Wednesday, 21 March 2018

Mum vs. Bod

The first trimester is the biggest waiting game; I was so excited and all I wanted was for my body to start changing. I just wanted to be Rosie Huntington-Whitely, pregnant on a beach in a silky kaftan every day. I would constantly look in the mirror and wonder if that was my baby starting to show or if it was the pack of custard creams I’d just demolished. Much to my disappointment it was always the latter until about 4 months in.

I loved being pregnant, but the hormones and the weight gain and the anticipation of a human ripping through my body were a bit of a downer (I blame the weight gain on the pregnancy but I know full well that it's down to me bullying Jason into ordering pizza and using my bump as a reference to the size I want it to be) That rubbish stuff seemed to take a back seat when I saw my belly growing and I started feeling River kicking. Once he was out of me, however, I was left with a deflated, sore, weird looking aftermath that definitely wasn’t Rosie Huntington-Whitely. Felt more like Johnny Vegas on Margate beach to be honest. I had packed a nice outfit to wear home from the hospital but my soaked breast pads and massive nappy didn't really give me that new mum glow I had anticipated so I stuck to my dirty dressing gown that I had worn for most of my labour. Absolute glam.

The first few days after giving birth I was constantly rubbing my belly and giving myself extra room to get through small spaces like he was still in there. Except instead of that big smooth bump I had been used to, all I felt was the remains of a washed up beach ball under my tshirt. I felt like my body was gonna look like that forever and considered asking Jason if he minded spending the rest of his life with a marshmallow. I had moisturised the shit out of my belly for those 9 months, to the point where I could slide out of bed like a seal entering the sea, but genetics were against me and alas I got some lovely stretch marks to really boost my confidence. 

While recovering from the birth, my body didn’t even feel real. I didn’t feel real. I was just floating in my bubble with my baby; both shit scared and so in love. It was around day 3 that the baby blues kicked in and my hormones were so out of control that even watching a Vodafone advert made me full on sob. Jason did well to tolerate my completely unreasonable reactions to being hungry or tired; but considering I had just watched a stranger collect my poo in a sieve as I forced a human being out of my body, it was the least he could do.
I really wish someone had warned me that postpartum recovery is the absolute PITS. Your body is full on battered; physically and emotionally. Don't get me wrong, being with your new baby feels so dreamy. But it also feels like you’re constantly being kicked in the fanny while someone squashes your sense of well-being for a good couple of weeks. 

6 months postpartum and my body is pretty much back to normal. As normal as it can be for someone who considers a chocolate orange to be an acceptable snack (you know they’re delish so shut up) My eating for 2 lifestyle hasn't fully left me but my pre pregnancy clothes are starting to fit again. Now I’ve got milk jugs to fit in however, they’ll never fit in the same way. Any clothes that aren’t breastfeeding friendly/make me feel like dog shit have been shown the door. 
Despite my wobbly moments about my appearance both during and since my pregnancy, I can’t help but feel a deeper sense of achievement; the fading stretch marks (and the baby) are a constant reminder that I did something pretty fucking cool. This body carried, fed and kept my baby safe for 9 months.

It still does...


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