I'm going to share a photo with you. I've shown it to no-one apart from my other half because, well....it shows a PREGNANT BELLY!
Actually, rather conversely to many ladies who happen to be up the duff, I loved my pregnant body. Even with the varicose veins, the stretch marks, the hairy belly, the itchy skin. Even with all that, it still felt proper brilliant! Empowering, even (hence the rather cheesy, strongman pose - I've covered up my attempt at a 'game face' for all our sakes).
I'm eight weeks postpartum right now, and I really miss that belly. I'm going to get all hippy and soppy, but it's completely magical how your body adapts to house a tiny person, and how the skin doesn't even split apart when they judo - attack your womb at 38 weeks.
My current belly is rather worn out looking. Bit saggy, leathery and wibbly, with a wrinkly belly button that looks like an inside out prune. But I'm not massively bothered. I'm past the age of crop tops and bikinis, and once it's wrapped up in clothes you can't tell anyway (I hope!). My post - pregnancy body philosophy has always been, 'If it all snaps back, take advantage and have another! If it all to goes shit, you're ruined anyway, so have another! Yay!'
Back to the photo. I was just about to teach my evening's dance classes that day. I was getting changed in the loo and I stopped to look in the mirror - something I manage roughly once a week.
So many of my friends have hated their pregnant bodies, but I saw my reflection and felt frigging awesome. Here I am, going about my daily business, bouncing about to like a loon to chart music in a church hall (as energetically as my old lady hips would allow) and my 26 week old baby is carefully nestled in my little round bump, snoozing away.
I took this to remember how ace I felt that day, and to remind myself later on of how my body has changed so much over the past 11 months.
Plus even though it's looking a tad battered at the minute, my body will change yet again over the coming months as everything heals properly. But it takes time. 'Patience is a virtue, darling', as I would say to four year old Child 1 (which is a synopsis of what I would actually say: 'I've only got two hands and one of them is currently holding your baby brother because today he can't be happy unless I'm constantly jigging. I'm doing your breakfast RIGHT NOW. You've asked me 11 times if it's ready over the past minute and a half - DO NOT ask again, or I will launch the Ready Brek into the paddling pool!')
It also made me realise that I actually feel more body confident now than I did five years ago before I was pregnant with Child 1. How on earth does that work?! I had many less wobbly bits, and I didn't have a skin shelf from being hacked at during two c sections.
Maybe, it's because I know what my body is capable of now. And that makes it chuffing amazing!