Post-Multiple Pregnancies Baby Momma Body and Coming to Terms With It
Embracing the New Me
Being a mom was my greatest goal when I was little. When asked what I wanted to be when I was older, I would excitedly say, "I am going to be a mommy! And have six kids!" When I got a response that seemed like a frown upon my greatest goal in life, I grew embarrassed and realized that this was not a goal that society would accept of me. So I started saying typical things like, "I want to be a teacher," or "I want to be a chef." All these professions are awesome—for those that really have an innate passion for these. Deep down, I just wanted to get married and become a mommy.
When I finally got married at the ripe young age of 20, I was so happy! I could see myself checking off my life goals list. (Yes, I am one one those individuals—because men have these goals too, right?!) As I finished my Bachelor's degree—check—I graduated from university two months pregnant with our first son. OMG, check, check, check, check! Super elated!
What I did not foresee in my life list of goals was the way in which my body would change after housing a little human (more like a butterball) for nine months in my belly. Holy crap! What were these new boobies and wide hips I was having?! Luckily I had an older sister to guide me through the stretch mark prevention regimen to help me avoid these. Let me just say, that's a job all in itself, and you'll also have to buy cheap undershirts you don't mind getting stained and then tossing out. Our first boy was about one by the time my body got back to pre-pregnancy-ish shape. I was content. I just watched what I ate and walked everyday. Our second child, a daughter, was born a couple years later. I was barely getting back to my pre-pregnancy weight (let's not talk about shape, mmkay?) when she was about eight months and I found out baby number three was on the way! I was pretty much super excited (more like freaking out and nervous for three kiddos four years and under)! This third one was my biggest baby and hung nice and low. And—hahahaha! Have any of you ever tried to keep up with a four-year-old rambunctious boy, a little baby, pregnant, and have a husband who works all day? Yeah...what stretch mark regimen?! I tried living with the creams next to me 24/7 but I seriously had NO TIME—or energy, for that matter. Oh, life goals. Had I been able to foresee all the chaos and insanity, I could have better prepared myself. It's a planner's worst disaster.
My husband thought I was some type of superhero (and even placed an "I am a trooper" sign on the wall for my daily motivation to get through the next 24 hours). I felt like some kind of perpetual zombie and was constantly in survival mode. But I did it. I am now three years postpartum with number three and after weaning our youngest, at 2.5 years, my boobs were at the point of no return. They are small and sad. Mostly sad. If there was boob therapy, they'd be first in line. They're depressed. I could put them through therapy and get implants, but for what? The cost is something I could put towards a vacation. Or lots of date nights. Sure, I would have to take the little depressed ladies along, but whatever! It's a package deal now. Plus, sleeping in a sports bra every night?! And a little update every ten years? This might be a great option for some women, but for me...I'll pass. And I make sure my husband knows these sad raisins are here to stay. I think he's finally come to terms with it and his perspective of what "sexy" is for him has taken a turn. He urges me to go braless! Haha. Kudos to you, hubby, and all men who have love goggles on for their wives even after the way child bearing alters their bodies.
What about that mummy tummy, though?!
Even though my husband calls it the "meow" as a term of endearment (think old cat, hanging belly skin), I super disliked the look of my body. I could hang with my chi-chis (no pun intended), but my belly made me feel old and just nasty (cue honey badger meme)! And guilty, too, for not listening to my Argentinean abuela and using the dreaded post-pregnancy girdle sooner. I swear she gets a kick out of reminding me about my negligence in this department. I know, I know, I should be one of those super-pro-love-my-mommy-body, no-matter-what type of persons, but it's difficult, especially coming from a South American momma whose culture embraces a way of thinking that women need to always be svelte and sexy, a'la French. And while I don't judge other women and love that they feel empowered by their new warrior bodies, my belly was bringing me down to the ground (ba-dum-ch).
Learning I had diastisis recti—abdominal separation—was a game changer for me. See, I am fixer. I see a problem and my brain automatically goes in to fix-it mode and I don't give up or stop until I have found a solution (INFJ problems). So my OBGYN sent me home with some exercises to look up. I was so happy! I finally saw some light at the end of the tunnel!
I started searching exercises on YouTube and just got to work. While doing this, and after some time (months), I saw I was getting results finally, but I realized all the exercise in the world would never bring my flab-less belly back! So I started adapting my mentality and working out helped me love and appreciate my new "mommy" body. Even if I did lose more fat all around and my tatas got even smaller! Haha! I still don't feel comfortable bending over in a bikini, or the inevitable "Meow!" gets called out from across the way and I reflexively stand right back up, but I am learning to embrace it! If my husband can embrace the new me, then so can I. And that's good enough for me. I housed three tiny humans in my body, and I pushed them out. Those three munchkins are beautiful miracles alone. I think I can deal with a little meow here and there. And some leftover stretchies.
If you are a woman going through the same thing, know that you are amazing and a freaking warrior! Love yourself! Embrace it! You got this!