?) like, hey so maybe it wouldn’t be the worst thing if we spent all our money on a night nurse. Five days into motherhood and I had become a person who considers a robe an outfit.
I fed James while Daniel ran out to get Five Guys, rocked him until he fell into that deep yet fragile baby sleep, then put him down in his Rock n Play beside the dinner table. I was so happy he seemed to be getting some good rest after the night of no sleep. I cleaned up the kitchen for a little while, unintentionally clanging a dish in the sink, and was relieved to see I hadn’t woken him. Daniel came home and closed the door with a bang—again James stayed sleeping! It wasn’t until I crinkled the foil on my burger that his eyes shot open. I picked him up, kissed and hugged him, and laid him over my shoulder, picking up my burger in the other hand. I looked up from my burger at Daniel, with his iPhone camera pointed directly at me, and attempted to verify that he was indeed interested in being murdered. And yes! He was.
“No trust me this is amazing,” he said. “Think about us in 20 years looking back on this picture—it’ll be our favorite family photo.”
Will it though?
I had to laugh. Will I be glad to have the photographic record of me, 50+ pounds overweight, eating Five Guys in my underwear with my newborn son on my shoulder? Maybe he was right. Maybe James and Daniel and I would look back at this photo someday and just love it. Every family has these time capsule-type photos. I certainly do. And what an appropriate portrait of a first-time mom in the throes of newborn life. What a capture of the way I felt, the way I looked, the way I ate comfort food with one hand when he was born.
Admittedly, I don’t exactly *love* sharing this photo. I’m not happy with being this overweight again. But hey, this is where I’m at. And I’ve been here before, a number of times over the past 12 years. This time though, it’s not terribly painful for me to come to terms with finding myself here again, wanting to feel better. Maybe that’s because this body made my precious son, or because I’m older, somewhat wiser, and a lot kinder. Or maybe it’s because every time that I go through these changes, I learn more about myself and gain a little more compassion.
So this is it, my friends—the start of a new weight loss journey. I’m going to take it slow and have compassion for myself along the way, because it’s never perfect and it’s never as linear as I hope. I’ll be sharing more when I figure out what exactly I’ll be doing and hopefully will update with my progress.
Can you relate? How did you handle postpartum weight loss?