ASHA Ennis had always been proud of her figure – and expected to snap back into shape after giving birth aged 24.
But the mum's post-baby bump continued to grow, until she looked eight months pregnant again – forcing her to hide away under size 18 clothes.
Desperate to fix her bloated tum the 26-year-old, from Eynesbury, Cambridgeshire, went under the knife twice – but a botched op left her looking worse than ever before.
Now Asha is saving up for a private treatment, after being told she can't have more surgery on the NHS.
Speaking to Fabulous Digital, Asha reveals how the stress of childbirth made her stomach muscles split, leaving her permanently disfigured…
I’d always been proud of my size 10 figure and, flicking through my wardrobe weeks before giving birth, I was looking forward to getting back into my figure hugging outfits.
Of course, I loved my bump, but I couldn’t wait to feel like my glam self again.
My son, Leon, was born in September 2016, perfect and healthy.
I was instantly smitten and eagerly threw myself into motherhood.
I loved looking after Leon, but couldn’t wait for my pre-baby body to ping back in shape – like it always seems to happen with celebs.
Then just 24, I expected my figure to shrink back relatively quickly. Only, it never did.
If anything, a few months after giving birth, my stomach was protruding more than ever before.
Worried the strange growth on my stomach could be something serious, I went to the doctor to get checked out.
"It’s a hernia," the doctor explained after examining me. "You’ll need surgery."
It was nervous when I went under the knife in February 2017, but I was confident doctors could fix my bulging belly.
When I came round after the op, my eyes slowly swam into focus. The first thing I noticed was my stomach – and it was bigger than ever.
"Will the swelling go down?" I panicked, turning to the doctor.
"There were complications during your surgery, I’m afraid," the doctor explained.
I was stunned when a surgeon explained that after opening me up, they hadn’t found a hernia at all. It was baffling.
Worse, the botched op left me with excess fluid which caused my stomach to swell and left me looking eight months pregnant again.
Inspecting my new ‘baby bump’, I hoped the fluid would subside after the initial trauma of the operation.
But instead, it calcified and became hard.
"I don’t look human," I told my mum, bursting into tears. I felt like something out of a terrifying sci-fi film. It looks like I’m giving birth to an alien.
Prodding the solid mass sticking out of my stomach, I was distraught. I’d always been proud of my body but now, I was completely deformed
Prodding the solid mass sticking out of my stomach, I was distraught. I’d always been proud of my body but now, I was completely deformed.
Ashamed, I covered up in baggy size 18 clothes, as I begged doctors for help. I was desperate to get my former trim figure back but doctors weren’t hopeful.
"It may never be the same," they warned gravely.
I was determined to get my body back, and four months later, in June 2017, I went under the knife again.
Surgeons tried to correct the damage and remove the mystery mass but the operation was unsuccessful. The fluid remained and my stomach continued to swell.
"I look awful," I sobbed as I desperately tried to hide my botched bump. I couldn’t face leaving the house.
Will my stomach muscles split during labour?
During pregnancy, your uterus puts pressure on the two bands of ab muscles which meet in the middle of your stomach.
This can cause them to separate, a condition known as diastasis recti, which happens in two thirds of pregnancies.
You may notice a bulge down your midline.
It isn't dangerous, but in rare cases a hernia can develop, if your organs poke through the open muscles.
The amount of separation varies from woman to woman.
Your stomach should go back to normal after 8 weeks. If it doesn't, speak to your GP.
Regular pelvic floor and deep stomach muscle exercises can help.
Doctors think my original growth was caused by my stomach muscles splitting during Leon’s labour, leaving my internal organs exposed under the skin.
I hate my alien ‘baby bump’, but when I discovered I was pregnant a second time I was over the moon.
"At least now I really am pregnant," I laughed, as my bump protruded even more.
I gave birth to my second son, Nathaniel, in December 2018, and luckily my bump hasn't continued to grow this time.
Now, I’m trying my best to accept my body the way it is, bump and all.
My boys keep me positive, but I still won’t give up hope that I’ll get my slender size 10 body back one day.
Doctors won't operate on my tummy, they see it as a cosmetic issue, so I'm currently saving for private surgery.
I still can’t believe those botched ops left my belly looking puffy, puckered – and permanently pregnant.
Yesterday we spoke to a mum who was told have an abortion 10 times – but gave birth to a healthy baby girl.
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