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!