lifestyle

The post-pregnancy truth that nobody talks about.

The body that had her wetting her pants during a game of netball.

 

I don’t know anyone who lives in a house with a white, picket fence who has pooed their pants, except for me.

I’ve also wet my pants on the netball court and I’ve also had nipples the size of dinner plates.

I’ve attempted getting my sexy on with my husband, riding him on top only to find that my tummy spills onto his before our lips can meet in a kiss.

Bless those little souls who come into our life, completely change our bodies and change our lives forever. Welcome to motherhood.

During my first pregnancy I loved my growing bump; I loved everything about my tummy. It has always been my “trouble” area so at 6 weeks I took great pleasure to attributing my tummy lady lumps to the growing baby inside me.

The love affair with my round and full tummy lasted 9 months and halted abruptly when it no longer housed a little human being.

I remember sitting in the shower in a commode chair after the birth of my first child, Oliver, and thinking, “Faaaaark, that was a bit full on!” (Reflections on labouring for 18 hours, pushing for 3 and getting a suppository up my bottom as the trifecta.) I looked down at my tummy and it resembled something from the 80’s movie “The Blob”.  I remember thinking, oh it will return to normal, just give it some time. (The present me just laughs bahahahahaha at the notion of that!)

Weeks went on and my tummy still remained jelly-like and to top it off my nipples had grown to the size of dinner plates, I had it all going on so I decided to be proactive and join a netball team. Getting back into a team sport was fun, getting Ollie into a crèche and forgetting about being a mother was even better.

All was going really well until one day I took a dazzling intercept and wet my pants. God dammed pelvic floors got smashed during my pregnancy and all I could think was why did I only do my pelvic floor exercises for the 30 seconds that followed the question from my physio girlfriend, “have you been doing your strengthening exercises?”

So there I was, standing there on the netball court, completely blindsided, mortified with wee running down my leg. Here I was trying to be proactive about getting my body back into shape and all I could think was how disloyal it was being to me.

Whilst I was dealing with wetting my pants and those nipples I was surrounded by imagery and messages like: “My dream baby!” “How I got back into my pre-baby jeans!” “Being a mother is magical!”

The magazine covers looked like this:

 But there was no magazine covers like this:

There was another incident that occurred one night when I was walking from a friend’s house with my husband, pushing 6 week old Oliver in the pram. I got the urge to do a number 2; it was a “touching cloth” situation. I screamed to my husband “Run ahead, open the gate and the house and have the toilet door open and ready for me”.

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He ran ahead and I ran along my street pushing the Bugaboo as fast as I could. If any of the neighbours saw us, I’m sure they would’ve thought, “Oh how delightful, that new family being all healthy and having a run on a Saturday night”. Little did they know.

Taryn’s non-traditional before & after photo.

I made it through our fence (please note the “perfect, white, picket fence”) through the front door, into the hallway and, well, there’s no other way to put it….

I shat my own pants.

I remember the mortified look on my husband’s face as I shuffled my feet to the toilet to clean up my mess. I remember crying and thinking to myself, I am meant to be cleaning up my baby’s mess, not my own.

Disloyal and disgusting body, I hate you.

I remember looking in the mirror and telling myself, “Your husband doesn’t want to f*ck you, you are revolting”.

So many changes occur to a woman’s body during pregnancy and after birth and yet society and the media glosses over all the (literally) shitty stuff and feeds us the unicorns and fairytale version of motherhood and parenting.

At a time when women need to be supported there are very few “real” stories but instead a plethora of smoke and mirrors, over-embellished stories of bliss, ecstasy and pleasure and lies – god damned lies.Getting your body back into your pre-pregnancy jeans ISN’T easy! And motherhood isn’t always joyous!

I’ve since learned to love my body. It’s taken a lot of effort, time and energy but I can tell you there is nothing better than a) loving your body wholeheartedly, lumps and bumps and all and b) telling society where they can shove their ideals of beauty.

It’s now my mission to help prevent as many women as possible from feeling the way I felt. I plan to do this by sharing poo and wee stories across the globe and challenging the notion that behind the razzle and dazzle of every front-page celebrity story, there is a woman who poos too, maybe has the odd nipple hair and perhaps even has her own set of insecurities. My tummy has housed three babies and my boobs have provided over 4000 meals to my tribe; for that I am proud of my body and no longer ashamed.

To all you amazing mums out there currently navigating dinner plates, weeing on the netball court or a having little accidents in your cottontails, please know you are not alone. United in the reality of shit and piss we stand.

Here are some other photos of post baby bellies, collected as part of Mamamia’s Body Positive Project.

Do you have any post-pregnancy or  real-life ‘post baby body’ stories to share?  

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Taryn Brumfitt is the Founder of Body Image Movement, a global movement which teaches women to “suck it up” and love their bodies. “My role is to harness and facilitate positive body image activism, I’d like to think of myself as a loveable activist!”. You can find her speaking at Corporate events, promoting her ebook “Body Lovin’ Guide“, wearing dinner plates or in the kitchen feeding her tribe of 3 under 7. She plans to take over the world, one fridge at a time with her positive and cheerful magnets!

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