All my life I saw my mom as a beautiful woman. I didn’t notice her stretch marks from bearing 4 children until after I became pregnant with my first. I had no clue what pregnancy and breastfeeding does to a woman’s body, but all I ever wanted in life was to become a mother.
I was unexpectedly granted that wish at the ripe age of 19. I was a college freshmen and dating a Sailor. We learned we were expecting 2 months after dating so imagine the shock there! I started the pregnancy at 130lbs and ended at 156lbs, a weight gain totaling 26lbs. It killed me to see the scale creeping up, but I knew my weight gain was totally normal. My breasts only went up to a DD from their original D cup during pregnancy. It was afterwards that I was falling out of an E cup when breastfeeding!
I had a normal pregnancy with my first daughter, except the few bouts of dehydration that landed me in the hospital with IV fluids. I gave birth to a 7lb6oz baby girl a week after my due date and a week later I had lost all 26lbs of the pregnancy weight. Of course my body was now shaped differently but that number on the scale meant so much to me. I kept losing weight, eventually getting to 108-110lbs (depending on how ‘full’ I was with milk) at 9months PP.
I nursed exclusively for the first 8months of my daughter’s life and at 5months PP I started working out. I did yoga 3x/week and worked out about 2-3days in addition to that with my sister. I loved seeing my body shrink smaller than I was prepregnancy but still had that extra skin and stretch marks on my stomach. My breasts shrunk back down to a D and lost their perkiness but it was okay because they were my daughter’s favorite thing in the world until she was 20months old. I married her father when she was 9months old.
When she was 14months, I became pregnant with my second daughter. I started that pregnancy at 120lbs and ended at 160lbs, totaling out at a 40lb weight gain. I kept telling myself that so long as I didn’t get past 160lbs I could lose the weight easily. I gained weight in my stomach, in my butt, my legs, and my back during my pregnancy but nowhere else. I gave birth to my second daughter on my due date and she weighed 8lbs11.3oz. Her labor and delivery were easier than her sister’s and I only had one slight tear afterwards. At 6weeks PP I weighed 135lbs, hating seeing that I was above my prepregnancy weight by 15lbs. However, I did not dwell on it and stuck to nursing and enjoying my beautiful little girls. My breasts swelled up to a DD and are now back down to a D.
I am nursing my second daughter like I did my first and at 5months PP I weighed my prepregnancy weight again. I am now 2lbs under my prepregnancy weight at 8months PP but am still left with my extra skin around my stomach. I have stretch marks on my breasts, stomach, back, thighs, calves, hips, and arms. I know which stretch marks came from my first daughter, and which ones are from my second and I run my fingers over them daily. (It may appear as though I was so concentrated on my weight gain during pregnancy, but I was not focusing on it all the time. Just as a woman who is hardly 5ft1in it is hard to see the numbers on the scale go upwards.)
I am not working out actively at the moment because I just do not have the time to, but I would not trade my body for anything! I am 23years old with a mother’s body and I couldn’t be happier about it! Here are pictures of me during my first pregnancy at 27weeks and 38weeks. Then of me during my second pregnancy at 30weeks and 36weeks. Following those are two pictures of me at 8.5months PP after baby #2 and a picture of my beautiful girls ages 2.5years and 7.5months. I do not have any pictures of me with my swollen pregnant belly at either of my due dates because I felt I was monstrous and I regret that.