My Stomach's The Flattest It's Ever Been — AFTER I Had My Baby

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Postpartum Tummy: My Stomach's The Flattest It's Ever Been AFTER I Had My Baby

I'm telling this story because it's so unlikely that I don't believe it myself. 

I've always had a moderately okay stomach — a little too pale, subject to bloating — not as charming as Nora Ephron-era Meg Ryan but not Katherine Heigl, either. Likeable enough. My first pregnancy was with my son, who was born by C-section in October 2010.

After that however, my postpartum tummy turned sinister.

I didn't know what had happened or why I deserved, pretty literally, a pound (maybe two) of loose flesh just sort of hanging and flapping above my scar. Even as the rest of me normalized, I was carrying around this misshapen lump of skin. I'd have been fine with a pooch and evenly distributed pounds but the nastiness of this was that no matter how okay the rest of me looked, I had this skin ... overhang.

I'm not a dieter, so it took three years to return to pre-baby weight and three years before my body reabsorbed that fleshy weirdness.

Then I found time to run (because I love it, not so much a weight-loss thing) and my stomach became better than it was pre-baby. I thought I'd enjoy a summer with it before I got pregnant again but lo and behold, I was knocked up just as I was about to swimsuit shop. 

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As my bump grew, I mentally prepared for the return of the flappy stomach. I was sad about it but at least I knew what I was in for.

I started Baby 2 at a lower pre-baby weight but not by much. And I ate much worse this pregnancy. Even the fear of that whole flap situation couldn't put me off a steady flow of Junior Mints, cheese and tacos. I gained the same exact amount — 30 pounds — for Baby 2 as I did for Baby 1.

Then I had Baby 2.

A few weeks after that second C-section, I took off my surgical binding and my husband said, "Holy shit."

So, the stomach you see here is nothing short of a miracle.

RELATED: My Postpartum Depression Turned Me Into A Woman I Didn't Know


Photo: Author

This is four months post-partum but I think four weeks post-partum, my stomach was maybe even flatter than you see here. (Now that I'm enjoying beer and other spirits again, it maybe grew a little...)

I don't blame anyone for hating me. I would hate me.

I also feel that some karmic retribution awaits me.

Sometimes, after a big meal, I'm sure I'll wake up and right above my pelvis will be the lumpy, wrinkled form of an old crone's face, with a wobbly nose and chin, a hairy wart and a raspy voice. She'll be called Ms. Beezles and will torment me until I die.

It hasn't happened yet, but if she arrives, I'll make her take a selfie.

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Iva-Marie Palmer is a writer and published author. Visit her website for more information.