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309649_958048037137_1387649529_nThis is me a few months before getting pregnant with my twin boys.

I was climbing a mountain and just had to stop and get in a dance moment on the way to the top…where some yoga may have occurred. And then I ran all the way down.

I walked to work or rode my bike, then hauled it up to the top story of our apartment building. I taught 4-5 dance classes per day and danced along with the students in each one. I did Pilates twice per week, and on the weekends, I took long walks, runs, or bike rides for fun. Sometimes (I’m laugh-crying as I write this) I would have to go for a 45 minute run on a Saturday morning so that I could be tired enough to enjoy lounging on the couch that afternoon. Like, I had so much energy I couldn’t sit still unless I burned some of it off.

And my plans for the afternoon included “lying around.” Ha!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThis is me pregnant, 38 weeks and 1 day, right before I went in for induction (which took another 2 days and ended in a c-section, gah).

This body did not do a whole lot of running, let me tell you. I complained constantly that I wasn’t doing anything. My (sainted) husband kept telling me, “You are doing everything.” He was right. I was growing big ol’ healthy babies, who came out at 5 lbs 15 oz, and 6 lb 5 oz.

But I literally did almost nothing else while gestating. Friends who were pregnant with singletons were dancing, biking, even running. One had the audacity to tell me she “didn’t really feel any different,” and “didn’t have any limitations” while pregnant. Wow. I would love to have danced, taken the stairs, or made a sandwich without needing to pause and rest. My husband came home one day to find me sitting in a chair I had pulled up to the stove, resting my weary head against the wall, barely finding the strength to stir a simmering pot on the stove. I was simply desperate for cheese sauce.

Yep, my perspective on “tired” has evolved since my pre-pregnancy and pre-baby days.

But so has my concept of strength.

DSCN0470Almost one year postpartum, I love my new body. Sure, I have stretchmarks on my thighs, belly, boobs, and, swear, there is one my left calf that I don’t know how in the world I achieved. And yeah, the twin-skin belly practically flaps in the breeze, it’s so saggy. That part is still weird. I look at pictures of myself from this year, and wow, I really do not look like that fit young woman I used to be. But all the extra squishiness in my midsection makes my lap rather cozy. I’ve got Amazon arms and the balance of a monkey. All of the late-night bouncing, nap-time stroller walking, and getting up and down off the floor 1,000,000 times per day, has worked wonders for toning my lower body. Did you know that the lower your boobs hang, the easier it is on your back? Just pop a child in your lap to breastfeed and you barely even have to lean forward! If I listen to my kids’ eyes and not the mirror, I have never felt more beautiful. My sweet boys light up when I come into the room. Mine is their favorite face, their most sought-after frame.

But there is one thing I like best. My Baby B’s knee was shoved up in my upper right abdomen for so long that it formed a permanent sort of corner there. When he was in there, it felt like a little hard bump; now it’s a soft lump that remains even though he’s out in the world.

My whole lumpy belly looks like a new ancient ruin, the site of a civilization which evolved out of its primitive structures but hung on to them like shrines.

Now if I can just find an outfit that says, I’m not fat/pregnant/suffering from a goiter, I’m the landscape of a miracle, damn it!

What is your favorite thing about your re-shaped, post-twins body? What amazes you the most?

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RebeccaD has 8 month old fraternal twin boys, R and M. She’s a teacher-turned-SAHM in San Francisco who loves dance, quilting, and geeking out over DIY projects. Having twins is challenging her perfectionism in the best possible way.

9 thoughts on “Re-Shaped”

  1. Yes, this is an awesome post…thank you for sharing! It took me a long time to ask another twin mom about “twin skin”. I was blessed with no stretch marks, and I’d honestly never considered my skin tone might not return. It’s been freeing for me to realize that’s normal, at least for some of us.

    My favorite part of my post-baby body is my arms. I’ve never lifted weights before, but you’d never know it by the look of my biceps! :)

    And ultimately I am truly amazed at what my body did. I may not have rock-hard abs anymore, but I have so much respect for our bodies as incredible machines, responsible for bringing our beautiful babies into this world!

  2. Tanks for slapping some sense into me re: post-pregnancy body image. I should never have expected to spring back to my pre-pregnancy size/shape/body. I earned those stretchmarks. I earned that flapping-in-the-wind twin skin! As funny as it sounds, we need to embrace what we worked 9 months to achieve!

  3. I have to confess that while I’m not super-happy with the shape I’m in now, it has nothing to do with pregnancy. So, I have twin skin. Whatever. I would love to get back to the awesome upper body strength I gained carting infants, then toddlers, around. I’ve fluffed up more than I care to admit in the aftermath of my divorce. My goal? To get back to how I felt (and looked) one year post-partum!

  4. Love this post!! I’m only 8 weeks post partum, but I love my incision scar, strangely. It just doesn’t seem big enough for them to have pulled two babies out of!! I also feel like the end of my pregnancy, c section and first few days of recovery were so out-of-body that the incision verifies the experience when I’m still a little in shock over these two babies.

    1. Once I finally got up the courage to look at my scar, I was in awe. It totally looks too small! Totally with you on it verifying the experience, too. Well said!

  5. I loved reading this. I can relate so much. My pregnancy side-lined me way more than I ever expected, and I’m still wondering if I’ll ever work out again. It sounds like you have a very healthy view and acceptance of your body now, which is awesome. I am lacking that, but can’t say that I ever really had it to begin with.

  6. My belly will never be the same. You described it exactly! It is actually rather amusing. And, seriously, I’m so amazed at how physical I was able to remain while pregnant with twins. But, it was rough. I got winded going up stairs every single time by the end.

  7. Having the balance of a monkey! That made me laugh but it’s so true!
    I find the same thing about my 7 month old twin boys-I am their favourite face and they light up when I enter a room and it makes life worth living! Thanks for your lovely post.

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