Thirteen months after I gave birth to our youngest child, my son S., I had surgery. Weighing in at a whopping 10 pounds, six ounces, his vaginal birth was traumatic for both of us — he winding up with a broken clavicle and me with extensive muscle damage in my pelvic area.
Thankfully, over a year later, his long-ago, quickly healed fracture is nothing more than a notch on my mommy guilt scale (and by nothing I mean everything), S. feeling no ill-effects of his dramatic entrance into the world. I on the other hand, was not so lucky.
I had definite physical (and the start of some emotional) issues stemming from the injury, ones that I wasn’t comfortable talking about for months after. When I finally did discuss them with my doctor, my husband, mom and eventually, the most amazing, empathetic surgeon I could have asked for, I felt heaps better. And now, months removed from the procedure and hospital stay, physical therapy complete, I finally feel whole and good again, like myself.
Now granted, my surgery was medically and according to the doctor, in many ways psychologically necessary. I couldn’t have carried on the way things were. But it’s that psychological part that got me thinking. When we give birth, our bodies change. And the more kids we have, the more they morph. I’ve been a size 12 jeans (give or take) for the past 15 years. But I can promise you that my hips and thighs and waist are not the same hips thighs and waist that I had before my kiddies took up temporary residence in my midsection. And as someone who nursed three kids for nearly three years of my life, well let’s just say things are dramatically different in that department too.
Now none of that bothers me. Medical complications aside, I’m pretty happy with my body. Yes, I need to lose some weight and I do my fair share of sighing during bathing suit season, but I actually like what having kids did to my profile. I like that I look like a mom. Sure, I won’t be walking a catwalk anytime soon, but it’s likely I wouldn’t have anyway.
Some women though, aren’t too pleased with the changes that bearing children brings forth. Aren’t too crazy about the the lumpy stomach or the wider waist or broader hips or even the chest that now resides directly above their stomach. Vain? Maybe. But honest. And if there is a way to change it back (I hate to use the word fix, because honestly, I don’t think anything is broken), why not?
I used to hear the words plastic surgery and think about Joan Rivers. Celebrities and old rich women who were trying to hold on to their youth. But I don’t think that is the case anymore. More and more you hear about moms — regular moms, not just celebs — going in for “Mommy Makeover Surgeries” where they get tummy tucks, breast lifts and liposuction. And if you have the means or inclination, I see nothing wrong with it.
As a pregnant woman you and your body spend nine months caring and nurturing a life inside of you. And if you nurse your baby, that’s more time dedicated to the needs of someone else. When all is said and done, if you want to spend some time taking care of yourself, why not?