I married a wonderful man and we were excited to start our family relatively quickly. First baby was a healthy, full term girl.
I was quite sure that I had done well to stay in a healthy range, after all, I had always been slim and I believed, based on my genetics that pregnancy would be no different.
My baby came out smaller than average, but perfectly healthy however when I looked in the mirror after the birth I was surprised to find that nothing looked the same. There were stretch marks and a flabby distended stomach that seemed far too large considering the baby that had just exited it.
I chose to cover it all up and think about it at a later date. I had much better things to do, like enjoy being a mother.
I didn’t worry about the weight, and I happily breast fed for 14months. When I stopped the weight had (almost) all dissapeared (somewhere in the 14mths it happened but it was so gradual I couldn’t pin point when).
We tried for number 2 at about this time, hoping to have a 2yr gap between babies. Hah, the best laid plans….
I took a test and it was negative, then after some tears (hormonal, no doubt) and a few more days I took another test. It was positive. I suffered through another severe round of morning sickness and begged for a scan at 13weeks to check on the baby.
When the lady first looked at the screen her face went blank and she turned off all the moniters. Turning to us with a serious face I braced myself for the news ‘there is no baby’… instead she said ‘ Are there twins in the family?’ I am not sure if I will ever forget the feelings that flooded me then, excitement, terror, joy and disbelief. I had no idea I was having twins…. what happened to the two year plan?!
Being a bit of a panicker, I prepared for the inevetible premature births and researched survival rates compulsively but despite all my worrying, I found myself at Full term DEMANDING to be induced!! I no longer could breathe, eat or sleep and I felt my stomach was about to pop at the seams… quite literally it was already starting. The network of stretch marks were like a huge doughnut around my belly button. I looked like I was trying to smuggle a watermellon under my shirt…. one of those big oval ones.
So via C-section I delivered two perfect babies, a boy and girl. I fed them for 4months and then had to swap to formula for sheer exhaustion and sleep deprivation- remembering that I had a toddler too.
Somehow I survived this period, and then when life became a little easier I felt the desire to have another. The twins were 19months when I had our 4th baby (an all natural birth, (VBAC). He was the most wonderfully easy baby and we now feel that we have our complete family, 2boys, 2 girls. They are wonderful, but ever since the birth of the twins my stomach has hung like a balloon that was blown up too big, then left to deflate behind a couch.
I returned to my pre-baby weight a year ago, but the more weight I lose, the more the skin on my stomach looks like an 90yr old mans face.
I do love my body… dressed, I appreciate far more than I did when I was young, but the stomach is too much!
I have posted pics to share with the world, so that others can see that this is what mothers do for their beautiful children!
After all, you would expect a well lived in home to show the footprints of its fellow residents… my tummy shows that 4 little people lived there! (and two of them insisted on using it to practice their kungfu moves on each other).
Hope it helps others!
I have included photos of my tummy from various angles, some are lying on my side, the last is leaning over to show the ‘hang’!(I thought this one might scare some people, so I hesitated in sharing, but hey, this is what the skin does when I bend over! ).
~Number of pregnancies and births: 3 pregnancies, 4 births
~The age of your children, or how far postpartum you are: 5, 3, 3, 1