Having a baby changes how you look. Having two babies in two years changes it more.
I accept this and mostly I bear my body with pride because it grew and nurtured two beautiful little people. I grin slightly at my ‘tiger-stripes’ of which I have many on my tummy, my sides, the inside of my thighs, under my my boobs and, oddly, my underarms (?!) – they are like medals. Badges saying ‘Look what I did!’ and most of the time I don’t mind them – they are fading quite steadily and I know that eventually they will stop being purpley-red and start being faint and barely noticeable.
Some days, though, I look in the mirror and remember what I used to look like and pine for my pre-baby flat, mark-free tummy and less ’round’ features.
Arthur is 14 weeks old today and I have decided it is about time I started doing something to help lessen the extra wibbly bits that I have acquired during my two pregnancies. I am going to start re-attending my local weekly AquaFit class with my Mum. Something I did right up until I was almost 7 months pregnant with Arthur and I thoroughly enjoy (partly because Mum & I spend a lot of the time helplessly giggling at our lack of co-ordination and balance and accidentally hitting each other on the head with floats…).
In order to do this I need to invest in a new swimming costume having somewhat stretched my old one round a pregnant belly. The only issue? I now had no idea what size I am. 10? 12? 14?
‘Go measure yourself’ said my Mum & Big Sister, so off I trundled to the bathroom clutching a tape measure, a biro and a scrap of paper.
I measured, I wrote down, I looked at the size chart in a clothes catalogue and I laughed. I had a slight issue.
Chest measurement: Mid-way between a 12 and a 14.
Waist measurement: Mid-way between a 14 and a 16.
Hip measurement: A perfect 10.
This did not help me very much! In the end I have ordered a size 12 – guessing at the middle ground. I can always send it back and swap it I suppose. But really – no wonder I have been having trouble buying clothes that look right recently!!