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Where'd THAT Come From? How My Body Changed During Pregnancy

By Jeana Lee Tahnk

No one has any idea how their body is going to change during a pregnancy. I've known super lean friends who have ballooned and retained water, and others who started off with a little more meat on their bones and gain only 15 pounds. Of course, what you eat and how you move in those nine months has a huge bearing, but there's most definitely a genetic element that dictates how your body will adapt to the pregnancy.

With my first baby, when everything was still tight, I didn't start showing until about six months. And that's the pregnancy when I was the most eager for that belly to pop. But being five months pregnant and hearing people make comments such as, "Your baby is going to be tiny!" or, "There's no way you're pregnant," was no fun.

As soon as I "popped" the first time around, I paraded that belly around with such pride. It was like my badge of honor. I was lucky to have avoided the dreaded water retention and swollen appendages, but everything was a little plumper and I loved every second of it.

After the baby was born, my body returned to its normal state pretty quickly. While I credit daily exercise for some of that, it had been my first baby so things weren't as stretched out.

With each progressive pregnancy, though, I noticed things happening a little faster, such as the belly growth and the weight gain, and a little slower after the baby was born, such as losing the softness - let's face it - everywhere.

Even though I won't be wearing a bikini anytime soon (or ever), I do credit my body for doing something pretty amazing. The taut body I had in my 20s may be a distant memory, but it has been replaced with a less-defined and softer body that has created three healthy babies. And while it's doubtful my body will ever fully return to its pre-kid state, I'm proud to say that whatever state my body is in now, it has been worth it to get to this point.

It would be nice to lose a little of the softness, though.

Read More by Jeana Lee Tahnk

The Ups and Downs of Going Back to Work

Enjoying Your Pregnancy (Even Though Some Symptoms Really Aren't Enjoyable)

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