I have been so many shapes and sizes, and each one has served its season well. At times my body was to carry me through new experiences, and at other times it’s housed my babies.
It grew two humans at once.
It has been a safe haven and a place of warmth and comfort.
I’ve celebrated and appreciated what my body has done and each purpose it has served.
In 2015, as my twins began to crawl and my older kids gained more and more independence, I made myself a promise… that I would get stronger than I had ever been before. It was the least I could do for a body that had been through a war, and had been left bruised and mushy.
But this journey has taken time.
I think what people don’t talk about is the time it takes to rehabilitate our bodies after pregnancy. Think about everything that has to change and go exactly right to grow that little person. Your body is stretched, and shifted, and pulled and ripped.
Give it time to heal.
Appreciate every season.
Define your own personal goal that best thanks your body and celebrates what it has created and the journey it has taken you on.
I was inspired to create this video after receiving a DM from a twin mom who’s babies are 18 months old and she was feeling frustrated with her fitness goal progress. My body has been on a long journey for five years and just recently I am hitting my strength goals that I set for myself when my twins began to crawl.
Bringing home twins was probably one of the most intimidating experiences of my life. Firstly I was terrified of the hormonal and physical toll I was likely to experience. For example, when my daughter was born postpartum knocked me off my feet. From inconsolable crying to torrential night sweats and almost hourly epsom salt baths, I felt like I had been in a traumatic battle. So needless to say I was terrified of the twin postpartum phase and the hormonal changes times two.
Secondly, I was petrified of bringing home and caring for two tiny babies and one needy toddler. I imagined so many scenarios that ended in me locking myself in the bathroom or taking off down the street half dressed and hysterical. Luckily for me, my imagination made things out to be a lot worse than it was. Do not get me wrong it was a difficult transition, and there were many moments where it was overwhelming and I was on the verge of hysterics. However, as a second time mom I knew what was likely coming my way and this time I was ready for all the ups and downs of postpartum and was well equipped.. The following list I would like to think is what made those first few months tolerable at their worst, and may I dare say wonderful at its best. I am hoping other moms-to-be, twin moms or not will find this list helpful to them as well.
Mom Friends: someone who you can turn to, who at that exact moment is also experiencing what you are as well. For me it was a neighbour whose son was born two weeks after the twins. We quickly bonded over life as second time moms. From weekly walks to long coffee chats she was my life line during those precious and sleep deprived months. I was fortunate that I didn’t have to look far for a mom pal, but I definitely suggest connecting with other moms through facebook groups, local early years centres or even through apps that are available specifically to connect moms.
Smash + Tess Rompers: I lived in these! So comfortable, flattering, loose in all the right places, perfect for breastfeeding and dare I say pretty cute too. The last thing I wanted to think about postpartum was what I was going to wear. Being able to pull this romper out and put it on within seconds made it a huge win in my books.
Native Deodorant: as I mentioned above, postpartum sweat is real, and so is postpartum smell! For me this deodorant not only worked amazingly well, but it also is aluminum free, cruelty free and paraben free, so I felt safe wearing it around the little ones
Sleep Consultant: this is probably my number one recommendation for twin moms-to be. When I found out I was expecting twins I connected with another twin mom who just had twin boys. She recommended a sleep consultant that she had hired who not only assisted with forming a sleep plan for twins, but also provided overnight sleep support – aka stayed up all night with the babies while you and your spouse slept! Obviously this is not an affordable option for everyone, but for us it was life changing. As you can imagine as a pumping mom I was functioning on very little sleep, as was my husband who was up every few hours feeding one of the twins as well. The ability to have a trusted person in our home looking after and feeding our twins twice a week allowed us to recharge and emerge as functional human beings again.
Swaddle and Sound Machine: these were both life savers for us in ensuring our twins fell asleep and stayed asleep, and were recommended by our sleep consultant. With my first child, who hated being swaddled we used terrible velcro swaddles that she would always manage to break out of. We also gave up so easily on swaddling her because she would protest. We also had a sound machine that would turn off just as she was entering into her next sleep cycle, and would wake up. To remedy this with our twins we used the “Swaddle Up” zip up swaddle and used an inexpensive sound machine with a continuous play function we bought on Amazon.
Snap n Go Double Stroller: I used this baby until the bitter end, when I literally thought it was going to collapse under the weight of the twins. Although this stroller is not the easiest to maneuver and I would not recommend taking it for long trail walks, it was amazing for quick trips into the mall or grocery store. Being able to keep the babies in their infant car seats while quickly snapping them in was invaluable. A bonus, I was able to score one from a second-hand store and definitely got my money’s worth.
Swing and Bouncy Seat: having numerous places to put the twins down was essential, especially when I was solo. From swings, bouncy seats, baby loungers, rockers, you name it we had it at some point. Every baby is different and instead of buying two of everything I bought a few things and then assessed whether it was worth it to buy a second. My house often looked like a baby amusement park at this stage.
Homemade Frozen Meals: easy, delicious and fast. That is all you need when you are home, exhausted and hungry! I enlisted my mom to make a bunch of healthy meals that we could freeze and eat without worry.
Diaper Stockpile: especially for twins, you will not believe how many diapers you will go through. Disposable or reusable, stock up in advance! Our family threw us a diaper party and the amount of time and money we saved was such a gift.
Couch: This was a tip that I learned from the Nesting Story blog and probably one of my favourite nursery design decisions ever. I initially intended on purchasing an oversized glider for the twins room but quickly decided that even though it would allow me to sit with both twins, my husband would have no place to sit. Nesting Story showed me how a loveseat sized couch was perfect for not only allowing two people to sit and feed the babies, but also allows a place for one baby to lie down (supervised and within reach) while feeding the other baby. The couch is still used today by us to cuddle, read stories and lounge on while watching the twins play.
Honourable Mentions: good quality double breast pump, tons of activities to keep any older siblings busy, dry shampoo (this is how I often “washed” my hair), adult diapers for those post-birth days/weeks, and a huge water bottle – stay hydrated and combat all the water loss.
Fallon Melander is a thirty-something wife, reformed lawyer and mother to twins plus one. As a survivor of anxiety and depression, she hopes that by sharing her story she can help to inspire and bring others together.
For women there is a constant expectation and pressure to look a certain way. Whether it’s actresses in movies, the media picking apart celebrities, or airbrushing in your favourite magazines, we’re bombarded from every angle with how we “should” look.
Add to that the toxic, often repeated, phrase of “baby weight”, and the idea that new mothers have to “bounce back” or suffer comparisons to their “pre-baby body” and it’s no wonder a lot of women’s self esteem takes a hit once they’ve had a baby.
I fell into this trap freshly postpartum, and let’s be honest, these thoughts still linger. The intense physical changes your body goes through after pregnancy are difficult enough, never mind the overnight identify shift, and the sleep deprivation (oh, the sleep deprivation).
I kept saying “this isn’t my body” because it was so, SO, different from what I thought it would be after birth. As someone who has always preached self-love, regardless of the how your body looks, I was disappointed in myself to be struggling with my postpartum self esteem because I was heavier. Fitting into any clothes I owned was difficult, the sheer heaviness I felt in my body every time I moved was difficult. My body looked and felt completely alien to me.
But what had I really expected? There is a serious lack of representation for how postpartum bodies will look and feel. I really had no idea what to expect.
I had heard my whole pregnancy how “breastfeeding will make the weight fall off!” But it didn’t work that way for me. I gained around 50lbs during my pregnancy, and two years later I’m still carrying about 20lbs of that. It took me a long time to learn to love myself again. I spent so much time feeling like my body had let me down because it didn’t look how it used to. Fighting these thoughts is something I’m working on.
To think of my strong postpartum body in these narrow terms is so damaging. It can be difficult to come to terms with how much changes after pregnancy and birth, and our society’s attitude to postpartum bodies definitely doesn’t help.
The first few months (or, let’s be honest, the first year) after having your baby is a steep learning curve. It’s a scary, beautiful ride navigating this new phase of life. The last thing you need is to feel ashamed of how your body looks, or feel anxious about how you’ll “lose the baby weight”.
Whenever you find your thoughts drifting to your pre-pregnancy skinny jeans gathering dust in your wardrobe, or that new exercise regime you saw to get rid of “the mum pooch”, please remember how incredible your body is, and remind yourself of these facts first:
You literally grew a human being(s) inside of you.
Isn’t it mad when you think about it? You LITERALLY grew a human being, with no conscious effort; you created life while you slept. It’s a pretty awesome achievement, and definitely one to feel proud of. If you breastfed, you also produced breastmilk all while batting through the sleep deprivation and craziness of newborn life.
You gave birth.
It took sheer strength and determination for you to birth your child (not to mention surviving labour and contractions and all that crazy business). Whether you pushed with everything you have, or you underwent surgery to have your baby brought into this world, your body is insanely powerful.
Your body records your life.
Whether you’re left with stretch marks, loose skin, or any leftover signs of pregnancy, think of them as beautiful natural tattoos! They serve as a physical reminder of the strength you possess, and the beautiful experience of pregnancy you were so lucky to experience. And stretch marks are actually extremely beautiful and delicate, if you look at them without judgement and hate.
Your body is absolutely incredible, and deserves to be honoured, treated with kindness, and loved fiercely as you embark on this new phase of your life. Wanting to gain back your previous level of fitness and feeling strong is fantastic, but coming at it from a place of hate for your soft postpartum body will never make you feel good.
Your body is so much more than how it looks, please remember this, and treat yourself with love if you’re struggling with your postpartum self esteem today. You’re beautiful, and you got this mama.
Roseanne is the blogger behind the honest and inspirational personal blog Roseanne Writes. Native to Scotland and now calling Canada home, Rosanne helps mothers navigate motherhood while remaining true to themselves. You learn more about Roseanne and follow her personal blog here.
After having my twins, I couldn’t wait to get to the point where I could start venturing out again. After a gruelling pregnancy and c-section, I was beyond ready to re-enter life. Although I was still healing and looking a little pregnant, I wanted to feel stylish, yet comfortable. I made the decision that although my body was still in a state of transition, I would splurge on some key items that weren’t maternity clothes, but would still be comfortable. Doing this boosted my confidence and made me feel pretty while still going through the postpartum stage. This is not a sponsored post.
Why not dress in style this fall while still feeling comfortable while recovering? Here is a chic, yet practical outfit that will get you out of your sweats and enjoying some of this fall’s trends.
These high extra high waisted jeggings are perfect to pull up over your leftover tummy. After each of my deliveries I was constantly hot and then cold while my hormones were adjusting. Its important to dress in flowy layers to stay comfortable. These boots are so stylish, but the flat heel keeps them practical so you can tote your little one with you. To top off this outfit I added a stylish and not-so-obvious diaper bag.
I somehow missed a massive storm brewing in our home. I didn’t see it coming. The warning signs were there. But somehow I missed them.
Let’s back up a little… on July 25th 2014, our twin girls, Mia and Everly were one day old. I was in the hospital still recovering from my scheduled c-section, and this was the day our older children were to meet their new sisters. I had made the decision to not bring our oldest, Holden (who was almost two-years-old at the time), to meet Beau in the hospital when she was born. I thought that this time around, since I was having a longer hospital stay (after my c-section), and because our kids were a little older, that having them come to the hospital for a visit was the right decision. I was wrong.
First, my parents brought Holden, which went smoothly. But, then came our daughter Beau with her other grandparents. She was three-years-old.
Beau held her sisters, and cuddled with me. She was uncharacteristically quiet, as she soaked up some much needed mommy-time.After many failed attempts, it was time to go. Beau was hysterical, violent and upset. Like a wild animal. This was something I had never seen before from her. My mother-in-law had to finally rip her out of my arms (at my request) at the exit of the hospital. I quickly turned and walked away stoically, while shielding my heart. I knew that I could not fully let in what just happened. I had two newborns that desperately needed a whole mother. I told myself, “I cannot shatter.” Beau apparently sobbed in the car until she finally fell asleep, still whimpering while sleeping. My mother-in-law still has nightmares about this.
As the months passed, I tried my best to divide myself among my four children. I gave as much as I possibly could. I did special one-on-one outings with each of the older kids on a regular basis and constantly reminded them how loved and special they are.
I watched as my once confident daughter, was losing herself in the mix. Fear was taking hold of her. She seemed lost.Anytime I would wear my pants with the little grey elephants (the same ones I had on when Beau visited me in the hospital) Beau would become nervous and worried I was going to leave.
Beau loves her sisters, and insists on spending almost all of her time with them. I am sure having two new sisters that never get into trouble (because of their age) and draw so much attention hasn’t helped things. But the love she has for them holds no resentment.Beau’s fear peaked during this past summer. We could barely cross a threshold into a friends house. Beau would wake up screaming multiple times a night. I was trying to stay home with her as much as possible, only getting out occasionally with a friend, late in the evening, once I knew she was asleep.
To say I was stressed would be an understatement. My husband, Mike, and I finally got some outside help and changed gears. We pulled her out of her daycare, and gave her special responsibilities around our home and lots of extra love.
The two biggest changes was the start of kindergarten, and the change in Mike’s relationship with her. He used to think she needed tough love, but after receiving some great outside advice about how the mind of a four-year-old works (they are called the fragile fours for a reason) he has been there for her (and I) in an incredible way. He’s her patient buddy. He listens so well, holds her and lets her cry when needed, and isn’t offended when she just wants mom.
Little by little we have seen glimpses of our confident and vibrant little girl return. Beau has started to grasp that although she can’t always be with mommy 100% of the time, that doesn’t mean that her world is going to fall apart.If I could go back in time and change things when Mia and Everly were born, I would have never had Beau come to the hospital. Out of sight, out of mind. I think every child is different and can cope differently.
I really hadn’t thought about the trauma that one visit could have caused Beau.