By Vu Willey
A few days ago I did something outside of my comfort zone. I lifted my shirt and showed the world (well, those who have Periscope and Facebook) my belly. I’m a wellness coach for entrepreneurs, and I’ve focused heavily on body and self-love, mindset and feeling good in my approach. So why stand in front of a camera and risk cruel comments and ridicule? Did my parents not pay enough attention to me as a child? Well, I felt called to do it.
- Images: Vu Willey
My husband and I had been married six years when we decided to try to have kids. He had been ready for years and I was still enjoying the club scene. Eventually I felt ready and we started our fertility saga. We discovered I had PCOS (poly-cystic ovarian syndrome), had to do some fertility treatments, and hilariously (well not really) got pregnant when we were on break from Clomid. It had taken us about three years total to conceive.
I was so focused on getting pregnant, and then staying pregnant and having a healthy baby, that I really didn’t concern myself with what happens after you have the baby. I was super surprised to have a giant belly while I held my daughter and even more surprised when my skin sagged on either side of my belly button… like probably 2 inches down. I was horrified but way too busy to worry about it then. I went all in with trying to breastfeed, figuring out sleeping, and making sure she was safe in the million ways that you worry about when you are a new mom.
After getting back to my pre-pregnancy size and still having saggy skin that flapped around like a fanny pack when I was doing jumping jacks, I just quietly and sadly accepted the only thing that would fix this mess was surgery. I blamed myself for not taking better care of myself while pregnant, and then I felt guilty for even caring when we were super blessed in the first place to get pregnant. At the same time I was thinking, “I’ll never wear a bikini again, or low rise jeans. It’s over dude. Welcome to this new body, and you better be grateful. And what kind of mother would risk her life going under the knife for her vanity? No anesthesia or surgery is without its risks!”
Now, after my second daughter turned 2 last week, and being at my current weight more than 8 months, I knew that what I got was how it was going to be. My skin was considerably better, no more sagging down, but wrinkled and got worse (after gaining less weight?!) after baby number two. It was not just below the navel now, it was also above.