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.