Wednesday, March 9, 2011

How the Stomach Looks After Twins - The Post Belly Shots

When I was pregnant with twins I wondered a lot about how my body would handle the pregnancy - how healthy I would be, how long I would carry, and yes, what I would look like afterwards. I remember a phone call to one of my long-time friends to break the news. I was about 20 weeks by the time I got around to making the call, but excited. The response? "You know you're going to need plastic surgery for your stomach after this, right? It's going to wreck your body." I was mad and hurt over this comment for days, and unfortunately it wasn't the only upsetting comment I received over being pregnant with twins.

As the pregnancy continued, I found myself looking at websites of post twins belly shots.  Websites where women posted pictures of their stomachs after twins, unhappy with their bodies.  In fact, I couldn't find a single shot of someone who said she accepted where her body was now.  This made me nervous.  Yet I couldn't seem to stop myself from visiting those sites. 

I carried my twins to term.  This picture was taken at 37 weeks.  I carried them for another 11 days after that!  I'd been expecting to deliver early but my twins had other (very good) ideas.  In this picture, I was wearing an XL maternity shirt, one of only 3 remaining shirts that could completely cover my immense stomach.

I gained 55-60 pounds during the pregnancy.  That's some belly!
I confess I feel weird about showing my stomach online.  It makes me uncomfortable.  But I keep thinking that there may be other moms out there who are carrying twins and wondering about the aftermath.  And I want to offer reassurances.

I think part of it is related to genetics.  Twins run in my family.  And part of it may be my commitment to exercise, especially running, which I picked back up ten days postpartum with my doctor's blessing.  Running helps the body snap back into shape.  No doubt part of it may also be luck - some moms do work very hard towards fitness after twins but for whatever reason the stomach does not snap back.  There are obviously no guarantees.
But being pregnant with twins is not necessarily a sentence to needing a tummy tuck to look normal and I'm happy to report that over the past couple of years I've actually met many other moms who are slender and fit after delivering twins. 

So here goes I'm posting my post-twins belly shot, 19 months later.  Keep in mind that it took a lot of time and a lot of workouts to get to the point that I'm willing to post a picture.
Sure, I could criticize.
No, my abs are not as tight as they used to be.
When I bend over or sit I have a pooch of extra skin/fat that wasn't there pre-kids.
My belly button is wrinkly and stretched out (part of this may be the result of a college belly button ring and partly due to a laproscopic surgery done in 2006 that went through my belly button).
And while I'm toned, I don't have a 6 pack, in spite of my devotion to doing core work several days a week.

But you know what?
I totally accept my body! 
I do not need a tummy tuck.  Or even lipo. 
My pants (well, most of them) fit.
I am healthy.  I can run and ride my horse and do yoga.  I can chase my boys and take them hiking and swimming.
And I weigh 124 pounds, exactly what I weighed when I got pregnant with the twins.

Hope I don't lose any followers over this (ha ha)!  So there you have it.
If you're pregnant with twins, eat mostly healthy, be active, and be active early. 
Your body won't be exactly the same as it was, but it doesn't necessarily have to offend either.
It can be beautiful after twins.  It's all in the eye of the beholder.
And I'm thankful to have a healthy body - may it serve me well for many more years!

To read about my pregnancy with the twins from the start, click HERE.

Have you entered my giveaway yet for a cedar bluebird house and a squirrel proof bird feeder?

39 comments:

~*~ saskia ~*~ said...

Hi Lisa, I just stumbled upon your blog, It is lovely! Your belly looks amazingly good after having carried your beautiful twins.
Off to read some of your past posts...
Have a wonderful Wednesday! xx

Home In The Hollow said...

Baby Girl, you look awesome and remember what the Dr said...you have such a strong core! P.S. If I enter multiple times, does that mean I have a better chance of winning? Oh, there I go, thinking like a Redneck again!...:)JP

Jeremi said...

great, encouraging post! i also looked at all the online pics of women pregnant with twins and was amazed at how the tummies could get so big -- i gained over 60 pounds too but had mine at not even 30 weeks (yikes). i don't have the flat tummy that you do, but i feel good about my body : ) you look FANTASTIC!!!!

Nancy@A Rural Journal said...

Like you, I was blessed with a small waist and carried my kids high. My waist snapped back to shape in pretty short order.

However, as I grow older, gravity is winning. I won't be showing my tummy to my readers at this point in time. Somebody might be eating breakfast. ;)

texwisgirl said...

Ha ha Nancy! Lisa, you are an inspiration for health and energy. :)

Mere said...

You look amazing Lisa! I wish I had the same devotion to fitness that you have! :-)

Jane said...

Your post twins belly,looks just great! I am way past those years(having babies) but others will benefit from seeing your results,so thanks for sharing.Blessings jane

Chicken Wrangler said...

It's been a while since I visited, but what a day to visit and see photos!!! Zowie! Not bad for a mother of twins!!! Have a great day!

Mary said...

Lisa you look awesome! You should be so proud of yourself. :)

Do I see a little tattoo peaking above your jeans or is that something else??

warren said...

I think you are more likely to gain some followers than lose some...just a random guy thought though...

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

Madam, I am in AWE of your post-twin-belly. Really, those are abs. I don't care what you say.
Alas, I'm thin again after the 3rd child, but the flappy skin has never receded and there is the only reason why I'd ever consider going under the knife. But I won't--I'm too old for midriff tops and bikinis anyway!

jennohara said...

Very encouraging post, Lisa. You've worked hard for your body, and it shows! If I were expecting twins, Id feel much better now...but since I've only got one in there, and still have some weight to lose from my other two, I'm in trouble. lol

Angela said...

I'll have to say that the picture of you carrying the twins is amazing! You look good even when you are pregnant! I'm afraid that I'm one of the woman that could use a tummy tuck from having my babies. I didn't have twins though. I only gained 20 pounds with each pregnancy but I never lost that weight. My belly sags sort of like it did after I had my first baby. I'm not willing to have any surgeries though. You rock girl!

Have a Great Day!
Angela

Andrea (ace1028) said...

Goodness me, woman. You're lucky I love ya! I never have had that kind of belly in my LIFE! I'm proud of you. This is wonderful. I also want to hate you just a little bit, but you're too awesome. Let's just say I'm glad I already know you or I might have wanted to send you some chocolate or something to fatten that belly up some. ;)

Chatty Crone said...

Lisa I am impressed. Way to go. It is not easy after one. but two. Great job. sandie

JDaniel4's Mom said...

You really don't need a tummy tuck.

The mad woman behind the blog said...

AWESOME!Putting this on my calendar...19 months: have a belly like this one. (Carrying a single, due in May)
Congrats on the hard work, its clearly paid off!

Dana said...

I can understand why you were offended by your friend's plastic surgery comment. Definitely not the thing a pregnant person wants to hear and, as you found out, obviously not true in all cases.
Your belly fared incredibly well. Yay you!
As the mother of twins (and two others), I will speak up for those who aren't as lucky. I gained 30 lbs with my twin pregnancy and carried the babies to 38 weeks when I was induced (my first had complications from being 10 days late and the doctor didn't want to risk that with the twins). They weighed 6lb1oz and 5lb13oz so they were a decent size.
Sadly, they did a doozy on my tummy and left about a four-inch wide crater down the center of my belly. It runs even longer, starting about three inches above my belly button to just above my public bone. I also have a large amount of wrinkled skin left but the biggest grievance is the split or "diastasis recti." No amount of exercise (including the Tupler Technique) can bring the two halves back together. I'm a serious yoga practitioner and do a fairly intensive cross-fit class twice a week. And still, four and a half years later, the split remains as wide as it was at the start. In fact, today in my fitness class, for whatever reason, I could feel the skin falling into the crater on two particular abdominal exercises. Additionally, if I lay on my back after I eat, I can see peristalsis taking place. It looks as if a snake is moving through the area right at the base of my ribs. It's real sci-fi stuff.
As a result, I will be doing the abdominoplasty once I'm able to save the money and my youngest is out of a crib and potty trained.
I realize my experience was on the extreme side. I just want to let people know it can happen and, as I see it, there's no shame in fixing the abdominal wall separation with surgery.

Texan said...

Great post! You have reassured a lot of women carrying twins! Seems its easy to find the negative but its can be hard to find a positive when you need to sometimes! Well this will even out all those negatives by 10! Your core looks great and is strong and healthy! A lot of hard work went into that and you should be reallllly proud of yourself!

Lisa @ Two Bears Farm said...

Dana, thanks for commenting. I had that diastasis for a long time as well. It sounds like an abdominoplasty is a great solution and I think everyone deserves to be happy in their own skin - no matter what direction they need to take to find that happiness!

Misty said...

You are AMAZING!!! Seriously. INCREDIBLE!

Shell said...

You look fabulous!!!!

Valerie said...

Lisa, I know women who gained 60 pounds with one baby! You have nothing to feel bad about:) You-and your abs look great-and not only have you NOT lost a follower-you've gained an admirer.
(And those who made hurtful comments to you when you were pregnant should just zip it!)

Greenacresmama said...

Proud of you! Hard work pays off. :)

Steve Surratt said...

Congrats on staying fit even without that silly running stuff :-) It presents an interesting paradox; would you have worked so hard on your core if you were knocking down tons of miles running? And perhaps you look better without running than with? Interesting, no? When I quit running in the past and worked on weights everyone said I looked better.

Morgan said...

Lisa! Had to check this out after I saw your tweet! You look amazing and I think your tummy pic should be on your blog header:) Haha!

Terry said...

You look fantastic!

Lisa, I want to thank you for your kind comment on our dear Clifford.

Myya said...

Boy did your belly get huge with those boys! But... DAMN!!! You look amazing. Heck, I didn't look that good before I had my first one. Your commitment to exercise is so awesome. I need just an ounce of your motivation! LOL

Joy @ Joy Of Desserts said...

Great encouragement for moms of twins -- and everyone else, too. This is all thanks to your hard work and healthy eating habits. Congratulations on the payoff.

An Irish Italian Blessing said...

Oh my goodness you look AMAZING, OUTSTANDING, FABULOUS!!! I hope I look that incredible after having one kid! You should be very proud of all your hard work

Shirley said...

The changes in one's body are a small price to pay for the blessing of bringing children into the world. Your dedication to your health has you looking mighty fine, but I bet you'd be just as loved if you weren't!

The Blue Zoo said...

All right, thats it. Im unfollowing... LOL Kidding! But seriously! Look at your tummy!! So tiny! You saw my tummy on my blog right? The before and after pics from my tummy tuck..? My twins DID totally wreck my cute little tummy. Can I ask how much your twins weighed? Cause your tummy doesnt look all that huge to me.... My twins were 7 lbs 5 oz, and 7 lbs 6 oz. I carried to full term too. I'll have to dig out some pics of me when I was pregnant with my twins. My stomach was NOT cute like yours. It went out and then gravity pulled it down, so that my belly button was pointed at the ground... lol It was awful, and painful.

Crystal Lynn said...

I think your belly looks great! I had three c-sections and my belly is one big gross saggin scared up mess BUT I am still cute as hell! : )

Sandy said...

WOW! I commend you for all your hard work post pregnancy. I stopped all exercising when TJ got sick so I could focus on taking care of him. I gained 40 pounds in the 7 months I cared for him. After he passed I told myself I would get the weight off when I was ready. Well, about 2 weeks ago I finally decided I had to get back in shape. The fact that it took me 18 months to start taking care of myself again disgusts me, but it is what it is. I am now working on my relationship with my treadmill and eating healthy again. I am already beginnning to feel better about myself...finally!

Anonymous said...

Wow you are lucky! I exercised and smothered lotions daily - at the gym and/or swimming up to 40 weeks, then had them at 40 1/2 weeks after being induced due to pre-eclampsia.

I started exercising at 6 weeks post partumvand had no diastasis BUT my skin is so saggy :-(

Not sure what to do... Babies are 14 months and I'm still breastfeeding so can't get rid of fat stores so may be loose skin will get even worse?!! Stretch marks faded though...

Love Mrs Green

Jessica said...

Wow! This is encouraging. You may have been blessed genetically but I also believe you earned it! Way to go!

Liz Boyce said...

I'm kind of despairing about what my body will look like after I deliver my twins. I'm only 26 weeks and my belly already has a ton of stretch marks. I'm hoping they fade quickly and I hope my running will at least help things go back to somewhat normal. Thanks for the encouragement that it IS possible. :)

G. Chapin Studios said...

Thank you so much for posting this! I have always been fit and active and sported a body that showed this lifestyle. I am currently carrying twins and just reached the stage where I began to truly wonder (and get nervous about) what my body will begin to look like not only as it stretches but after birth. I have seen only a few encouraging images online, and will do my best to stay away from searches...as the bad gets higher ratings and will always appear first. Your story is VERY encouraging and uplifting. Women need more of this...THANK YOU.

Ashish Davalbhakta said...

I feel great in myself and the way I look after having my girls other I have 2 sets of twins, the yougest are 2 and my stomach still looks a mess.
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