1 pregnancy, 2 children
I have recently discovered this website and am so glad I did as the stories have inspired me and helped me accept my post pregnancy body. I generally keep my thoughts on my body to myself as I don’t like drawing attention to it and I never imagined I would want to post my story, but here it is.
I had twin boys in March 08, born at 38weeks via cesarean. Both boys were very healthy and weighed 5lbs 10oz and 5lbs 8oz. I was shocked to discover I was having twins at a 12week scan and it did take some time to get my head around the idea that I would have 2 babies rather than 1! Medically speaking my pregnancy was healthy and uneventful. I am a healthy weight, and while I did gain around 45lbs during pregnancy, it was all in my belly. I breastfed my boys exclusively for 6mths and was very fortunate that I lost all my pregnancy weight within a few months.
However, I have been left with lose skin, stretch marks and separated stomach muscles. I knew it was inevitable that I would get stretch marks, however I still kept hoping I wouldn’t and applied cream on my belly every day I was pregnant. My stretch marks started at 34weeks and just kept getting worse. As horrible as this sounds, part of me wanted my twins to be born a bit early just so I wouldn’t have as many stretch marks. This is not a thought I have shared with anyone as I feel awful that I felt that way. What I really struggle with accepting is the appearance of my separated muscles. I have been doing Pilates for over a year which has helped repair the muscle, but not the skin, so the appearance will never go away without surgery.
I am truly blessed to have such healthy beautiful little boys and they bring so much joy to my life. I think my body is amazing for carrying twins to full term and exclusively breastfeeding them for 6mths (especially as I have small breasts and prior to breastfeeding, always felt inadequate about them). Whenever I feel down about my body, I remind myself of this fact. For the most part, I try and ignore my belly as I get depressed every time I look at it. I know my body could have been damaged worse and considering I have had twins, I think it has recovered ok. However, I just can’t seem to get past the fact my old belly has gone forever and this is the new me! My husband is very positive and reassuring over my body, I wish I could share his views! People tell me I look great considering I have had twins, and I generally just smile and quickly change the topic. I want to say to them “you haven’t seen me naked” or “why is there a caveat on looking great? Why can’t I just look great for being me?”
I am slightly apprehensive sharing these naked belly photos as I keep it hidden from everyone. I hope I won’t always feel this way and I will one day learn to accept my new body.