By Jeana Lee Tahnk
No one has any idea how their body is going to change during apregnancy. I've known super lean friends who have ballooned and retainedwater, and others who started off with a little more meat on theirbones and gain only 15 pounds. Of course, what you eat and how you movein those nine months has a huge bearing, but there's most definitely agenetic element that dictates how your body will adapt to the pregnancy.
With my first baby, when everything was still tight, I didn't startshowing until about six months. And that's the pregnancy when I was themost eager for that belly to pop. But being five months pregnant andhearing 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 bellyaround with such pride. It was like my badge of honor. I was lucky tohave avoided the dreaded water retention and swollen appendages, buteverything was a little plumper and I loved every second of it.
After the baby was born, my body returned to its normal state prettyquickly. While I credit daily exercise for some of that, it had been myfirst baby so things weren't as stretched out.
With each progressive pregnancy, though, I noticed things happening alittle faster, such as the belly growth and the weight gain, and alittle 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 docredit my body for doing something pretty amazing. The taut body I hadin my 20s may be a distant memory, but it has been replaced with aless-defined and softer body that has created three healthy babies. Andwhile 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 beenworth it to get to this point.
It would be nice to lose a little of the softness, though.
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