Today I woke up, carried a baby to our changing station in the bathroom, glanced in the mirror and got a rather large shock.
I didn’t recognize myself, my hair greasy (not a surprise), a chubby face (again not a total surprise), lines making my face look old and some grey hairs.
Since being pregnant I’ve lost five stone and after months of being debilitated I had been feeling really confident; mind, body and soul. Before and during the early days of pregnancy I was suffering with anxiety and panic attacks where I attended therapy which gave me a whole new perspective, giving my mind and soul the much needed boost it needed. As I became healthier in the pregnancy I felt better and where I had lost weight I began to feel really happy again.
A few weeks ago I took Lola for an MRI relating to her floppy neck and weak arms. On the way back on the train, a man approached and shouted ‘move you fat bitch’. Everyone on the carriage gasped and I was fine until he said ‘lets hope she doesn’t turn out like you’. That stung. I mean I’d rather she turned out like a kind and forgiving person like I was instead of a cold and thoughtless person like him anyday.
When I looked into the mirror, for the first time I saw a new me. I hear a lot of people say how pregnancy changes you and up until now I thought it was for the better but now I’m not so sure. No I’m not an ideal weight, far from it but I was better than I was. A young family member recently asked me if I still had babies in there pointing to my stomach, it was quite embarrassing. My stomach is still affected from the pregnancy, as the day goes on it becomes really bloated which I suspect won’t last forever but is still weird and I think a post birth thing? My back is repairing itself so am going to Physio to help sort that and so much hair is falling out of my head I have to unblock the shower once a week. I swear you could make a wig with all the lost hair.
I’m not sure I like this new me. I love being a Mum and how my mentality has changed. I like how I feel much more active and to an extent seeing how time changes. Lola looks like a mini me and it helps me think about how much I have changed. Physically though the change is hard to accept.
I guess for most women the changes start to affect them during the course of the pregnancy. Most find the stretch marks, the expansion and the physicality differences tough. The end was tough I won’t lie but during the majority of the pregnancy I loved my bump, I didn’t really mind the stretch marks, I had loads already. Now though it’s horrific to look at. I try and be positive and say that’s what made the beautiful babies I have but when your skin has been so stretched out it’s sore and painful. And then there’s the Mum tum. I already had a tummy that I hated all my life but this is worse the skin is weird, the belly hangs differently and clothes don’t fit like they did.
I know I’m better than where I was in terms of my weight. I know it’s a big change to the body and it still needs time to get over it and get use to the changes. However it’s still a bit sad that I’ve lost an old part of myself. The new mind is better but the old body is not.
And it doesn’t help seeing these unrealistic celebrities flaunting their bodies off. It isn’t normal, it isn’t fair and it’s not healthy for people to think that is the expectation. Fuck off.
One of my best friend’s said the most amazing thing about the topic ‘The mind is infinitely more important even if sometimes we forget that when we look in the mirror’
What is your experience with body post baby? Are you struggling to feel comfortable in your skin? Do you enjoy your mummy body? Get in touch.