It took me all of one month to fall pregnant with Oli. I think this was because I was so healthy, I hardly let a treat pass my lips and I enjoyed going to the gym and doing group fitness classes. I was number one, I did what I wanted when I wanted and as the saying goes I treated my body like a temple. Fast forward a few months into my pregnancy and I'm feeling like a goddess. My body is changing every day and I'm in total awe of this miracle happening within me! Half way through my pregnancy when things started to get stressful I developed quite a sweet tooth. As my belly grew, work got busier and uni got harder I let go of the reigns a little. I went to have an amniocentesis at 28 weeks and had to jump on the scales, well I never. 71kgs! 71 KILOGRAMS! I was baffled, I could not believe it! I was almost heavier than Ian! I couldn't believe it. For someone that was 55kg before baby I was somewhat shocked. Yet I reminded myself I was pregnant and to chill out. My blood volume had increased, I was carrying a baby, placenta, amniotic fluid, and a little extra subcutaneous fat.
I loved to dress my bump up as you can see here . My only 'maternity' items were jeans and bras. I was loving myself sick as the weeks went on! I mostly spent time in scrubs but that didn't stop me from admiring my bump in every reflective surface! It was a surreal feeling to know that I was loving my body and people were commenting on how 'great' I looked but I knew after my baby came I would be self conscious. A few nights after Oli was born I was going to visit him in the hospital and was picking something to wear. I went to grab a pair of shorts that I loved so much and had only worn a handful of times when I found out I was pregnant. I pulled these shorts onto my thighs and puzzled I pulled and pulled. They were stuck! They weren't even stuck on my fat ass they were stuck on my LEGS! Here I was in pregnancy lala land with a big belly and little did I know my legs and bum had ballooned right under me! I desperately pulled the shorts over and up and there was no way in hell I was doing up the button. My mum and Meg reassured me and I just cried. I had a sick baby and I was frumpy. Woo fricking hoo.
Stress + hospital food = not the best combo for someone watching their weight. Like I've written in previous posts my body was at the bottom of my priority list when Oli was in hospital. Food was fuel that provided energy to get me from A to B. When I got home with Oli I was limited in the time I had to think about and prepare meals. I'm sure all mums are in the same boat with a new baby. I survive on tea and toast. These are my staples! The only problem when you are eating bread for every meal is you aren't as 'regular' as you would be eating a varied diet of fruits and veggies. For the first 11 months of Oli's life I embarrassingly struggled with being constipated and a rectal tear that resulted from Olis birth. To say it was painful is a HUGE understatement, I was in tears every visit to the toilet and for hours after. I can't emphasise how miserable this made me. I soon fixed it with lots of fruit and veggies and drinking like a fish and not using soap! This is bloody embarrassing and I'm only sharing this now because maybe someone out there reading might be going through the same thing. (Message me for advice!!!!!)
With my sore ass came another sore point. My low self esteem. It's still here, I look down when I'm typing this and see my belly which is so bloated after my dinner & cuppa. I start the morning with a flat-ish tummy and by bedtime I look like I'm pregnant. I feel like my thighs are huge because I don't have the thigh gap that I use to love. I realised just how big they were when I was standing in a nightclub a few months back thinking 'oh my god! I'm dancing on the spot and my THIGHS are rubbing together!!!' I don't know what I was more shocked about, the fact I was standing in a nightclub of that I now have flabby thighs!
To be honest, I love my body. I love the fact that it created Oli and that it's strong, powerful and hasn't failed me. The thing I don't love is the pressure. It's everywhere. It's on my instagram feed when I scroll through and see before pictures of girls who are half my size and look like supermodels after their 12 week work out guide! It's the mums posting pictures of their 6 packs 3 months after having a baby. It's the post baby shakes, weight loss and whatever other money making schemes that are pedalled to vulnerable mothers. Don't get me wrong. I want to be fit, I want to be healthy and I want to fit into my size 8 shorts that I wore all of about 4 times! But at what cost?
I joined the gym and went about three times. It was so bloody hard with Ian working shift work I thought easy - I'll put Oli in the creche. Then it hit me! I cant put him in the bloody creche, all of the germs! Ian and I will never put Oli in daycare, we were advised against it by our doctor and given he has been so well I think we have made the right choice thus far. My option was then to go to the gym when Ian was home with Oli. This is such a rare and sacred time that I wanted to be home with Ian too! I don't want to waste my time in the gym putting in a half arsed effort wishing I was home with my husband and baby. That to me ain't living! So I quit my membership! Hehe
I look at pictures of myself and long to be that girl with the toned arms and flat tummy. I go out with my sisters who are so thin and beautiful and feel like the resident fat friend. Every morning when I get ready I have to check in the mirror about 10000 times how my tummy looks, how my thighs look, my bum etc. IAM NOT THIS GIRL! I never use to care what people thought of me! Ian gets sick of me asking him if I look okay. I think he holds his tongue sometimes, I know he would never tell me I look chubby because that would actually ruin me. To think that my husband finds me unattractive would just send me over the brink.
I have to ask my mum when I see her if she thinks I'm overweight. Do I look healthy?! or do I look chubby?! She reassures me I look healthy and she's the only person I can really trust because I know everyone else would be too scared to hurt my feelings by saying something. She says I don't have to go to the gym and just to enjoy my life and stop worrying. How can I not worry when I compare myself to the supermodels in my life?! I'm looking at you Meg, Madi and FLEUR!
I don't even know where I'm really going with this post but to say....am I the only one who feels like this? I know I'm heavier than before I was pregnant and I wish the scale didn't tell me I was 62kgs every morning. I wish I was back to 55kg and in my old clothes. I wish breastfeeding had made the weight 'fall' off me and I looked fit and fantastic like my sisters. I wish I had the motivation to work out and was super mum to do it all without missing out on precious family time. I wish I wanted to do it, but I don't. I cannot be bothered, I'm too tired! Most of all I wish I didn't care. I wish I could just say fuck it, the stigma, the pressure, the expectation that as well as being a breastfeeding, doting, attentive, mum and wife I have to look like a super model too. I want my confidence back. I lost it somewhere between sore nipples and constipation.
Tell me I'm not alone? Xx
Please don't think I'm writing this fishing for compliments either. This is my safe place to write my thoughts. It may be petty to some but I struggle with the way I look every day, I think most new mums do.