Last night I was flipping through the TV channels, and I came across a show called Big Medicine.This TLC show documents real people, their struggles with weight, self-esteem and weight-loss surgery. My husband is going to have gastric bypass in the very near future, so this show was intriguing to me. I stopped my channel surfing to get a glimpse into the lives of the morbidly obese. However, one young lady, at 27, had gastric bypass surgery at 287 pounds. She had put on a little over 100 lbs in one year, and was thrilled with her current weigh of apx. 163lbs. Unfortunately, she was left with a large amount of excess skin and sagging breasts. She then went on to have plastic surgery, removing large swaths of stretch marked skin and receiving breast implants. What stuck me about this young woman, was the way she said “People think I am selfish for wanting to have plastic surgery. They think I am doing this to look like a supermodel or something. That isn’t the truth. The truth is, I just want to look normal.”
Laura C and Tracey S have already written excellent posts from two different perspectives on the post-partum twin belly. But whatever you call it, “twin-skin,” “front-butt,” or “dough-belly,” I have it. My twins were a combined 14 1/2 lbs. I gained 49 lbs in my 39 week pregnancy, and I lost every ounce in 22 days. (Haven’t lost any since then, but that is an entirely different story!) As a result, my lower abdomen is wrinkled, saggy and one side hangs lower than the other. It is hard to find underware and pants that fit properly, and it jiggles entirely too much for my liking! In fact, my abdomen does not look all that different from the young woman having plastic surgery so that she could feel “normal.”
There is a great website out there, Shape of a Mother, which proudly displays photos of mom’s like us, who have been stretched and swollen and don’t look like we did before kids. Please note, however, that there is nudity contained in the site, and is therefore not appropriate for your work computer.
I watched that young woman go through a very expensive and painful surgery, and when she had recovered, she seemed truly pleased with the results. But all I kept thinking was “I hope you realize that having kids may undo what you just had done!”
I am not anti-plastic surgery. In fact, I strongly suspect that my husband will need some form of it post-gastric-bypass. And some days, I would love to sign up for a tummy-tuck. But then I wonder if I would be setting my daughter up to think that a jiggly tummy post-babies is “bad” or “needs to be fixed.” I am proud of my body and the way it was able to nourish and carry these two little ones for so long. But it doesn’t mean I want to be reminded of that difficult pregnancy every single day!
I am curious as to your thoughts. Do you think having plastic surgery is “selfish?” Have you had a tummy tuck? Do you feel that you need/want one? Do you plan on having one? Does your “twin skin” keep you from feeling “normal,” or do you simply see it as a natural occurrence that is to be lived with? Your thoughts on this matter would be greatly appreciated!