25 years old
First and only pregnancy
Fraternal twin boys born at 38 weeks via csection 5 lbs 1 oz and 5 lbs 12 oz
I wanted to share my “story”. I am just a real mom. I didn’t let myself go when I got pregnant and I tried to do “all the right things” for the most part. I am not a clean eater or extreme athlete. I highly respect the women who are dedicated enough to live that lifestyle and I hope someday I can be that dedicated! If I had been then I probably would look better postpartum twins than I do. Oh well, can’t change it now! For the most part I think genetics, in my case, did just get the best of me. I look almost identical to my mom after her kiddos. I see photos of women who had twins and look perfect with not a stretch mark or pinch of extra skin and it can be quite discouraging that that is not what I look like. I just want to share with other “moms to be” my “story” and how things turned out for me.
Pre-pregnancy weight 118 lbs. 5’6″ size 34D boobs. Active. Runner. Always had a pretty good body even when I didn’t work out or “try”. In the before pictures I was in the best shape of my life. I had done 3 months of the program “Brazil Butt Lift” and ran 4-5 miles 4-5 days a week.
I continued to run for the first few months of my pregnancy. I watched what I ate most of the time, but if I wanted to eat something I ate it. I gained 43 lbs when I walked back for my csection. I drank a lot of water!! I used cocoa butter and bio-oil religiously. It did not prevent my stretch marks. They look almost identical to my mothers.
I have diastasis recti. I went to physical therapy for it and it helped dramatically but I still struggle with it. It has not completely closed and at this point I don’t believe it will. I wish I was able to work out more than I have been able to. It is very hard for me to find the time, but that is not excuse. Of course I was upset with some aspects of my postpartum body, but overall I don’t think that I look too bad. My husband tells me all the time that he is more attracted to me than ever. I believe him because he wants me more now than ever. I frequently have people tell me that I look Amazing for having twins and they envy me. Of course, they don’t see me naked. I look pretty good in clothing! Ha! I am most happy that I didn’t develop an obvious tummy in clothing and my boobs are still there. (although not the same, slightly smaller and saggy) Again, my husband still loves them. He does say they are more “squishy” now than before, when they were firm.
I breastfed my twins until they were a year old. I was back in my pre-pregnancy jeans and that at 3 months postpartum but everything wasn’t back to “normal” until around 9 months pp. When I neared the point to wean the boys I was starting to waist away and only weighed about 117 lbs. After I had them weaned I gained back some weight and now I am sitting around 125 lbs. Not too far from my pre-pregnancy weight of 118 lbs. I wear all my old clothes. My csection scar is amazingly tiny and barely there. Looks much better than my stretch marks. The stretch marks didn’t really start until around 30 weeks.
In the white bikini- Pre-pregnancy 118 lbs 5’6″
In the pink dress- 1 1/2 years postpartum 125 lbs
In the black bra and blue yoga pants- 1 1/2 years postpartum 125 lbs
In the underwear and black sports bra- 16 months postpartum
In the blue tank top side view- 9 months postpartum
Walking back for my csection in the blue striped shirt (38 weeks twin baby bump)
With my little babies- going home at 5 days postpartum
Previous post here.
I had c-sections with my first two births (please see my previous posts). I wasn’t thrilled with the birth experiences, but I had living babies because of them. My 3rd child was born via successful vba2c. It was amazing to hold her right after she was born. My body was stretched a bit more, but still bounced back nicely. We bought a treadmill and I ran and ran and ran and got in to the best shape I’d been in in years. I was actually lighter than I’d been before I got pregnant with our first child. June 2013 I got pregnant for the fourth time. Something felt off the entire time – the baby didn’t bounce around like I was used to. At my 12 week dating ultrasound I left with a picture and something not sitting quite right in my brain – I STILL don’t know what was wrong, but something was. When I went in for my 18 week doctor appointment on September 13, 2013 there was no heartbeat. The baby had passed days before. I had a D&C at the abortion clinic because there was less waiting than at the hospital. I got back on the treadmill and ran and ran and ran until I was smaller than I’d been when I got pregnant so all evidence of that baby was gone. Except the heartache. And then I ate. And I gained back all the weight I’d lost after my 3rd child was born. It wasn’t much – only about 20lbs, but I was right back where I was when we’d started trying to conceive #4. And then I got pregnant with our 4th child. I was terrified. I distanced myself from her during the pregnancy. I didn’t want my heart broken again – how much grief can one person withstand? I’d joined some late loss groups after my loss and knew that nothing was certain. The moment that baby was born healthy, screaming, via another successful vba2c, my world was complete. My husband at my side – I was whole. We took a picture of our 4 babies in a chair together and felt whole. I had plans. To run. And run. And ignore the loose skin and the sagging boobs and to be in the best shape of my life so I could be healthy with my Ironman (triathlon) husband. And wear a bikini. But it still hasn’t gotten to that point. Baby is 4 weeks old now. 2 weeks ago my 33 year old husband had a major gut pain and went to the emergency room at the hospital. 2 weeks ago we found out my husband has stage 4 colon cancer. 2 weeks ago my husband had a giant tumor removed from his colon and gained a colostomy bag. 2 weeks of happiness, of pure bliss, was all this mother was allowed.
Right now the shape of this mother is broken. Scared. TERRIFIED. We have 4 kids 5 and under. I’m fortunate I don’t suffer from post partum depression because I’m enough of a mess. I don’t look in the mirror. What’s the point? My husband now poops in a bag. If he can deal with that, what’s a well used belly in comparison?! In one of my earlier posts I think I said something about worrying about our body shape being a first world problem. And it is. There are so, so many worse things to worry about, to have happen.
Love yourself the way you are ladies. You’re beautiful, you’re healthy, you’re alive.
~Number of pregnancies and births: 5p/4b
~The age of your children, or how far postpartum you are: 5, 3, 2, 1 month
Age: 39 years old
I am fascinated by the changes to my body (especially my boobs) that pregnancy, birth and breastfeeding are making.
I took these photos as a record for myself but also to share with a young friend of mine who told me ” Oh, you can exercise and get your body back.”
My response to her was “Well, if you think there’s an exercise that will change my boobs back, I think you believe in magic.
I’ve left it late in life to have my first child – I’m 39 – and I feel it’s a little easy to accept my body because I had it good while I was young.
Now I am ageing anyway and at least I have something to show for it – and making another human is quite an achievement!
I do worry though that women have unrealistic expectations of what they can control and change about their bodies and I think it’s important to learn how to embrace the mamma body.
In some ways, I disagree that women should even have to show their bodies at all. Why are we always under such scrutiny other than to drive an industry?
But if sharing images of ourselves makes someone else feel less alone in their situation, then it’s worth it!
So here are some photos that I am happy to share.
The first one was taken when I was 28 years old (and long before having children) – proof that I too once had perky boobs.
And the next shot was taken at age 39; 5 weeks postpartum, post C-section, currently breastfeeding.
I’m not sure of my weight but I think I’m about 6kg heavier than I was before getting pregnant (now about 74kg, was 68kg) and about 16kg heavier now than I was 10 years ago when the first shot was taken (was 58kg).
The other photos are of different stages. One old photo is from when I was 28 years old. Then 5 weeks postpartum. Also 5 weeks and 31 weeks pregnant.
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