Before I became a mum and had Dexy I was extremely self-conscious. I could list off everything I hated about myself and maybe name three things I liked about myself. I was always trying to stay skinny and look a certain way. When I met Phil he was the only one that ever made me feel the tiniest bit comfortable in my body. He taught me that every flaw I think I have he doesn’t think that. As I started to accept the way I look and feel open to finding myself we decided to try for a baby.
Before I got pregnant I was a size 6. I could never imagine being any bigger than that. I didn’t want to be. If I didn’t fit in something I did two weeks before I would stress over it constantly until I fitted in it again. Over the first year of our relationship I started to gain weight, not massive amounts but what probably everyone would call “healthy” amounts. I didn’t look so dead. I realised that being a size 6 wasn’t all that and actually I was being really unhealthy! If I wanted to be a mum I needed to look after myself first. However I do miss my C-cup boobs! They were less heavy and I could actually fit them into shirts!
When I first fell pregnant with Dexy I was so scared of putting on baby weight, I was convinced that I was going to have to shed so much after I gave birth (Love how that was my concern.. How times change aye?) it made me so depressed. Every midwife appointment I had or scan I had with him they would always comment on how tiny I was or that my bump would show more as I was so tiny before. I started to realise that I could never get away from them comments. Even though I was a healthy BMI (Nearer the lower end though) people would still comment on it.
The further along I got with my pregnancy the more I started to worry less and enjoy it. I didn’t care if my arms looked chunky or that my thighs would chafe (It is still pretty painful though). I was so excited that I was going to be a mum that my concerns over myself were fading away. I finally knew what it was like to put my feelings and myself after my child. I loved how big my bump got with Dexy, I enjoyed people noticing and people commenting on it. I felt like every other mum out there.
After Dexy was born I learnt what a “Mum Tum” was. The relationship with my body was forever changed. I hated it more than ever. I felt like it let me down. My body had failed me but more importantly it had failed my son. My body was meant to keep him safe, protect him and it didn’t do either. I was so angry with it that I started to really hate every aspect of myself. I hated my boobs because I had planned to breastfeed but instead I took a tablet to dry up my milk. When my boobs still hurt or still leaked it was like a punch in the gut. My boobs were doing what they were meant to be and I was stopping them. My stomach was baggy. Empty. Only a few days before my son was alive in there kicking me now he was gone, my belly had gone. My stomach that was so tight, sticking out and encasing my son changed. It was no longer a happy thought when I saw it. It wasn’t “Look this belly grew my son” or “these stretch marks are my proof of being a mum” it was painful. It was painful to see stretch marks as it was a reminder that he was there. It was painful to see my wobbly belly because he should either be in there or he should be laying on it at home. Everything that people see as they got it because they grew their child I had but my child was dead. It was excruciating to even think about. I just wanted my old body back. My old body back would mean that I never had Dexy and then I felt guilty for saying that.
The weeks after Dexy was born my stomach and body was starting to slowly going down. I started to look more like me but I wasn’t me. After you give birth you’re meant to bring a baby home and your new body is to go with your new life but it wasn’t like that for me. I had everything but still no baby. I was craving to have a living baby. I needed to bring a baby home. I needed to give Dexy a brother or sister!
When I fell pregnant with this one it was hard. My body was doing everything it did before but this time I have all the anxiety and fear that it will happen again. When I first saw them two lines I was so happy but then it set in. I might not bring this baby home. I’m now nearly 24 weeks pregnant and it doesn’t get less scary, it doesn’t get easier but what it does do is that it makes you appreciate everything that little bit more. I know at any point this can end so what you do is you take in every moment you can. You celebrate the milestones.
From someone who was scared to be bigger than a size 6 is now carrying their second child. My fears of looking fat or not looking my best is now gone. Instead it is replaced with loving that my boobs are leaking because it means my baby is growing, every stretch mark shows my story, my poking out belly button is now something I look down at and smile at. When life robs you of everything you have appreciate what you can hold onto. This pregnancy brings back so many memories. Some that break my heart completely but more happy memories with what Dexy used to do in there and now what this one does. I tell my ever-growing belly all about their brother. What he was like. How cheeky he was in appointments. I’ve learnt that my ever-growing and changing body doesn’t have to remind me what I have lost but it can remind me of what I have. I have two sons. One in the sky and one here with me.