Twirling and dancing around the lounge, Lily is preparing a dance for a school talent show. At 12 her body is changing, her beautiful limbs so strong and so perfect, I want her so much to be body confident, and to celebrate her shape. My own body journey is one of big changes, big changes that I hope one day, one day soon I can fully come to terms with ~
I’ve never been super skinny, but at 20 I had a pretty spot on figure. I had the long legs, flat tummy and big boobs ? I was more than happy to strut my stuff by the poolside ??
I married and the baby journey began. The weight slowly crept on, this pregnancy ended with pre-eclampsia and I ballooned, the water retention was immense. I had an angry wave of stretch marks across my stomach. They became flame red with the cholestasis rash I developed, my skin was covered in spots and I got hairy, really not a best look ?
But I was so focused on the pregnancy I didn’t really care about the changes, it wasn’t until after Jack was born that the 5 stone weight gain hit me. Health wise and body confidence wise I knew I needed to shift it, and I was super focused, I joined slimming world and week by week the weight came off me. It felt amazing, I lost all off the excess weight and was probably at my healthiest. The main reason for me going on this health kick was so I was ready for my next pregnancy, and my chances of developing pre-eclampsia again were reduced.
I sure was healthy, as my next most demanding body change was to show. My triplet pregnancy was to prove my biggest body change. I knew early on that I was going to be big but I really didn’t realise just how big I was going to be. Week on week I was being told I was carrying three babies all growing at the rate of a singleton, and if I was growing they were. I can’t say I really got upset over how my body changed. I do remember vividly imagining my skin tearing. My tummy skin became so thin it was almost transparent, I had stretch marks everywhere, and I mean everywhere ?.
At 35 plus 5 weeks, our huge triplets were born. My tummy at this point measured over 5ft round, sitting down I couldn’t see my knees the bump had become that big.
5lb, 5lb 10oz and 5lb 15oz the little darlings weighed, a combined baby weight of around 17lb. I lay in a bath 3 days after giving birth and I remember vividly the feeling of horror as I touched this massive empty sack of loose tummy skin. All my tummy muscles had torn badly, I had a weird skin infection, and I was given a tummy belt. That was pretty much all the self care I took at this stage.
I had 4 children under 3, there really was no time to think about me. My boobs were being whipped out for the double pumping at least 7 times a day ?. I was living in a blurred sleep deprived state, my focus was the children not me, I was slowly adapting to the new very busy exhausted me. I was a lot lighter after having the triplets than I was with Jack, and most people would tell me I was glowing. I wouldn’t go that far but there was definitely a sense of pride that I felt within myself for how my body had grown these beautiful little humans.
Infertility depression struck 6 years later, and the nasty weight gain battle reared its very ugly head. Pre Alfie I shifted a stone, then I put on a few more in growing my next little human. I was so happy to be pregnant that I had no qualms in how I changed, I embraced it. I was 32 and knew the struggle to get him had been so great that I was determined to savour his every movement, the stretch-marks were back, and the hole in my back became more apparent. Let me explain the hole ?. it’s more of a dipped curve in the base of my spine, because of my multiple pregnancy my back has been put under such strain it has forced my spine to alter in position, my 8lb-13oz 5th baby added his own story to his Momma’s body.
These past few years there have been few changes in my weight not through trying but I never just want it enough to stick to it. I can’t entirely blame Mr Weston, although I like to ? but he is a feeder and he’s so dam complimentary of me that when I’m faced with a chocolate bar and glass of vino, I should refuse but I simply don’t, “You’re so sexy” he tells me, he makes me feel good about myself.
Can I, and do I feel good about myself? Now this is the question, brutally honest in answering, as I am, I struggle greatly with my tummy, I won’t let Steve touch it and I don’t look at it in the mirror. The torn muscles never really repaired fully and I can’t hold those in with any impact. My skin over time has healed the stretch marks have faded, but the extra skin from an immense pregnancy can really only be removed through surgery. When and if I get to a target weight, I’ve been told that I could have the surgery done on the NHS.
At 37 I have finally coming to terms with what I have. I’m the queen of selfies ??. The below head shots I’m never so confident with, and after having Jack I have never, and will never wear a bikini, as I simply don’t have that level of confidence, but do I feel nice when dressed up to go out, the majority of times yes. I’m making peace with the way my body is, it is a very slow journey, one of acceptance and one of understanding.
Yes my tummy is a mess and may now always be, but when I was pregnant with all of my babies I didn’t care about just how much I was changing, as I knew the importance of life, and that sentiment is still the same. I gave over my flat tummy for these healthy beautiful children.
Body confidence just where do you get it from? Are you born with it? Is it given? Or do you learn it? I believe it is all of these, I am a confident person, but greatly lost my confidence when my body changed as it did. I’m given confidence daily from my husband, parents and friends. The voice of reassurance is key, and I’m slowly learning how to enhance my skin, how to improve my tummy muscles with core exercises and I’m learning to love what and who I am.
Seeing beyond the dream of a perfect figure, we as people are so much more than that. For really what is important is the person you are, the kind heart, the good friend, life is to short to spend it hating yourself. Be proud of your body and the journey it has had or is on, for it is your journey, and your story ❤~
So here I am, probably at one of the heaviest I have been over the past few years. No make up, lumps bumps and all, the stretched out tummy I can’t suck in, the tired Mom face, but I am here and putting it out there. Why? Because this is my journey, these are my scars, and wow they have helped me grow and change as a person, they tell stories of amazing accomplishments. Will I ever get over the dramatic change it went through? Well I think this is a massive step forward.