Stacey Solomon says getting pre-baby body back is the ‘least of her worries’
Staged photoshoots with pink-cheeked babies in pristine nurseries are the norm in the celeb world.
So are the endless stories of how the famous new mother has snapped back into shape and lost her “mum tum” within days, but not Stacey Solomon.
The Loose Women presenter recently had a son with partner Joe Swash, 37,
and immediately laid bare the bloody realities of giving birth alongside her overwhelming rush of love.
Stacey, 29, who also has sons Zachary, 11, and seven-year-old Leighton, posts no-makeup selfies and has attacked the airbrushing culture of social media for damaging the mental health of our youngsters.
Now she is a champion of all mums by unapologetically showing the unedited realities of having a baby.
Her Instagram diary entries of her newborn’s first 10 days are as moving and truthful as you’ll ever read…
As celebrity Instannouncements go, this one is unforgettable. There’s blood on the baby’s head, his blanket and her top. Shattered, she’s lying on plastic sheets because post-birth bleeds are heavy.
As every mum knows, this is the reality of birth. All you want is pain relief, sleep and your new baby in your arms.
Joe summed up their elation: “We are overwhelmed, overjoyed and apprehensive. We are so grateful for all of the love, support and positivity we’ve received. I’m lost for words.
“I’m going to spend the next few days and the rest of my life falling more in love with these two humans. I didn’t think it possible but today I witnessed the impossible. My partner, my love, my life, you’re a super human. I’m forever in awe.”
The baby blues. The phrase is well known, but the depth of despair isn’t readily shared. There are unending tears when you’re the happiest you’ve been in your life. A bereft feeling that couldn’t be lightened even if Peter Kay tapdanced into the maternity ward in just his underpants.
Stacey breaks taboos by sharing the weeping post-natal lows. She says: “Feeling ridiculously teary today. He’s just so teeny and precious and I want to do the very best I can by him.
“I never thought I’d say this but if I could put him back inside my tummy for another year I would.”
The moment the blue line appears on a pregnancy kit, there’s a comforting feeling of never being alone. So although a baby bump is cumbersome and uncomfortable, there’s a lonely feeling of emptiness when you’ve given birth which many mums keep secret.
Stacey sums it up perfectly, sharing a picture of her in padded sanitary knickers. The reality is, at this time nappies aren’t just for babies. Then there’s the undercarriage pain which Stacey manages to describe in agonising accuracy.
She says: “I’ve lost it today. I really miss my bump and baby being inside me. I don’t feel I appreciated it enough while I was pregnant and now it’s over.
“For all of the people who asked me how excited I was to get my pre-baby body back? Was I hoping to “snap back”? Am I going to train? I hate these questions. They’re pointless. No one knows how they’re going to feel and what we look like is the very least of our worries.
“The truth is I’m devastated my belly is shrinking by the day. I wish it could stay around for a little longer. I feel empty and hollow. Not to mention like I’ve been punched in the vagina.”
There is only one word to describe the stress, exhaustion, pressure, pain and happiness of having a baby: hardcore. Mums who expect blissful bonding times while baby breastfeeds and you snuggle up to take naps together are in for a rude awakening. Stacey offers hope to fellow mums struggling with uncontrollable emotions.
She says: “It feels like the fog is lifting and I’m coming out of the fuzz.
“I’m so grateful to have our baby boy with us and be surrounded by my incredible family. But it doesn’t mean it’s been all rosy and glossy. Hormone surges + really struggling to breastfeed + no sleep whatsoever + engorged boobs + cracked nipples + absolutely anything as minuscule as somebody kissing my baby’s head = total meltdown. I’ve found myself spontaneously uncontrollably sobbing into my mum’s arms at least twice every day.
“Then I feel guilty I’m not ‘enjoying every second’ like everyone tells you to because it passes by so quickly (my eldest is 11 and I feel like I just blinked and that happened).
“And to anyone else feeling or who has felt that way, don’t ever let those feelings make you feel you weren’t good enough, you were and you are.
“Thinking of all of those who don’t have a support system around them.”
They sleep – and wake – whenever they feel like it and usually while being wrapped in a huge cuddle. No wonder sleep-deprived Stacey is envious of her baby boy’s slumber. “Mood. I’m jealous. I can’t wait to sleep like this.”
“Breastfeeding is the most natural thing in the world” should be filed under BS in all baby books.
It’s great when you manage it.
But it doesn’t come easily for many mums and takes an excruciating amount of time, pain and many helpers’ hands.
Stacey tells it as it is – and sends assurance to others in the same boat.
“This is my face every time he latches on. After not mastering the latch, leaving my boobs engorged and my nipples feeling like they’d been rubbed on sandpaper, we are finally getting there.
“I’ve been milked by just about every health visitor and breastfeeding specialist around.
“We still haven’t mastered it yet and we might never master it – that’s OK too. Breast or bottle, Mammas, YOU ARE INCREDIBLE!”
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