Tummy Talk 2- A Little History

The day before #1, Richie,was born


There are many things people don’t tell you about pregnancy, labor, and delivery. They don’t tell you about the way you feel the first time baby moves, the ring of fire, or the beauty of milky smiles. One other thing they don’t tell you about it that pregnancy can be brutally hard on your body. Not just stretch marks and back aches, but something called diastasis recti. This is when your abdominal muscles separate in the middle. They can separate for many reasons- weight of your pregnant belly, bad posture, crunches,and/or things like jackknifing out of bed. I was the queen of this in my first pregnancy. My midwife commented on how strong I was to be able to still sit up from a laying position while 6 months pregnant. I thought at the time doing this would keep my ab muscles strong. Well, I was seriously wrong. Toward the end of my pregnancy I noticed my belly button looked odd, not “turkey timer baby’s done cooking odd”, but someone unzipped my belly button odd. I thought it would go back to normal after the baby was born. It never did.

9 days before baby #2, Lillon


By baby#2 I was used to the funny belly button, stretch marks, and saggy belly that never bounced back. Pregnancy was fairly easy with some discomfort the last week. Baby #2 was born in a weird position- a face presentation.  (face came out first instead of the back of the head)The odds of that are 1 in 500. Lucky me. Labor was painful and I was forced to push her out pronto to make sure she was okay. After a 3 second scare of her not breathing, she started crying lustily and life was good.





Baby #3’s pregnancy was marked by sciatic pain over 2 of the trimesters, fatigue, and baby

3 days before #3, Eden was born

hung out in a transverse  (sideways position) until about 35 weeks. I felt huge and lots of people were questioning my due date and that it was a single baby. I was pretty happy when labor rolled around. My easiest labor so far! With only two hours of active labor, and me catching her, I was elated. ( I now think this easy labor had to do with a front lying placenta.) It was about a year and a half after this pregnancy that I learned about diastasis from Julie Tupler’s program. I checked out her book from the library and got about 6 weeks into it and got pregnant. I decided to work on my abs after it was all over. MISTAKE.


2 weeks before #4, Abigail. I don't have any later ones, but I got bigger!


Surely baby#4 would be a piece of cake after having had a path blazed by three others. One word can describe my 4th pregnancy. Horrible.  Horrible, horrible, horrible. It still causes me anguish to think back on it. I was in so much pain from sciatica, exhaustion, sore hips, low pressure, tight skin. To say I got huge, would be an understatement. People kept asking me about twins. I insisted it was only one. My mother-in-law was insistent that I looked like I was having twins. I was going to prove her wrong. I checked on Google Images for women pregnant with twins to PROVE  I wasn’t that big. Let’s just say, I had to admit they were right by the time I got done looking at pictures.  It made me cringe to have to tell people when I was due. Their eyes would bug out in shock and they would invariable ask about “twins”. This baby hung out in a transverse position, too, until about 35 weeks. Labor started with my water breaking and was going fine until we quit progressing. After a check by the midwife,  I found out I was the victim of a “brow” presentation. Those occur in about every 3000 births. Again, lucky me. After many hours of excruciating pain and some interesting gymnastics, baby turned minutes before we were all ready to give up and head to the hospital. If you like long, unpleasant labor stories with a beautiful baby at the end you can read it HERE (pt 1) and HERE (pt2).

Thankfully, I felt great afterwards.  When #4, Abigail, was 2 months old, I discovered an online fitness program through a blog that was offering a free month. It was even diastasis friendly! The idea was to use up my free month and go on my merry way. Let’s just say, Thank the Lord, that was not the case!

As you can see, my belly gets progressively bigger with each pregnancy and each pregnancy got more and more difficult. After each baby, my body took longer to get things back in place. At two months after my fourth pregnancy there was only a 4″ difference between my waist and hip measurements! At the belly button there was only a 2″ inch difference. I needed some help.

To be continued…


Tummy Talk Part 3: The Education

Tummy Talk part 4: Halfway Through

Tummy Talk 5: The Last Installment- Weeks 4-8 and Beyond

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8 Responses to Tummy Talk 2- A Little History

  1. JenEverAfter says:

    Hiya! This is Jen Hilton from the Tummy Team FB group! I’m working on my DR post as well. We all seem to have similar stories, don’t we? I dealt with a lot of extra pain with my second baby that I didn’t have with the first. And then we called it quits, so I can’t even imagine what would have happened if I had gone two more rounds! So glad we’re in the group together. Hopefully, we can help spread the word about this condition so other women can find the CORRECT answers more readily!

    • Brooke says:

      Hello Jen! I can’t wait to read your post when you are finished! Yes, we need to get the word around that we don’t have to suffer and we CAN heal.

  2. Leesa C says:

    Thank you for doing this and sharing your story! I also have separating stomach muscles and it first happened while I was prego with 3rd boy in 3 years. I would really like to know if muscles heal themselves OR what I can do about them. Are you going to share that? 🙂 Leesa

    • Brooke says:

      Hi Leesa! The muscles can definitely heal with some help. I will be doing at least 3 more posts on this over the next 6 weeks. Tomorrow I will be posting one with some very helpful programs I have used. I am in the middle of ab rehab and will be sharing a progress post and a post when I have finished the program.

  3. Debbie says:

    I didn’t think to take note of my waist hip difference, but yes! My story is similar. I get a HUGE baby belly. With my #2 I was asked if I was having a Christmas baby…he was due end of April!
    I think there is only about 4 inches difference from my waist and hips as well.

    • Brooke says:

      Isn’t it frustrating to have so little difference??? I hated trying to find clothes that didn’t make me feel fat and yucky! It is getting easier now. 🙂 I can’t wait to see the rest of your progress!

  4. Brooke,
    I am enjoying reading your easy style and your story. You have a lot to share and helpful knowledge for other Mamas. I had two twin pregnancies with only a 7″ DR opening. I am grateful b/c it seems to have lessened in the last 21 years (after babies). thank you for sharing from your heart. Also, TY for visiting DeepRootsAtHome.
    God bless you, sweet Mama!

  5. Pingback: Tummy Talk 4: Halfway Through the Tummy Team Update and Review | Grace Nuts

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