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.