I think it would be safe to say many women would not typically share that number that flashes to a standstill on the scale beneath them. I am.
14 weeks ago, I was laying on a hospital bed, happy my epidural had kicked in, waiting on the contractions to jump up high on the monitor, waiting for my dear husband to coach me to push, ready to meet our youngest son. It’s hard to believe that was 14 weeks and about 30 pounds ago. Our first son was a big newborn. He weighted in at 9 lbs. 2 oz. at birth. We found out that baby brother was on the way when he was about 6 months old. In my eyes, my body had never reached even a close resemblance to my pre-pregnancy weight, and given the history of our first delivery, my doctor advised me to stay within a 20-25 pound weight gain target for baby brother. Of course, we ended up at about 30 pounds added, all together.
Every mommy’s and baby’s weight seem to be top of mind to the mother. We are weighing and holding baby and reweighing, asking our family if they can tell baby is getting heavier, growing. We learn to count in ounces and learn percentages and compare and compare and compare. In the meantime, we mommies may eat whatever is in the pantry, if we get to eat at all, learn to swallow quickly and feed everyone at once. We are in a hurry. However, we may slow down enough to see what remains of our baby bellies in the bathroom mirror. Is it any smaller today? Maybe.
We forget to exercise, though carrying an infant and pushing a stroller is enough of a workout most days. Our minds are always racing for us, listening for a cry, prioritizing once we hear one, deciding between folding clothes and a cup of yogurt.
I am learning to be still. After the birth of my second son, I have encountered more physical challenges, the most concerning to be gall stones that have twisted and tightened my shrinking stomach. Apparently, it is a common condition after pregnancy, and after meeting with my doctor, my new goal is to treat the symptoms with diet and exercise. Though not the kind of diet to cut calories. Since I am nursing, I actually need more of those. I am cutting red meat, desserts, chips, basically most of what I would have called my favorite foods.
Now, I am eating more fruits and veggies, salads, grilled fish and fowl and as much avocado as I can get my hands on. I’ve also tried to take a 10-15 minute daily walk, even by myself, to clear my head and look up. 10-15 minutes is a lot of time on my clock. When I look up, I see the sky, cloudy or bright. I see what’s bigger than me. I read a mother’s devotional each morning, and I thank God for the reasons this body is as it is, the beautiful boys who look up to me and smile.
So today, I got on the scale and noticed I’ve lost about 30 pounds of baby weight. I noticed that I am gaining energy with a new grocery list, noticed that I am not worrying about my aches and cramps the more I surrender them to the man who told me He has more than enough strength to carry them for me. I feel lighter. I am praying He restores and trusting He will.
I may be required to have surgery to mend my digestion one day; I may not. I may loose 15 more pounds or maybe just 5. All I know is I praise God for the opportunity I have to hold and hug on my babies today, to lift them up and carry them downstairs, to feed them and watch them sleep peacefully on my lap, no matter the size it is. I am continually learning to love myself as much as they do, as much as He does. I look down, and I say without a doubt, I love what I see.
“Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30