When I had my first baby, I remember phoning my sister-in-law and asking her to bring some of my pre-baby leggings into the hospital.
All the larger sized pants I had packed didn’t fit.
I birthed my baby and my body went back to what it was within hours.
Watch: Questions about childbirth, answered.
The second time round I did the same thing. I packed larger clothes, again. I had been eating a KFC Zinger Burger every day, had gained more weight with the second pregnancy and was convinced it would all stay on.
Plus, I was also carrying a whole lot of extra mum guilt from the first time round that was willing my body to hold on to the weight.
Because you’re not meant to lose your baby weight, just like that, right? And if you do, it’s wrong or cruel even because so many women just don’t. Most, actually.
Well, the weight didn’t stay on. Just as it did with my first pregnancy, it fell straight off. And let me tell you now, I wish it hadn’t.
Walking out of the hospital, I felt like some sort of mama fraud.
Holding my baby, I recalled all those Instagram pics of celebrities taking selfies holding their babies six, eight, 12 weeks postpartum to show what a ‘real’ body that’s given birth looks like.
I recalled all the articles shaming the other camp of celebrities who walked red carpets mere days after birthing, looking just like their pre-baby selves.
What I was recalling was yet another strong and pervasive public dialogue about what women’s bodies should look like. One that I had got caught up in and was being affected by.