For most women on the trying to conceive journey, all that matters is having a baby, or babies, as the case may be. At this stage, the thoughts of their fine stomach skin, perky boobs and strong back, not forgetting having the perfect weight, are inconsequential.
This is not a post to downplay the very real struggle of the trying to conceive journey, but an attempt to get you to wake up and smell the coffee, and appreciate what you currently have. Before, I ever had a baby, I was a fine slim babe, yes, I said that. With firm boobs and a flat tummy, without a hint of a stretch stomach, I never experienced back ache, except when I had menstrual pain.
But guess what? Now, all I have is a pair of battle ridden boobs and a tummy filled with stretch marks, made worse, when I attempt any tightening of my tummy. Let’s just say no one, and no bikini, would be seeing me in all my glorious state, except the mister, who helped to get me in this state.
When a woman’s body goes through pregnancy, there are, of course, going to be changes. While some people might say you donât look any different, when you are alone and look in the mirror, or stand on the scale, the changes are pretty obvious, even your spouse can point them out to you.
My friend starting using a stretch mark cream the day her husband pointed out the stretch marks at the top of her thighs, and he did not do it mean-spiritedly. He just wondered why she did not have stretch marks on her stomach, but had them all over the top of her thighs. It was not until, the marks had faded a bit did she stop wearing shorts and skirts in their bedroom. This was a woman who had felt so comfortable in her own skin, looking for every opportunity to be rid of her clothes.
There are some physical changes that you will learn to accept and deal with, while for others, they will just be constant reminders of the fantastic body you used to have. Take for instance the boobs, every woman who has ever gone through pregnancy almost always wishes they had their pre-baby boobs back.
For the woman well endowed with boobs, apart from her fear of choking her baby while breast-feeding, she wishes her breast would have retained some of their perkiness, instead of their tendency to want to go south. Right now, she swears by the special bras that she wears, to ensure that, at least in her clothes, she looks shapely.
It is however not the same with the small breasted woman, whose breasts practically disappear after breast feeding her baby. She had enjoyed how her breasts filled out while she was pregnant, and even changed bra cup sizes. Today, she cannot wear any one of the bras she wore then. She is mainly keeping it for when she gets pregnant again, especially if she is TTC. Meanwhile, she is using some seriously padded and push-up bras to fill in the gap.
Another part of your body that you wish you did not have to sacrifice for your pregnancy is your flat stomach. You can add stretch marks to the drill. One would think that women will be prepared for the effects of the growing baby stretching her stomach, and likelihood of fat gathering there afterwards. But it is always a shock that our stomachs become the home of stretch-marks and hold more fat than other parts of our bodies.
This was the experience of Anita, who used the vitamin E oil religiously and avoided scratching her stomach as much as possible, even though the itching was out of this world. But what did she get at the end of the day? Stretch marks still appeared and not just on her stomach. She had followed the regime of celebrities, and believed it would work for her too. She had all the pictures of celebs snapping back to shape in a few weeks and showing off wash board abs on her phone. She was so disappointed, when it did not turn out the same for her.
As if losing our shape is not enough, your hair is in for it. Women with thick hair should pay attention to this, as Dunni did not take it into consideration while pregnant. Post-pregnancy, she had a glorious mane that flowed past her shoulder. Her hair was envy-inducing, and when she was pregnant, her hair grew became even fuller, darker, and with more shine; very beautiful and healthy hair, she had.
Fast forward to some weeks after she gave birth, her hair started to fall off in clumps. She was aghast at what was happening. She was still using the supplements she had been using while pregnant, but her hair was still falling. Her hairline started to recede. As I write this, she is still recovering from the ordeal that her hair went through.
While you are musing on that, I should add that your butt is not spared. It can become big and jiggly, or it can just about melt into your legs, because of the weight it has to bear in the front. Squats can help with the melting part but what about the extra “junk in trunk”, even after you have given birth. And now, with a baby or babies, you have little or no time, how much more motivation, to go to the gym. Personally, I would not mind the extra flesh, and I know some of you wouldn’t either *side eyes*
Your bladder also suffers. You used to be able to control your bladder for hours, but all of a sudden, you know the insides of more bathrooms than you would wish. I remember a lecturer who once tried to find out if it was true that women had more bladder control than the guys. He, however, did not succeed when the sounds of dissent arose from the female folks in my class, protesting being used as guinea pigs.
So, be prepared to let go of control of your bladder and pray that sudden sneezes and coughing will not result in an embarrassing leak. But I know that you are more than prepared to let go of even more to have those babies.
I have talked about all these changes that happen to a woman’s body as she goes through pregnancy and afterwards, however, feel free to ask me, if it is worth it. My answer is a big fat YES! Absolutely worth all the stress, the hair loss, the new lines on my tummy, and the leaky bladder.
It is worthwhile that my body is able to adjust itself to make changes that will enable a baby grow and come to life. In fact, it is a privilege, which I do not take lightly. And one that you will have too in the fullness of time (you know how this word is trending now) but in the meantime, enjoy that banging body you have got.
Oluwakemi is a member of The Fertile Chick family, and she is a writer, dreamer and mother of two sets of twins. She is passionate about issues that concern women, and does not shy away from airing her views. And words are her weapon of choice! She is reachable on her handle @oluwakemine
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