The plastic surgeon asked if she wanted a “mommy makeover”
A musician and mom of twins is speaking out about how her body changed during and after pregnancy, along with the pressure she faced to get her pre-baby body back. After being offered plastic surgery to “fix” her postpartum figure, she’s speaking out with a body-positive message all moms need to hear.
Wilding starts off by admitting how hard it was to feel sexy again after giving birth. “I remember on the bed wanting so badly to feel that sensual feeling again and realizing I had no idea how to be that way now,” she says. “And I remember lying on my side to face my husband and the skin fell over. It was like a landslide.”
Who among us hasn’t been there? It’s like getting to know yourself all over again, and it’s hard as hell.
During pregnancy, Wilding didn’t feel sexy either. She talks about the “bullshit” notion of “the stylish pregnancy” and notes how so many of us are just trying to breathe and feel comfortable. “I was so swollen. I was over 200 pounds. I was left with muscle diastasis,” she explains. “The muscles of your abdomen separate from the wall. Mine was so extreme that it hung off, and I had about three to four inches of extra skin.”
After seeing what changes her pregnancy brought about, Wilding was in a state of mourning about her pre-baby self. “I was grieving her… I knew she was an accepted standard of beauty. Since that body, I’ve given birth to twins.”
She also saw one of her twins through cancer treatments and since she had the muscle diastasis that caused her stomach to look round, nurses would tell her not to be around her son’s chemo because she was pregnant.
Except she wasn’t.
Shortly after that, she started having severe back pain. While visiting a hernia specialist, she was offered the chance to see a plastic surgeon so she could have a tummy tuck during the hernia repair surgery and fix her diastasis. The plastic surgeon then told Wilding she could get a “mommy makeover,” which is a tummy tuck, breast lift and liposuction.
Wilding said thanks, but no thanks, and stuck with “just” the tummy tuck, with the surgeon shrugging and noting that they do these procedures for women several times a week. She mentions how friends told her not to admit she’d had the tummy tuck done and instead, to tell people she was working very hard to get her body back. As though she should be ashamed of a medical procedure that actually helped repair her abdominal muscles.
As moms, we’re no strangers to this bullshit, but that doesn’t make it OK. We’re inundated constantly with messages about “bouncing back” after baby and as Wilding points out, it seems like society wants us to eliminate every physical trace that suggests we’ve had children.
For Wilding’s part, she’s rising above it all and embracing her post-baby self. “In a strange way, I’m free now. I’m still learning to be comfortable with being free but I’m starting to feel a new sexiness.”
“I want to dispel the myth that we have to go to crazy lengths to erase maternity from our bodies. Because it’s not gonna work. We’re still gonna be mothers. We still left point A and got to point B. And we should be proud of all the steps we took to get there.”
We couldn’t agree more.