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As a professional dancer - especially one who performs on national TV - Peta Murgatroyd knows the curves and angles of her body incredibly well. But after she gave birth to her son Shai in January, she no longer recognized her body.
"I still looked five months pregnant right after I gave birth," Murgatroyd, who covers the June issue of Fit Pregnancy and Baby, told the magazine. "A friend who came to the hospital said, 'Oh, you sure there's not another one in there?' I laughed, then went into the bathroom and cried. I'd just had this beautiful kid. I was high on life. That was a joke that I didn't need to hear."
The dancer continued to struggle after she brought Shai home. Not only did she gain 40 pounds while pregnant, she said her butt "got 10 times bigger." "Back home, I didn't recognize my body. I had massive DDD boobs. It was overwhelming. So I posted a selfie on Instagram as a way to reach out to other women. I'm a dancer who is usually pretty damn fit, and I looked like a different person," she said.
And she learned a lot from the experience. "Now I know you have to give yourself time," she told Fit Pregnancy.
The DWTS pro had to return to work shortly after Shai was born, and getting herself back into those slinky ballroom ensembles was a testament to her confidence. "I still had 20 to 25 extra pounds on me. It was tough. But now, even with 10 pounds to go, I feel good," she said. And she sees a teaching opportunity in her emotional roller coaster ride. "I want to show women you should be proud of where you are. Don't always look into the future, or you'll miss the now," she advised.
As if welcoming a new baby wasn't exciting enough, this year is going to get even more special for Murgatroyd - she'll marry fellow DWTS pro Maksim Chmerkovskiy next month.
"We know we're together forever," she said of her fiancé. "Shai is the basis of our love, and we're just so happy."
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