While you are pregnant, your body ceases to be yours. Hint: Your body is the car in this analogy. It's kind of like handing over the keys to your car to someone who can't drive, won't pay the speeding tickets they get and won't repair the damage when they total your ride (My father is laughing right now because I am also accurately describing what it is like to raise teenagers, specifically me).
You don't get to reclaim your rightful territory for quite a while after having your bunde of joy. First, you will get to breastfeed and I'll leave that topic for another post. Then, the hormones will take over. A lot of this part happens while you are still nursing, but I got a whole new wave of hormone fun when I moved my babies to formula. Then, and only then, can you begin to repair the damage.
I can't even begin to explain the transformation that you will experience, but most of us end up having pretty similar issues. There are the rare women that roll out of the hospital in their pre-baby jeans and are back in their bikinis by the summer. These women are either blessed by nature and incredible genetics or have a personal trainer, personal chef, nutritionist and a live-in nanny to watch the baby while they shrink back to a size that women were never intended to be - it is probably a combination of both of these things. Just remember, we could all look like that given enough time, money and plastic surgery.
Anyway, back to the similar issues. The big one that we all have is the overall jiggliness. Most prevalent in the mid-section, your toddler may want to play with it because the way that it ripples for a few seconds after poking it makes him laugh (true story).
After three kids, my jiggliness is extensive, so I am in damage control mode, which mainly entails jogging and trying not to eat the kids' snacks. Jogging makes me laugh because it also causes large waves of the aforementioned rippling.
Another lovely side effect of pregnancy is stretch marks. I know there are a thousand creams and oils on the market to prevent them and, while they do help with some of the dryness, the rule of thumb is if your mother has them, you'll have them too. I don't hate my stretch marks as much as some other mothers I know. A good friend of mine told me that she wasn't ashamed of hers because she looked at them as battle scars that she earned. I remember that every time I look at mine and remember what I went through to get them. Somehow, I find it hard to use the same approach for my jiggliness.
Now that I have my keys back, I am trying to rebuild, especially since totaling this car and upgrading to the new model isn't an option at this dealership!