Housewifestyle - Pregnancy & Mum Bod Journey
I'm so thankful that Britt asked me to share my story, my personal experience with pregnancy weight gain and postpartum weight loss, and all the emotions that come with it. It was the most challenging mental and physical journey I had ever encountered and I hope through sharing my story it can give comfort and confidence to other women that all pregnancies are different, all bodies are different but all women are incredibly amazing and above all despite your figure it has earned your RESPECT and LOVE.
So let's go back to the start, my husband and I have been married 6 years this January, a few years ago we agreed that we were not "trying" to fall pregnant but not, not trying. During this period of "not trying" I fell pregnant 3 times and all three pregnancies failed and with each time it hurt more physically and mentally. I was very private about it and my mum and husband were the only people that knew but even they would never understand the pain and failure I felt as a woman. We decided to wait a while before trying again then about a year ago we were ready to REALLY try, ovulation kits, counting apps the whole thing. Within 3 months I was pregnant, I saw those little lines appear on my pregnancy test, OK 6 pregnancy tests just to be sure, but I didn't jump for joy like you see in the movies I instantly felt worried because I felt like my body would fail me again.
Surely enough at 9 weeks I started bleeding again, and discovered I had a haemorrhage in my uterus, I was devastated and thought this pregnancy would end like every other. I went to see my obstetrician who immediately put me on blood thinners, hormones and full time bed rest I was unable to exercise for the duration of the pregnancy. Neither was fun, one was injected into my belly everyday, I was covered in brusing, the other was inserted, well, you can guess where. A side effect to the hormone was weight gain, combine that with bed rest and, well, we had a baby whale growing in the bedroom. At the time I didn't care, I would have done absolutely everything to save my baby. I don't know if it was medical intervention or just meant to be but my darling daughter continued to grow and the hemorrhage stopped. Even with my baby bump getting larger I still felt incredibly anxious that I would loose her. By this stage two of my closest friends were pregnant and as beautiful as it was to share this time together I had this immense fear that they would have their beautiful babies to hold and love and I wouldn't have mine. Since 8 weeks I'd had severe vomiting, even swallowing my own saliva would make me dry heave, my husband was constantly holding my hair back as I lived by the toilet this was the one time I started seeing the scales go down or stay the same during this time. Bring it forward to 25 weeks when I started feeling physically better and more confident that I was going to be a mummy I thought, "OK, let's relax and start to enjoy this pregnancy" NO, "you have gestational diabetes" oh yay, anything else you want to tell me I have? At this point I felt I had endured every shit part of pregnancy and not that beautiful glowing part, try telling someone that has endured all this that now they can't have chocolate BUT my baby girl was growing perfectly so as usual I did what I was told and carried on, literally... On October 29th at 38 weeks, the light of my life was born and our lives changed forever. In a nut shell she is perfect, more than I couldn't have ever dreamed of and I'd go through what I did 10 times over to have her in our lives.
So now let's get into life after pregnancy, it was perfect but I wasn't, far from it. I was carrying around 15-18 kilos of weight after I'd lost my fluid I was covered in stretch marks around my hips and I'm only 164cms tall weighing over 70 kilos for me this was way over what I was used to. I'd look in the mirror and seriously couldn't see myself, I was so confident in my role as a mum but not confident in myself it's like I had two personas one that's a kick arse mum winning at life and the other that's a woman lost not knowing how to find herself again. I HAD to loose this baby weight if I was ever going to be myself again, but who was I before becoming a mum? Did I want to be myself again? No actually I didn't! Because loosing the weight wouldn't fix the problem, the problem was deeper than my reflection.
The old me couldn't see a beautiful body when I looked in the mirror, even though it was. The old me would strive for perfection and set physical goals that were unreachable so that I would always feel not good enough. Yes it was time to loose the baby weight but it was time to appreciate myself and work on being confident no matter what shape I was. After what I had been through the least I deserved was to love my body, it had been through hell and back and was still standing, holding a perfect baby. I'd had 3 miscarriages, a baby fighting a hemorrhage just trying to grow, hormone treatment, severe pregnancy sickness, gestational diabetes, 20 kilo weight gain, excruciating nerve pain and given birth so how DARE I ever whine about not loving my body again, it's a MACHINE and deserves RESPECT!
Just so you know my daughter is now 9 months old and I'm back to pre pregnancy weight it didn't happen over night, I didn't make it my focus I just did it slow and steady and made a point of portion controlling my meals and eating healthy food. No gimmicks, no fads, just being active when I could and eating well. It's not rocket science it doesn't need to be complicated, move, eat well and eat for your size and you will see results. Be consistent don't do it for a week then give up because you don't see the scales budge it took me 3 months of consistency to see that weight start to go down. It took 9 months to gain that 20 kilos so it wasn't going to take a few weeks to loose.
Weight gain, weight loss and scales aside it had occurred to me that all these terms didn't matter to me anymore but the word HEALTHY did and it mattered in so many ways. Was I physically healthy? Mentally healthy? Was my baby girl healthy? THATS what is important because if all those things were healthy then I was happy and being happy is everything.
Becoming a mum gave me security and a community of supporters and with that came the confidence to drop anyone that impacted my life in a negative way. Women that focused on looks, being competitive with absolutely no substance were now so unrelatable. Women that were real, unashamed to share their struggles and flaws and embrace other women by lifting them up were now my priority to surround myself with. The environment you create for yourself impacts your life in a huge way so to be healthy it's so important to take a look around and remove anyone or anything who doesn't make you feel beautiful, appreciated or supported. Don't ever settle for less than you deserve. We are mums, we don't have time to waste especially on things that don't matter.
So I'll leave you with this, it's easier to love yourself if your surrounded by those that love you. It's easier to reach your goals if your surrounded by those that support you but your number one influence on how you feel and your overall happiness is created by YOU we forget that we have 100% control over this and let other influences take that choice away from us TAKE IT BACK.
Don't work on changing your body, work on changing your mind, strengthening your mind and reassuring your mind with positivity, I assure you the rest will come or won't even matter.
I wish you all luck in your journey through motherhood and remember if ever you need help find the closest lady you see with a pram or baby carrier and I'm sure they will give you a hug or advice, we are all in this together, we understand each other and respect each other and THAT is the beauty of motherhood.
If you would like to follow Tahlia's lifestyle instablog head to @housewifestyle