So my last post was about bags. This one is going to be about a different type of bag. The ones under your eyes. And other various body parts/functions/bits. So I will just warn you that by the end of this even if we have never met you will know me quite well. Well, my bits and pieces.
Everybody knows that when you cart a small person inside of you for nearly a year that your body changes. I mean the huge burgeoning bump gives it away really. But what some people may not realise is its not just your belly that changes, and maybe doesn’t go back to normal.
So we’ll start with the obvious. The belly. You look at your previously smooth skin all stretched and sore and you can’t believe that it could even stretch that much. I mean how has it not ripped?? Like, seriously? How can your skin stretch THAT MUCH without ripping yet you turn a page of OK! magazine too quickly and your left with a bleeding paper cut? It makes no sense! But it happens, and for most women, me included, you can get stretch marks. Now I had some anyway on my hips because my weight and body shape has changed over the years, going from being a size 10 dancer who was really fit and could eat a share size bar of galaxy for breakfast lunch and tea because I was dancing so much that the calories and fat just dripped off me, to me now, size 14 curvy, lumpy, bumpy, not-so-much-of-a-dancer me. I mean I can dance. I think. Well when I’ve had a few pinot grigios I think I can. Anywho. So yes, stretch marks.
Now when I was carrying William I only actually had some small ones around the old bikini line area, just where it was stretched the most. He lay very low for about 8 weeks so that area was my heaviest. But it wasn’t until after I gave birth and my skin wasn’t stretched like those stretch Armstrong toys from the 90’s anymore thay I realised how many I actually had. Now I’ve never been the most slim person, and I never got my midriff out even when I was smaller than I am now. But to look at yourself and have these dark red pink lines all over your stomach all wriggly like worms shooting here there and everywhere, that weren’t there before, I’m not going to lie I was a bit disappointed. I had hoped I wasn’t going to get any. Like I said, I’m not sure why, I don’t tend to go out to Lidl in a crop top baring all to the neighbours as I’m buying cottage cheese and ham. But I felt like I now didn’t have the OPTION to. If I wanted to. So I tried everything, cocoa butter, coconut oil, bio oil, soap and glory, aveeno, the list goes on.
Then I saw something posted on Instagram and it stopped and made me think. So much so I went back and screenshotted the thing and I’m going to share it with you now.
It just made me think. Of all the things in life, are a few stretch marks REALLY that bad? I mean, there are so many thousands of women who would do anything to be in my shoes. Would kill for the stretch marks that come with carrying a child. And I feel so very blessed to be able to say I did that. But that doesn’t mean it’s easy to look at them and it took me a while to get used to them. I mean some people may say mine aren’t that bad. But everyone has their own perceptions on what is good, bad, beautiful, ugly, etc etc. So I just slap my thousands of different moisturisers I’ve got on them so they don’t dry out and get itchy (that’s awful trust me – plus when your stood there scratting away at your belly you do get some funny looks) and get on with it. Don’t get me wrong, I’m very self conscious of my body and I am in no way shape or form some beautiful model with a body of a goddess, but they are there and that’s that. It’s a reminder of what an amazing thing your body can do without breaking and I think that’s pretty cool. So I thought I’d share a pic. Of myself. And my mum tum. It’s wobbly, has got stretch marks on it, and I wear fat pants when I go out and pull my jeggings up to my bra to make myself look slimmer, but it’s me. And I’ve always said I’ll be honest on this blog, and if seeing a picture of my mum tum makes 1 person feel a little bit better about themselves then why not. Besides in a minute I’m going to talk about my tits and fanny so my stomach probably isn’t going to be the biggest problem here.
See? So yeah, that’s my new belly area. And when I look at it, yes I miss my old skin, the smooth, unmarked, soft tummy skin. But then I also look at it with fondness, that’s where I grew my son. I nurtured him. Made him and cooked him enough so he could come out with 10 fingers, 10 toes, and his cute button nose. The part of my body i used to rub and he used to kick back at me. The part i used to watch intently as i watched him wriggle around to get comfortable inside of me. The thing i actually am starting to miss, my baby bump. It’s MY mum tum. Yes it hangs over my leggings. Yes it could do to be firmer. Yes I could do to tone up everywhere. But I was never bothered about being a certain size or weight before, so why should I now? And Wills loves rolling around on my jelly belly, and I mean, who can cuddle into abs anyway? (I’ll use that as my excuse as to why I don’t go to the gym. Like for the next 100 years).
Now while we are on the front sort of area, I might as well go on to talk about the two girls. Boobs, tits, saddlebags, tatas, whatever you want to call them. They go through lots of changes when your pregnant and afterwards. When your “with child” they grow, as they are preparing to feed your baby, so they get bigger as you start to prepare for milk. Your nipples get big. I mean, so much bigger. I have small nips. Not tiny like a little dot, but they aren’t big. But when I was pregnant thay changed. Even more so after I’d had William. Like they doubled in size. And they change colour. One day they were pink, the next thing I know they are like a brown colour. Like a deep dark pinky brown colour. And your actual nipple end, whatever it’s called, that sticks out all the time. Like you literally have two quarter pounder burgers on your chest. What with the leaking, and the evolution of the nipple, and the breast growth, there’s a lot going on over there. You get burger nips, they go back to normal. But I really do believe that you should go get measured for a bra while you are preggo. I mean bras are really uncomfortable at the best of times, but when those ladies start to grow, you need a good over shoulder boulder holder to keep them in check. Especially when your milk comes in. Because they go HARD AS NAILS. Seriously. Like the water in the shower even makes them hurt. They are rock solid, and leaking everywhere. If your breastfeeding, this I assume becomes a normal feeling, your boobs will be full of milk until your little one has guzzled it on a feed. But because I wasn’t able to breastfeed, or rather it didn’t particularly happen, obviously the milk sort of..well dries up and disappears. So you go from having these massive big hooters to all of a sudden being a bit..well…deflated. Literally. Like I’m not saying they are now two deflated party balloons that were once used to make a sausage dog sculpture. But the milk goes as fast as it comes in, and you are sometimes left with a bit of an airy bit at the top of your breast. Mine are pretty much as they were before, albeit a little less…how shall we say it..north-facing. They have sagged a little. But I expected that. I mean they aren’t like spaniels ears or anything, but yes, they are different to what they were like before. Nothing a good bra won’t fix. And the burger nips have gone too. My little rosebuds have come back to me. Thank you Jesus. Because those fuckers are scary the way they creep up on you. Asda should start selling burger nip outfits for Halloween.
The next part of my body which obviously I need to speak about is the vagina. Your Minnie. It goes through a lot, if you are lucky (if you look at it that way) enough to have a natural, uncomplicated delivery. It is stretched to literally full capacity. Your pushing something the size of a watermelon out of something the size of a 2 pence piece.
Throughout being pregnant I was worried about how the delivery would go, would my fanny ever go back to normal, will it look like a kebab and be all droopy like everyone always says they go like? Would my husband ever find me attractive “down there” again? Would I just constantly piss myself? Would I rip? Could I ever look at it again? So many questions going round in my little head.
Of course, when your pregnant your little flower already starts to change. Your body is getting ready to push this tiny human out. It sort of..not swells up, but it certainly changes.
After the delivery you are very sore down there. I mean of course you are. I had stitches, so of course I was very conscious of them. Sitting down is scary. You do it with such care and at the speed of a snail that has overdosed on sedatives, just in case something tears again, your all puffy and swollen and can’t walk properly, sitting on a hard chair is such a scary prospect, your wearing a maternity pad which is the thickness of a roll of kitchen roll, and you don’t know you need a wee until the very last second so you have to kind of waddle/run/shuffle to the loo, hoping that by clenching your thighs together it might stop you from pissing yourself, as you don’t have the ability to hold your wee in straight after giving birth due to all the pushing. There’s been several times I’ve done a sneeze or laughed too hard and I’ve dribbled, not from my mouth. If you catch my drift.
But let me tell you, it does go back to normal. I darent look at my Minnie for about 3 weeks. I was scared of what I might find. When showering I just sort of…dabbed it. I couldn’t possibly give it a proper scrub, what happened if I ripped my stitches out? You are literally petrified of anything or anyone going near your foo foo. Chairs, midwives, pants, wee, you name it, everything is a threat. But when I finally managed to pluck up the courage to look at the old girl, I was pleasantly surprised. She didn’t look too bad. So a little note to you expectant mums – there is light at the end of the tunnel. You don’t have to book in for a designer vagina and a vajazzle after having a baby. Just give it time. Don’t be like riding a bucking broncho the day after you’ve given birth. Time is a beautiful healer for your body. Besides, after the ordeal you don’t even want to look or have anything to do with it anyway. You just leave WELL ALONE.
Now another thing which has changed for me since having the Champ is my hair. I mean it was never thick and luscious before. I’ve always had thin, shitty waffy hair. But I am currently suffering with hair loss. It just comes out in clumps. Now I’ve read that this is common. However it isn’t the most delightful thing when your washing your hair with your shitty 2 in 1 shampoo that you bought for a pound (because it will save you time in a day that already doesn’t have enough hours in it) and it’s just coming out in clumps. Apparently it gets better. I’m hoping so. I never really got the whole pregnancy glow and thicker fuller hair. I just got sweaty face glow and greasy roots hair. So I think I’m owed some good hair somewhere along the lines. Just to show you I’ve got a photo of the general amount of hair I lose when I brush my hair after washing it (every 7 weeks or so – or whenever I manage to get the time – it feels like it’s every 7 weeks. Dry shampoo becomes your friend. Like, your bestest best ever in the world if-destroyed-still-true-best-friend).
Lovely I know. So yeah so far I’ve got saggy boobs, saggy belly, stretch marks, am going bald and a vagina that’s OK but not quite as good as it was a year ago. I’ll be honest, I sound like quite a catch if I do say so myself. My husband is a lucky, lucky man.
Now sleep deprivation is going to happen. Your baby in the first few weeks can feed every hour or 2. You become exhausted. And your face shows it. I have bags big enough for Coco Chanel to think about using for a new line of travel gear. You are sleep deprived, your bags become dark and your eyes are red and tired and puffy. Invest in some good concealer, trust me. If it’s the only make up you put on, it’ll make you feel (and probably look) 10 times more awake than you perhaps are. When I take my make up off I literally look like I’ve not slept for approximately 15 years.
OK so this last subject is one that I’m not sure everyone gets, but hey I’m going to throw it out there anyway. Perspiration. I don’t know whether it’s hormonal or what but since having William I am literally Sweaty Betty. I can’t even begin to comprehend it. I know I’m not completely alone as one of my darling friends (I’ll keep her nameless as I’m sure she doesn’t want to be known as Sweaty Betty’s long lost friend Perspiration Patty) has had similar issues after she gave birth. I mean I understand people sweat. I sweat myself! In the heat. In the sunshine. When it’s really hot in a kitchen. Abroad. But I am literally using Sure deodorant as if there is going to be a national shortage and I’ll never be able to spray my pits again. I can only put it down to hormones, I am hoping it will settle down when I am hormonally stable.(Whenever that may be. Perhaps when I’m 96?) So yeah, a word of warning, it could happen to you, so go down to superdrug and stock up on some deodorant, no one likes to smell of beef and onion (B.O) and you don’t want to make your baby or your partner pass out from the fumes that may come from your underarms.
So these are just the main things that have happened to me since having the little man. Of course everyone is different, and I completely understand that some people want to get straight back into their fitness regime, or fit right back in their size 8 jeans, and some people maybe just don’t care at all, or some people like myself just want to try and eat the right foods, enjoy a treat and not become obsessed with a number on the scales.
I just wanted to share what happened to me, and if it makes one person feel a bit better about their mum tum or cellulite or shitty hair (which I do have, both cellulite and shitty hair), then great. At the end of the day, your beautiful baby grew inside you, and I’m sure you think they are the most perfect and beautiful thing that ever graced your eyes? Well looking back at you in that mirror is the beautiful person who made that baby. And that’s what your baby will see. A beautiful person. The person at the centre of their entire world. They don’t give a flying fuck if your “fat”, thin, have a monobrow, have hairy armpits, have a zit the size of Wales, or haven’t had your lip waxed for 5 weeks. They look at you and they think you are utterly perfect.
So it’s about time we started to look at ourselves in the way our children do. Don’t you think?