614 days ago, my body stopped being my own. A new life was growing inside of me, and my body began changing from the second Dougie was created. I didn’t know immediately; I was around six weeks when I found out I was expecting. My body was not just mine anymore.
I carried Dougie for 289 days. 289 days where my body stretched, adapted, expanded, changed.
Everything I did, everything I ate or drank, every change in my body was for Dougie. A few months before I became pregnant, I had treatment to remove pre-cancerous cervical cells, and when I went for a follow-up, I was told they had come back, but as I was eight weeks pregnant at this point, there was nothing that could do except monitor me. During a check-up later on in my pregnancy, I was told the cells had actually gone as a result of the pregnancy – thanks to Dougie (months after he was born I had another check up, and the bad cells haven’t come back).
My body was changing, inside and out.
I would see myself in the mirror, a small bump starting to form. There were so many changes going on in my body that I couldn’t control. It didn’t work like it used to. I walked slower. Partly because I was getting bigger, and because I had a baby pressing into my lungs, but mainly because I was so afraid to move suddenly, or quickly, for fear of hurting my baby.
I could no longer wear my favourite clothes. I couldn’t fit my engagement ring onto my finger, even my watch strap became too tight. I got strange pains as my body was changing, adapting, stretching to accommodate a growing baby.
(How much I changed during my pregnancy in our Bump to Baby video)
I would wake up in the night, aching, shooting pains in my wrists, unable to move my hands. I’d sit running my hands under cold water to make them feel better – who knew pregnancy carpal tunnel was a thing?
Hormones raced through me. I would cry at absolutely anything. My anxiety shot sky high, and now I had new fears; what if I wasn’t good enough, what if something went wrong? We were choosing to have this baby, but our baby hadn’t chosen us as parents – what if I wasn’t enough for him?
After 289 days, Dougie was born and I couldn’t believe what my body had done. Pregnancy and birth is an incredible, unbelievable thing, but it pushes your body to its absolute limits.
The first six months of Dougie’s life, he existed solely on the milk I made. I breastfed him for the first 325 days of his life.
614 days since Dougie was created, and I’ve done my final feed. 614 days, and my body is starting to become my own again. It isn’t the same body. I have an oddly shaped stomach, my hair that was so lovely and thick during pregnancy, is still shedding (although I now have little fluffy tufts growing back in). The dark circles under my eyes are pretty much permanent, no matter what make up I use. I’m a bit bigger, a bit older, a bit different, but I’m still me.