So here's the thing. I was asked to share what I loved (or maybe should love) about my 'mum body'. Something that being pregnant and having a child has done to my body that may not be everyone's cup of tea but that is something great, something loved.
And I do love my body, all of it, so I thought this post would be easy. It's not easy. I love my body even though when DD was 2 I was diagnosed with Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease, an inherited neurological condition similar to MS (It destroys the myelin sheath of the nerves in the same way) but acting on peripheral nerves not central ones. This means I have ugly clawed feet, ugly clawed hands, I have weakness, pain, poor balance...
But pregnancy, pregnancy was fantastic. I genuinely felt happy during the entire deal. I was happy being tired, happy being sick. My body was doing the one thing it had been designed to do, create a new person and it was doing it well. It grew and stretched to accommodate a new baby. But no stretch marks! It swelled where it should but no where else, I was that mum that all pregnant mum's hate. I stayed slim, so slim that they had to add a note on my records so the nurses didn't refer me to the Dr each week. My baby grew steadily. My boobs filled out a little but I didn't really even go up a bra size.
But I was worried. I was worrying about nipples. You see one of my nipples had always been inverted. stubborn stupid nipple that thought 'innie' belly buttons were so cool it would emulate one. I worried about how I would breast feed.
I wanted to have a natural birth, in water maybe, and then breastfeed for as long as I could. But I worried. I looked at websites that sold weird suction devices to improve nipple size. I stared at my nipples daily, and my tiny boobs sure that they could never support a baby!
And then DD was born. She was just over 6lb of beauty. And once we got some help she started nursing quite happily. In fact weirdly she preferred the side with the dodgy nipple! She breastfed for 10 months before she weaned herself. And now looking at my chest 12 years later I can safely say the part of my body that I'm loving since pregnancy, really loving. Is my nipple.
Like a blooming organ stop! (they both are) I now have fine nipples, nipples to be proud of. The one thing that changed, that stayed changed. Nipples.
Sadly the middle aged spread that has crept up on my later I can't blame on DD. I was thinner after I had her than before! But I still love my body. It's taken my over 40 years to realise it's the only one you get, loving it is the only sensible thing to do.
About Love Mum-Body
This month on story of mum, we’re sharing photos of how our bodies have changed since we became mums and grandmums. You can photograph your actual body, or you can shape your body in plasticine. We don’t mind how you share it, as long as you do your very best to love it, nipples and all.
If you want to have a go with a gang, you can join a 'make date' in Canada on 14 July with@hisveganmama or our twitter 'make date' using #somum from 8.30 - 9.30pm BST (world times here) on 25 July. Or host your own. More info here.
For some more inspiration, check out these blog posts about our wonderful mum bodies: