How will my body change with pregnancy and birth?

Today Anna contemplates (and is terrified of) the changing body she is told to expect following pregnancy and childbirth.

Like many women, I have spent a lot of my life begrudging my body.  At the ripe old age of 33, I still don’t know why we do it – it’s exhausting to say the least.  I seriously waste so much time with my head stuck in the back of my wardrobe trying to find something to wear when there is simply nothing to wear. It’s ridiculous. I could spend that time doing so many more fabulous things – like drinking French Martinis. Or getting massages.

I remember being as young as 9 years old and comparing my features to my best friend. Why did her legs look so much nicer than mine in her sports uniform? Why did she have such fancy hairstyles tied up with beautiful ribbons when it was all I could do to get my hair in a ponytail by the time I got to school? Why does she have the most beautiful brown  skin, and I have THESE freckles. I HATE freckles!

Throughout my teens and early twenties I was exceedingly in tune to my differences and especially conscious of how boys seemed to veer towards everything I didn’t have. Namely boobs, blonde hair, and tanned legs that went on forever. It was therefore only natural for me to get caught up in the rituals that attempted to bring me to the same playing field as my friends – namely clothes including the blessed push up bra, and make up. Lots of make up.  I completely bought into this world of cover-ups and I became reliant on trying to appear different to what I was.

In my twenties, I started to fit in my skin a little more. A couple of serious relationships also gave me the confidence that not all boys were attracted to the same thing. But at about the same time as this happened, I had a new problem – My good friend chocolate was no longer a good part of my day.  I used to be able to consume it and it went unnoticed. But now, my body seemed to be changing again and I no longer had the luxury of eating what I wanted.  Damn it. Panic and a whole new set of body challenges set in again.

Now in my thirties I look back and cringe at how ridiculous I was. I didn’t have problems… A woman in her thirties has PROBLEMS!!! Cellulite, wrinkles, and a heap of sun damage from trying my hardest all those years to get that elusive tan are now visible for the world to see. The pressure to ‘fix’ everything remains the same as it was in your twenties – it’s just a hell of a lot easier to ignore it when you finally have more emotional maturity to realize our differences are what make us uniquely lovable. In other words, I try to pretend it’s not happening.

I thought I had finally gotten my head around the body image and ageing dilemmas – I finally accepted that change was natural and I just had to deal with it. But this past few years have seen a lot of friends having babies. And now, thanks to information shared (that I didn’t ask to hear), I find myself stressed about a new body-change challenge: the changes that follow pregnancy and childbirth. And it leaves my teenage insecurities for dead. One of my friends said she looks in the mirror and literally feels like she has her head on someone else’s body it is that unrecognizable to her.

And then there are these fascinating quotes. Tell me, what am I supposed to do with the following information apart from wanting to grab my ovaries and to run to the hills?:

“Your body will never be the same. And it will be no longer ‘yours’.”

“I can’t believe how good I used to look.  If I could have my time again I would have worn a bikini to do the grocery shopping!”

“Take a photo of your stomach…it will never be the same again. Seriously. It really won’t.”

“I lost my hair, my boobs, and my butt. Gone. Forever.”

“Things shift, fall out, fall sideways, get sore, and just don’t work the same”.

“It’s cruel. With breastfeeding I had boobs like cannon balls and felt fabulous. But now they are saggy sacks and I don’t even fill out a B cup bra.”

Apart from it being difficult to hear, it all sounds rather terrifying and almost fictional to the point I don’t believe it could be THAT bad. It is such a natural thing (albeit bizarre) for a woman to go through the process of pregnancy and child birth. I can’t (and don’t want to) accept that your body really gets this out of control and unrecognizable? But if I am one day lucky enough to become a mum, you’re going to tell me it’s all worth it? Right?

At least I’ll have some nice maternity sleepwear to wear I guess….

~ anna

Has your body dramatically changed following pregnancy?

Do you have any advice for Anna on how to best accept a changing body with motherhood?

 

4 thoughts on “How will my body change with pregnancy and birth?

  1. Awwww Anna, Yes your body will change there is no escaping it. The good news is first child it probably wont change a great deal its the next batch where it starts to go. However in saying that I dont know a loving mum who would have it any other way!!!!! In a way the body changes are somewhat nice as your prioritys change and you realise a flat belly, lack of varicose veins isn’t what makes you, you are so much more and you will discover just how much after becoming a mum!!! I had a pretty good body before children, but at the end of the day if your body is healthy enough to birth and support a child and you are lucky enough to have all the parts to make that possible you are one step ahead of many women who will never have the opportunity, so embrace those bumps, veins and marks as it means you are one of the lucky ones who will experience motherhood 🙂

    • This IS good news. Ok so maybe I stop at one then???…. And you are right, with so many people desperately wanting children, worrying about superficial side effects does put things into perspective pretty quickly. Fingers crossed I will be one of the lucky ones. Thanks for sharing x

  2. Anna!!
    I can’t believe I ddin’t know about Sorrella before Gracie was born 7 months ago.
    Post baby body – I feel better than before 🙂 Having a baby gave me the kick up the bum I needed to change my eating habits and get up and move when before I had been coasting along. I didn’t like the number on the scales after I had our daughter however now – 7 months later I am lighter than I was before, and a whole lot fitter 🙂 And as i’m sure you can see being an aunt – having babies has some pretty good benefits that you can let them small things go like saggy boobs!! After all these can be fixed later when we have our post 40 body crisis !! 🙂

    Keep up the blogging and I Love the range 🙂
    x

    • Hi Danielle!
      What a great surprise – So lovely to connect with you here!
      You have a little girl! Congratulations – how wonderful for you! And a beautiful name…

      I love hearing about your experience – that it prompted positive change. I have never heard this from anyone before and it’s certainly a great perspective – Our children can bring out the best in us. A lovely thought.

      And don’t worry, sorella & me will still be around for Baby no 2! I’m sure by now you appreciate how important good sleepwear is! x

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