Tuesday, 14 July 2015

Growing a baby, and post natal body gratitude.

I was sat staring at my three little ones one afternoon, went into a daydream and was just in complete amazement that I carried them inside my tummy for 40-41 weeks. times three that is. They were 8lb 9, 8lb  1.5, and 8lb 14. I carried them all out front, you couldn't tell I was pregnant unless seeing me face to face, with what looked like a pumpkin up my top! So in my little zoned out moment I just sat and thought hard.
Despite all the adjusting to my new body I was amazed at everything my body had gone through the past few years.

Us ladies really are remarkable. 

The amount of physical and mental changes we have to endure throughout pregnancy, childbirth and the post-natal stage - it really is astonishing, and sometimes not given enough praise. I do want to mention that Dad's are obviously amazing too. For being supportive, loving and a shoulder to cry on when you can't tie your shoe laces in those last few weeks of pregnancy or in my case the overdue weeks!

I loved pregnancy with my three, I was extremely lucky enough not to get sickness - I don't think I would be writing this now if I did, I couldn't think of anything worse, I'm a complete wimp when throwing up! I had moments of nausea, lots of moments of extreme fatigue especially with my second and third pregnancies, the hormones do liked to kick me in my teeth every now again or rather made me feel like I wanted to kick my partner in the balls for not being able to do the named shoed laces up, not being able to get out of bed without doing 'the roll' - you know that roll don't you? But aside from all of this, I loved being pregnant, the feeling of my babies kicking for the first time, the hiccups (not funny when its ten times a night!), the interaction when Daddy was talking to the bump, Oh I must add though with my third that I did not enjoy the SPD in the last few weeks which left me not being able to walk for two days - ouch. So over all I had positive experiences, and the births were amazing too. (more on those another time but you can read Phoenix's here!) 

So with each of my babies I did feel a little out of sorts after giving birth. More so after my second and even more so my third birth. After my first, I felt very proud that I only got one little stretch mark on my tummy, and my tummy immediately went flat after having her. Feeling chuffed with this, I still felt a little sad that I got stretch marks on my boobs! it was a shock for me but I wish now that I didn't feel so down about it. Then after having our second, I felt the difference more so. More stretch marks, skin that wasn't so toned on my tummy anymore, the darker circles under my eyes, and just the fact that it didn't all 'ping' back as fast as my first. With our third baby born 17 months ago, I did have my moments of being annoyed with the changes, even now I do especially as after having three pregnancies in four years, i developed a umbilical hernia with my tummy split also known as Diastasis Recti. Its something I have to live with, and will hopefully heal over time - but ultimately I am proud of what I have achieved, and what my body has enabled me to be able to do naturally as I know a few people who haven't been so lucky, so its an eternal blessing for me.

That being said, with all the embracing and thankfulness, I am also in the mind set of correcting the health issue from pregnancy that I mentioned above. As this does effect the every day life, it causes pain and a lot of discomfort, it doesn't take away anything about how much i'm thankful for all my body has done but I also want to feel comfortable in it too. I wont be getting surgery to removed any blemishes thats for sure! but I want to feel more acceptable in the way I feel in regards to my health. Feeling good about yourself is an important message here, so to feel at your optimum health - this will reap wonders for your soul too, or at least I have felt the benefits this way when i've been doing my post natal exercises to fix the DR.
I think with each baby I have carried and birthed, I am learning to adapt to all the change, embrace it and feel the huge amount of gratitude for being able to grow three amazing miracles.

Every blemish is proof that YOU grew YOUR babies in there, kept them nourished, safe, loved - not to mention cosy. 

You did that.

So whenever you feel sh*t, doubting your changes, not accepting yourself as much on some days, just remember - you were blessed to be able to carry your own babies, give birth to them & become the mother you are today.

I love this quote:

“Birth is not only about making babies. Birth is about making mothers--strong, competent, capable mothers who trust themselves and know their inner strength.”  ― Barbara Katz Rothman

I want to be a good role model for my children, I want to show them that we should practise a good amount of self-care, remember to love our bodies, we grateful for all that they do for us and to not talk negative about any issue areas. This can be hard, but when you stop and notice that they are watching and listening to everything, so impressionable, so they will practise what they see. You want your children to grow up being confident in who they are, being happy with their image - not feeling awful about it. 

I think the most beautiful thing in my experience, is that my little ones see past it all, they watch me getting changed and tell me i'm beautiful, how I have such a clever tummy for growing babies in there, they love how I have the boobs that fed all three of them (still do with the third baby!) and they show me the most that being thankful for it all is the key to happiness.

All those marks that society may deem something to be ashamed of, something negative, is the place that will forever be their first home, proof of their existence.

My body made me a Mama, and that I will be eternally grateful for.
You can see my self maternity portraits with Phoenix bump here, & i have a lovely linky thats open for sharing your birth stories, I'd love for you to share yours and why don't you have a read of the ones already there? Plus if you have a friend who's expecting, its a great place to read honest accounts, how different they all are too!

How do you feel about pregnancy & your post-natal body?

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6 comments

  1. Oh three babies in a short space of time definitely makes its mark! I was back in shape quite nicely after Kitty but very much not after Elma and Pip at a whopping 9lb9 oz filled in wherever wasn't stretch marked! I know I am not currently a healthy weight but I'm not making massive efforts in that direction just yet, I'm enjoying my babies while they're small and still feeding the youngest two!!

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  2. I'm the same weight now as I was pre-pregnancy, but I still have loads of clothes that don't fit because my rib cage is wider, my boobs are bigger (and they were bad enough to start with!) and my hips are wider. But now that I've realised that my old clothes are never going to fit well again unless I have them all altered, I've kind of come to terms with it. It annoyed me at first because it was really hard to lose 3 stone and I felt as if I wasn't being rewarded, but then I thought "Surely a baby is reward enough?!?". I went into labour 5 days early and Gwenn was 8lb 5. I think if I had gone overdue (I'm talking 42 weeks I suppose - as far as I'd be allowed to go I think?!) then I think I might have been birthing a fully-formed adult! I'm pleased she was early and therefore an acceptable size to push out without any intervention. Still hurt though, clearly!!! x

    #sharewithme

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  3. A beautiful post Nat- we should embrace our pre baby bodies. I am actually lighter now than before I was pregnant but my body has just completely changed. My boobs are barely there and my tummy will always stick out a little (especially now I have put a bit of weight on again) but I have finally got to the stage where I am comfortable rather than wanting to lose more. x

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  4. What a lovely post! I'm currently 32 weeks pregnant and feel guilty for occasionally thinking whether I'm going to like my body after I give birth (which I'm still trying not to think too much about - scared is an understatement!!). It's such a remarkable time and something to be cherished, as you have so beautifully put. Thanks for sharing and giving confidence to us pregnant ladies at the moment!x

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  5. What a beautifully written post Natalie. I love it. We really should embrace our bodies both before and after. Our bodies are miracle machines I swear to carry and grow babies. It's good to be in a comfortable place with our bodies for sure. Thank you so much for linking up to Share With Me. #sharewithme

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  6. What a beautiful post. I often wonder why I criticise my body so much when it has done all that it has! x x

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