“When are you due?”
It’s a simple question that can hold so much weight for a woman — whether you’re not pregnant at all (hello, food baby), having a difficult pregnancy or, in one mom’s case, have actually already given birth.
For one mom, this question came four weeks after giving birth to her first child.
Laura Mazza, an Australian blogger, often finds comedy in her day-to-day life, building a community of online followers who share in her writings, but this post was different for her followers.
“I got asked the three words that every woman dreads when she is not pregnant (well four words). ‘So when are you due?’ Not due for my period, not due for a poo, not due for the promotion… when am I due to have my baby? That’s what she meant. (My husband said maybe she meant something else worried I’d be upset… no that’s what she meant),” she wrote on Facebook. “I wanted to say, well actually I had him a month ago, but instead I said ‘October!’ Because I’m an idiot and didn’t want her to feel bad.”
However, Mazza said that instead of feeling bad about herself, she gave herself a break.
“I wasn’t upset. I wasn’t sad. I wasn’t embarrassed. I didn’t feel bad. I still look pregnant, and really, why the f*** wouldn’t I,” she wrote. “I keep having babies two years apart. I’ve grown their bones, their eyes, their little noses and toes, and I’ve created their little beautiful hearts. My organs squished down to allow them to grow and my muscles separated to let them grow bigger. I birthed them from my lady garden and my sun roof, and I fed them from my body. I stayed up all night feeding them. I am watching them grow and nurturing them, and looking after them from a place of pure exhaustion.”
“A place where I open the door to the postman and my right boob (I call it my Power Tit) is hanging out, my hair matted because I haven’t had time to brush it and wearing maternity leggings… but I look at them, the little things I’ve created and think they’re beautiful, truly beautiful amazing little things,” she continued. “A friend of mine expressed about feeling so upset that she still had her mum body three months after having her baby… I mean why do I, or she, have to worry about hiding the evidence of all that we have achieved? All that we have made? Why should we feel bad? Why should anyone?”
Mazza’s honest post has resonated with followers worldwide, with many moms sharing their own stories.
“I was asked this when out buying painkillers a few weeks ago. The lady behind the counter gestured towards my wobbly belly and said ‘they’re not advised during pregnancy…’ I looked her dead square in the eyes and said ‘I just love cake’. I’ve never seen that shade of red on a woman before. She couldn’t apologize enough! Safe to say three babies in three years has left it’s mark,” commented one follower.
“I just had a similar conversation with my mom. There are so many woman who would kill to have my post-baby ‘body’ (that also still looks like I’m about five months pregnant, at 10 months postpartum),” added another. “Why would they kill for it? Because I grew, birthed and am raising a beautiful healthy boy, and they struggle with infertility or loss. I need to quit being so hard on myself and embrace my mom bod. The dad bod is hot, so is the mom bod, right?!”
The mom of two understands the pressures pointed at women’s bodies. With such a positive response online, Mazza is hopeful women will begin to embrace their postpartum bodies and her story will discourage others from placing judgment on physical appearance.
“On our death beds, are we going to be talking about how we looked after giving birth, or are we going to be talking about the people we gave birth to? So if you’re still looking pregnant, if you’ve been mistaken for being pregnant, if you got this delicious overhang like me… embrace it,,” she said. “It’s OK to want to change your body but don’t spend one more second hating it in the interim, it’s done something wonderful, it’s made life.”