I married my husband on my 18th birthday. A little over a month after our first anniversary, we found out about our oops baby. We had been using condoms, and I guess one failed. We were scared, since we were so young, but excited. I knew my body would change, but I was fairly confident that my belly would bounce right back like everyone said it would because I’m so young. Then I developed preeclempsia. I am 5’7″ and started at 121 lbs before pregnancy, dropped down to 119 right after I got pregnant, and then barely gained 12 lbs in the entire first two trimesters. Then I started jumping up at least 5 lbs a week from water weight with preeclempsia. Nothing I did prevented this, not even the extremely low sodium diet I was put on. When I went to the hospital at 41 weeks to be induced, I weighed 189 lbs. I lost nearly all of the water weight within three months of giving birth. I breastfed/pumped until my milk dried up at 4 months pp, and none of the real weight (all located in my belly and lovehandles) went away. The rest of my body looks the same as it did prepregnancy (aside from the one saggy boob lol), but between my bellybutton and vulva I am stretchmarked, saggy, blobby, and jiggly. It looks gross and makes me a little sick to look at it. My stretchmark color isn’t what bothers me, they’ve faded to a light lavender/pink/silver, it’s the fact that most of them are a 1/4 inch wide, and I even have a few over a 1/2 inch wide. Not long. WIDE. You can physically see the tears in my tissue under the skin. My tummy skin is saggy and floppy and makes me think of Adam Sandler’s tongue belly on Click. My love handles FORCE me to wear mom jeans up to my bellybutton, because anything lower gives me a muffin top of colossal proportions. I can’t wear sexy underwear, because the effect is ruined by all the flab spilling out over the top and my cellulite and stretchmarked butt. I’ve dieted, eaten right, walked, done yoga, and every other exercise I can do without danger to my health (I have exercise induced asthma attacks so I can only do exercises that don’t make you breathe fast or hard). Now my daughter is walking and running, and I’m also chasing her around. Nothing helps. My husband says he loves my body, and tells me I’m beautiful, but I know it’s because he doesn’t want to upset me. He may love me for me, but there is NO WAY to be attracted to my midsection below my bellybutton. I have always been a person who hates clothing, and if given an opportunity I would never wear them, but it’s sad now for me to have to be fearful of wearing certain clothes because they make me look lumpy or gross.
Pregnancy also ruined my health. My immune system is shot. Before I got pregnant, I was the kind of person that got sick maybe once a year. I developed recurrent strep after I had my daughter, and get it at least once a month. I also get recurrent sinus infections, and catch any illness I am or am not exposed to. I exercise regularly, and yet normal everyday activities like getting off the couch and cooking dinner make me out of breath. I am not overweight for my height 5’7 at 132 lbs, but I FEEL fat. Not like the way I look, but the way I feel when trying to move around. Fat and old and unhealthy. I just want to be healthy and pretty again so much that I go on good sob fests probably every week. I can’t afford to go to the doctor to see what is wrong, and I am so sick and tired of being sick and tired. Does this ever end? Will I ever feel like a healthy happy woman again, comfortable in my body?
~Number of pregnancies and births: 2 pregnancies, 1 birth at 41 weeks. 1 miscarriage at 8 weeks.
~The age of your children, or how far postpartum you are: 1 year old