Creams, oils, lotions, you name it, I used it. I really enjoyed massaging by bump; it made me feel more connected to my baby and I’m sure it relaxed her, I didn’t feel her moving around so much when I got into bed at night, it sent her to sleep. I must add that this is not a sign that your baby will sleep well at night time, as she certainly does not! My belly was well and truly prepped no stretch marks for me!
So, my bump was growling nicely but my boobs were not… I thought that bigger boobs were going to be a perk of pregnancy. I’ve always had small boobs and this was my chance to have a decent cup size, where were they? I’d heard that the boob growth spurt was one of the first signs of pregnancy, unfortunately not for me. Just the one bump it is then!
I didn’t gain that much weigh during pregnancy, I should of weighed myself towards the end but never got round to it, shame really, I would of liked to know how much extra weight I was carrying around. I was all bump, I didn’t think it could get much bigger! Friends and family were convinced I was having a boy because of the old wives tales about the way you carry and the shape of your body. I wasn’t convinced; I had a feeling that it was a girl in there.
My beautiful baby girl was born via emergency C-section, she was breech and unfortunately for us it went undetected until it was too late, 10 centimetres dilated at home too late! We were both absolutely fine; it was just one of thise things. I was gutted, I’d got so far and was so ready, I felt robbed as my body was responding so well to labour, but obviously we had to do the safest thing.
It feels very strange having an empty belly, you have your body back but you miss it just being the two of you, those special movements, hiccups and stretches that only a mother and their unborn child experience. She was here and other people could now hold her and cuddle her and walk around with her, as lovely as that was I wished that I gave my bump a few extra cuddles and cherished those moments a little more. My belly felt amazingly soft after being solid for that last few months, like a deflated balloon.
I could see my lady bits again and when I stood up I could see my toes! They were freshly painted by my other half only a few days before. It was a good effort all things considered; I didn’t want to go into hospital to have my baby with horrible half painted toe nails. Is that normal?!
I found it really difficult to look at my healing stomach over the coming days. I’m not sure why. I don’t know if I was scared to see the aftermath or squeamish to see the stiches or if it was the disappointment of having a caesarean that I was reminded of every time I looked in the mirror. It took a while but I gradually realised that this scar was a reminder that my body created and grew a tiny human being, tiny fingers and toes, arms and legs, a brain, a healthy beating heart. She was lifted from my body and into my arms from this very place. It still makes me emotional thinking about it, sometimes I do take a minute when I get out of the shower just to appreciate what this body is capable of. Amazing!
I decided that I wanted to try and breastfeed for as long as I felt I could. I was lucky enough to be able to; I know that’s not the case for every new mum so I felt extremely thankful when my milk followed the early colostrum. Here they come, here are the boobs I had been expecting and blimey had they come! Following my C-section I struggled to get about for the first couple of weeks and I was in desperate need for some nursing bras. This was a job for Super Daddy! Off he went to Mother care after a quick brief and back he came with my nursing hammocks. I think he also picked up maternity pads, breast pads, and a breast pump! The shop assistants must have really felt for him having to buy all these things on his own! He didn’t care he just did it!
When I stopped breastfeeding my boobs obviously departed, I was sad to see them go, even if one was bigger than the other! I was left with what I now call ‘used teabags’. Not the most flattering term, I know, but it describes them well! Used they certainly were, but they produced milk that fed my tiny baby and helped nourish her to grow, how amazing is that. Not only did they feed my baby they responded when she was hungry and knew how much milk to produce. They often got a bit over excited and threatened to flood the house but overall these used tea bags are remarkable!
So, no one told me that when you use all these lotions and oils to prevent stretch marks that you’re supposed to use them all over your body, not just your bump! I just didn’t really think about it, I hope I’m not the only one that assumed they were just for bump My belly is stretch mark free; although I’m not sure how big a part the creams actually play in this. My boobs and thighs however had fallen victim to the dreaded stripes. After time and reflection, I believe that I have earned my stripes, every single one of them. Some people get medals or trophies in life, us mummies get stripes and they are another reminder that this body made and carried a tiny life. A-ma-zing!
15 months in and I now know that my body isn’t going completely back to what it was before, I mean, I was no Pamela Anderson but it looks different now. It’s a different shape and I have a mum tum and there is a little pouch left from my little miracle scar. My wardrobe has been tweaked and dresses that once flattered my figure now don’t. It’s a good excuse to go shopping! I have my stripes and I have my beautiful daughter and I feel blessed every single day.
My body has changed, my body is amazing.