An Open Letter To My Weird Post-Pregnancy Belly Flap (Read With Caution)

An Open Letter To My Weird Post-Pregnancy Belly Flap

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When my doctor delivered me, I had two things to take home. One – my precious baby, two – the belly flap!

A kangaroo pouch for a little marsupial. That is precisely what I thought it looked like. But hello, I don’t carry my child in there! Nor do I leap like a kangaroo. I could achieve a leap more gigantic if I could get rid of that FUPA.

‘Mother’s Apron’, is another interesting term for it. I looked it up on some pages on maternity. But there was nothing I could appreciate about it until I became a mommy. And I now know why women can get so fussy about it. My hands would reach out to probe that mass of the flesh hanging loosely over the incision area. Let me correct you if you thought I was obsessed with it. I have been rather curious, alarmed and feeling gross about it. The pouch was something that I wasn’t warned of, nor was I introduced to the probability of having one in the first place. After all, I had no idea that I would be in for a C-section. And apparently most C-sections come with the flappy bonus.

So, hello Flappy! (I would stick to this name among your many nicknames). Thanks for adding the additional glamour to the already ‘delectable’ mommy-body. I didn’t realize you were going to stay for so long! It was not until I showed up at my hair-dresser that day. She was delighted to see me. But I wasn’t willing to reciprocate her excitement. Because no sooner had I greeted her there, than she touched my belly and said, “Isn’t the second one on its way too? You cheeky thing!” (Quite offensive!) I was left with no time to get cheeky in bed at least in the first few months after I had my first baby. Not a word for me. But it just went to show that I wasn’t in shape…eeeek!!

And although I have full admiration for the octogenarian doctor who performed the section on me with those wrinkled hands that quivered not an inch, (not even while writing prescriptions or examining me let alone doing the section), I will always wonder if I must be indebted for this additional gut she gave me to carry home. She had assured me that the little swelly succulence that I was feeling above the incision area would soon vanish. It did. But that region still feels numb. On top of that there is the belly flap that keeps jutting out every time I try to tuck it in.

But didn’t my doctor examine me on a regular basis? With the gentle pressing on the abdomen on each visit. She said, “Good.” I don’t know what that meant. And that remark came two days after the C-section. Did she mean my abdominal muscles would tone soon? Well, that is what I thought at that point of time, from her optimistic exclamation. I had heard from many women who had undergone C-section that they were never really back in shape. I was freaking out with the imaginations of a pot-bellied woman who hadn’t even reached her 30s to be stripped off the right to flaunt an hour-glass figure.

No Spandex, no Lycra and no corsets. I was allowed none of these for the first month post delivery. And there was a wedding in the meantime that I declined to attend. Must have sounded like a snob. But I’d rather stay put home wearing the very ‘80s baggies than popping up there only to come home with a Golden Raspberry for the ‘Worst Dressed’ that evening.

But when it was time to try out the body-shapers, it turned out they kept rolling down the hips much assisted by the unwelcome guest that you are, Flappy. Those belly belts only seemed to transmit the extra fat to other parts of the body and make them look so outflung; as though we are pieces of sculpture that have horribly gone wrong. I can gather myself; get over the grumbles of unnecessary debits on the body-hugging accessories. But let me ask you if your motive is to stay there and steal all the attention that I once used to get.

Then you seem to encroach upon the terrain as though you are seeking a permanent residence there. But I won’t concede defeat. You must know that I am not okay with being pear-shaped. I’m not okay to display the beer-belly by tucking my shirts in. I will not keep up with the feeling of being unsexy. I’d rather not mind the hundred push-ups, first thing to do when I wake up. I will sweat my brows. Then will see you after a month. You sure will have retracted by then!

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