For the vast majority of my life I have struggled with body image issues.I despised my body and the way it looked at times and felt disgusted when I looked in the mirror.
Before I got pregnant I was in the best state of mind I had ever been in regarding my body. I was confident, comfortable and happy with how I looked, my body no longer felt like my enemy but I embraced it.
When I was pregnant, at first I wasn’t bothered with how I looked. I didn’t even begin showing until around 16 weeks and I carried so small and neatly that many people were shocked that I was having twins. I went on holiday to Italy and I confidently strutted my stuff in my bikini, yes I probably looked a little further a long than I was but other than that I felt pretty good! However, one thing that made me less confident whilst pregnant was the fact that I couldn’t wear stylish clothes and I felt like I constantly looked like a sack of potatoes.
As I got further along with my pregnancy I began to grow larger and larger and felt more and more unhappy in my body. My stomach stretched massively and was covered in stretch marks – by 30 weeks I was the size of a full term pregnant woman and I only got bigger and bigger. I began to pack the pounds on and retain so much water; everything from my legs, arms, face to my lips were completely swollen! By the end of my pregnancy I could barely move and I felt so grossed out by my body! I couldn’t even fit in to maternity clothes anymore!
When the girls were first born, I felt shocked at how little my body changed. From the cesarean/ IV etc. I was completely swollen and I could not fit in to any of the clothes I’d brought with me. Josh had to go out and get me size 18 clothes to wear. I felt so uncomfortable in my own skin (which was incredibly loose) and I didn’t want any photos to be taken!
Josh took this photo of me 1 week postpartum. It was the first time I felt comfortable enough for a photo to be taken. Just look at my swollen feet!
I am now six months postpartum. My body should now be fully recovered yet it looks nothing like I thought it would. I guess I knew I wouldn’t look exactly the same but this wasn’t really what I was expecting.
I am now below the weight I was before I was pregnant – thanks to breastfeeding! Feeding one baby burns 500 calories a day so its more than likely that breastfeeding twins burns 1000! I don’t get out much to do exercise, except for a few speed walks with the pram and the 100s of times a day I run up and down the stairs to put dummies back in etc.! So lets just say my body is not exactly toned. My body looks pretty normal now, thankfully I am back in to my pre-pregnancy clothes – I was grateful for this fact because I couldn’t afford to buy a whole new wardrobe! My stomach, however, is my biggest bug bear. It carried to fairly large babies and stretched beyond belief – lets be honest a woman’s body is designed to carry one baby, not two! My belly now has loose skin, stretch marks and yes a bit of fat on there too! I prefer to keep my stomach covered – so I decided to bare it for the world to see. My body isn’t magazine perfection but it has done something incredible that many people would never be able to do.
If I’m honest, I still struggle with my body. I’d desperately like to feel confident and awesome in myself but I’m not there yet. Some days I look in the mirror and feel proud of what I see, other days I feel a bit grossed out! I am a bridesmaid twice this year and of course that in itself brings trepidation – people looking at you etc! Although I’m sure the brides will be much more interesting. But when you are wearing the same dress as other women you can’t help but feel like you will be compared!
I guess having a baby, especially two at once changes your body. Of course it will, you have grown human beings inside you. I was three people at once, now I’m back to being one. My body isn’t what it was before, and it never will be again… but I have to accept that. I am me, my body is beautiful. A few months a go, someone on the telly said “having a baby ruins your body” and Josh turned to me and said “I don’t think that is true, your body isn’t ruined!” and that made me stop and think. My body isn’t ruined. My body isn’t something to be upset by, it should be celebrated. I may not be there just yet but one day I hope I will be!
I hope you enjoyed this post.