Growing up, I was very lucky because I was comfortable with my body image. I never had an issue with weight and could eat almost everything that my heart desired without suffering the consequences. Thanks to my Asian genes, I’ve always been petite framed. However, after giving birth, my body has changed.
I comfortably wore a bikini whilst sunbathing in a resort off Noosa in Australia when I was about 20 weeks pregnant. But now that I’ve given birth, and winter is almost over, I find myself a little shy of beachwear. If I had to choose between the two, I’d rather be wearing a bikini when I’m pregnant rather than wearing one now. This is because I’d have an excuse for my not-so-flat belly. Now, the excuse is because I’m too lazy, don’t eat the best and I’m struggling to fit exercise into my current schedule.
My body is no longer like how it was. My belly is equivalent to a wrinkled deflated balloon. It is hard work making my belly look flat. No joke. I still have a linea nigra from when I was pregnant (a dark brown line caused by hormones and hyper-pigmentation of the skin that runs from your navel down to your public bone). My breast are no longer perky. Breastfeeding has caused my breast to sag! And those stretch marks haven’t quite faded.
Don’t let those Instagram mothers fool you. I don’t know how they snap back into shape so quickly! This is why I’ve always hated Instagram. It’s so easy to see a perfect life, a perfect marriage and a perfect body. I hate the word perfect. Google says it means “having all the required or desirable elements, qualities, or characteristics; as good as it is possible to be”. What happened to being an individual? Who sets all the required or desirable criteria? This is why I prefer words over images or words with images, it explains everything. It explains my thoughts so that my readers get to know me better.
There was a time I almost deleted my Instagram because I felt like I couldn’t get back into my pre-pregnancy shape. Looking at all the Instagram mummas during the early days when I didn’t get out much, made me depressed. I placed unnecessary pressure on myself. All the perfect images of their daily life seemed so unrelatable. I’m more of a “this is my life unedited” type of person and if you don’t like me than that’s okay!
The changes in my body use to make me miserable, but now I’ve learnt to look at it from a different angle. I see them as my battle scars. They are the reason why I have a beautiful baby girl. I have to remember that I’m lucky enough to be blessed with such a miracle; to be able to carry another human being. Sadly, not everybody gets this chance. Every mark on my body is an obstacle that I overcame to give birth to a healthy baby.
A girl I know at work recently had a miscarriage after years of trying for a baby through IVF. She delivered her baby at 19 weeks and sadly the baby passed away. The doctors were unable to stop her body from giving birth so early. This was devastating. I didn’t really know this girl, but hearing this made me cry. This was a reality check for me. Here I am concerned about my postpartum body when there are more important things in life. So today, I’m going to let go all my worries and embrace the changes instead.
I turned to my husband and said, “Let’s book that trip to Noosa. Let’s be grateful. Let’s celebrate all the wonderful things that have happened to us.”