She had long struggled with her weight, so Joanna was nervous about how her body image would deal with having four babies in five years. But she’s now shared her journey to healthy acceptance of her post-baby body — and it’s pretty inspirational.
It’s supposed to be an exciting time in the lives of mothers-to-be, but pregnancy can also be full of scary hormonal changes and weight fluctuation that can leave you feeling overwhelmed and even disconnected from yourself.
Joanna Venditi from Canada, has given birth three times — first to her son Holden, then daughter Beau, and most recently, twin girls Mia and Everly.
But the self-confessed weight-obsessive didn’t easily find happiness in her constantly changing body.
“Although I coped with my size and weight gain really well during my twin pregnancy, after having my girls was a different story. My postpartum body was literally bruised and battered,” she wrote.
“My distracting enormous but adorable baby bump had been deflated and I was left with mush, bruising, swollen ankles and healing from a c-section. I had this sadness for my body. I felt so badly for it with the state it was in and at the same time was so grateful for what it had do.”
Joanna said she fought “a war” to let go of her obsessive body control during her pregnancies.
She tells of using dramatic dieting and exercise techniques to drop several dress sizes after the births of her first two children.
She also describes the anxiety she felt when she found out she was having twins, assuming her belly would swell to an unprecedented size.
However, during the pregnancy of her twins, Joanna finally found a way to beat her body anxiety.
“I finally made the decision that I would disassociate my body from my mind during my twin pregnancy and think of my body as a vessel. Guess what… that worked,” she said in the blog post.
Joanna is now sharing her journey to happiness with other women, and is safely working toward a body she loves.
“I have simple goals that are for me and no one else. I want to be strong. I am over hurting my back when I pick up a baby. I want to be flexible. No more pulling my neck while reaching for a pacifier that has fallen under a crib. I want to go to my closet and feel good in whatever I put on. No more pulling at waistlines and being limited to leggings (although I will never entirely give up my leggings).
“Any time I start doubting my new curves or war wounds I look around the room and ask myself, how many other people in this room grew two people inside their body at once?”
Click through this gallery of women celebrating their baby bumps – in their various forms — with this series of beautiful photographs by Sandi Ford.
What surprised you about your pregnancy? Share your experience in the comment section below.