Saturday, January 2, 2016

The Family Photos and an Honest Confession

Hi, and welcome to 2016.

2016. That sounds like the name of a Sci-Fi movie. HOW ARE WE IN THE YEAR 2016?! We might as well be saying 2054. It sounds the same.

Recently, I posted on Facebook (and a few on Instagram) some gorgeous photos my friend Sarah took of us a few weeks after Jack was born. I asked her to come over to take a few photographs of Jack, as well as a few of us as a family so we could have something decent for the Christmas card.

I didn't want it to be super formal or fancy. I got up, picked out a decent outfit and spent a little time on hair and makeup, but not much, as Sarah was coming over in the morning hours and we had just experienced a very sleepless night with Jack. I was trying to make our house look relatively clean while also making myself look like some semblance of a woman while also feeding Jack a bottle and getting breakfast for Ellie.

I was fine with how I looked that morning -as fine as I could be at that point postpartum - and I was thrilled to have my sweet friend spend the morning with us. Sarah did such a great job with the photos and I am thrilled with how they turned out. Here's a few in case you haven't seen them:

Not gonna lie, this picture of my husband kinda makes me swoon. 

Aren't they the sweetest? 

The thing is though, I'm gonna be really honest with y'all for just a sec. 

We've all been friends for awhile, right? I mean, I've been blogging here since 2007 so I guess I feel like we're old pals and I can kinda tell y'all anything. 

So I'm just gonna say it. 

When I first looked through these pictures, I welled up with tears for the following reasons:

1. My babies are beautiful and they are a blessing
2. These pictures are beautiful and Sarah is so talented
3. I can't use any of them because I am so much larger than I thought that I was.

That's vain to say, I know. Sorry. I'm just being honest. This isn't one of those "tell me I look pretty" kind of confessions, this is a true, "OH MY GOSH MY FACE IS SO PUFFY AND MY TORSO IS GIGANTIC AND LOOK AT MY LEGS" kind of moments. 

Listen, I KNOW that this is normal for a few weeks postpartum. I know that this is normal, at this stage, (and even well beyond this stage!) for me to not be back to my pre-pregnancy weight. I am still, on this very day (with Jack being 2 months old on the 4th) wearing maternity pants. I can't wear the vast majority of my shirts. This is normal. I know. I'm not down on myself for not having the weight off already. I didn't expect myself to be "back to normal" (whatever that means) at this time. 

It's not realistic for me (or anyone!) to be back to their pre-pregnancy weight in just a few short weeks after delivering. I had a c-section and it's not like I am doing high intensity cardio workouts at this point to get rid of the belly. In addition to that, our amazing friends and family cooked us amazing, glorious, high-carb, wonderful food for weeks and weeks and I gladly ate ALL OF IT. No shame. 

I'm not upset with myself for not getting the weight off yet. 

I just looked through these pictures and thought I couldn't use them. 

"I can't send this out in a Christmas card."

"I can't post these on Facebook, or on my blog."

"I'm not going to blow this up on a canvas and hang it on the wall of my house. I'm too big - it's not a picture of myself that I like or I want to see."

I'm not someone who obsesses about my weight, but I just didn't like the Puffy McPregnant Face going on in all of these pictures. My eyes went straight to my flaws.

I know this isn't the way I should be thinking. And I'm not fishing for compliments here, I'm just being honest about where my mind went and what I've struggled with. 

But... (and here's the big but)

God reminded me of something. 

These pictures - these gorgeous, gorgeous photographs - they are such a beautiful depiction of what life looks like in THIS season. This season with a precious, darling, newborn baby boy and my spunky toddler girl. 

At the tail end of 2015 - this is what I looked like. 

Why? Because my body had just gone through something radical and my body is still recovering. At the end of 2015, my face was full and my belly wasn't flat and that's okay. My kids are worth every single pound. Every single one. 

I'll get it off. I'm not in a major, giant hurry. I'm not going to starve myself or run 8 miles a day. I'm taking strides in 2016 and I'm going to work on getting it off. I should probably start by not eating 2 Oreos before bed every night - however that night is not tonight. I had my Oreos, thank you very much. 

What I'm getting at is, I am now looking at these photos with new eyes. My eyes still see the flaws, but I see them now almost with pride. I did this. My body did this for my kids and this is a very accurate image of what life looks like at this stage. 

So, I posted them. Here they are, on the blog, for all the world to see. 

Hi, my name is Jenny and I had a baby 8.5 weeks ago. I will wear my cute jeans another time. For now, I embrace the elastic. I will hold that little snuggle bug and kiss him and tell him that I would go through anything to have him in my arms and thank the Lord for the abundant joy and privilege that it is to be Jack's mommy. 

1 comment:

  1. So I'm late to the comment party but I just read this post- the whole thing was beautiful Jen. Love this post and felt the exact same things...and def wore those maternity pants waaaaaaaaay longer than two months (cough, like nine��). Hug for you and your babies! KM