Two to Kiss, Two to Love: Love Your Body
Being pregnant is hard work. Your body has to make a lot of changes to make room for a whole human. And then it has to create that human. I mean, for real mamas, that’s a LOT of work. So, let’s multiply that by two, shall we? That’s even harder.
I was so excited to find out I was having twins. Being pregnant with twins, for what felt like an eternity, was not really a stroll in the park. Twin pregnancy is HARD. But, there's one thing that I didn't realize would be even harder than being pregnant with them: my "after-twins" body.
Your skin stretches to scary proportions, you might get stretch marks, your hormones are doubled, so anything affected by hormones is twice as bad (i.e. pregnancy mask), and, of course, there are two humans in there kicking around and some women actually experience BROKEN bones.
So, what are you left with after you give birth? Did you end up with a C-section? Did your C-section leave a bulge? Does your face look like you got a bad spray-on tan? Did your skin decide to dawn some stretch marks?
Are you waiting for it all to disappear? If so, your biggest question may be “When will it?” Each issue is going to be different for every person. But, my advice? Visit all the doctors you need to as soon as you can. For instance, did you have a C-section? Go see a physical therapist. If you have surgery ANYWHERE else on your body, PT usually follows. So, why should slicing a baby out of your stomach be any different? They will help you pull your abs back together, and work on your scar. If your skin is having major issues, visit a dermatologist. If you’re breastfeeding, they won’t be able to do very much, but they’ll be able to formulate a plan for you on what you can do, and when to come back.
When all is said and done, if you’ve ended up with anything that is still bugging you, anything that doesn’t meet your expectations, you may have to take additional steps: like a tummy tuck for that C-section bulge. (PS IF you decide to go that route, make sure you’re done having kids first.)
But until you meet your expectations, how do you stop from hating your body?
What If?Try to lessen the amount of times you do the whole “what if” thing. You can't change the past no matter how many times you think this, so try to stop worrying about it. I always think, “Well, what if I would have told the doctor to deliver the second baby breech instead of flipping her?” and other thoughts along those lines. But, that just reminds me that I should have done something differently, and makes me feel bad about myself. You can only do so much with the information you have at the time, so try not to be hard on yourself.
Love Your Body
My friend, Jill Pollard, said that every time she puts lotion or soap on her body, she tells each part of her body why she loves it, and is grateful for it. She said, we spend more time criticizing our bodies, than being grateful for them. "I talk to my body, and tell it how grateful I am for it," she said. She massages her arms, and might say, "Thank you so much for chopping the vegetables today, and writing that letter...driving the car, whatever." It's a gratitude practice that has helped her love her self, versus placing emphasis on other people loving her body.
It's hard to love yourself. I know I spend a lot of time worrying how other people are doing, feeling, etc., but why don't I give myself that kind of time? Taking care of yourself isn't selfish, it's necessary.
Make a Plan for Things you can ChangeIf you know there is something you want changed, make a plan of attack. Decide what you can do to change it, how long it will take, and when that will happen for you. Knowing that there is an end-goal, and a timeframe for that goal, can help you accept the things you don't love.
Things you Can't ChangeTry your best to accept the things you can't change. It's hard work. But the more you try to accept it, the more you talk positively about the things you hate, and the more you remember that yes, two beautiful children came from these changes, it will get easier.
Are you working on loving your body again? What's been the hardest part for you? What has worked well for you? Comment below!
*The “Two to Kiss, Two to Love” series is a helpful series for all you twin mamas out there! If you have a twin related question, comment below, and I’ll answer it for you!*