“After having a baby I am proud of my body.”

I’ve never been completely happy with my body and I’ve never felt like a completely skinny girl, but after having a baby I am proud of my body. Not really for how it looks but for what it’s achieved!

My little boy is almost a year old and recently I’ve thought a lot about the last 2 years. How I went from feeling completely comfortable in my skin and wearing what I wanted and having so much freedom to, in a short amount of time, meeting someone, falling in love and falling pregnant within a few short months. I have to say, although I felt quite sad about the changes that my body was going through, I loved being pregnant! It’s not like how you see in the movies or on TV but it’s an amazing feeling.

I would coat my swollen stomach in gallons of cocoa butter and constantly look at my growing tum. I was bloated from the day I found out so by 4 months I looked about 6 months but I wasn’t worried.

At around 6 months my stomach started to get a few stretch marks, even after using loads of creams, lotions and potions. They were deep and red and even started to bleed later on but again I was amazed at how much my body was dealing with and just embraced every moment. My favourite part of pregnancy was the movement. In fact I would bathe for long periods of time in my later months just to watch the little guy wriggling around. I know that everyone has a pregnancy story and if you’ve not been pregnant it sounds like a bore but when it’s happening to you it’s too amazing for words.

Anyway the time came where he was ready to make an appearance. Gestation ends at 40 weeks but can give or take a week or two. I was lucky in that I had been in and out of hospital for bleeds and such things, and on my last visit I requested a membrane sweep to speed things along (basically a doctor just pulls the membranes away from the neck of the womb). Anyway that night at 3am my waters broke and so began the labour journey. I was 38 weeks and 6 days along. Having your waters break is odd. At first I felt a trickle but felt like when you come on at night and you don’t expect it – anyway, I moved my leg and it gushed everywhere (nice!).

We went in and was told that my contractions weren’t coming quick enough so to go home and wait. By 6pm the next day the pain was unbearable so off we went to the hospital again to be told that I still wasn’t far along so we went home and waited again. Finally by midnight I had had enough but was afraid if I went in I’d just get sent home so I did what every scared girl does – I phoned my Mum! She asked if the pain was worse, I didn’t know because it had been going for so long I just didn’t know if it was worse or if I just couldn’t cope. She said that it’s likely that he’s on his way so to go back in.

Luckily this time the midwives took one look and offered me the gas and air! Well I was 4cm dilated at 1am and after pethadine and gas and air by 7am I was 10cm. I was ready to push but the midwife wouldn’t check me as her shift was changing over. Once the new midwife had come in I had already been pushing almost an hour without there being anyone to deliver him if he did come. After another hour of pushing with the midwife assisting me in every way there was no way he was coming out. I was tired and sick and couldn’t cope. The midwife suggested we go to the main delivery unit and try a ventouse (a small suction cap) in the operating theatre. This part feels blurry as I was so tired and could feel every twinge! I remember being prepped for theatre and asked to sign all these forms to say that if there’s a complication I’ll have a hysterectomy or blood transfusion!

So in theatre I had a spinal block, which was amazing, and then I had to try and push while completely numb which wasn’t easy. After numerous attempts with the ventouse and forceps they advised I would need a Caesarean section. Finally at 10.04 AM he was born at 9lb 1 oz.

After being taken to the recovery room with him and giving him his first breast feed I felt so proud of my body. It’s not till you go through that that you realise how amazing a woman’s body is, to go from delivering to feeding my child with my own body – it’s amazing. I was upset I couldn’t deliver naturally but just happy that he was delivered healthy.

My stomach now is stretched and has small scars from blood thinning injections I had after, and I have my C-section scar, but it feels more beautiful than ever cause I now know exactly what my body can achieve and I’ve never loved it more. My little boy is one at the end of the month and is still nursed. Some people think I should have stopped by now but the thought of my body doing nothing for him scares me a little and when my milk dries up I’ll shed a little tear. Saying that, he won’t be breast fed when he’s old enough to ask but I can see why some mother get obsessed as it is a incredible bonding experience.

So that’s my body story and I feel glad to share it with you. It’s quite predictable, yes, but if it’s you or someone close to you the experience is completely amazing and just goes to show how strong and beautiful our bodies are.

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– by an anonymous woman

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