File this under “things we are still thinking about.”
So, as we all well know, Peta Murgatroyd (demigoddess-slash-professional dancer) and Maksim Chmerkovskiy (demigod-slash-dancer-slash-fiancé) begat a baby demigod on Jan. 4. Murgatroyd and Chmerkovskiy named their first son Shai Aleksander as the angels performed slinky Argentinian tangos in the heavens above.
When Murgatroyd left the hospital with baby Shai, she realized her hard-earned Dancing with the Stars physique wasn’t going to “shrink right back.” She posted a candid Instagram mirror selfie on Sunday of her postpartum bod with the caption:
“Real life: I took this photo 8 days post birth. I left the hospital looking 5 months pregnant. Many people think a woman should shrink right back to her pre-birth weight immediately. That is just not the truth for most.” You think?
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Real life: I took this photo 8 days post birth. I left the hospital looking 5 months pregnant. Many people think a woman should shrink right back to her pre-birth weight immediately. That is just not the truth for most. The female body is incredible and resilient, but healing and strengthening take time. Now it's time for patience and hard work. Lots of love to all the new mamas out there on the journey. 💪🏼💪🏼 #yesihaveascrunchieinmyhair #shaiiswortheverypound
Murgatroyd continued: “The female body is incredible and resilient, but healing and strengthening take time. Now it’s time for patience and hard work. Lots of love to all the new mamas out there on the journey. #yesihaveascrunchieinmyhair #shaiiswortheverypound.”
Look, Peta, you’re not wrong. Bellies do stick out after pregnancy, and your baby demigod is totes hashtag worth every pound. We’re not arguing with you, not even a little bit. YOU ARE TOTALLY ONTO SOMETHING HERE. But we keep thinking that maybe you are not the best poster child for “candid” postpartum selfies. We just want a woman with an actual bloated, sagging belly and dark circles under her eyes and maybe some tearstains — is that too much to ask?
We have thought about your post and thought about it some more, and we keep coming up with the same conclusion: Maaaa-haaaaaybe it’s worth pointing out that you actually look freaking fantastic eight days post-birth, girlfriend. And that miiiiight have something to do with the fact that you’re a bleeping professional dancer with legs that stretch from LA to San Diego and you work out six days a week for eight hours a day. (Probably.)
We’re just saying that most of us mere mortals would kill our grandma for a mirror selfie that good, like, whenevs: postpartum, prepartum, mid-partum, all the partums, Peta. We like you a lot for your honest observation that having a baby doing the pasodoble in your womb for nine months does tend to leave the muscles of your abdominal wall in need of some shoring up. That’s a good little bit of perspective for anxious new moms — and every little bit of perspective helps when sleep has gone bye-bye and you’re deathly afraid to poo and you’re spending hours wrapping your swollen boobs in wet cabbage leaves.
Still, we think it’s a teensy bit wackadoodle that you’re now on the short list for the Nobel Peace Prize for admitting your tummy didn’t bounce back to its normal vertical rock face aesthetic within 24 hours of giving birth. This isn’t your fault, of course. It’s just the world we live in.
I guess we just relate a little more to Anne Lamott, the writer who penned this gem about life postpartum: “Oh, but my stomach, she is like a waterbed covered in flannel. When I lie on my side in bed, my stomach lies politely beside me, like a puppy.”
But you’re doing great, Peta. And #DontEvenWorryAboutTheScrunchie, OK?