The Post Triplet Tummy

Once you have had triplets, your tummy muscles just aren’t the same as they used to be. I think that is true for a lot of post-pregnant mothers. It certainly was after my first two singletons. But after the triplets. Sigh. I struggle.

I found out, a little bit late, that Style and Shennanigans was having a colour challenge. My friend Belinda from bbeingcool is doing it, and I thought it might be a little bit of fun.

Yesterday was pink. When I went to my wardrobe, I seemed to have a lot less pink then I thought I had! Then I remembered I had a very pink dress! An old favourite from Target, but as much as I love it, it is not good at hiding the post triplet tummy. I had to think twice about putting it on, but decided that I wasn’t feeling particularly fat yesterday, so teamed with my awesome shapewear underneath, I thought I could brave the day. (Motherhood hint: Get yourself some suck-it-in knickers, seriously, you will surprised how much confidence Granny undies can give you…)

The thing is, to a certain extent I have to just acknowledge and move on that my body is the shape it is at the moment. I don’t like it, and I try to hide the protruding tummy as much as I can. The extra unfortunate combination of having a post-triplet tummy is most of us, like me, have diastasis. This is where the abdominal muscles have separated during childbirth – it happens to everyone, although some people’s muscles repair very quickly after birth. However if the separation has been to great, especially after multiple pregnancies or pregnancy with multiples, you need to proceed with caution and know that the road to healed muscles is a long one – as in years, not weeks. It means traditional exercises to tone stomach muscles are out. No crunches or squats for example. They hurt not heal. The other unfortunate combo of having diastasis after multiples is that caring for the multiples can make exercising a lot more challenging.

If you don’t believe me, because I was trying my best to stand at a flattering angle in the first photo, here is a less flattering angle. (Although thankfully for you, I still have granny undies on.) I wish people could only see you at a flattering angle all the day, but the reality is, we can’t stay frozen smiling throughout our days. I know I’m not obese, and I’m certainly not trying to make others feel bad if you are struggling with body image even more than I am. I’m just documenting my feelings at a time that I’m not 100% proud of my body.

And so the fat days are frequent. My awareness of my own body image and is heightened at the moment and the quest to find flattering clothing seems eternal. And even still I constantly have people asking if I am pregnant. It’s always awkward and embarrassing. It started when the triplets were still in the special care nursery. I was travelling up in the lift to visit them and as we pulled up at the maternity ward a lady remarked to me, “It won’t be too long until you will be up here with your new baby.” I just nodded and walked out swallowing hard, not telling her I was heading to feed my babies that were two weeks old.

I’ve had people ask me at church, and then query me further when I said I wasn’t, as though I would be lying. Way to make an awkward situation more awkward. Another elevator experience where an old man kept talking about how sorry he is for ‘you pregnant women’ during the heat. The other day I went to a function for my husband’s work. I bought a new dress, I thought I looked great and that it was very flattering. But then someone came into work and asked Alex when our next baby was due. People in shops ask and my two big boys ask blunt questions like, “Why is your tummy still big Mummy? There’s no baby in it now.” Children of course are the easiest to forgive. Unless a woman is heavily pregnant, I think it just isn’t something you should comment on. But they do, so I just smile and get out of there quickly.

There is no sense beating yourself up about it. Today I’m wearing green. I’m even more aware of my protruding stomach today. I was tossing up whether to wear a vest to cover the muffin tops or a scarf to hide the bulge. I chose the vest, but I’m still not sure it was the right decision.

At the end of the day, I know that I need to work hard to fix this problem. I’m not entirely there yet, it’s a matter of priorities, and right now, I’m just smiling big and hoping people look at my face not my stomach and if all else fails put the triplets in front of me. Another attention diverting strategy.

I need to work my pelvic floor exercises (they are of vital importance to repair the diastisis) and remember to do them more and work them more into my routine. I need to eat better and find ways to do appropriate exercise. And I will. When you are not at your ideal weight, sometimes you need to accept yourself, but not excuse yourself.

And you find out the right way to stand when you take photos. Here’s a more flattering shot of todays green challenge, not to mention a bit of fun. My four year old photographer told me I had to do a silly photo! You can follow the remainder of my involvement in the challenge on my instagram. Feel free to start following! I love new followers! (Including on all social media, click away on the buttons in my sidebar!)

Have you ever been asked if you are pregnant when you are not? What’s your coping skills when you are not at your ideal weight?

Continue Reading

Mummy's Tea Time Out

The triplets for the last fortnight have been absolutely beastly. It’s not their fault. They have caught colds, and it seems that they are teething. There has been relentless crying. And crying. And tantrums. And clingy behaviour. And crying. And crying. And wanting to be held constantly. Primarily by Mummy or Daddy. Did I mention there has been a lot of crying?
It truly has been exhausting. And I don’t know when it’s going to stop! But in the meantime, I’ve been trying to do as many varied activities as possible and lots of play to try and keep their little minds off their woes! For instance, this morning we made a special soft playdough. Kept their attention for 5-10 minutes. (More for the girl, less for the boys. In fact Toby, perhaps looked at it for 1 minute. Which is typical for him!)

 Before long this was happening. Again.

Yep. All three joined the refrain.

Jayden had got so dramatic that he had caught himself under the table. Not that it stopped him wailing at all. A rescue mission and consolation session was in order. Then I realised that Toby was missing.
Location. Kitchen. He had decided to mix himself up another batch of playdough. I keep forgetting that they cart stools around now. I shouldn’t, because open packages are dangerously messy.

By the time I got them down for their nap, I was exhausted. Trent had a little mate around, so I decided to do something I rarely do. Sit down and have a cup of tea. I’ve bought a new teapot recently, so I’ve been wanting to try it out. Since I was using a teapot (how la-di-da!) I thought I may as well make it an occasion, and use my Royal Albert tea cup. And of course one needs sugar and cream. And why not, I ask you, thrown in chocolate cake? I grabbed my Bible, and was all ready for the serenity of a few moments sipping tea and spending time with Jesus.

When hey presto, of course the two little amigos appeared. Hungry. The tea was left to infuse a bit longer while food was collected, and of course they were keen to join me at the table.

 It didn’t take long before they were scampering off into the garden. To catch monsters, snakes and a tiger I was informed. I’ve never felt so safe. Although I felt safer after they were given the strict instructions to never touch a real snake. Which they totally thought was unreasonable so they received the full Mummy lecture until their opinion changed.

Finally. It was time for my French Earl Grey tea and a moment of alone time.

And during this little interlude in my day, God blessed me. Right from the moment I opened my Bible and caught a glimpse of a little post it my fiance had stuck inside my Bible before I went overseas while we were engaged. Which brought a little more meaning to Psalm 103 as I read it. My heart has truly been satisfied with good things. And I am grateful. And even at that moment, drinking from my good china, I could feel my soul being refreshed, (I hope my youth too!) And I will praise the Lord and not forget the good things he has given to me. Despite the crying and the trials. I am blessed. I am loved. I am happy.

What good things have you felt blessed by recently?

Graced Simplicity

Continue Reading

Happy Heart Musings: Valentino and all things Fashionable

Visions of sugarplums may dance in the heads of little boys and girls the night before Christmas, but last night I went to sleep with visions of lace, sequins, bows and luxurious fabrics dancing through my head.


My sister and I had been to visit the Valentino Exhibition in Brisbane on its final day.

It was a tad busy. Thank goodness we had pre-purchased the tickets and could breeze past the hoardes of women (and a few men) lined up waiting to get in. We actually had also gone with my mother and sisters in law, but we separated partway through the exhibit. Primarily because The Actress (sister) and I were going so slowly since we were taking so long to OOOOHHH and AAAAAHHH over each dress. In fact I think a family of fahion conscious snails would have completed the exhibition before us had they decided to view the exhibit. Luckily there were no snails present, which is just as well, since misfortune they would have surely encountered were they present. Inevitably a snail would be skewered by a stilletto or squashed by a ballet flat in the midst of the eager observants.

It was well worth dilly dallying though. Such gorgeous gowns, full of elegance, sophistication and glamour.


As I wandered around in awe of such beauty, I became quite contemplative as my mind wandered through the drifts of fabric. I should clarify, I became contemplative, probably after leaving the exhibit. I was far too busy talking with The Actress. I must say, our commentary was highly amusing, and not just to us. We even had a secret stalker, a bored Dad who kept on unobtrusively positioning himself behind us and smirking away. That was until he laughed out loud when I made in depth observations on the precarious walk that the models were doing in their slightly ridiculous footwear during video footage of a fashion parade. He was a little mortified that we had ‘just’ (so he thought) noticed him, that he disappeared into the crowd. Poor guy, his loss, our commentary was by far more entertaining then the official guides.

So firstly I was thinking about how we classified how much we liked the dresses according to how well we could imagine ourselves in the blessed creation. For instance, The Actress could totally see herself on stage in the black 80’s sequined number, lifting her arm out and exposing the exquisite beading whilst singing the dramatic final note.

Valentino, Retrospective: Past/Present/Future will be open at the Gallery of Modern Art, Brisbane, from August 7 to November 14, 2010. <EM>Photo: Katherine Feeney</EM>

She could also see herself swanning around in the pink dress with the matching overcoat with the glorious lining or in Audrey Hepburn’s number that we call the wattle dress, even though we discovered the flowers weren’t wattles at all. T’was a shame, really, it was quite un-Australian of Valentino. (Who does he think he is – like Italian?)


While I tossed up trying to decide the most appropriate dress to disguise my post-baby tummy,

or just wanting to wear something fabulous in the event of losing post baby tummy.

I would totally be motivated to lose weight, if someone were to give me a Valentino. In fact sister and I decided if someone were to bestow upon us even one Valentino gown each, we would completely renovate Mum and Dad’s house into a ballroom where we would host a grand ball, weekly, wearing our Valentinos. Of course you would never get sick of us wearing the same outfit – it’s a Valentino. Oh, unless it was the hand painted 60’s number. We thought our Gran would have been able to paint the swirly pattern onto it. Maybe she did? A secret rendevous with Valentino. What a great family secret. We unexpectedly met our cousin at the exhibit, and she wholeheartedly agreed that the hand paintings matched Gran’s capabilities.

Valentino, Retrospective: Past/Present/Future will be open at the Gallery of Modern Art, Brisbane, from August 7 to November 14, 2010. <EM>Photo: Katherine Feeney</EM>
For the record, the little black dress up the top right hand side of the picture was one my favs. The photo does it no justice, it was gorgeous. If you were there, hopefully you remember. The Actress and I noted that although we had seen pictures of some of the dresses before, being there, seeing them up close was a totally different experience, and they were all the more splendid in real life.
Valentino, Retrospective: Past/Present/Future will be open at the Gallery of Modern Art, Brisbane, from August 7 to November 14, 2010. <EM>Photo: Katherine Feeney</EM>
If only we were allowed to touch. Before we left, I seriously considered going back to a dress, probably this one with such intricate fabrics and folds to touch it. It totally would have been worth getting evicted from th

e gallery for. I’m to much of a good girl though. A bit too afraid of getting in trouble!

Valentino Evening ensemble (detail) Haute Couture Autumn/Winter 2007–08, Model 170 | Collection: Les Arts Décoratifs, Paris / Photograph: Jean Tholance
So back to my musings. Sorry, got a bit carried away remembering with all the lovely pictures. (I have a weakness for pictures, being a visual learner and all.)
The desire, even the feeling obligation to lose weight in order to wear these creations, was a little disturbing. The dresses are designed for the ‘ultimate woman’s body’. Tall, slim models are the ideals to display the pieces. It is not about the dress alone, there is a certain size – ie. small – that is a requirement within the fashion industry. While I could find some dresses that would be able to hide my lumps and bumps – were they in a greater size – the dresses have not been designed for the ordinary woman. They are made with the elite in mind. The ‘haves’ not the ‘have nots’. There is the element of snobbery of owning a designer gown.
Now I’m not meaning to be completely harsh. Viewing the dresses in total awe and amazement, I know there must be the brilliant minds that God has created, so that they can in turn create such beauty, a celebration of femininity. Valentino, Dior, Yves St. Laurent, Marc Jacobs, etc. are the trend setters. The wealthy wear the clothing with their labels on. However, we do to. The labels are not so grand, but the clothing that we pick up in the stores that suit our budgets, have nevertheless been influenced by the trendsetters.
I think as women we crave beauty. I think we have been designed to crave beauty. To take pride in ourselves, and our homes to aspire to become better and create an atmosphere for others to feel comfort in. My encounter with Valentino was beautiful and even though I will probably never wear one of his creations, his designs have touched my life.
Valentino Evening gown Haute Couture Spring/Summer 1971, Model 238.  Photograph: Jean Tholance
Continue Reading