This is a lament. Sorry.
I admit, I’m not completely happy with my body post-babies. Oh things have mostly gone back into place, but I now have a very wrinkly, stretch-marked tummy.
I almost cried when the midwife looked at me and said, ‘Your bikini-wearing days are over’. I was overwhelmed, exhausted, ill….and to top it all off now I couldn’t even wear my own clothes.
I keep telling myself that at least I have the option to cover it up. I did get back into my other pre-pregnancy clothes quickly – I lost a lot of weight in the first trimester so by the time I’d gained it back I could only put on a few more kilos before the babies were born. And virtually all that weight was babies – I deflated once they were born and at my 6-week checkup weighed less than I had before I conceived.
But this horrible tummy of mine. The rest of me looks normal for my age, but expose my tummy and I could be ancient. It’s not the stretch marks that bother me so much, it’s the wrinkled skin. There’s a huge patch of it which used to be bump (and I was all bump – it looked like someone had put an oversized basketball under my clothes).
In the grand scheme of things a bit of skin, which only Multidaddy has to see, is not a great price to pay for having two healthy babies who needed no special care on birth. But in those first overwhelmed weeks my tummy was a symbol of the loss of my pre-baby life. As I’ve mentioned before, I had to grieve for my old life and every time I saw my tummy it brought all those emotions to the fore.
As time has passed and I have become comfortable with my new life, my tummy has become more of a cosmetic problem – it makes me feel older than I am. I never knew I was this vain. My GP says the only option now is a tummy tuck – and there is no way I could spare the time to be ill with two babies. Multidaddy (bless him) says he likes it because it brought him his children, but I still cringe when I look in the mirror. Arms, legs, head, chest, back….all could pass for pre-baby me, but that tummy ruins it. And while it is a small price to pay for healthy babies, it galls me that it’s just one more sacrifice that mummy has had to make.