Two to Kiss, Two to Love: Your New "After-Twins" Body
I feel inadequate several times a day. If I know I have something I have to get done on the computer or phone, and let my kid watch four episodes of Mickey Mouse, I feel like a super inadequate parent. Or, if I can’t find enough time to exercise, play with my kids, clean the house, shower, put on any clothes besides pajamas, and work, all in one day, again, I feel inadequate not only as a mom, but as a person. Or, if I can’t seem to make three healthy meals a day, I feel like I’m hindering my child’s growth, again making me feel inadequate. All of these things are things I try and strive to get better at. Every day, I make a new resolution to better myself and become a better person, mom, daughter, friend, etc.
But, what about the traits I can’t change? What about the things that make me feel so inadequate, so self-conscious, and make me feel so badly about myself? What happens when it’s something you are living with? Like, your body.
Our bodies are miracles. They can do so much. Just think about the daily tasks they perform: your heart beats ALL day long (sounds exhausting, right?), your lungs inflate over and over, your limbs move all day, your cells are constantly regenerating, blood is circulating, your stomach is constantly breaking down the food you are eating, kidneys are filtering out toxins, etc. The list DOES NOT end there. And if you’re pregnant, not only is your body doing all of the work for YOU, but also creating ANOTHER HUMAN. A whole human being. Think about that for a second. Your body makes a whole other person with a heart, a brain, arms and legs, vital organs, his/her own blood, etc. I mean...it’s a little crazy to think about, isn’t it? When I was pregnant with my oldest daughter, it weirded me out to think I had two hearts in my body. And you’d think by the time I was pregnant with my twins, it wouldn’t weird me out so much, but nope…now there were THREE hearts in my body. ::shudder::
But, even with ALL of that knowledge, even though our bodies are amazing, two years later, I still hate the way it looks. I still hate what my twin pregnancy did to my body. And I’ll warn you, this post isn’t for you ladies who have it all together, can conquer anything, can change your mindset, and are SUPER amazing women. ;) This is for those of you who are STILL struggling, and just can’t get over that hump.
Me, 29 weeks pregnant with my singleton
Me, 30 weeks pregnant with my Singleton
When I was pregnant with my first daughter, I barely looked pregnant until I was 30 weeks pregnant. The downside to this was that I just looked like I ate a bit too much pizza. Ha. When I had her, I got to the hospital at 8cm, had her an hour later, and felt awesome! I didn’t get any stretch marks with her, and even though I gained 47 pounds while pregnant, I lost it all within two months, and had my abs back, and STRONGER, than before I was pregnant.
When pregnant with my twins, for being pregnant with TWINS, I was quite small. At 36 weeks, I had someone say, “You must be due soon.” (By the way, never say that to anybody. Just ask, “When are you due?”) I said, “Well, yes, with twins.” The woman gasped. She said, “Oh honey, you have a long way to go if you’re having twins! You’re not nearly big enough.” LOL.
My daughter came three weeks early, so I figured the twins would follow suit. Nope, I was induced with them at 38.5 weeks. I never wanted to be induced. I had my oldest daughter completely un-medicated; the epidural frightens me to no end. And we all know I ended up with a C-section after having one twin vaginally. Talk about a major shock to me—a super natural-birth person.
We moved to Washington halfway through my twin pregnancy. I had to find a new doctor, and so I looked for someone who was okay with delivering twins naturally. Hindsight, I should have been looking for the doctor who does the BEST C-section. I’ve been left with a C-section shelf—a bulge of skin right above my scar that you CANNOT get rid of without surgery. I spent MONTHS trying to get rid of it, and it wouldn’t go away. I got to the lowest weight I have ever been in my life, and still couldn’t get rid of it. I went to physical therapy soon after I had my babies for them to work on my scar, and saw their personal trainer who helped me get my abs back together. However, almost two years later, and after all of that VERY hard work, I still have that same bulge, and a separation (diastasis recti) behind my belly button.
Then, just to put the icing on the cake, I got pregnancy mask/melasma. There is a large circle on my forehead, I have a darkened upper lip, a spotted chin, and patches that follow underneath my eyes so it looks like I’ve been wearing sunglasses in the sun ALL of the time. To put icing on top of that icing, my acne has come back in full force now that my hormones have leveled out.
I look, and feel, like a hot mess all. of. the. time.
But the part that drives me ABSOLUTELY insane is that bulge. Not only does it make wearing ANY clothes completely uncomfortable, (did you know yoga pants could actually be uncomfortable??), but there is this itch; I just want to rip my skin off. But, the real issue lies inside of my head.
My stomach was my pride and joy. I’ve never been super comfortable with my legs or arms, but my stomach was beautiful—even after having a baby. If you only love one thing about your body, and that thing gets taken away from you…what happens to your self-confidence? I’ll tell you. It just disappears. And it doesn’t bother anybody BUT you. So, all those onlookers will tell you all the things I know you’ve all heard before: “You are skinny!” “I can’t tell.” “We don’t love you based off of your stomach.” “But, you had two beautiful babies, so it was all worth it.” <---That’s the worst one. Yeah, please shove it in my face that I was able to make two very healthy children when some people can’t even have one. Go on, make me feel worse about myself.
So, what do you do when you have those feelings and everyone else tells you not to? You own them. They ARE your feelings after all. And, you’re allowed to feel that way. Don’t let people tell you that you aren’t. I feel like we share, share, share about all the ways things should be going RIGHT…but what if they just aren’t? What if, people are actually struggling? Whhaaaattt? No way. ;)
Coming to terms with the way your body changes after twins may take a lot of work for some; and others may not even think twice about it. But if you sit on my side of the fence, know you’re not alone. It’s a REAL struggle. If your new body makes you sad, know that it really is okay to feel that way. Accepting your new body can be tough, but don't get ever get down on yourself for feeling how you feel. It’s not easy to accept a new body; a body you wouldn’t have without those babies. So, go hug them instead, and try to find a way that works for YOU to be okay with that. And if you can’t do that, go on and read next week’s article for some things that have helped me. Twin mamas, you rock! Just remember that.
*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!*