Tuesday, 19 July 2016

I hated my post twin pregnancy body...............

When the news that I was carrying twins had eventually sunk in, I felt like I had been blessed, aside from the awful pregnancy, I was on top of the world. As my very large pregnant belly got bigger so did my fear of my post pregnancy body. In an attempt to get a a sneaky peek of what I could expect of my post twin belly I took to google.

What will my belly look like after twins?

How to avoid stretch marks twin pregnancy?

Thighs doubled in size carrying twins?

What is twin skin?

What is diastasis recti?

How much does a tummy tuck cost?

Shocked was my initial reaction! Not because of  discovering the vast rage of medical problems that women can experience as a result of a twin pregnancy or not because of the heartwarming stories I had unexpectedly come across of strength and courage during pregnancy and birth, but because of the views or should I say 'The View' that I stumbled upon time after time on various pregnancy and parernting forums and popular mother and baby sites.

The over all feeling that I got was that, women, mothers should be 'grateful' that thier body had grown to protect a health baby! They should embrace and be proud of every stretchmark and inch of  loose skin. If these views seemed to be questioned or someone attempted to put up there hand to declare that they weren't happy with their stretchmarked skin or they were embarrassed by their sagging breasts that had fed their babies, they were shot down 'It doesn't matter what you look like as long as you have a health baby you should be grateful' was the resounding response.

Throughout the rest of my pregnancy I made the conscious decision to be an 'unselfish Mother' I pushed the thoughts of anticipated stretchmarks, twin skin and diastasis recti to the back of my mind and concentrated on moaning about the heat, my back and aching ribs instead!

I was ecstatic after giving birth to the babies they were healthy and happy and perfect!.I couldn't quite believe they had arrived but I knew then they were going to make our lives amazing. I was not thinking about what I looked like or the fact that my stomach felt slightly 'odd' I was in a blissful bubble, content and happy but on noticing strange lumps under the saggy skin that was now my belly, I was quickly diagnosed with diastasis recti! As a result of pregnancy I had grown so much, my stomach muscles had separated and the strange lumps that I had felt was my protruding bowel!

Not a nice thing to be informed of less than 24 hours after giving birth!

There seems to be so much hype on social media at the moment, celebrities, bloggers, mumsnetters and even our friends all singing from the same hymn sheet! 'We should be proud because of what we have created, it doesn't matter about the loose skin, stretchmarks, wobbly bits or whatever else pregnancy has left us with'

But what if we're not proud of what we look like like after giving birth?

What if looking in the mirror doesn't make us go 'Wow, I look amazing, I love how my boobs hang to my knees' or 'I am so proud that my bowel is practically visible through my stomach'

What if everytime we look in the mirror we want to cry??

Does that make us shallow?

Does it make us selfish mothers?

Should giving birth to a precious baby take away our right to have an opinion about our own bodies????

Weeks went by, the love for my perfect little boys grew and grew but the hate I had for my stomach had also multiplied.We are all surrounded by social media, celebrities, our haters and our friends constantly repeating the same thing 'Your body has done an amazing thing, you should be proud' I wanted to cry I desperately wanted to be that woman, I wanted to be a great role model for my daughter and love every part of me no matter what I looked like but every time I looked in the mirror, I realised that I didn't love my post baby belly and I felt incredibly guilty!!!!

I should not have felt guilty!

It's OK if your not happy about your stretch marks, if you look in the mirror at the new lines that were born less than twelve months ago and think they look shit!! that's OK!

It's OK If your gutted that your once washboard stomach has been hijacked by twin skin and you contemplate surgery that's OK.

It's OK if your devastated by the fact your stomach muscles are split because of the great proportions you grew too. If you look in the mirror and instead of feeling proud of the way you look you want a way to fix it. That's OK

If your happy and proud of your post pregnancy body and you want to show it off to the world, that's OK!

Whats not ok is for anyone to tell a woman, a mother, how she should feel about her body after it has been through the most incredible journey ever. That is just not ok.

As women, as mothers we should stand united not in our views but stand united in the acceptance of  each other regardless of our views!

So back to my belly! I am sure you are all desperate to know how that relationship is going. I was told by a Midwife and a GP that I would probably need an operation to fix the hernia that I had and the gap in the muscles of my stomach may never heel completely. After about 6 months, no operations and with the help of a belly band the gap in my stomach closed to about a fingers width and my belly looks pretty amazing for someone who has had twins. I cant say that were at that stage in our relationtionship where we are completely head over heels in love, mainly due to my love affair with food and wine, but were getting there slowly and my belly often seems very forgiving of my affair!

Wednesday, 13 July 2016

Working Mummy to Student Mummy

A couple of months back now I told you all that the guilt that I felt when leaving Millie and the Babies to be looked after by someone else, was magnified because I hated was no longer in love with my job. My decision to return to work after the Babies were born was a quick, maybe rash decision that I made when we first found out we were expecting twins (basically my world had been rocked. I was desperately trying to keep the pieces in their original places and prove to everyone I could do it all) and I stuck with that decision. I had been a working Mum of one and then two, I could do it with four. No problem!!?!

Before I started my materninty leave with the twins I genuinely enjoyed my job working in benefits, I thrived off the interaction and satisfaction of helping people. My plan was to spend twelve blissful months on maternity leave and then do a little skip, hop and jump as I returned back to my desk at work every day with bright eyes and eagerness!

Not quite how it went......

A lot of aspects of my role had changed on my return but probably the biggest change was me. I hadn't anticipated falling in love with the 'Stay At Home Mum' role during my maternity leave. I was always eager to get back to work and in a routine after the birth of firstly Leo and then Millie.  I hadn't anticipated getting as much joy from the crazy trips to the, parks, farms, lakes and sandpits as the Babies and Millie did.

I hadn't anticipated the agony of leaving them in tears in the morning because all that they wanted was one more cuddle and I didn't have time.

Cinderella's shoe needed to be found but I didn't have time.

A missing bear was the only comfort that was needed but I didn't have time.

I hadn't anticipated sitting at my desk at work fantasising about visiting a pond to feed the ducks surrounded by laughter and questions rather than sat in a grey office staring blankly at a computer screen.

If I was going to leave the Babies while they are still babies, then it needed to be for something worthwhile and the reason could not have me looking back in years to come regretting my decision not to spend every waking moment with them before they were old enough to attend school.

It was a conversation that I had with Leo that gave me the motivation I had craved to apply to university to do a degree in English and Creative Writing. I have always loved books and have been writing for as long as Leo can remember usually crap, waffle, more recently bits of freelance that I have been paid for and the odd children's story that I have read to him and Millie but regardless of what I have written he has always been my biggest fan. We were driving home from school one afternoon when he asked me if I would be disappointed in him if he decided to be a Scientist instead of an Archaeologist (that question alone makes me want to crack open the champagne, give myself a high five and shout from the roof tops 'my child is a legend' I have defiantly cracked this parenting 8 year olds malarkey) I told him he could do whatever he wanted as long as it made him happy and it was legalish. His response to me was 'We don't care what you do either Mummy! As long as it makes you happy' (another high five to myself, another bottle of champagne that needs cracking open.....THIS KID!!!!)

So after throwing caution to the wind I sent in my application
to university. Filling in that application form took me weeks. I poured my heart, tears, sweat, everything I had into it. I kind of felt that this was my one and only chance, like I was applying for my life. By the time they contacted me to ask for samples of my writing (I didn't send them the waffle from this blog incase you were wondering) and a further few weeks wait was anticipated, I was a nervous wreck.

I eventually got the news that I had hoped for an unconditional offer to study English and Creative
Writing BA (Hons) The excitement and absoloute relief that I felt knowing that I was finally going to be following my dream was indescribable. I still cant quite believe it now and with a whole summer ahead of us before September I cant wait to make some amazing memories with the kids, to spend quality time with Millie before her very first day at school and of course the annual school uniform shopping trip has become a lot more interesting now I will need 'school' clothes too!

Sunday, 3 July 2016

Morning Hate

The last few mornings have been really crappy! Those mornings that you want to put your hands up and say 'I quit', 'I don't want to this anymore!!

Waking up every hour throughout the night because one or both babies have lost their dummies again and then not being able to have a cup of tea once I was up because I am convinced that sticking to this ridiculously expensive diet is going to turn me into Kate Moss's body double by next Thursday just in time for our exoctic vacation!.....(Devon) Did not make the greatest start to the day.'

I just about managed to have a shower whilst listening to a soundtrack of intermittent screams, cry's and giggles but couldn't find anything to wear as the ironing pile currently stands at approximately 5ft 6 and if its not in the ironing pile its going through its 50th spin cycle (anything to delay hanging it on the washing line where it might actually dry)

Im lucky that Leo is a little gem in the mornings (most of the time) and despite his inability to get dressed without getting distracted by the TV, a book or his latest, unique lego creation! He's pretty independent and can usually get himself sorted and ready to leave. Millie on the other hand decided to flat out refuse to get herself dressed until she had finished a fifty piece jigsaw, dressed her dolls and put them to bed. Find plasters smallenough to fit on to her perfectly, uncut, unhurt fingers!!! im sure she detects my sense of failure and no longer care attitude as her demands become greater and my ability to parent becomes non existent when her decision to take half her bedding to nursery because she is freezing (in June whilst wearing a coat) goes by practically unremarked by myself.

The babies despise getting dress but at least they have been preoccupied with the '2 for £5' stickers they had removed from their new 'holiday' tshirts. I wouldn't let the wear new clothes for nursery as a rule and usually delegate old clothes but on that morning I made an exception (ironing pile currently standing as 5ft 6)

I end up dumping everyone in the car in a fit of tantrums, Bobby's sticker had ripped. I refused to let Max bring a suitcase along and everyone decided that they all needed Millies frozen blanket as they were on the brink of hypothermia. Amongst the chorus of  I wants, its mine and arrgghs I remember that I have forgotten to bring along two bags, a signed reading diary and three spare sets of clothes but all four kids are in the car and there all wearing shoes so things could be worse!

Six days later my ironing pile now stands at 5ft 7. I'm not looking quite like the body double of Kate Moss just yet!! Millies got over her sensitivity to the cold and is wearing shorts and sunglasses regardless of the temperature and since packing for our break to Devon next week the boys '2 for £5' sticker collection has quadrupled and I have come to the conclusion that really crappy mornings are here to stay, for the rest of this week at least!