postpartum body parts

so, like i mentioned here, when my sister and i were together this past weekend, we had a heart to heart, per usual.  elise is 8 months pregnant and i am 2 months postpartum.  we were talking about pre-pregnant bodies, pregnant bodies and post-pregnant bodies and pondering where all of the insane expectations come from.  

i was and am the first to admit that i have struggled with my body image for nearly the entirety of my young adult-adult life.  while pregnant i was mostly able to take my mind off my weight gain and focus on the fact that my body was doing what it needed to do to bring eden here safely. but now, two months out, i admit that i am struggling.  i have it in my mind somewhere that i should be able to be back in my old clothes, sans extra stomach, thighs, hips and boobs, and looking somewhat normal.  i am not exactly sure why i think this way since my body went through the most extreme changes possible in the last 11 months, but i do feel this way and its a constant daily struggle to be ok with the way i look.  (granted part of my frustration is that my clothes dont fit and every day i have to say 'ok self, what do you want to squeeze into today and feel horrible in all day?')  

it also does not help that i, like many women, have been taught to compare myself with other women and it seems that all my mom friends snapped back so much faster than i am.  it seems that they did not gain as much weight and their boobs did not get outrageously big and they did not look tired all the time.  ive determined that comparing myself to others is a quick trip to misery and ultimately springs from a spirit of dissatisfaction and lack of joy in who God has made me to be.   

also why is it that its a compliment to tell a pregnant woman that she does not even look pregnant except from the front???  why, when we ARE pregnant, do we want to look...not pregnant???  why is it that we think a woman looks good pregnant if and only if she stays exactly the same as she was, but with a baby added in front?  i think women are beautiful when they are pregnant because they have life blooming in them and because God is doing a creative work on a precious life inside its mothers womb...not because the mother happens to wear it really really well or be able to trick people from the back. (not to say women should gain weight in an unhealthy way while pregnant, but every body deals with pregnancy differently and is different in general).  i vow to avoid compliments that center on how much weight pregnant women have gained and to focus on the miracle that is making a mother glow with joy.  

i guess its not surprising that compliments to a pregnant woman, or post pregnant woman  would revolve around how much your body does not look pregnant or post pregnant. compliments for women in general seem to revolve around looks, but that is a whole other rant.

anyways, all of this to say, i had a baby 2 months ago.  i still look like i had a baby 2 months ago and i will probably look like i had a baby for a while to come...perhaps even until i have another one.  i am trying to be ok with that, and i hope you can be too :)  if you want to compliment me, dont say anything about how i look (except to say i look beautiful cause ill always take that one)... tell me what a great job i am doing taking care of eden or being a wife to robert (these are the much more important issues and the ones in which i most crave encouragement in)  

k thanks