I delivered twin boys via c-section in January ’09 at age 38. Now I am 39 (40 later this year). For many years pre-pregnancy, I worked out frequently and intensely. I am 5’5″ tall, and at the time I got pregnant (my first and only pregnancy), I was very fit and weighed about 120 pounds. I definitely was concerned with what pregnancy would do to my body, but I also knew I had to gain a great deal of weight, and do so relatively quickly, since twins were more likely than not to come early, and I wanted mine to be as big and healthy as possible. I exercised mildly through week 30 or so, and religiously applied vitamin E oil to my belly, back, butt and thighs, though I knew this would probably have little or no effect. By the day I delivered at 34 weeks (when my preeclampsia became too severe for my doctor to allow me to continue with the pregnancy), I weighed over 190 pounds; my boys weighed 4 lbs & 3 oz., and 4 lbs 13 oz. at delivery. Although they had to spend a couple of weeks gaining weight in the NICU, the doctors and nurses all told me how impressed they were with boys’ sizes given their gestational age.
I nursed and pumped my breasts until the boys were 6 months old, and then switched to formula. During this time, when I wasn’t going crazy taking care of twin infants, I was despondent about my weight and my body but had absolutely no time to exercise or do anything else for myself. I wore maternity clothes for at least 4 months postpartum, and then bought 2 pairs of large cargo pants (I couldn’t come to terms with buying any other “big” clothing), and wore them to death, along with empire-waisted nursing tops. Lots of weight came off, but still I couldn’t stand the sight of myself naked, and avoided my friends and colleagues. By July ’09 I was down to around 145 pounds.
By September ’09, I was still up about 20 pounds, and vowed to do something about it. By that time I had the assistance of a nanny to help with the kids, and could take some time to exercise. I started going back to the gym, but even with help it was too difficult to have to schedule workouts outside the house. I committed myself to a home workout program, and followed through (note this involves approximately 1,000 abdominal exercise repetitions weekly — in addition to very challenging resistance routines for each major muscle group). By Thanksgiving, I felt like I had 90% of my old body back. I am now half-way through my second round of the program, and I can actually see my old body when I look in the mirror — so long as I’m standing far back enough not to notice that my areolas are a bit stretched out, and I have a bit of extra skin on my belly. I am actually very self-conscious about my areolas, but the extra belly skin is okay and I love my c-section scar!
My husband hasn’t given me any positive feedback on my body whatsoever. I have worked my butt off (literally), and am really pretty proud of myself for what I’ve accomplished, which is why I’m sharing here.
As for my boys, they are absolutely amazing. Within a few months, they were all caught up in terms of their prematurity. Now, at just over a year out, they are healthy, hilarious, gorgeous and smart. I love them beyond all measure.