Expect More than Just Changing Nappies after a Baby!

Sailor asked me to jump on the trampoline with her the other day. Grant was playing with Scout, so I agreed. It’s been quite some time since I’ve been on a trampoline. I started thinking about just how long as we were jumping and laughing… and then BOOM! A little bit of wee came out mid-air.

Sailor asked me what was wrong. I must have looked fairly shocked. It hadn’t happened before. I didn’t quite know how to react. I told her to keep jumping. So I jumped again and again BOOM! I was slowly leaking. UGH! How horrible! How unfair! All those bloody pelvic floor exercises I did for months and now this! Sailor asked me why I had my hand between my legs with a petrified, horrified look on my face. I didn’t want to scare her so I just told her, “Nothing darling. Just something that happens to mummies when they have babies. It’s all good!”

What happened next I was NOT expecting. Sailor responded, in a very matter- of-fact voice. “Oh, yeah I know. Mummies get hairy bottoms when they have babies.” “WHAT?” How did this situation just go from bad to worse? She responded, “Yeah I told all my friends and they said the same thing about their mummies.”

Oh my gosh! I was in total shock. I literally just peed myself and then I’m told my daughter is talking about my “hairy” bottom to all her school mates. What have I become? I calmly explained to her that it’s not really that nice to talk about Mummies bottoms at school. She didn’t get what the big deal is and asked me why things change when you’re pregnant. This got me thinking. And thinking some more and almost commiserating my pre-baby body,but then celebrating the triumph of actually growing another human being inside me!

There’s a LOT of things not spoken about when you have kids. I’m sure I’m not the only one who knows this or thinks this but for those who are blissfully unaware let me tell you straight – having children wreaks havoc on your body! Your body, your brain, become merely a vessel to carry these little people to life! Now, if you’re reading this in your bikini while breastfeeding your newborn with perky breasts and sipping a caramel latte on some beach, just know I hate you! Nah, just kidding. Stop reading this now and go read a “life as a bikini model blog” somewhere else! If you’re still reading this, then I know you know what I mean!

Well, this is a little slice of my havoc story, I guess! I’m telling you so that YOU too can feel normal. I’m being brutally honest but not gross, to let you have a little giggle, not to freak you out. No matter how many changes or adjustments my body and brain have gone through, nothing compares to the love and the joy of having children! I just hope that by telling my story, you may feel a little better about yourself. Your insecurities. Those little niggling worries that plague all of us mums. Well most of us, that are more likely to burn a bikini in a fire than be seen wearing one! And by the way, I’d love to hear all about your story (if you’re game) in the comments section!

I’ve spoken before about being sick when first pregnant. In the beginning, I would vomit all over myself in bed, in the car, and on the street. It was horrendous. I had shocking reflux and could barely eat a thing. I lost a lot of weight very quickly. After the first trimester my morning sickness subsided and was replaced with an insatiable desire to devour the entire planet, all its people, and to wash it all down with pork crackling coated in condensed milk. In fact, I would have nearly three cans of condensed milk every day. I also lived in Chinatown, Sydney, at the time, and could be found wandering into each and every Chinese restaurant almost hourly to fill up on fried rice and chilli pork. I quickly gained back all the weight I had lost and more. And more. And more! When I finished working at Sunrise a month before Sailor was born, the three numbers I had on speed dial were my husband’s, my mum’s and Dominos Pizza. The day my daughter was born, I was weighed and I had put on 30.2kgs. Ooops? But she was a very healthy baby with a penchant for Chinese and condensed milk! KIDDING!

Now, I know I speak about my weight battles elsewhere, so you don’t need reminding here! I wanted to discuss the other changes I have experienced since having my babies.

Firstly, my feet grew two sizes. U-huh! I was a small size 7 with some really gorgeous shoes before I was pregnant. Afterwards, I could barely squeeze into a wide size 9 flat. They had to be flat, because my feet were too large and my legs too heavy to wear any type of heel. It was an extremely sad day when I gave away all my size 7 shoes, as nobody could tell me if my feet would ever return to normal. I had sausages for toes! My feet also became incredibly flat, making me walk like I had big heavy blocks on my feet! Stomp, stomp, stomp! I was told that it was a combination of fluid and extra weight. However, when I lost weight before falling pregnant the second time… my feet remained clown-sized! Strangely, they have settled into a size 8 now and I think they’ll stay that size from here on? At least I hope so!

Now to talk about a little extra hair. On the face, girls! Sheesh! I developed a very nice downy hair pretty much all over my face while pregnant with Sailor. It’s kinda like a blonde peach fuzz around my cheeks, my lips and down under my jaw line! It looks wonderful under makeup and while standing in the sun! NOT! It’s kinda cleared up a little now but for a good while there I thought I would be furry forever!

Also on the face, I developed a beautiful brown dirty looking mark all over my forehead and covering my chin and top lip! This is known as the evil, Melasma! I know it well. I see it every bloody day when I look in the mirror, however, it is getting better as I’m having laser treatments to try reduce it and to explain just how tough this mark is to remove – they use a tattoo removal laser! Until I started having laser, it didn’t matter how much make-up / concealer / spakfiller I put on my face, this persistent stain could not be covered. If it had been a while since I touched up my face, people would gesture to me to wipe my lip as they thought I had a layer of dirt (cause I often do eat dirt?) or they thought I had traces of food on my face! So embarrassing when you’re trying to have a conversation with someone and they keep staring and then eventually ask if I had accidentally brushed up against something dirty. And I looked dirty! And I felt dirty! When I was pregnant with my second child, Scout, I looked just as ridiculous – I would cover my entire face with zinc daily (mostly nude but occasionally white like a cricketer). I was determined to prevent the marks from getting any worse the second time around… But, alas, my efforts were in vain. When Scout was born, I realised so too were some new permanent brown marks, now on my nose and down both sides of my face, under my peach fuzz! Hot!

Cellulite made an appearance with gusto during both pregnancies. I guess I was always carrying a little on my thighs – that’s normal, right? But now it also took up residence on my tummy, on my arms and even my calves. In fact, my legs (with the huge feet attached) were so bumpy due to excessive hormones and trapped fluid and pressure from the baby growing, that Sailor would often try to put her fingers in the holes and crevices when I would get changed and she would often ask me if the moon surface looked like my bottom. “All bumpy and dangerous for the astronauts!” Ew.
My beautiful buxom bouncing perky breasts became humongous balloons! Blown up and looking likely to pop at any minute, and bloody sore at times, too. See my breastfeeding story for more on them… But now, there is nothing. They’re little droopy pancakes. Actually, they look like they’ve just decided to give up on life altogether. They must be tired or just over it. They now just like resting on my stomach roll. They’re exhausted, too, I guess. Maybe depressed.Not sure. Someone once described their boobs after babies and breastfeeding as being similar to oranges in a pair of footy socks, all stretched and hanging low. Well, mine are like small mandarins in a pair of ankle socks, I guess you could say!

Varicose veins have attacked my legs, and left deep blue trails. I didn’t even really know what a varicose vein was until I was pregnant. And especially the second time around, when I felt a lump on my inner thigh in the shower. I recently spoke about this on National radio podcast with The Thinkergirls because it was terrifying and NO ONE ever told me it could happen. For those who haven’t heard the podcast revelation here’s a little summary of what transpired.I was heavily pregnant (about 8 months) and I believed I was feeling great at this very late stage, until I found a lump on the top of my thing whilst in the shower. I couldn’t see over my big belly but I could feel the lumpiness travelled all the way up to my groin and one part of my vagina er… lip? I guess you would call it. I felt like I had elephantiasis of the vagina. I instantly thought the baby had cause some gross deformity. To confirm what this swollen vagina was exactly, I begged my hubby to inspect. He got a torch and had a look while I laid on the ground thinking my life was over. I will never forget his face. He went white. He looked like he had seen a car crash! The corners of his mouth turned down and his lips were pursed. He said we better call the doctor as it looked like my vagina was swollen, blue, and very likely to explode. Explode? What the hell? I quickly called my Obstetrician and she could see me straight away. Her response after inspecting down there was … great. She laughed and laughed, while my husband and I waiting nervously to see what she was laughing about. She said I had a varicose vein that had become swollen and that if it wasn’t sore, it would be fine and should disappear after the birth. She told me it was just like a haemorrhoid. What! I had a haemorrhoid on my vagina?! She assured me it was fine, and just a swollen vein. Well … From that point on, I walked very open-legged and very slowly. The thought of the pulsating vein down there made me feel sick. I was advised to keep my feet up often, which I adhered to as best I could. And my Obstetrician was right – it disappeared a week or so after the birth! If only the ones on my right leg would disappear …

Brain cells. What are they? I was a reasonably intelligent person I thought before I was pregnant. Now I’m likely to leave the Vegemite in the laundry basket and the bread in the bathroom sink at times. I often can’t think of a word mid sentence and end up finishing conversations with “Umm.. God!” and trying to act out the word. Now I can’t even think of what the bloody game is called where you act out the words. See my point. Oh, charades! That’s it. Yes, I finish off my conversations in person using hand gestures like a game of charades! Hahaha.

My tummy has also changed. It was never really flat I guess, but now it looks like I have a little floppy veranda overhanging my caesarean scar. But, to be quite honest, I’m actually proud of my tummy! And not because I can squeeze it to make a doughnut around my belly button (a real talent), or because I can push it out and make it look like I’m about five months pregnant with minimal effort. I’m proud of my little floppy, flappy belly, because of what it represents! I know it’s really weird, because I’m way harsh on the rest of my body and changes, but my belly is like my little secret. Except now everyone reading this knows how I feel, so, not so secret anymore! When I look at it, I remember how big it got while creating two little people who I’m so proud of. I think about how special it felt to feel the girls’first little flutters, their first kicks, even their hiccups after I would eat salt and vinegar chips. I look at the teeny tiny caesarean scar and immediately think about how exciting and thrilling it was to meet both my babies for the first time. I also think about how scared and nervous I was about meeting both of them on an operating table.

I guess you could say that despite the stress and trauma our bodies go through to grow these little people and to nurture them early on, despite my whinging about everything I’ve sacrificed, the truth is, I wouldn’t have it any other way! Brown marks, hairy face, hair ahem, bumpy legs, veiny vaginas, humongous feet with bunions on the way, tired and puffy eyes, female baldness in patches, limited conversation abilities at times.. And STILL it’s all worth it, you’re thinking?!?! Is she crazy? Yep – kidswill do that to you, too! And just while I’ve got you, how unfashionable is it to wear Crocs with socks? Asking for a friend…

Sailor about 8 months old! She changed my life, for the better and being pregnant with her changed my body forever!


Sailor at 11months! On this trip to the Central Coast I had to wear a LOT of makeup because I felt insecure about the brown marks (Melasma) on my face!


I had to buy these larger size thongs at Melbourne Airport because my feet were sooo big after having Sailor that none of my shoes fit! My toes and heel were hanging out of my old thongs which were 2 sizes smaller!


Grant and I at the Dancing with the Stars final! I remember feeling quite embarrassed that the bright lights would highlight my furry face!


Numbing cream on my face ready for my Picosure laser treatment … AND … Me after a Picosure laser treatment! The brown marks are starting to disappear! You can still see some of the brown spotty markings!


Me heavily pregnant with my braces just tightened… I felt like a wannabe teenager blimp! Hahaha


Me with braces on! Whilst pregnant with Scout my previously straight teeth MOVED!! I forgot to mention this in my piece above sorry! I got braces for a whole year! Ouchy!


Chezzi xox

12 responses to “Expect More than Just Changing Nappies after a Baby!”

  1. Donna-Rae Walsh says:

    Aww you went through a lot during your pregnancy i just want to give you a big hug 🤗 right now! I didn’t experience much when i was pregnant didn’t even go to full term but i had swollen legs and feet then when my daughter was 26wks+ 2days she was born very early and that’s when my body wasn’t ready at that time for it at all,i was in shock,upset cause at that point i didn’t know if she was going to make it or not! All up Sophie was in hospital for 3months which i will never forget and now she is 2 ! Thankyou for putting this story up loved ❤️️ reading it! Yes my boobs did change and my clothes sizes are up and down but my shoes size 7 is still the same which is quite funny 😂 xxx

    • Chezzi says:

      I feel your telepathic hug Donna-Rae! Thank you!
      Wow your little girl was born so early! I can’t even imagine how tough that would have been for you… The fear of your baby not making it would have been insane and I just feel so much for you. I’m so glad it worked out. I’m also glad your feet didn’t turn into clown feet like mine – Sounds like you went enough as it was. We’re all different and we all react differently during pregnancy. I admire all women who have grown and produced little people. I’m fascinated by all the changes and I’m not really upset by any of the changes at all! I’m actually kinda proud of them now that I;’ve blurted them all out in this story, I realise that I’m a kick-arse Mumma just like you! Love loads xoxox

  2. Chezzi says:

    I feel your telepathic hug Donna-Rae! Thank you!
    Wow your little girl was born so early! I can’t even imagine how tough that would have been for you… The fear of your baby not making it would have been insane and I just feel so much for you. I’m so glad it worked out. I’m also glad your feet didn’t turn into clown feet like mine – Sounds like you went enough as it was. We’re all different and we all react differently during pregnancy. I admire all women who have grown and produced little people. I’m fascinated by all the changes and I’m not really upset by any of the changes at all! I’m actually kinda proud of them now that I;’ve blurted them all out in this story, I realise that I’m a kick-arse Mumma just like you! Love loads xoxox

  3. Felicity says:

    Love the way you write Chezzi! Honest, courageous and hilarious!! Good on you for sharing your story! You rock!! 💕

    • Chezzi says:

      Thank you SO much Felicity for your comments! I try to be incredibly honest even though it’s uncomfortable at times because I want people to start feeling better about themselves and realise that we’re all so different and yet we are all beautiful and to use your words – we all rock! Thanks for your support. I appreciate it.

  4. Lisa Beckwith says:

    After 4 children and 4 c sections I knew there was no hope to ever have my toned tummy back and it wasn’t until someone said to me “god you have put on the weight around your stomach” that I realised I needed to do something about it. As much as I would love my toned tummy back a health issue doesn’t allow me to exercise so I have to accept and love my body the way it is

    • Chezzi says:

      Wow 4 children and 4 c-sections would definitely take it’s toll on your body and I guess, so it should! Your body was a vehicle of magnificence creating, sheltering, growing and nuturing little people.. Its no easy feat! It’s a bloody miracle!! It’s also hard after you have kids to find the time to exercise and often us Mums put ourselves last. It’s just what we do. If you have a health issue that affects you exercising then you have to learn to accept you are enough as you are! That’s easier said than done I totally get that.. But try to give yourself a break and tell yourself in the mirror at least once a week – You are amazing. You have created life. You are beautiful. You are ENOUGH!! I’m trying to do the same.. Sending love! Thanks for supporting my little website venture too by the way and thanks for your comments.

  5. Sarah Cumming says:

    I can’t get over how honest all your stories are Chezzi. You are an absolute breath of fresh air in a world of fakeness and pretenders. Please don’t ever change. I just ant get enough of your stories. You are very talented and entertaining without being pretentious and that in itself is a true credit to you. Thank you for making us Mum’s feel better about ourselves. Thank you for making me feel normal about the changes I’ve been through since having my children. You are a shining light and I hope more and more people cotton on to your stuff because you have really helped me through some dark times and you have no idea what I’ve been through. Just knowing I’m not alone in this has freed me on a certain level. And I’m not the only one now all my friends at work are discussing and laughing about things like incontenence after babies and it’s just amazing. Thank you thank you for being you.

    • Chezzi says:

      Oh shucks Sarah, that’s a really lovely comment you left me. Thank you. I really appreciate you taking the time to stop by and read my story, and I’m even more appreciative that I’ve helped make you feel a little more normal since having your babies! That was my aim! I know I’ve felt really crap at times. I look at myself in the mirror or in photos and I’m hard on myself. I don’t want to be so hard on myself because I realise I have done some bloody wonderful work – I created 2 little miracles! And I want other Mums to give themselves a break too! I love the fact you and your friends are discussing wetting yourself after babies at work! ha! That’s wonderful… CAUSE IT HAPPENS!! And we shouldn’t be ashamed cause it happens to A LOT of us! Thank YOU for being YOU! Keep up your good work beautiful!

  6. Elaine says:

    Hi Chezzi , what a brave new world we live in now. I love reading your comments and almost blush at your honesty. When I had my first baby 37 (eek) years ago I was soo busy trying to be the “perfect mum” I was the perfect mum -at least in my eyes.
    I wouldnt use baby wipes as I thought they were far too cold for my precious daughters bottom -I warmed up face flannels !,
    I remember finally getting my baby to bed & desperately needec a cuppa & a wee so I put the kettle on & the water boiled quick and I had a whistling kettle “oh no ” please dont wake her Im desperate for a cuppa, so I ran to turn it off & caught my little toe in the door and broke my toe …..ouch -much pain and my yelping in pain woke her up ..some days you just wanna cry

  7. leanne ryan says:

    hi chezzi,
    thank god for shape wear, hold the jelly belly in you may not be able to breathe but your gut is not poking out so much, no matter how many pelvic exercises you do when you get a fit of sneezes or the flu and your coughing so much you wee! men have it so easy !!
    have a great day chezzi

  8. You are a great storyteller, Chezzi, and so relatable, too! Admittedly, I wear Crocs all the time, and I never wear them barefoot, always with black socks. (My other pair of shoes are my organ shoes that I only wear when aim playing the pipe organ.)

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