Big Boy is now 9 months, so its time to ask whether the "9 months on, 9 months off" adage stands up to scrutiny.  Baby is a whopping 11 kilos (24lbs) and still breastfeeding on demand so I'm expecting his larger size will have worked to my advantage...

After a quick weigh-in the answer is both yes and no.  In terms of kilos it's a no.  I'm still 3 kilos - pretty much half a stone - heavier than I was before he was conceived.  Though in terms of body shape things are looking good, so without weighing scales I'd say yes.

And when I look at my body I reckon at least 1kg of the extra 3 has to be my boobs as they are still much bigger than usual (a DD instead of a B) and I suspect another 1.5kg can be attributed to  the weird fat deposits that are still floating around my tummy and lower back.  Apart from limiting my wardrobe I think (hope) these are to provide the boobies with the raw materials to make milk for Big Boy in the unlikely event that I forget to eat sufficient quantities of cake and chocolate.  So I think its breast feeding that is negating the 9 months on, 9 months off adage - though I suspect its partly breastfeeding that helped me loose the other 17kg. 

Whilst I'm not ready to bare all in my bikini I think the tankini is looking good.  Here's me in my tankini - it's 29 degrees in Sydney today and despite it being early spring the kids and I have already been to the beach a couple of times this year so thisi is now practical day wear. 
 
 
I've been intending to write this post for the last month as I have been able to fit back into my pre-pregnancy jeans since then, when baby was just 6 months old.  However, we've been on the croup carousel for the last few weeks with at least one member of the family coughing the night away so its taken me until now to get back in front of the computer.

It is almost time to celebrate as I can squeeze my hips and butt into my pre-pregnancy (pre both pregnancies it should be stressed) jeans.  I interpret this as my hips having returned to their pre-pregnancy size, and there further supporting evidence in that I can now fit comfortably on the slide and swing at the local park - something I was having a trouble with just a couple of months ago.    However, as you can probably see from the photo there is a bit of mini-muffin top and some weird back flab happening. Luckily most of my tops are a little baggy having been worn for the first couple of months of my pregnancy so its not too obvious.  Though  I'm hoping that, like last time, this is just a bit of extra blubber that will be converted into breast-milk for baby over the next 6 months and that I'll be able to wear jeans and tight t-shirts come summer.   Let's see how things look in November - I'm at least feeling very optimistic.


 
 
I'm feeling good,  still blissed-out every time I look at baby.

I am really pleased with how the breast feeding, Tummy Truss and light exercise have conspired to make me look almost like I used to.  I've had my stomach muscle separation checked by the midwife and it's just under 1 finger width - which is pretty good since it had only been 3 months after the birth and I hadn't done any specific exercises to pull them back together.

I haven't weighed myself yet  - there are no scales in our bathroom - but on close inspection I think I'm still carrying an extra 4-5 kilos but its very evenly spread and with my larger breast feeding boobs I think I look pretty good.  Here's me in my post-baby going out gear.  (I have to wait till I loose a few more kilos and reduce the breast feeding before I have a hope of fitting back into my 'normal' clothes.)
 
 
So I took the Tummy Truss off a day early.  No big deal, and how else was I going to eat my fill of seasonal goodies.  Christmas isn't Christmas if I haven't put on four or five pounds.  I'm feeling really good, strong and healthy.  I think I'm look good too- at least looking good for someone who is carrying an extra 8 kilos.  Luckily for me I'm breast feeding and my boobs have blossomed into a pair of massive DDs which distract from the extra inches around my middle. 

One thing I'm really missing about the Tummy Truss that I hadn't even considered a bonus was the protection it offered from my toddler's energetic feet, knees and elbows which constantly prod my still tender belly when she's "sitting" on my lap or I'm carrying her up the stairs.  I'm now having to tell her to be very gentle with mummy as I'm no longer wearing my postnatal armour.

Whether the Tummy Truss has done its work and helped reduce my stomach muscle separation remains to be seen - I need to book a check up with my midwife once the festivities are over.  And whether it has helped my hips get back into place so I can shimmy back into my favourite jeans is something I'll probably have to wait til this time next year to find out. 

So here's me not wearing the Tummy Truss, just after the 40 day wearing period has finished.
 
 
... and I'm acclimatising to juggling two small children.  I could do with some more time to sleep, clean, cook food and stretch my aching back but apart from that it's all good.  I've been wearing the Tummy Truss for 10 days now and it feels like a second skin.  I've been pleasantly surprised that it hasn't given me heat rash as the daytime temperature's been in the upper 20s and I've got a heat rash in my cleavage and under my breasts - I need a more breathable maternity bra.  The Tummy Truss is still quite supportive and it washes well and dries quickly - which is good as Idris has chucked up on it a couple of times. I've got two, a long one and a shorter one. I've taken to wearing the longer one at night as it's a bit restrictive when worn with cut-off denim maternity shorts.  I have worn it successfully with a skirt but I'm not really a skirt person - especially not when I'm chasing a 22 month old.

I don't know whether its the Tummy Truss or whether I'm stronger this time but wearing Idris in the Baby Bjorn to do the cooking is actually quite comfortable and very practical.

I've started to do some light pilates - lighter than I had intended.  I have Jane Simon's postnatal mother and baby pilates exercise DVD that I used last time.  Last time I even went to some classes but my daughter didn't enjoy being left on an exercise mat so I bought the DVD and did it when she fell asleep in the afternoons.  so far I've only managed to do the whole 50 min DVD once, though I've done the first set of exercises four or five times - there's something about the instructor's voice - or maybe its the babies on the DVD that set Idris off.  I'm hoping he'll get used to it and just sleep through it - at least until we get to the mum and baby exercises. 

Here's me wearing the Tummy Truss under a maternity t-shirt (actually it's a Bonds men's XXL tee) with maternity jeans.
 
 
...those "Braxton Hicks" contractions that had been happening on-and-off on friday, saturday and sunday evening transformed into the early stages of labour.  I had convinced myself that baby was going to be late, so the reality of him actually coming 4 days early has been a big surprise.  I find it hard to believe it was only a week ago that I was groaning all the way to the hospital. An hour after I had arrived my beautiful baby boy, Idris, was born. 

Labour was as good as cracking open your pelvis and squeezing out a baby probably gets.  Thanks goes to my TENS machine, husband, midwife and James Brown for getting me through without having to resort to anything stronger than a string of expletives and a panadol.  Idris was big, over 4 kg but I  count myself lucky that his head - the crucial factor in the birthing process - was nearer average size.  He left me in joyous shock with a few grazes and a massive belly.

I had been intending to wear the Tummy Truss the second night after giving birth but it was hot and sticky and I was too tired to be bothered with it.  I put it on the following evening, after we'd put the kids had gone to bed.  It took about five minutes to put on properly.  I was expecting there to be a bit quite a bit of lace over at the top but I actually had to tighten things up just to get it done up securely. 

Once on it felt good, like a warm, firm embrace.  I had adjusted it so I could feel a gentle pressure on my lower ribs and hips and left a bit more breathing space over my belly which was still feeling a little tender.  I'm hoping the lacing over my hips will encourage them to move back together again.  Last pregnancy I hadn't noticed how much they had spread  - all that lycra in maternity wear keeps one lulled into a false sense of security - but this pregnancy I had a toddler and she has always insisted that I accompany her on the tandem slide at our local park.  What in early pregnancy had been easy and fun, by the end of the 8th month was impossible because my spreading hips would no longer fit into the slide.

Under clothes the Tummy Truss at first looked a little bulky - here's a photo of me 4 days after giving birth and about 18 hours after putting on the Tummy Truss.   But now, 7 days after giving birth and 3 days after first wearing the Tummy Truss it looks sleeker and feels even more supportive. I guess it's like wearing braces on your teeth - a bit weird at first but you focus on the long-term gain - and then you get used to it and I'll probably miss it when I'm not wearing it.

This Tummy Truss had a slightly different design to the one I had worn previously.  Before doing it up I had had to attach the lace to the bottom of the Tummy Truss before lacing it up. As soon as I needed the toilet I realised that what seemed like a non feature was a massive asset - allowing me to easily unlace the bottom two eyelets to lift the Tummy Truss up and take a pee and then just drop down and tighten them up.
 
 
Second born is due in 2 weeks.  I've put on 20kg since the start of this pregnancy and can't stop eating.  All my B-cup bras look tiny as I'm now sporting a pair of DD udders as my body anticipates baby's appetite.  I'm, perhaps optimistically, planning to chart my changing body shape over the next few weeks and months.  Whether I do will depend on how the birth goes and how much time I will have with two small children.

I used a Tummy Truss after the birth of my first child and was amazed at the results - my stomach actually looked better 15 months after birth than it ever did before.  This may have been due to my dramatically reduced alcohol consumption  but I think it was also due to using the Tummy Truss in the first few weeks after birth and having a regular postnatal Pilates regime. 

Anyway, here's me now - at 38 weeks.