New Mothers' Struggle with Post-Partum Body: Brooke Vincent's Story

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Brooke has enjoyed a successful acting career and has had a lot of memorable experiences over the years, but nothing compares to what she is feeling right now! She is staring into the most beautiful face she has ever seen in her life! Her baby is every shade of adorable and she could spend an eternity doing nothing but staring at that cutely innocent face; drinking from his loveliness.

The fact that this beautiful human is all hers--and her partner’s of course, but she carried this gorgeous baby for nine months in her womb and now she is carrying her in her arms! She wants to stay like that forever.

‘I’m going to have a most fab motherhood experience!’ she thought, smiling. I’m going to be a model mother; a show stopper! My baby and I will make a statement pair always that the tabloid won’t ever have enough of us’.

She was already picturing herself in the cutest sunglasses rocking one of her favourite tank tops on a uber cool short, her son safely tucked away in his gorgeous pram wearing the cutest dungarees ever while the dad, looking dapper himself, pushes the pram as they take an evening stroll together.

‘Woohoo! Life is about to get delightfully better! Haha’

Then something stopped her in her giddy tracks; the thought of her postpartum body. She has not given any serious thought to this prior to now. How will her body react to afterbirth? This is her first child. What if her body gives way? What if it’s difficult to get back her body? What if… She halts it there. 

‘Let’s focus on the now for now’ she said aloud as she was beginning to panic.

The gram is filled with a lot of super gorgeous and stylish mothers who got their body back within 4-6 weeks. Her case cannot be different. She brightens up again.

A month later, except for the love for her son, Mexx, that has grown in leaps, none of the utopian pictures she painted has materialised, yet. She was still basking in the newfound joy of motherhood though. I mean who would look at Mexx and not melt? Awww… She has been blessed with the most beautiful baby!

The part of her utopia that didn’t play out, however, is the one that involves her body. She is wearing no favourite tank top on short yet. At least, not the very one she had in mind when she was in the land of Utopia. And she finds this really perplexing and disturbing. 

Instagram is filled with hot stepping mamas with drop dead smashing bodies who were able to get into their favourite dress few weeks after giving birth. They sashay into parties absolutely looking like a dream, difficult to tell they had a baby not too long ago.

And each time the media ask them the secret, they are mostly saying how it is nature who took her course. ‘I didn’t do much really. My body simply snapped back into its old form.’ they sound even bored saying this like ‘this is a not a big deal. Why is everyone making one out of it?’

She was determined to get asked the question too. No way will she allow her dream, that picture of herself in her favourite tank top and short to just fade. She must slay!

So Brooke started cutting down on food drastically and enrolled in a gym. She highlighted her problem areas to her fitness instructors; the belly and her budding Christian mother arms, and of course the extra flesh everywhere else. 

Boy! Was it was arduous and grueling? Ah. She found out soon enough that pre-motherhood and post-motherhood gym experience is not the same thing. There’s a whole lot of difference between them. She would be lifting a dumbbell and her mind would wander to her baby. ‘What is he doing now? Is he crying? Does he need feeding already? Has he woken up yet? Is he sleeping?’

Concentrating was simply difficult. Her baby is only 5-week old, too young to be left alone for long for mostly vanity purpose. Mexx needs her but here she was completely focused on herself and what’s wrong with her body, instead of focusing on what is right and working patiently and organically at fixing whatever needs fixing.

She felt guilty, left the gym and stopped going there. She was determined to get her priority right. No need fixing what is not broken, especially when Instagram is the motivation.

Brooke made up her mind to do what she think is right with the support of her partner, and not lived or groomed her body to the taste of the society. Her partner and son are the two most important people in her life and since they are absolutely fine with how she looks, why the fuss?
 
She felt rather foolish being concerned with what people think rather than what’s best for her and her family. So she promptly redirected her focus to her family and continued living.

The months rolled into the other, and her Mexx was 11-month old! Her baby is only a month shy of his first birthday! Joy, oh joy! She was super excited. She’s been celebrating each month his son had clocked but this 11-month felt special and she cannot explain why. Might be because her partner was taking her out on a date? The first in 11 months!
 

Her life as a celebrity ensures she has a closet full of clothes, and shoes and the rest; more than enough of beautiful pieces; statement fashion items. But to her chagrin, they no longer fit!

She first started out with some of the favourite dresses in her line up, but they have suddenly become all shades of wrong. These are clothes that used to kiss her body seductively and snuggle up in all the right places. But now they have become total strangers on her! Her body won’t yield to them and they in turn returned the favour with fierce distaste.
 
The next favourite dresses did not provide any succor as they joined the previous ones to perfect the coup. From the first dress to the second till Brooke wore all of 23 different clothes in rapid succession and none of them fit! Horrors of horrors! She accepted her truth those many months back, but nothing in her wildest dreams prepared her for this. Her subconscious must have placed it that it wouldn’t take that long to get back to her old svelte figure.

She really looked at herself in the mirror then in her watermelon pyjamas and slippers, and shook her head in self-pity. The realisation that she might never return to her old self broke her. She could not stop the river of tears. “Everybody on the gram is picking up just where they left off easily, why is my own different? Why is it difficult for me to return to exactly how I was before getting pregnant just like everyone else?” she wailed.

The weeping spell helped to clear her head a bit, and she sat back to weigh her options dispassionately. The answer jumped at her then with stunning clarity. She is a changed person. Why is she here fighting reality? Her old body was gorgeous but she was Mexxless then; she didn’t have Mexx! When you pine for the old that you might never have, you end up missing out the thrill of the new. And that is what she has allowed to happen to her!

While absolutely not letting herself go, she decided that she would not wallow in shame and self-pity. She refused to get lost in depression and anxiety attacks over what people will think or say.

This new reality, she will rock it and enjoy herself while at it. She even took it a step further by sharing her experience on Instagram thereby inspiring others who might be in her shoes to live and thrive in their truth. She also encouraged them to be honest when sharing their experience with motherhood, and not painting a false picture that will only make other mothers depressed.

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Motherhood could be pretty complicating and demanding. It is not unusual to see mothers, especially new mothers, feeling blessed and stressed all at once. Aside from the demanding task of caring for their newborn, a lot of mothers go into depression and anxiety attacks anytime they compare notes between their old and post-baby body.

Brooke Vincent pulled through and is even able to inspire women in her shoes not to be deceived by the glitz of Instagram. Hear her:

'I thought my jeans would instantly fit and I would just be my “old self” only with my new beautiful baby. 

'How wrong I was, I tried 23 outfits on at least, nothing looked right, nothing looked like me and I felt like I was looking at a completely different person, I suppose to a certain extent I now am, I am Mexx’s mum.

'I sat and cried and felt ashamed that I haven’t just been able to pick up where I left off like people seem to do here on Instagram! 

'So this was so important for me to say, for all the women who think they should look, act or feel a certain way after a baby DONT! Don’t beat yourself up. 

'Do you & if 4/6/8weeks or even a year after giving birth you don’t fit in your old clothes don’t worry, you can always join my club it’s important to be honest because being a new mummy is daunting enough! 

'The most important thing is me & Mexx are healthy & happy and as soon as my baby boy looked at me, I realised he doesn’t care if i fit in my old jeans or not .. So I guess creased watermelon PJs & slippers for now it is #bekindtoyourself #newmumclub. (Sic)
 

I soothe with my pen. Or keyboard. Or both.


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