I would have never guessed that I would be so open about my life online like I am now. The best way to describe how I arrived to this moment in my life would be to start from the beginning. I guess youcould say this describes how the “Baby to Bikini” began.
I had quite an easy pregnancy despite the kidney stone that I had to pass naturally while 6 months pregnant. When I did give birth to my little girl, it was totally unexpected because it was a month early. We had nothing packed and took nothing to the hospital with us thinking it was a false alarm and we’d be sent home. We were wrong. My water broke just as they went to get the discharge papers. We called my parents (Who live 2hours away) so they could come up to give us supplies, watch Grizz (our dog),and be here to meet our little girl.
My labor was fairly easy and there were no complications during birth. Our little girl was born healthy despite being a premie. I wanted to breastfeed and that did not work out the way I hoped because my milk did not come in fast enough and my daughter kept falling asleep at the boob due to her using all her effort to latch on. Then, my daughter began to lose weight and that made me feel indescribably terrible because she was born weighing 4lbs 7oz. The doctors were already monitoring her weight (We had to feed her every 2 hours around the clock.) and it added even more stress to the way I was feeling. I had no choice but to supplement. I was so determined to breastfeed that I decided to exclusively pump and supplement with the goal of eventually providing all breastmilk.
After leaving the hospital, we continued to supplement while I provided whatever I could produce through pumping. My husband and I are so thankful that my parents stayed to help with the first week and then, my dad stayed an additional week to help out because my husband had to return to work early. Immediately after, he had to work midnights for a week. And when my hubby works midnights it’s always rough because everyone’s schedules and lives are turned upside down!
Eventually, I was able to reach my goal of providing all breastmilk for my daughter through exclusively pumping. As I pumped, I was always judged for not actually breastfeeding. It always bothered me because they didn’t know my struggle and were unaware that moms that exclusively pump still provide the same nutrition as “breastfeeding” moms, which means that we DO breastfeed but in a different way. I mean boob milk is boob milk right?! Although I did not make it to my goal of exclusively pumping for 6 months, I did make it to 3.5 months. The reason for me stopping was that I physically could not pump anymore because I would cry and flinch during every pumping session toward the end.
During my 6 week postpartum checkup, I would have never guessed in a million years that I would be diagnosed with postpartum depression. Becoming a mom is the most wonderful thing that has ever happened to me but what no one prepared me for was the loneliness that occurs after giving birth. On top of my struggles with worrying about my newborn’s health of her gaining weight, my battles with exclusively pumping, and immense lack of sleep, I felt lonely. It sounds crazy since I had a beautiful newborn but the truth is that I no longer had her in my belly. She was with me everywhere. For 8 months, I always rubbed my belly and felt her moving around inside me. That disappeared as soon as I gave birth. It didn’t help that I still looked pregnant from the baby weight during the first month which plays tricks on your mind because there is no more baby inside of you.
The same day that I was diagnosed with PPD, I had a 2 hr drive to see a dermatologist to take a look at a lump that began to grow on my cheek. The doctor took a look at it and wanted to perform a biopsy to ensure it wasn’t anything serious because it was rock solid. This put me in a darker place than I was because I had to have a minor surgical procedure done on top of my PPD diagnosis on the SAME day. The lump was a cyst that was not harmful and disappeared with a steroid shot. I do have a small scar on my cheek from the biopsy. Not only did I feel terrible about myself inside but outside too. With a scar on my face and all the baby weight that I had gained from my pregnancy, and emotional eating after quitting pumping made me very disgusted with myself.
Although my family tried to help me, the only solution was for me to do something and take back control. Last January, I decided to change my lifestyle and be healthy both mentally and physically. I was desperate to lose weight so I began doing Jillian Michaels DVDs for 3 months and followed a strict diet for almost 6 months. I logged all my food in MyFitnessPal, watched my caloric intake like a hawk, gave up carbs & sweets and did not allow myself to eat after 8pm. It was very difficult but I managed to do it. After I got sick of the DVD workouts, I began Kayla Itsines’ Bikini Body Guide (BBG). I stuck with the BBG because the BBG community on Instagram is made up of amazing women! I would have never imagined that there was an incredible group of women encouraging, motivating, inspiring and empowering one another.
Even though, I developed a wonderful relationship with my fitness regimen, I still had issues with food. I would go on perfect week streaks then go on a binge. It was unhealthy and not a good relationship with food. I missed enjoying my favorite foods instead of feeling guilty when eating them. My eyes honestly didn’t open up to my relationship with food until I began the Girlspo Guide. Now, I strive to eat 80% clean and NOT feel guilty about what I eat. I want to fuel my body with good foods and eat my favorite foods in moderation. Do I have moments where I go a tad overboard? Yes! BUT, I am finally happy with my relationship with food.
This is a process and it takes time just like how a caterpillar turns into a beautiful butterfly. I have never been happier with myself and my body! There were times that I questioned the process and wanted fast results but with time I have grown stronger inside and out! Be strong and trust the process! You will get there!
It’s much more than getting into a bikini. This is about a goal, your hopes and dreams. If you put your mind to it, you are capable of incredible things. The “Bikini” is what drives you to accomplish those goals, hopes, and dreams!