I want to start off by saying, of course babies are so so worth every single stretch, pull, dimple, jiggle and pain they put on and in our bodies. Motherhood is the most special blessing in this world. My children (and my hubby) are my everything – my life, my happiness, my reason!
Now, let’s get to the crap part of it all lol. For nine months our bellies are stretched beyond recognition. Muscles, tendons and bones ache. Road maps appear on our thighs, tummies and boobies. We get sick. We cry. Food tastes terrible. Food tastes way too good. We grow and grow and grow. Oh and we complain haha. Bonus here: we get a free pass to complain!! Hooray to that one. But then, 9 months later (really almost 10), we first witness the miracle that we’ve grown right in our own body! That little bundle that is 1/2 mama and 1/2 dada and all thanks to God! Oh how we forget every single frustration we had over the last 42 (give or take) weeks. That cry, those little toes, that soft skin… it’s a reward 1,000 worth any of those pregnancies woes.
Ok, so now to the post-partum stuff. For me, I never really considered the “after”. Don’t know if I was just so excited about pregnancy and a baby or what, but I guess I just assumed I’d snap right back like a rubber band. Well, with my first, I pretty much did. I was back to pre-pregnancy weight in two weeks and my belly was “normal” with in 3 months. My belly button, however, never really went back in, it was 1/2 innie and half outie… but the rest of my ab areas was fine.
After baby #2, that belly button stuck totally out! You could see it through my clothes and it made me so self-concious. On top of that, after 2 babies (side note: my belly gets HUGE with babies!!) my ab muscles had separated (Diastasis Recti). This is when you have a gap of about 2.7 cm or more between you ab muscle. Basically, this gives you a little pooch because the space between the muscles has widened. (For more info on DR click here) It’s especially trying because clean eating and exercising won’t fix this. You can get surgery, but it’s very invasive and, in most cases, leaves you with a large scar down the belly. Doctors usually laugh it off and say ‘it’s just a joy of being a mom’… as if that makes it any easier to take. I wasn’t happy with that answer, so I’ve been doing some phyical therapy exercises and I’ve noticed a great difference. Still not perfection in my eyes, but so so much better. I wanted to share these with you, as I know I’m not alone in this belly bump boat. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KyAQx9k8oDQ
I cycle through these exercises for about 10 minutes each night at I lay down and watch TV. Do 10-20 of each and then move to the next. They won’t feel hard and might not even feel like they’re doing anything, but they are! Keep the belly tight and focus on pressing your belly button toward the ground.
As for that pesky outie… turns out I had an umbilical hernia! What??!! I had no clue. A couple weeks ago, I had that surgically repaired. It depends on how severe each case is, but mine was a simple fix and I was back to working out (lightly) in 4 days.
Then off to surgery… Yikes! I hate going under… Then again, does anyone actually like it?!
And here is my swollen belly 4 days later. It’s getting better each day… and you know what?! I actually feel like it’s made my DR better. I did some research that says it can help… but it also might just be that my belly button bugged me so much that it all just looks so much better to me with one less bump to look at.
Either way, my tummy is a work in progress. Some days I feel like it looks terrible and some days, I feel ok with it. But I’m telling you… do the exercises! Don’t feel hopeless! They call it “mommy pooch”… that annoys me. As if we have to have a pooch just cause we are moms. Sure, I’ll take all the pooches and bumps it takes to have my little babies, but who’s to say we can’t still work on it, improve it and feel somewhat like our old selves…. but way way better thanks to our little minis.
Oh babies… I love you!
For more information on how pregnancy impacts you diet and nutrition, check out this article from my friends over at positive health and wellness. https://www.positivehealthwellness.com/diet-nutrition/pregnant-impacts-diet-nutrition/
For additional reading on all of the many reasons WHY you SHOULD workout will pregnant… check out this lovely blog from MomLovesBest