Being a mum has come with lots of sacrifices. Giving up sushi for nine months, sleep for 2.5 years (and going strong) … but most significant for me, was giving up my body. It seems self-absorbed to care. After all, I’ve created two lives with extraordinary reproductive efficiency!
My experience of having kids hasn’t been smooth sailing from day one. IVF, high risk pregnancy, emergency c-section, NICU, mastitis, post natal depression, silent reflux and many hospitalisations for bronchiolitis to name a few of the challenges along the way. But underlining all that was the significant change my body endured carrying and feeding two 3kg+ babies. To put it bluntly, my stomach resembled something between a 90-year olds stomach cross with a saggy ball sack.
For much of my pregnancy I whinged about the growing stretch marks. I was consistently told “you’ll bounce back”. And I really wanted to believe those people. But the truth is that even with age on my side, some things never recover. And I have learnt not to dismiss these concerns because they matter to me. Even if from the outside it all seems perfect.
After 2.5 years, I decided to do something about it. I recently underwent a radical abdominoplasty which involved stitching up all my abdominal muscles, removing a hernia and tightening the saggy skin. It was a 6 hour surgery, cost a tonne of money and bloody hurt… but it was worth it in my eyes. Even if no one else sees it, I feel like I’ve got a little piece of me back.
I know surgery isn’t always the answer. But whatever it is that makes you feel whole, whether it’s big or small, don’t put it off. Do it today, do it every day.