Bel from Life @ No. 2 wrote a very courageous post about her post pregnancy(ies) body that you can find here. She encouraged other women to share their thoughts and feelings about their own post-children bodies, and bloggers to write their own version of her post and link back, and I thought it was a marvellous idea. So here’s my own journey.
I have never liked my body, not ever. Even when I was in high school and very trim I just felt big and ugly. I always compared myself unfavourably against the other girls and lacked self-esteem or a positive body image. I’ve never worn a bikini (well ok since I’ve had a say in what clothes I wear, I don’t think childhood counts) or figure hugging clothes. My style can be best explained as comfortable body-hiding attire.
I have struggled with my weight. I mean really struggled. I am constantly dieting and watching what I eat. It’s a source of great frustration for me when I watch so many around me eat whatever they want, in greater quantities than me, and stay slim. I rarely feel good about my body and am truly uncomfortable in my own skin.
So it may come as some surprise to the world out there that I truly LOVE my body when I am pregnant. I love watching my body grow in size and know there is a reason for it. I feel beautiful, feminine and desirable. I lose my negative body image and embrace the experience. I don’t even mind the stretch marks, after all I am not one to show off my belly anyway.
I will admit this time around, however, with the twins, I was a bit distressed about the battering my poor belly button got. In the end I had no belly button at all and after the twins were born it was extremely bruised and sore looking. The only other thing I don’t like is all the hormonal hair I grew over my lower belly. Thick black hairs that sprung pretty much the instant I found out I was pregnant and have hung around ever since. This occurred when I was pregnant with Niamh also, but arrived near the very end and had gone by the time she was three weeks old. No such luck this time.
The best thing about my pregnant body, and post-pregnancy body, is the weight loss I obtain through no effort whatsoever. Both pregnancies I came out of the operating theatre with a weight much smaller than my pre-pregnancy weights. And by much smaller I mean 17 kilos lighter. This time I lost so much weight I never regained my pre-pregnancy weight even at my biggest. Now I know this time around a combination of horrid sickness and an inability to eat much due to there being no room for food in my stomach (twins take up SO MUCH space!) contributed to this. But I want to make it clear I did not diet, watched what I ate, or tried in any way to lose weight. It is just a very pleasing bonus I experience during pregnancy.
So all in all I have quite positive feelings towards my body at the moment. It’s not all that attractive or slim, but there is nothing much that wasn’t already there before I had kids. If anything any negative feelings, unsightly lumps and bumps, or parts I wish I didn’t have can all be attributed to it just being my body regardless of the ordeals I have put it through having kids. As for the fresh marks and scars it now bears due to housing all three of my children while they developed and grew before entering the world, I believe the following sums up my thoughts nicely: