Sunday, 3 October 2010

The Things No One Tells You About Having a Baby

You get pregnant.

You have a baby.

(I know, I know, it's not as straightforward as that but that isn't the point of this post, so bear with me).

You knew before you embarked on all this that your body would never be the same once you'd given birth, but little did you know exactly why that would be.

Surely it was just going to be a case of your stomach being stretched a bit, your boobs becoming a tad on the saggy side and putting on a few pounds that might prove tricky to lose?

For anyone who's reading this and is pregnant/trying to get pregnant, I hate to be the bearer of bad news but there's a much longer list you should prepare yourself for.

I don't, however, want to depress you too much in one go, so I'll start with just the top entry on my list.

Physical annoyance #1: Separated stomach muscles

I've mentioned previously that I was a keen triathlete before I got pregnant. If I may, I will admit that I was pretty good (PB 2.30h for Olympic distance), and because of the hours of training I used to put in, I had a decent stomach that I, amazingly (given what I looked like aged 17), actually quite liked.

Having had LTO, I naively thought that because I had strong stomach muscles beforehand, my stomach would slowly but surely return to its original state (or thereabouts) with a bit of exercise and a slight cut back on cake.

Unfortunately my plan has been foiled by that fact my stomach muscles have separated. This means that nearly 4 months after giving birth, I have a hole as thick as two fingers running the length of my stomach.

Why didn't anyone tell me this might happen? It makes total sense now why this needed to happen, I just didn't know it had happened until after I'd given birth. I fully expected to have a flabby stomach, but I really wasn't ready to have big hole where my stomach muscles used to be.

I'm told they might re-join, but I'm not counting on it. I don't even want to think about what will happen if/when we have a second baby.

Since sit-ups are out (apparently they can make the problem worse and may mean the muscles never re-join!), Plan A to rectify the problem is post-natal pilates which I start next week.

Let's hope the teacher can work miracles.

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