Loving Your Postpartum Body

Thursday, September 29, 2016


After having my first daughter, it didn't take long to accept the fact that I was not one of those women who just bounces back after pregnancy.  I have never been a size 2 to begin with and I had to work really hard to get back into shape.  Once I began to really lose the baby weight and feel good about myself, I found out I was pregnant with my second daughter!  As exciting as this was, I knew my body was going to start changing again.  Gosh, did it change this time!  If you look at these images, I have loose belly skin, I have curves and my boobs definitely aren't perky anymore.  I also developed a hernia with my second that left me with a "weird" belly button!

Speaking of "not so perky boobs", when I look at this photo below, I seriously get all the emotions!  I feel like it describes all that I am as a breastfeeding mother.  I breastfed my first daughter until she was 14 months old and I continue to breastfeed my youngest at 10 months old.  My breasts aren't nearly as perky as they used to be and I'm ok with that.  I was able to give my girls something that absolutely no other person can.  I nourished them and bonded with them and I will forever be grateful that my body allowed me to do this.  I feel that the look on my face shows my struggles as a mother, yet I feel the most beautiful in this photo. 

I've never gone a day without knowing that my husband thinks I am beautiful and that he loves my postpartum body.  He does a wonderful job of making sure I know that.  It's just not the same as YOU knowing that you're beautiful.

I came across Jolise Photography, when I was browsing through a local mommy business post on Facebook.  I thought, wow, boudoir photography, that looks fun!  My first instinct was that this would be a great birthday present for my husband.  His birthday was coming up and he is one of those guys who has just about everything and anything he doesn't have, he typically gets it for himself.  I knew that this would be an awesome surprise for him!  What I didn't know, is that this would actually end up being something for ME and all about ME and my journey through accepting and coming to love my postpartum body....3 years and 2 kids later.

I reached out to Sara, the owner and artist behind Jolise Photography, to see if she would want to work together on this project.  I was so excited when she said yes and we immediately planned a day to meet for coffee and discuss the details.  This is something that she does with all of her clients to make sure there is a connection.  This type of photoshoot can be intimidating (way out of my comfort zone) and I like that I got to meet her.  Sara is wonderful!

My experience from the very beginning was great.  We met for coffee at a local coffee shop called Black Crow Coffee shop in Saint Petersburg.  I highly recommend this place if you are in the area!  It was the perfect, little spot for us to discuss the details of this shoot!  I was so nervous and excited about meeting.  It was like a first date!  Sara made me feel at ease from the moment we began talking. 

She showed me photos of recent shoots she had done and I had a rush of emotions hit me all at once.  The women she showed me were all different shapes and sizes and each had different stories.  Want to know what they had in common?  They were all absolutely BEAUTIFUL!

This meeting with Sara really got me to thinking about how I viewed my postpartum body and how I wanted my photos to look and feel.  Most women understand that becoming a mother will change you.  It is such an incredible, selfless act.  What some don't realize and I'm guilty of this, is how it changes your body. 

How can someone prepare themselves for a 'new' body that you have little control over? 

I mean, I knew that stretch marks are typically genetic and I was prepared to get them, but nobody wants them.  I see women who post that they "earned their stripes" and although it's very encouraging and I support their positive body image, it still wasn't easy to accept.  Let be real, nobody gets pregnant and says, "bring on the stretch marks, hemorrhoids and mood swings."  I didn't get stretch marks until I was 8 1/2 months pregnant with my first daughter and it was hard to believe that I got them right before I was to have her.  Even though I thought I had prepared myself for it, I was honestly disappointed

It hasn't been easy, but since then I've learned to embrace the body that I currently have.  I don't obsess over not fitting into my pre-baby clothes.  Does that mean that I don't try?  Of course I try, but I don't get upset if it doesn't happen.  What's important is that I'm healthy and that I love my body.  As a mom of two girls, it's important that I teach them what that means.

Just know that no matter what your body looks like after having children, you are absolutely beautiful!  You are a rockstar...a gorgeous MOTHER...a STRONG woman who brought life into this world.  Own your body, your curves, loose skin or whatever else has made you a mommy.  I get it, we all have insecurities and it's definitely easier said than done, but just know that you are not alone in this journey! 

More about my boudoir photo-shoot experience:

Sara and I, set a date for my photo-shoot during our coffee "date".  We also booked Krista Ritchie, who would be my hair and makeup artist for the day, and an absolutely amazing one too!  I was greeted with champagne and the day was all about me!  I had my hair and makeup done, listened to good music and then started our photo-shoot with little breaks to change out outfits and sip on champagne.  It was one of the best experiences of my life and I can't wait to do it again.  I walked in a nervous wreck about having to put on 'lingerie'.  Sara gives you the option of picking out your own outfits, but also has cute items in her studio to choose from.  By the end of it all, I was having so much fun that I didn't even realize that my loose belly skin was hanging out!  I was so comfortable and I felt so good about this body of mine.  I felt pretty, ok, I felt HOT!  You can watch a video of my day by clicking here.

Probably the most exciting part of this experience was having my reveal session with Sara!  She sets up a time and day a few weeks after your photo-shoot for you to come in and see your photos.  This is unlike anything I've ever done!  I walked in to her studio and was once again greeted with champagne.  I'm starting to think I should just go visit her studio more often! Ha! 

I was so surprised to walk into all of my pictures hanging on the wall!  I was so overwhelmed with how they looked that I was finding it hard not to cry. 
This was me.  All of me.  Tastefully exposed.  I've had two precious girls in these photos.  I've had good days and bad days.  I've loved my body and hated my body.  This is also my last year in my 20s.  I will forever have these as a reminder that I am beautiful in my own skin.

*Giveaway CLOSED*  Congratulations to Alicia R.!

Want to win a boudoir session of your own with Jolise Photography?!  I've teamed up with Sara to giveaway a double makeover and Photoshoot (for you and a friend), plus $100 each to use towards product purchases. (total value $900)  Located in the Tampa Bay area.

To enter:
Follow Jolise Photography on Facebook
Follow Krista Ritchie Hair and Makeup on Facebook
Follow The Littlest Funk  blog on Facebook
Comment and share Jolise Photography's blog post (and to see more photos from our shoot)
For extra entries:
Follow Jolise Photography on Instagram
Follow Krista Ritchie on Instagram
Follow The Littlest Funk blog on Instagram
Comment and Share this blog post!
Subscribe to The Littlest Funk blog

This post is sponsored by Jolise Photography.  The opinions expressed are my own.
Read More