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2 Years Postpartum and Still Can’t Come to Terms (Anonymous)

June 21, 2009

Number of Pregnancies: 2 and 1 live birth
Children :1 child, almost 2 1/2 years post partum

Thank you from the bottom of my heart for creating this website that allows me not to feel so alone and to understand that I am not the only woman struggling to cope with the changes brought after pregnancy. I first logged on last year but didn’t have the courage to write my story and rather less post pictures of myself. I never thought my body was perfect but pretty close to it, I had a marvelous self image growing up and into my college years. When I walked into a room, heads turned and I walked like I owned it because in my mind my beauty gave me power. I was 5’5, 110 pounds with perky breasts, a tiny waist a butt that fit perfectly with my slender body and all with no effort on my part. I loved my body and each year waited anxiously for bikini season to arrive to show it off.

I had my daughter shortly before my 23rd birthday, the pregnancy was unexpected but welcomed none the less.I wasn’t married and my parents took my pregnancy hard, especially my mother who had greater hopes for me of pursuing my post baccalaureate degree.I had a horrible pregnancy and was either sick or vomiting up until my delivery. Adding to this was the sudden death of my mother during my pregnancy, I was still mourning what felt like the loss of part or my heart while trying to open my heart and arms for another human being. My daughter was perfect and I was happy with her but deep down inside wanted nothing to do with her, she had ruined my beautiful body. I would think to myself, what if I dropped her, would my life go back to normal..would my body come back, most importantly would my mother come back? Of course not, my mother was dead and nothing would bring her back.I felt so lonely I couldn’t sleep at night and always was tired in the day. The birth of a child is an event you share with your mother and she gives you advice at 3am on how to handle situations and there I was motherless with a child in my arms. For the sake of everyone I did my best to put my emotions aside and continue with life, smiling pretending to be happy. Thinking back, it wasn’t baby blues it was probably post partum depression toppled with the mourning of my mothers death.

At my highest weight I was 165 before delivery and maybe lost 15 pounds after that. During my pregnancy,in a matter if 6 months I went from a size A bra to almost a DD when my milk came in after delivery. I breast fed for about a month and a half but found it too difficult to continue as my daughter didn’t latch correctly so it was just frustrating and I was not in denial of my massive breast which made the whole experience just frustrating.I got on the Depo Provera Shot shortly after, and hated it. I was depressed and I could not lose weight regardless of how hard I tried, I always just thought I’d bounce back I came from thin genes where women just bounced back after pregnancy. I switched birth control and eventually began to lose weight once the shot hormones had left my system (takes up to a year after your last injection for it to leave your body completely.) Up until last year I was 135 pounds and I began to eat organically and avoid processed sugars and high fructose corn syrup. I am now 116 pounds and still hate my body. Part of me is still in denial that my body will never go back to the way it use to be. I hate looking at swim suit catalogs now because that was me before, I had that beautiful stomach and those cute little breast and now its gone and I sometimes do a double take in the mirror unwilling to accept that this is me. Full of stretch marks and hanging skin that wont go away with exercise. I am 25 years old and I hate my body, this same person that showed off her body in all its glory like a trophy for all to see and envy now hates it. My daughter is my world and I would not go back in time if it meant keeping my body and not having her but every time I see a mirror I cringe at what pregnancy did to my body and I feel so powerless at times. I don’t command all heads to turn anymore, not because I am not beautiful but because I don’t feel beautiful. I am at war with myself and the mirror, with the demons of my past and the fears of the present.

My logic tells me that who I am as a woman, as a mother is not dependent on my physical appearance but when all my life my self worth was based on something so shallow, how do shift perspectives? How do I retrain my mind and my heart to love more than the reflection I see in the mirror? How do I come to terms when I am bombarded by images of Heidi Klum and her perfect post pregnancy body when I know she had chefs and nannies and options not available to most women?

Thank you all for reading my story, and I hope it will encourage others to tell their stories and bring them one step closer to liberation from their worst critiques, ourselves. The pictures below I took this morning, almost 2 1/2 years after giving birth. My breast are covered in stretch marks from going up almost 4 bra sizes in a short time, they have no fullness on top and I have a very hard time finding bras that fit. Believe it or not I wear a C, often times a D cup because there is so much left over sagging skin that it overflows in anything smaller. My husband calls them “his little pancakes” because of their shape, I want to love them but in all honesty would jump at the chance of breast implants, not for the size but at least to get the fullness back on top and not feel like I have the breast of a woman twice my age.

Updated here.

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33 Responses to “2 Years Postpartum and Still Can’t Come to Terms (Anonymous)”

  1. Andrea Says:
    June 21st, 2009 at 10:59 am

    You are really hard on yourself!! You have been through so much, achieved so much and have so much to love. It is sad to see you waste time torturing yourself. I know it is hard to be bombarded with celebrities who look perfect, trust me I am a woman who also does not look like them, but it is not fair to compare yourself to them. Give yourself a break, and some love. When your little girl is a woman, she will treat herself the way you treat yourself. :)

  2. Angèle Says:
    June 21st, 2009 at 11:03 am

    Your body is beautiful with curves in all the right places!! I am sorry about the loss of your mother! Please know that she is with you every step of the way!

  3. Mama Says:
    June 21st, 2009 at 1:56 pm

    Like you said, we’re only hard on ourselves. You are a beautiful and sexy woman. I encourage you to look at these photographs. You have a gorgeous figure!

  4. Anonymous Says:
    June 21st, 2009 at 5:14 pm

    My darling girl, I am mature – in my 50s (see my posts ‘postpartum 21 and 25 years later’ As women, our bodies are not mature until we have given birth – then we become real women. I also don’t like how I look – but can do nothing about it – unless I starved myself and had a personal trainer and lots of money to pay for it. You look good to me – soft and curvey as a woman should be and your breasts are not pancakes: they have just dropped a little as we all do, You have a lovely waist and feminine rounded hips – be proud of who you are. If you feel so badly about yourself – maybe you are still feeling abandoned by your mum when you needed her – perhaps some counselling would help you regain your self esteem and balance. Good luck – you are beautiful.

  5. Courtney Says:
    June 21st, 2009 at 10:24 pm

    You will have to excuse me, I have never commented on here before. I have looked at this site for months and months now and after looking at your pictures I feel like I had finally seen some one that looked a lot like me. I have a 2 1/2 year old little girl too. I am 21 and weigh around 125-ish. I swear to you we have the EXACT same hips, belly, and butt. I feel like I know how you feel, even if it is just a little. I breastfed for all of 4 days because of latching on problems and it was So painful. Breast feeding and being engorged were seriously worse than labor. I got so engorged I thought that my breasts were going to explode. It was horrible I couldn’t catch my breath. My strtech marks on my stomach have faded somewhat, but to me they are still very noticeable–I bought a tankini top for the first time ever. I have deep stretch marks on my breasts that I look at and complain about everyday. I know I am small and do not weigh a lot but I still have that little extra that won’t go away. I am glad that you posted on here your pictures, because I know I probably never will. Thank you so much!

  6. Bridget Says:
    June 22nd, 2009 at 8:06 am

    You look beautiful. I’m very sorry that you lost your mother. I can’t imagine how hard that has been for you. The stretch marks will fade and look a lot better, the more time goes on. Great job taking care of yourself and getting back into shape. I hope posting this will help you to eventually love your body. I don’t think it helps your self-esteem for your hubby to call them “little pancakes.” That would hurt my feelings.
    Good luck. You’re doing great!

  7. ashley Says:
    June 22nd, 2009 at 9:01 am

    i hope i look like you 2 and a half years post partum. i am getting a breast lift and reduction in a month mine stayed huge and are hunching me over, making my stomach look worse, but hey if you feel a boob job would boost your self esteem, start saving! start an at home business, if your crafty do wedding favour or beadery or something and sell on ebay! i think you look fantastic and im envious of your body, seriously im have an entry here too you can check it out im 8 months post partum with two kids, so rest assured some people do wish they had a body like yours!

  8. Mary Says:
    June 22nd, 2009 at 10:30 am

    You look really good! Such a beautiful shape with a thin waist that just slopes to your hips! I know its hard to see past your changes, I struggle with it everyday as well, but I try to look at the bright side and find places on my body I like, then show them off. My husband thinks I am more sexy now because I dont just run around half naked a soon as its spring time, I try to hide parts of me Im not happy with and to him its cute to see me more covered up.
    We are in a different phase of our lives now and we just have to make the best of it! Also, the more and more I pay attention to celebrities, the more I realize they are a lot like us, Jenny McCarthy has claimed having stretch marks and so has Selma Hayak, and Angelina Jolie… such is life, they just wear things that show off the areas that wont be critisized by the paparrazzi so we assume they are all still just as perfect as ever!
    Keep your head up mama, you look great!

  9. Lauren Says:
    June 22nd, 2009 at 12:53 pm

    You are one strong women. Keep on eating healthy and exercising. That’s always the best option for feeling good about yourself! You look really good by the way!!

  10. Tamara Says:
    June 22nd, 2009 at 2:17 pm

    WOW…reading your story i felt like i was reading the thoughts that are in my head!! It was crazy! But amazing at the same time…i too had the perfect head spinning body that i would kill to have again…and i HATE summer cz i cant stand the look of a bikini cz i know i will never be able wear one :( but ur right…WE are our worst critics…i personally think you look amazing ….im on here too..i have 3 posts…i think the most recent one is under Update 3 months after pilates (Tamara) if ever u wanna chat or anything just request me on myspace or email me!! take care girl!

  11. Shealene Says:
    June 23rd, 2009 at 12:01 am

    You’re beautiful and I love your curves! I’ve stated this before and I’ll say it again…I wish I have curves, I look like a small child. Hahaha

  12. Debbi Says:
    June 23rd, 2009 at 10:51 am

    Women……are our bodies who we are? Why are we so hard on ourselves? Why can’t we as women learn to love ourselves and not always look at a mirror to define us?

  13. rose Says:
    June 23rd, 2009 at 10:25 pm

    i’m 22 yrs old and 1 year post partum and i totally relate to you..my breasts look almost identical to yours, and im having a very hard time accepting it, as well as my stomach. Know that you are beautiful and that it takes different amounts of time for different people to lose weight or what have you, and even if those things dont change, you are beautiful, and you are not alone! :)

  14. Poster Says:
    June 26th, 2009 at 9:16 am

    I wrote this post in an attempt to try to come to terms with my body. Thank you all so much for the replies, some were harsher than others but every single one was were good to hear as well. I don’t know if I will ever get to that place of loving my body again, its not that I want to torture myself with body image but what I think I should look like and what the mirror thinks don’t coincide. Thank you for the idea of counseling, I should give it serious thought. Thank you all so very much!

  15. Shawna Says:
    June 26th, 2009 at 6:01 pm

    I look at your body and my first thoughts were…nice breasts and butt. I see other peoples photos and think why are you unhappy with yourself but realize that people say that to me all the time. I understand that we always look to the person who we think is a step up from us and were always striving for perfection and to be better then the rest.

    I think there will always be somebody that you think is better off and worse off then you. It’s a hard truth and it’s hard to accept. I struggle with it everyday. I understand how you feel.

  16. Mike Says:
    June 28th, 2009 at 6:51 am

    I am sorry that you feel you have sagging breasts, but I think they are perfect and well shaped. When I turn on the TV and see the women all plastic surgerized up, I go yuck. The beauty contests all the woman have sawed down noses and fake breasts and none of them look attractive at all. Hollywood pushes plastic surgey cause the people who run the networks, are so ugly they want everyone else to look like them.

    You look great.

  17. Maddie Says:
    July 1st, 2009 at 5:31 am

    Hugs to you sweetie, I’m sorry about your mum passing. You’re a beauty, with a seriously nice body. Hope you feel better soon!

  18. Mia Says:
    July 7th, 2009 at 4:00 pm

    I wish my body looked like yours. truly, I do.

  19. Deb Says:
    July 12th, 2009 at 6:58 am

    I just had to comment. You are really beautiful! Truly, you are!

    I know just how you feel, and on to my third baby now, things have changed each time and it’s been a mammoth task to overcome the feelings attached. I, like you, attach great meaning and worth to my physical appearance but in the past year I’ve come to realise that even the most beautiful figures, faces, age and wear away. The true beauty is in a face that shines with love, life and experience.

    You and I are creating that! We may have to wear silly knickers and adopt more sophisticated attire, but we can be classy women damn it!

    I am so proud of what I have created. The rest…well heck, I’m not perfect – thankfully!

  20. Alex Says:
    July 13th, 2009 at 9:42 am

    Your shape looks good. You mentioned your pre-baby weight was 110 lbs, and now you’re at 116. I would say that at this point you should seriously make peace with it. 6 lbs over your pre-baby weight is not bad at all. I see your pictures and I see a small waistline and curvy hips and it’s all good. Hope you feel better soon.

  21. Nyssa Says:
    July 15th, 2009 at 10:47 pm

    My stomach still hung like like 3 years after my first baby was born. Now I’m 6 months post-partum with my second, and still 45 pounds overweight.
    You look fantastic!
    You have a lovely body, and I’ll be joining you in the pancake boob department as soon as I wean my daughter.

  22. Bri Says:
    July 17th, 2009 at 7:32 am

    I have read so many stories on this site, and not too many have touched me like yours has. I did not lose my mother, and I am deeply sorry for your loss. However, I have had so many of the exact feelings like you have. I love both my daughters to pieces, but has had the same agonizing thoughts of trying to put things how they used to be as well as having problems with the depo shot.
    I also struggle with my breasts, I was always on the larger size, but the growth and breastfeeding have caused the same effect on my DDD breasts.
    When my boyfriend says he doesnt understand why I worry about it so much, I reply that he’s not a 21 year old female with the breasts of a 50 year old.
    Your body is wonderful, much better than mine after my first was born two and a half years ago.

  23. shell Says:
    September 1st, 2009 at 7:31 am

    sweetie..u are too hard on yourself, i think you look wonderful, HOWEVER i am the same way, EXTREMELY critical of my own shape. i have body dysmorphic disorder so i critisize myself beyond any norm, but have always wanted children…it is a difficult mix. you can get your body back. the boobs can’t be worked out, but yours are not as bad as you may believe, at all, but everything else can be reshaped. i have had 3 singleton pregnancies and was like a model b4 i had any kids, and i bounced back pretty nicely, noone would think i had 3 kids, but i neverfelt i was good enough regardless (always a struggle), i worked out like crazy and was stronger in all respects when i got pregnant this time, baby #4, welp found out it’s baby #4 and #5, and i feel like it’s ALL OVER NOW! lol. how do i bounce back from THAT? i hope for sanity sake i can, but i understand, it isn’t about being vain as much as it is liking what you see, and being able to accept what you see. you love your child no less for it, but you still wanna do all you can to feel and look your best. there is hope, just hang tough, exercise, think positive, and pray for me, lol, i’m gonna need it! good luck!

  24. Lisa Says:
    October 9th, 2009 at 2:48 pm

    I understand completely. You are no alone sweety. I am 19 and had my child at 18. I didn’t have that much time to enjoy my perfect body before it got all jacked up by pregnancy. I used to always take sexy naked pics and I was proud of my great body and perfect breast. My breast are now deflated bags and my once soft sexy hips, thighs, and butt are covered in raised black and purple stretch marks. I cry myself to sleep sometimes. I hate to look at old pics, and I hate to go to the pool and watch other hot bodies swim. I feel so inferior to other women now. You are not alone.

  25. Ember Says:
    October 13th, 2009 at 9:30 am

    I envy the body you described prepregnancy.To feel that much joy in the mirror and your skin must have been fabulous.I wasn’t so lucky,and now I sympathize with you because I know how it feels to hate your flesh.
    But you don’t look bad in those pics.Your skin looks even ,you have good bones…you really are a pretty girl. Weight-training will help you tighten up again,and believing in yourself will bring that spark back .Just keep doing what you are doing,focus on your family and your little one…the weight will come off.You deserve to feel good about yourself.

  26. Natalia Says:
    April 10th, 2010 at 4:46 pm

    Girl, we are body twins!! When bending like that, my tummy does the same. Only thing is you have much nicer tatas than I do. You look fantastic! If you were my neighbor, we could totally share clothes :-) You are a string woman, and just remember there is an army of us behind you. :-)

  27. Jinx Says:
    November 8th, 2010 at 6:48 pm

    You’re beautiful, and always remember that. I’m sorry for your loss; I lost my mom as well, though not during my pregnancy. Can’t even begin to imagine what that had to have been like.

    Your children can’t replace what she was to you, but I always keep in mind that the love mine had for me is something I have for my own son. I believe I made it through a lot of my grief taking note of what a great example she was as a person, and I still keep that experience close to me.

    Thank you for your story. :)

  28. Noelle Says:
    December 29th, 2010 at 4:11 pm

    Your not alone hun, My son is 6 years old and I still have problems with postpartum depression. I also have a daughter who is 3 months old but do not suffer from depression with her… I don’t understand it at all and it bothers me and my husband badly especially being that Our son is his and My daughter is not he loves her all the same but I can imagine it is very difficult seeing me get so easily flustered with our son but not my daughter… Its not easy and resently I have been thinking maybe I should go get checked out… Whats it going to hurt? I was only 16 when I had my son I am now 23 and it is possible to get your body back, I did up untill now lol I got put on the Mirana witch I would recomend over the shot any day. I have heard from many people it is hard if not impossible to lose weight on the shot most of the people I know gain from it…. But being a mother and a daughter I think your mother would be very proud of you and want the best for you and her grandchild. keep your chin up.

  29. trish Says:
    December 11th, 2011 at 1:36 am

    I worked at it with my two children, but the second child left me with feet two sizes bigger. At only 5
    foot 3 it really showed. There is nothing i can do to change that, but i would change it, i have never accepted that fact. It might sound strange, but bootlegs are the only answer, it takes away fashion choice and i am now a size 7, a popular size which leaves with little choice for foot wear. At least i can still look good in clothes and keep the rest under wraps. But i will never come to terms with the changes, there is something in me which will not go there. And i still trip over them!

  30. Mommywithapassion Says:
    January 17th, 2012 at 7:01 pm

    Hi I was on my wifes iphone and I saw this post in her history. My wifes breast dont sag or have strength marks. She gave birth to my son at age 21 and she is 22 her breast size is a cup D. I am currenly in the National Basket Assasion and I play SF for the Orlando Magic. Don’t feel down on your self every things going to be alright don’t try breast implants it cost over i believe 5k. No matter what your beautiful.

  31. brown Says:
    March 22nd, 2013 at 8:15 pm

    This is my EXACT situation. Only I just turned 23 2 weeks before I gave birth to beautiful boy/girl fraternal twins. I’m 25 now and prior to my pregnancy, I was NOT living. I was head deep in bulimia and was struggling despretley with alcohol.
    The day I found out I was pregnant changed my life forever. At the time I was watching my moms ex neighbour child. I got in a giant fight with my boyfriend and he kicked me out. So all that going on before I got to my moms friends house I went and dropped $200 on booze. My plan was to drink until I was no more.

    for some reason, my mothers friend and I got talking about how I had missed my period (which I thought nothing of because it was never regular and coming and going due to the bulimia. so anyways, she went and grabbed me a pregnancy test, which I really thought was just insane and just did it to basically shut her up.
    The second line was very faint and I thought to myself *You’re not pregnant this thing is just stupid* Turns out I was calling the kettle black.

    shortly after she convinced me it was positive, I called my mom to tell her the devastating news. I was a mess crying like I lost someone near and dear to me. After we talked I called my bf who was out of town for the day and told him. He told me to go home and we’d talk. (I don’t think he believed me)
    We decided I would stay there in our home and work through it. I went back to the liqour store to return all the booze I had purchased earlier. The manager said they dont allow returns but I told them straight up, I’m pregnant and that money can buy a lot of diapers.

    You can bet my mind started filling with deep guilt and worries that I may have hurt my child with my drinking and bulimia. Went to the doctor, he estimated I was nearing 12 weeks and I cried, cause that meant I probably did hurt the baby.
    Doctor sent me to have an ultrasound a few days later.

    Ultrasound day comes and they kick daddy out for the first few minutes. The girl proceeded to look in my tummy and finally said “Oh beautiful theres the first heartbeat” My heart stopped. “and theres the second! Congratulations you are having twins” That was the biggest shock of my life.

    It was so hard to come to terms with my body changing and changing so rapidly. I began to feel stupid for not wanting to show off my body before when I thin(although I was too thin)
    I gained 110 lbs during the entire pregnancy, it was not pretty in the end i was 200lbs.

    after giving birth my whole body was different. whole 180. Breast fed till around 6 months and then was left with tube socks for breasts, hanging extra skin beyond belief. My body is disgusting to me now, which is no different than before my babies.

    You are beautiful, and so brave to show the world how your body changed after giving birth.
    This is probably not helpful to you, lol but I figured it might make you feel like youre not alone. That is how I felt reading your story.
    You sound like an incredible person and you should be so proud of yourself and your munchkin. You’re doing amazing.
    Life throws the hardest things at the people who can handle it (mostly women lol)
    I feel for you it’s a crazy life. Just think you will be able to share those mommy moments with your daughter when she grows up and has her own family. You can giver her everything you sadly missed out on.
    Take it easy, I wish you and your family all the best you deserve it :)

    ps- forgot to mention my children are healthy no effects from the drinking or anything. Minus the poop painting toddlers times, to me theyre perfect. I am also nearing 3 fulls years of not a drop f alcohol. Sadly, I can’t say the same about the bulimia, but im working on it :)

  32. ava Says:
    May 21st, 2013 at 4:48 pm

    hi, i am completely with you on this, my daughter is almost, two, pre baby i was doing modeling, and now if have breasts very very similar to you and a old lady stomach, ive very depressing for me, my husband seem to think if i work out it will be wonderful agian, but to be honest why even try, I was 115 lbs when i got pregnant, and whent up to 145 lbs at birth, im sitting at 120 and feel hopeless and un sexy. im sorry u feel that way, but im with ya, im 26 years old. i two went threw 5 years of bulimia in my past – agian prebaby, i fight it evryday, but come on it hard- i get it. thx u so mux for ur blog!

  33. Keri Says:
    July 24th, 2013 at 8:10 am

    You look fantastic! My breasts are not what they used to be either and it takes a long time to get a toned tummy back but you can most certainly do it! It takes a lot of patience and work. I have been working out for a month now and am starting to see results and I still don’t look as good as you do :) I’m so sorry for your hardships and I hope you are getting a lot of support. I’m sure you still turn plenty of heads but remember to keep yours held high :)

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