(Original Photo from Wiki Media)
OK, so I really have been slacking on my blogging since starting my blog last year. So far I’ve been using it as more of a review/big empty space of bunches of nothings and nothing really relevant to what I’m trying to do – until today.
It occurred to me that I live with things now that I did not pre-pregnancy… heck, pre-second pregnancy. And no, I am not just talking about the 2 living beings that run around me in circles, or the living mold probably growing under the carpet because of randomly spilled juices and foods. I am talking about living with a body that is somewhat expected, but a lot of things that I for a moment, thought were maybe just me… but they can’t be.
We all KNOW that there is a great chance you’ll develop unsightly stretch marks on your belly from being stretched to, well, literally no return. But it’s OK… we just slather ourselves with the best body butter money can buy, google stretch mark prevention, and hope we inherited the “good genes” from either side of our family tree. You know what… so what. If I get stretch marks, it’ll be a “badge of honor” I told myself. And I am sure you have or will be telling yourself the same thing. After all.. what do people expect? Our stomachs stretched to house and feed another human being for 9 months, and nearly tripled in size (and shape).
So after all of the dreading/prepping I did, self assurance and preparation, and carefully removing my belly button ring I had in for years as to not cause any extra stretching/tearing. I was ecstatic when I got to the 9th month of my 2nd pregnancy without yet again one stretch mark. Until I started shedding some of the “baby weight” in the immediate weeks after – there it was. I didn’t make it through “stretch”-free (that’s a pun on scot-free). It was a sunken in, pale line of doom. Right there, on my…. BUTT cheek! Yes, after all of the layers of lotion I piled onto my stomach and thighs, I forgot to put it on my butt cheeks. I mean, how can I be so forgetful? (Obviously I am joking on the forgetful part). That isn’t the end. My belly still has a small pouch, but as I excersize, ok… I’m fibbing again, as I chase the little ones around, and lift boxes at work while constantly on my feet is more like it, it seems to be getting tighter again, and it still stretch mark free! I have since noticed a couple very small stretch marks on my boobs, which I thought was odd as well because I feel like they didn’t stretch THAT much, but I guess my body feels differently. This just goes to show you how unpredictable motherhood can be – even as far as what to prepare for with your OWN body that you’ve known your whole life. Ehh… That’s OK. I’ve now had stretch marks on my butt cheeks and my boobs for a little over 2 years now, and I’ve learned that it is OK. Even though it isn’t your typical “these are just my badge of honor” location, it is still my personal badge of honor and I’m sticking to it…
So while we’re on the topic of bellies and boobies… well wait. Let me focus on one thing at a time. Whoever knows me personally knows I am easily distracted, usually by my self, lol. OK, so we will keep on the topic of Bellies.
It was such a cute milestone in my first pregnancy when at about 8 or 9 months pregnant, the “timer” popped out. As if to say “the turkey is just about done!”. Obviously, when referring to the timer, I am talking about my belly button and the turkey is my little fetus getting more plump by the moment. I remember thinking it was hilarious that you can actually see my belly button even through my shirt, and everyone just had to comment on how cute it was that I “popped”. I remember eagerly searching in google “Does belly button from pregnancy go back down after birth?”. Well, as everyone well knows, when searching in google, you always find what you want to read. “Of course! It is only popped out because of there being no room in your belly” is what I saw, and I was content with that answer, no further research was needed.
Fast forward to 1 month after childbirth, remember, this is with my first child who is now 6. My belly button had gone down, not exactly back to the “deep inny” I once had, but it went back down to my satisfaction and fit in with my stomach I had pictured pre-pregnancy, post fears of stretchmarks/mommy pouch. So I was content and definitely wasn’t going to complain. I mean, I didn’t get any stretch marks (1st pregnancy)…can’t have it all I guess. I popped my cute belly button ring back in, (ok, ok.. I was a chicken. I assumed that even though I had it in for 7 years, that the colossal transformation my stomach had gone through forced it closed and I could not put it back in without having it re-pierced. So I went to get it redone and the guy laughed as he put the ring in – it hadn’t really closed).
Fast forward once again to pregnancy #2. This time, I knew it all. as stated above, still worried about stretch marks on my stomach, not one thought that stretch marks would ever appear anywhere else, and a halfway back to normal stomach, now re-stretching. This time, it was growing a lot quicker. As my doctor stated after I inquired about the rapid growth, he said, and I quote “old girdles don’t hold like they used to”. I will forever remember that quote, thank you Dr. Berkman. At about 6 months, my belly button had already “popped”. This time, I thought it was odd. As affiliating it with “almost done”, at 6 months, I still had a 3rd of the way to go. Still, it was “normal” to me after already experiencing it with my 1st. After my 2nd child was born, I knew it would take a while for my belly button to go back to “semi-normal” and didn’t pay much mind to it. I mean, that ugly linea negra was taking much longer to fade this time around so I was paying more attention to that (it literally took an entire YEAR for it to fade completely this time around.) At my 6 week post partum checkup, I asked my Dr about my still protruding belly button, and why was it hard feeling behind it when I attempt push it in. His reply “oh, that’s just an umbilical hernia”.”A WHAT?!?” Umbilical what? I don’t have any more umbilical cords anywhere in or attached to me was my initial thought. “An Umbilical hernia” he said again. “How do I get it to go back down?” I asked. “Surgery, but if it doesn’t hurt you or bother you, good luck trying to find someone who is willing to operate on that” he said. I still don’t understand why someone wouldn’t be willing to operate on it. I mean, I obviously went home and googled it right away and found it’s actually quite common after pregnancy. I still have it to this day, and I guess I should just be lucky it doesn’t hurt me or cause any harm. I am just stuck with a semi-outtie belly button I guess. Unless of course I choose to go under the knife to repair it, but at this point in time, it isn’t something I am even considering. I do dislike the appearance, and of course wish it would go back to normal, or heck, I’d even settle for how it was post 1st pregnancy.
Onto the boob. So, as stated above, well, now WAY ABOVE ^, I got some lovely battle scars/stretch marks/badges, whatever, on my boobs, which really doesn’t bother me much. They’re very faint ones, but I can tel they’re there. The thing that bothers me about my boobs now, is that I get…. wait for it…….. Nipple hair. Yes. As embarrassing as it is, I feel I have to share it with you. Because odds are, if you’ve had a child, or multiple, you have it too. And not only do you have nipple hair, you also think you might be the only one and it can in no way be related to pregnancy. The problem isn’t that small hair that grows because of your ragging hormones of course…it’s with that razor or pair of tweezers that you took to the hair in a rage or disgust that you wanted it OFF of your lady parts. Especially if you decided to breast feed. You don’t want a random nipple hair getting into babies mouth right? Well, I am sorry to say, that that moment was a defining moment in history for you, and little did you know it’ll probably plague you forever. Because we all know never shave or pluck if you don’t want it coming back bigger and darker then the last! Now I find myself having a routine. Just like I shave my legs and underarms (which oddly enough, my leg hair grew extremely slow during pregnancy, as if to say “I know its hard for you to bend over”, adding “check for nipple hair to remove to my shower regimine. I mean, I know this sounds gross, or even funny. And even some of you who have children, or multiple children are sitting here thinking, “Eww, I don’t have that….wait, do I?” but the fact is, this is for the ones that DO. You are not alone!
Keeping on the topic of weird places to have hair during or after pregnancy, what about that foot/toe hair? Another one… word of advice, DO NOT SHAVE IT! It will forever come back. Not only will your feet be probably larger then before you were pregnant, but now they probably have more hair then they did. Just great! Another routine to add to my shower regime. Shave toes/foot, check. Then, have that “Oops, I spent my time shaving my toe hair and nipple hair that I forgot to shave both of my armpits because after I did the first one, I looked over to do the next, but the nipple hair caught my eye and I attacked that first, then moved onto my toe” moment. Oh well, no one will notice, I’ll just do it tomorrow. LOL, as I am writing this I’m thinking to myself how I REALLY hope that it isn’t just me with these issues I am releasing into the public internet and that I am not alone. I know everyone has different experiences, hormonal reactions, and there are many different ones that I may not have experienced that you may have. There are many that I didn’t even touch on still, like your nose literally changes shape during/after pregnancy, I assume due to weight gain in the face? I’ll have to google that one, but I know I have a small hump on the ridge of my nose that was NOT there prior to my pregnancies. And that one chin hair that grows. Only one, and its really dark and needs to constantly be plucked (NOT SHAVED!!!). But these are the truths that I feel must be told. Not only to have you say “Oh my god, I have that too” (Please do so I am not alone LOL!) but so that all of you can expand your view of a “perfect body” when comparing yourself to others. So many are self conscious as it is, and then after pregnancy, when it should be the most happy part of your life, you find yourself finding these oddities and feeling gross.
With that, I hope you can relate, and know, you are normal. You’re not alone, and your post pregnancy body is exactly how it should be. To all expectant mothers who are wondering how your body will be after you evict your squatter. It’ll be exactly how it should be. It’ll be you. Whether that’s with stretch marks, umbilical hernias, hairy nipples and toes, find a way to accept it. After all,
OK, I can’t end it on a mushy note. So…
(MORE TMI **outpost, I am happy to relay there IS some hope. After my first pregnancy, I did have a little bit of hair down the linea negra, and I thought I was stuck with it. I even shaved it (OH NO!) and it started getting a little darker. During my 2nd pregnancy, it DISAPPEARED and never came back!).