Published on 'The Daily Mail' Tuesday 25th July 2017
A mother of three has opened up about how her latest pregnancy has changed her body - and why she's not in a rush to regain her pre-baby physique.
Kirsty McKenzie, 32, from Canberra, gave birth to a baby girl eight weeks ago and posted about her changing appearance on her blog The Mummysomniac.
'It takes 9 whole months (for most of us) for our bodies to grow and change during pregnancy... the changes for some of us are greater than others,' she wrote.
'The different kinds of baby bellies are as varied as you and me (funny that), and the impact that has on the body is entirely different too.
'So the notion that we can all 'bounce back' in the same way as each other, and in less time than it took to change it in the first place, is just unrealistic,' she added.
'The notion that we can all 'bounce back' in the same way as each other, and in less time than it took to change it in the first place, is just unrealistic,' Ms McKenzie wrote
The mum of three said that during her most recent pregnancy she had an 'epic 38 week belly'
Ms McKenzie went on to say that she had an 'epic 38 week belly' which held a 'nearly 4kg baby in a tiny 5'2 body' and therefore she has a 'fair bit of repair to do first'.
'At 8 weeks post partum, I have only just been given the all clear from my doctor, to become a functioning human being again,' she wrote.
'These last 8 weeks have been a blurry whirlwind of newborn squishiness, attempting to sneeze without feeling like my insides will become my outsides, and learning again that I'm some kind of super human entity that can actually function on far less than the recommending amount of nightly shut-eye.
Previously, Ms McKenzie spoke candidly to FEMAIL about her very different pregnancies as she prepared to give birth to her third child
'When I looked in the mirror, I felt complete and utter despair,' she recalled - talking about when she realised she still looked 'six months pregnant' six weeks after she gave birth to her second child (pictured pregnant, left, and six weeks post partum, right)
'Thankfully (and astonishingly) this time I've been left with only a 3cm abdominal separation, which in itself is some kind of miracle.
'So, first and foremost let's close that sucker up, work on the pelvic floors some more (cause no one likes the sneezy-wees) and then work on getting back to my bikini modelling... just kidding, I've retired..
'No really, it's time to be realistic here, a little bit patient, far more understanding of my body and what it's been through than I might want to be, and take it easy. It's not a race, or a competition.
'It wasn't so much vanity as finding it difficult to deal with change,' Ms McKenzie told Daily Mail Australia (pictured while pregnant for the third time)
According to Ms McKenzie, while she thought she was prepared for pregnancy and the body changes, nothing can prepare you for the emotional rollercoaster of carrying a child
'I have absolutely, every intention of 'getting my body back' (whatever that is after 3 kids), but I'm living by a "slow and steady" philosophy here... or something like that.'
It's not the first time that Ms McKenzie has documented her realistic approach to parenthood.
Speaking previously to FEMAIL she opened up candidly about how her three very different pregnancies affected her.
'When I looked in the mirror, I felt complete and utter despair,' she recalled - talking about a moment she realised she still looked 'six months pregnant' six weeks after she gave birth to her second child.
Nevertheless, by the time Ms McKenzie gave birth to her eldest daughter, she embraced the changes in her body - her 'battle scars', including her 'outie' belly button
According to Ms McKenzie, while she thought she was prepared for pregnancy and the changes she would see in her body, nothing can prepare you for the emotional rollercoaster of carrying a child:
'It wasn't so much vanity as finding it difficult to deal with change,' Ms McKenzie told Daily Mail Australia.
'While it does happen slowly, gaining weight and getting stretchmarks for the first time was a shock to the system.'
The 32-year-old remembered breaking down to help with the emotional release.
It wasn't until her second pregnancy that Ms McKenzie said she was pushed 'to the limits of my body's capabilities physically and mentally' (pictured pregnant)
Nevertheless, by the time Ms McKenzie gave birth to her eldest nine months later, she said she realised the power of the human body - and how much she loved her newborn baby girl:
'I accepted the changes including my "outie" belly button,' she said.
'They were my battle scars and they helped me to produce one of my greatest accomplishments, my eldest girl.'
It wasn't until she got pregnant for a second time less than a year later that the mother-of-two fell into 'complete and utter despair' over her body.
'Physically and mentally, my second pregnancy pushed me to the limits of my body's capabilities,' she said.
'I bounced back physically from my first pregnancy without any real issues, but my second pregnancy had pushed my body to the extreme,' Ms McKenzie said
While Ms McKenzie said she knew and was prepared for things like morning sickness and stretchmarks, 'no two pregnancies are the same'.
'I was much bigger than I was before, and mentally I found it tough to get up and get going. It was hard at the beginning because I wondered whether I would ever be able to love another child as much as my first.
'It was also hard at the end because I realised I had to go through the whole thing again - self doubt crept into my mind.'
However, her most recent pregnancy, she said, was her most 'positive' experience.
'I've learned to juggle multiple lives as well as my own, and physically I feel the best I've felt,' she previously told FEMAIL.
This time, the mum-of-two said she has had her most 'positive' pregnancy yet - she said her body is in the best place physically (pictured with her family)
'Everything has also been put into perspective a bit and I've learned to look at the changes within my body with a bit more understanding and acceptance.'
In a strange way, the mum-of-two said she is happy to have come out of the other side:
'For other women who are struggling with being pregnant I would say your body will not look the same afterwards, but it's not meant to look the same.
'I'm not worried about looking good in a bikini anymore. Remember you made a life; your body didn't change for nothing.'
Behind the blog...