My Real Postpartum Body
You are beautiful, you are amazing, you are a mother.You live in a society that pushes images at you every day of women who have given birth and just "bounced back" - great for them (truly, that is great, Kate Middleton you are amazing!). But this is such a small minority. For most of us, our bodies change, and change a lot. It is scary, it is hard, it can be down right disgusting and upsetting but it is real and normal. Although I am a qualified health professional I am also a mother and my body has also not just 'bounced back'. We are starting to see a shift in the media and online with more women sharing the often hidden and unspoken realities of child birth and the effect on your bodies. So I have joined in the movement. Here is my #takebackpostpartum body blog. My real body after two children. On the 17th of January, 2015 at 11.10pm I gave birth to my second son. I fought to conceive him. Put my body through assisted reproductive therapy. I was broken just (ha just!) carrying him to full term. Broken in ways I did not know my body could break (see previous blogs). Photographs do not tell the full story. I could barely walk. I was induced early just to get my son out as every day he was in me was another day I had to fight to keeping carrying him. Before I had children I would run marathons for fun...yes for fun - just wake up, find an event and run...I could barely walk to the letter box and I could not pick up my 2 year old.
You are beautiful, you are amazing, you are a mother.24 Hours Postpartum birth story here) and it feels like a truck, not a watermelon, ripped through me. Good thing is I am so high on adrenaline and oxytocin nothing in the world matters except for my precious bundle...2 days later it is a different story.
You are beautiful, you are amazing, you are a mother.2 Days Postpartum
You are beautiful, you are amazing, you are a mother.1 Week Postpartum Back at home. Still rocking my pjs. Still got a lumpy, squishy watermelon belly. Still got the granny style undies and thunder pads. I am glad to be home but surely it is illegal to be responsible for two other little humans when in fact you are a walking zombie? And what the HELL do I do with two children? I barely did 1 before??! How do I bath them both? How do I get them both feed at the same time? Boobs out, get baby on one side, express pump on the other and shove a spoon in my toddlers face - that's how... hmmm bringing sexy back to the dinner table alright. Oh yes and somehow I am meant to fit into my pre-pregnancy clothes right (hahaha that's a joke right?).
You are beautiful, you are amazing, you are a mother.2 Weeks Postpartum I look a bit more alive...must have had a shower that morning. Tummy still swollen, shrinking but swollen. I am still bleeding, its like the period that never ends. Am out of my pjs, rocking pregnancy clothes instead (see you do get more than one use for those!!). Boobs are like rocks. My poor husband. If he even thinks about going near those knockers he will get a swift slap. I will be honest I do feel better this time post birth than I did with my first son. Not fighting horrendous mastitis surely will be playing a large part of that (see why I am not exclusively breastfeeding here). The other, is I am kinder to myself, I am not out trying to walk for an hour or more a day like I did first time around. I have basically told friends to come and visit in about 3 months time (I am sorry but I know you understand). In case you are wondering - that lovely scar down my belly is from some major abdominal surgery I went through as a 21 year old. Was split open 6 times after an appendix operation went wrong. Two pregnancies has morphed and stretched this. Never mind, it just becomes the 'feature piece' of my stretch marks. May have to reconsider my dream job as a bikini model....
You are beautiful, you are amazing, you are a mother.10 Weeks Postpartum Now that it has contracted down, my swollen tummy is a bit more of a jiggly tummy, still rocking preggie clothes, and sporting a moon boot from fracturing my ankle - my body so broken from the last few months my leg just snapped like a twig when I rolled off a curb trying to walk an unsettled baby. Where did the last 8 weeks go? In a blur...a blur of feeding, sleeping, pumping, learning to juggle both children and work in among it all. Am exhausted, like bone aching exhausted. I am lucky to have the knowledge I do of good food to nourish from the inside, but I am still human. I do have chocolate, I do have coffee (lots of coffee), and dinners are sometimes baked beans on toast. I don't have time to shower so no I DON'T make my own baked beans. Sometimes I wonder why the hell did I want this so badly (previous blog from the trenches here), but for the most part I love it, stupidly love it all.
You are beautiful, you are amazing, you are a mother.14 Weeks Postpartum
You are beautiful, you are amazing, you are a mother.
With love, the New Mum's Nutritionist xxx