Thursday, March 26, 2009

You know what stresses me out?

This does

And this

This too

BUT, this gives me hope (she's 4 months post-babies...this is what she looked like at 35 weeks and she delivered at 36 weeks).

Granted, I took the liberty of only linking to the most extreme photos of twin bellies and I won't get that big, right? There were plenty of bellies that were quite large, but not too bad, so I'll be like them, right? And I'll TOTALLY be as tiny as the last girl at 4 months postpartum, right?

Of course.

My belly is getting bigger, but still nothing to make strangers stare. Apparently there is a big growth spurt between 24 and 28 weeks...which begins next week for me. We'll see how I do. I didn't get any stretchmarks with Henry (ok, ONE, but it faded and you can hardly see it), and so far I don't have any this time...let's hope it stays that way.

And let's all pray that I avoid twin skin. Yeah, it's real. I'll let you google it yourself, although not surprisingly, few women have been brave enough to actually photograph AND post photos on the world wide web, so it takes a little searching. Basically, your abdominal muscles actually RIP apart leaving you with a nice big crease down the center of your belly...and the only way to fix it is via plastic surgery.

I've told Andy to start the "fix Jeannett's belly fund" now just in case...because let me be clear: I am not too pious for Dr. 90210! :)


Brianna Heldt said...

Well of course I HAD to google it and find some pictures. Some were pretty bad, but not all.

I don't know if I can be friends with someone who's had plastic surgery! :) I think you'd need to move to the OC and dye your hair blonde!!!

So far you're looking great! You're young too, so I'm sure you'll do just fine. Oh and the biggest pregnant stomach I ever saw in real life was at one of the Grace "harvest" festivals (she didn't go to our church, I don't know who she was.) Lara was there...Lara do you remember that??? We just kept saying oh, that poor woman!

Kristen said...

oh, you are SO going to be the four-months postpartum lady!

okay, the abdominal muscles thing--isn't that when the muscles over your stomach separate and DON'T go back? cause that happens with single pregnancies, and it happened to me--i like to say i haven't been able to use any abdominal muscles for four+ years. you have to do special sit ups (basically holding your stomach together!), but i think it can get better. so i wouldn't worry, if that's what you are talking about. i heard too that you can get them stitched back together, which may be better. but if you are talking about the loosey-goosey skin that stretches and doesn't go back because you carried two babies at the same time, well, yeah, plastic surgery for sure!

Kristen said...

brianna, i remember that lady! oh my!!

Jeannett Gibson said...

Kristen-apparently true "twin skin" is not fixable with any kind of diet and/or exercise...

Brianna-I know, and let's be serious: will i ever really have $10,000+ to have plastic surgery done??? But I like to be honest with myself and know that if I HAD that ugliness and I HAD the money, I probably would. :)

Rachel Slagle said...

my neighbor has twin girls and she is a small lady. she didn't get *huge* and she carried to 39 weeks! and to top it off she looked great a month after they were born. i'm sharing this to give you some more hope :)

oh, and i would totally get the plastic surgery too!

Shannon and Carey said...

I connected to you through the Pleated Poppy. (I think this is the one,lol) Anyway I have b/g twins who are turning 3 in one month. Congrats on your twin pregnancy! Come take a look at my life with twins. My blog goes way back to when the kids were teeny tiny.
-Shannon in Austin

Shannon and Carey said...

oh and I delivered at 34 weeks. Babies all healthy. Had to stay in NICU for 3 weeks to grow and learn how to feed.

Mommy Laity said...

Brianna - How could I ever forget that woman?!! Ya, she had to be pregnant with twins, or maybe triplets. She looked SO uncomfortable.

Why do I feel like I was as big as some of those ladies carrying twins and I only had one. =(

Kristen - my abs split too. So annoying. I'll get those sit-ups one of these days.... =)

Kristen said...

jeannett--maybe we can start a plastic surgery fund for you, pass around an offering. oh wait, let's be more optimistic and think that you won't need it cause you'll look great!

lara--about those sit-ups... i decided a week ago that i was definitely going to start doing them... yep, haven't done a single one.

joy said...

so, are we expanding our bake sale to include bellies, too? "bake sale for boobs and bellies." yeah--count me in. my belly could use some work.

Jacquelyn said...

YIkes ladies!! after giving birth are we all "broken"? do we need fixing???? What does that tell our kids (girls especially) about the normal aging and post preggo bodies? Are we supposed to be wandering around in bikinis after having children anyway????

Sorry, I'm very sensitive about this right now because I'v been looking in the mirror at the Michelin man for the last few weeks and wondering when and if I will ever spend as much time and attention on my eternal and imperishable soul vs. my temporal, decaying shell of a body especially when "the goods" aren't what they used to be.
Sorry to be such a downer! I know you guys are just joking but maybe there is some way we can celebrate our maternal bodies instead of fearing them.

Kristen said...

i like jacquelyn's thoughts. how do we get in the mindset (and stay there) of celebrating our maternal bodies?

Jeannett Gibson said...

Jacquelyn-Yes, most of this is in jest, but I'd be lying if I said there wasn't some truth to it...

"after giving birth are we all "broken"? do we need fixing????"

I didn't say we were broken, but I suppose that saying something needs fixed implies it vanity? sure. But to be honest, if I feel uncomfortable in my own skin, I'll likely be much less comfortable with my husband (not that he would/does say anything). Being pregnant, I feel fat and unattractive. Andy tells me I'm crazy, but it still bugs me. I don't expect to look the way I did in high school...or even the way I did pre-babies...but to look attractive in SOME way is part of my job description as a wife...whether Andy would ever complain or not.

Are we supposed to be wandering around in bikinis after having children anyway????

Not sure what that's supposed to mean...I'm not looking/hoping for a bikini body (not that I ever really had one!), but I don't think that they are terrible or that being a mom precludes you from wearing one. I might be in the minority, but I don't think there is anything inherently wrong with bikinis...certainly no more so because you are a mom...

"wondering when and if I will ever spend as much time and attention on my eternal and imperishable soul vs. my temporal, decaying shell of a body"

We all struggle with this, and just because someone is on a diet or goes to the gym or worries about excess skin makes them any less concerned with their soul condition. Is there an imbalance? I'm sure there is. Does that need work? Of course. But again, I don't think there is anything inherently bad about having some concerns with how life a physical and mental sense!

"maybe there is some way we can celebrate our maternal bodies instead of fearing them."

I love my goofy stretch mark and I wouldn't trade the worst twin skin in the world for a perfect body with no children. I would bet that goes without saying for all of us. At the end of the day, I think that aging can be graceful...but in the meantime, if you can't joke about it with your girlfriends...and be transparent about your feelings...whether they are PC or not...then, I don't think you are doing yourself any favors either. I've always said that "You can call me a lot of things...but fake is not one of them." I say/blog lots of stuff, whether it's popular or not...but I think that we so often put a face on for others and act like we have all together and have all the confidence in the world, when really we should just be REAL with each other...because how can we really be there for each other and support each other and be TRUE FRIENDS to one another if we don't let people know what we feel and think and worry about...whether it's "ok" thoughts or not???

Anyway, that's just my thoughts to your comments. And, like you, I feel the most self conscious during pregnancy than I do at any other time in my life. And besides, sometimes I think that saying all the taboo stuff you're "not supposed" to say is a way of celebrating the REALITY of what happens with mom-dom! That it ISN'T just a big belly that goes away suddenly...there's a whole lot more and it might just be conveniently covered up by a cute t-shirt! :) Pretending it doesn't happen or that it doesn't bug you is worse as far as I'm concerned...being a woman is wonderful and awful all rolled into one...if we can't commiserate with our girlfriends, what's the point???

Mike and Rachel said...

Hey, if you ever come out to visit the Heldt's we want to be invited over for dinner!

Anyway, I am seven pounds lighter than when I got pregnant with Aubrey and I look so much worse than I did then. It is really depressing. I want to be comfortable in my own skin, but yeah, if someone wanted to give me a tummy tuck, I would take them up on it.

Let's start praying for supernatural skin shrinkage for both of us!

Jacquelyn said...

you are so right Jeanette about being real, laughing and sometimes maybe even privately crying about our bodies. Just wanted to throw out a word of caution as I think this is an issue that our culture has taken to an extreme with books like "My beautiful mommy" (check it out on Amazon) and I'm hoping that there is a way to counteract that influence. So joke away! I'm a little bi-polar right now with my hormones so I reallize I need to lighten up :)

Brianna Heldt said...

Lara--I'm SO glad you remember! It was quite unforgettable...just plain painful to look at! It very well may have been triplets.

And this discussion has suddenly gotten interesting. :)

Here's something weird: since having kids I actually care LESS about my body's condition/appearance than I did before. I look back on my teenage/college years and sigh with relief that I just plain don't care like I used to. And I've breastfed two babies and my stomach ain't what it used to be. :) (And I am personally opposed to plastic surgery in general--but that's probably a topic for another post. :))

I thought this post was hilarious and after having seen some of those pictures of twin skin, I can see why some people get it taken care of. :)

Jeannett one of my favorite things about you is that you DO say the stuff you think. I need a friend like you!!!!

I also thought it was interesting Jeannett what you said about your job description about being a wife. That is an interesting topic I think.

I will end my rambling, disjointed comment with a real gem from Bob Barnes: "IF THE BARN NEEDS PAINTING...PAINT IT."

Jeannett Gibson said...

And the greatest irony of it all???

Let's be serious here. I am the girl who won't have an epidural because it's unnatural.

I am the girl who rarely takes anything more complicated than Tylenol because I don't like putting chemicals in my body.

So, really, let's be really honest here: if I truly had the opportunity and the money, would I REALLY go through with plastic surgery??? Nope, probably not. Would I be tempted? Sure thing. But I can almost assure you that at the end of the day, I'd skip it...sagging belly and all! :)

summer... said...

i came to you for a good laugh & i got it. i love your honesty! i truly do! i am right there with you with the whole post preggo body! seriously... i do. thanks for your laughter.

Jen said...

What a great discussion. I loved all the comments too. I don't blame you at all for secretly (or not so secretly) thinking about a tummy tuck! Don't let anyone make you feel guilty about it. I believe that we as women and mom's have to do things that feel good for US...even if it's just once in awhile.

I'm hoping, God willing, to get pregnant sometime this year with our third child. After that my husband will get the big V and i plan to go in for the "mommy special." (A breast lift and tummy tuck.) I am slim and exercise daily but there is nothing in the world that will get rid of that saggy, stretched out skin, except going under the knife. Yes, i know some people will think i'm vain or that i'm "being silly," but you know what, i've earned it. And so have a lot of moms out there. I'm not even 30 years old and am certainly not ready to give up those cute bikinis just yet! :)