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.
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