Age of children: 14 months
I posted an entry five months ago when I was feeling pretty bad about my body and health post-partum. I gave birth to twins last summer and suffered a prolapse not long after, and was feeling despondent about that and about how much my body had altered. I wanted to post a follow-up to say thank you for all the lovely supportive comments that other women left; they cheered me up immensely! This is a wonderful forum which made me feel much less alone.
I am in such a better place now, both physically and mentally. The girls are sleeping through the night (huge. just huge. I had no idea how much sleep deprivation would kill me), and I’m slowly losing the baby weight. I have about 8-10 lbs to go, I breast fed so have been very careful not to diet as I didn’t want it to affect my supply what with feeding two babies at once.
I know that my body will never look the same. BUT the thing that has really changed is the way I feel about that. Some of it is having had time to get used to my new body. I see the stretched, saggy and wrinkled skin on the front of my belly (an area about the size of my splayed hand placed on my stomach) as a scar. Being alive and truly living in the world means that we’re all going to get scars, one way or another. Now when I look at that skin I can see it as a symbol of how hard I worked for my girls because I love them so much, and wanted them so much. I worked to eat plenty of healthy food so they would gain weight and have everything they needed to grow. I worked to carry them and nurture them for 36 weeks and then I worked to birth them naturally because I felt like it was the best way for them to get here. I’ve worked, worked, WORKED every day since then to keep them warm and safe and fed and loved, and it’s been worth every single blemish and scar and 3am moment of desperation.
My prolapse situation now at 14 months after the birth is much improved. I found a fantastic Pilates teacher who’s been working with me for about four months now and most of the time I don’t think about the prolapse at all. The diastasis has got smaller but is still there. My stomach is a little flatter which I like. I still don’t know whether I’ll need surgery for the prolapse in the future but I do feel much more hopeful about it all. I would really, really encourage everyone out there who is dealing with similar issues to keep trying different things – Pilates, Mutu System, Hab It Pelvic Floor, I’m sure there’s lots of others. There’s a ton of help out there once you start looking.
I honestly never thought I would feel this way, and I’m ashamed to say that I used to think that other mothers who said they did were just saying it to make themselves feel better about how much their bodies had changed. I get it now. I’m not ashamed of my body in the least little bit, and I am absolutely going to wear a bikini whenever I feel like it! I was diagnosed a few months ago with Lichen Sclerosis, a skin condition of the labia which is sometimes brought on by pregnancy. Although I was very upset about it for a while I’ve since realized that all of the health challenges I’ve been faced with are just that – challenges to live better and more healthily. I’ve given up sugar and wheat to help manage the Lichen Sclerosis, and I’m committed to what basically amounts to a lifetime of Pilates to help deal with the prolapse. I used to push myself very hard physically; now I’m kinder to myself and am trying to take a more balanced approach. I’ve always been quite an extreme person and I think this has been a very valuable lesson for me.
3 thoughts on “Getting Better (Alice)”
You look beautiful mama. I have a bladder prolapse (minor), and I seriously pee myself when I exercise, especially when I jog. I makes me want to do nothing. Did you like Hab it? I considered trying it. Anyway, congrats on your kids, great body, and improved confidence :)
Thanks Shannon! I definitely wish I still felt confident enough go for a run from time to time, I’ve been avoiding it while I’m still breastfeeding as I know that ligaments and tendons stay softer while that’s going on and I’m worried I might do more damage if I run. I’ve got a feeling I’m probably being massively over-cautious in worrying about that :P. I totally understand what you mean about it making you feel like you want to do nothing, for months I was sort of paralysed with the fear that I’d damage myself or do the wrong sort of exercise and it meant that I didn’t do anything, which of course didn’t really help me either. I thought the Hab It DVD was excellent, and it was nice to feel like the exercises were “safe” because they were specifically designed for women who had these issues. For me the key has been consistency, which is hard when I’m tired and it’s the end of the day and all I want to do is flop in front of the TV. That’s why Pilates classes have been so great, it’s motivation to actually do the exercises. I really believe that the right sorts of exercises can make a real difference, and help your pelvic floor stay healthier in the long run too!
You look like that after having TWINS?!?!?!!!! OH MY GOSH. YOU LOOK FABULOUS!!!!! PS I know people whose body looks like yours, and they haven’t had kids. AKA You look AMAZING. Jealous!!!