Women are frequently, if not constantly, reminded of their bodies and what they SHOULD look like . Images that often have little to do with the way our bodies ACTUALLY look like ! And there is very little that prepares us for the transformations and ways of your body if or when being pregnant – when one has to face the reality of what our bodies are capable of and what they actually (also) can look like !
I do realize that you might have had swollen breasts and menstrual cramps and the occasional feeling that your body is living a life of its own before. But hardly as intense. Being pregnant and going through labour, not to mention breastfeeding (for some reason people never do) means realizing that your body do lead a life of its own, and sometimes a very estranged life ! A growing tummy shouldn’t come as a surprise (that from now on it never will seize to grow might though !) but it is startling to find your bellybutton turning itself inside out.
After 9 months of growing a huge belly, breasts that could match Dolly Par ton’s and a hairy vagina (you won’t be able to reach down if you are one of those that are into pubic hairdressing), it’s time for the grand finale. Yes, it’s possible for your vagina to stretch THAT much and yes, it will go back to normal again... Your breasts however, they have just started their journey (and yours) towards …what I’m not exactly sure. My bra size went from 75 C (34 C) to 75 B after 2 children, was close to a 70 A after 3 and I’ll try and get back to you later this year to tell if there’s anything left after a 4th child. But on the other hand I have friends who still look like Dolly’s sisters and some that look very much like they did pre-birth. But don’t count on it !
Other surprises include sore nipples (aaah !), breast milk stains on your favourite sweater (like fat stains) and a 6-8 weeks long menstrual period. And then, of course, there are the joyous exercises for contracting your ‘pee muscles’ that you will remember to do every day for the rest of your life...right !?!