My body is a wonderland. Yes, that’s right, my body is a wonderland…and not in the way John Mayer thought about Jennifer Love Hewitt, or his 14-year-old girlfriend (whichever story you are more inclined to believe).My body is a wonderland as in, “I wonder how the HELL that happened?” or “I wonder how much that is going to cost to fix?”

Six weeks ago I gave birth to my third daughter. Over the past six weeks I have taken inventory of my new, post-pregnant self. My body changed even more dramatically than it did with my first two pregnancies. I do not know if it was the pregnancy itself or the fact that I was a few years older, but the changes to my body were intense.

Six weeks out I sit here wondering:

Will my abdominal muscles ever be the same? 

After my first two pregnancies I worked hard to strengthen my core. I did planks, sit-ups, and worked out on the exercise ball. After time and training my core felt stronger and my muscles became more toned. This time around I’m not feeling at all optimistic. Even at six weeks out I can already tell that the composition of my skin on my stomach is different. It’s going to take more than just sit-ups to get it back to normal.

How much will vein treatment set me back?

A few weeks ago as I was getting out of the shower I saw what I thought were bruises on the outside of my upper thigh. Nope! Spider veins! How in the hell did they get there?! The gross little veins are creeping and crawling their way across my upper legs. This is bothersome to me for two reasons: 1) I ran, walked, or wogged everyday of all three of my pregnancies, so my legs have stayed toned. Feeling confident about my legs is great, I don’t want to worry about unsightly spider veins; 2) spider veins itch and burn when you exercise and this is becoming increasingly bothersome with each post pregnant workout I complete. Vein treatment, here I come!

You can never have too much to drink!

In my 20s and on occasional child-less nights in my 30s this statement would normally apply to alcohol, but not today, today I mean water. Nursing a newborn while chasing a four-year old and two-year old is a lot work. Staying hydrated is key for me being able to successfully nurse. It is also key to keeping my skin healthy. For me, saying good-bye to my 20s also meant saying good-bye to radiant skin after 3 hours of sleep. Now when I’m only getting a couple of hours of sleep, my skin gives me away. It gets dry, I get dark circles, I even get hives and break out. Staying hydrated helps my skin fight against the effects of sleepless nights.

In these past six weeks there have been days that I have walked past the mirror and I’ve stopped to wonder, who is this person that has taken my body hostage? I wonder where the former version of myself has gone? Before I can start feeling bad for myself one of my daughters will do something adorable; sing a beautiful song, cheer for pooping on the potty, or smile at me for the first time. In those moments my frustration with my ever-changing body evaporates, because as I watch my beautiful daughters I’m reminded that I carried and nourished each one of them on the journey to becoming the little people they are today, and for that, I thank my body for being strong and healthy. My body really is a wonderland!

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