Number of pregnancies/ births: 1
Age of child/postpartum: 3 weeks
My whole life I never really wanted children, I was always much more concerned with myself; somehow I picked up my mothers school of thought and am unable to leaving the house without my ‘face’ on or dressed properly. So to say the least I was and still am a little bit on the vain side. I loved my body and the summers when I would get to show it off in a cute little bikini at the river. But I changed my mind about children and now sadly also about my body.
Pregnancy was pretty easy on me, or so I thought! I gained 30 pounds and up until the day I gave birth I ~thought~ I only had a 5 small stretch marks (yes, I counted!). Boy was I wrong!! How come no one ever talks about how some stretch marks are invisible until after birth?! My husband had gone home to let our dogs out and I was alone in my recovery room, which is where I got the first look at my postpartum body. I couldn’t believe the person I was looking at in the mirror was me. I don’t think I have ever cried so much over how I look. I couldn’t shake the idea that my body was ruined. I have so many stretch marks, my entire stomach is covered in them, and since they are not red it just makes my tummy look like a gelatinous bowl of cottage cheese that rolls over the top of my pants. And upon taking up my usual shaving routine at home I noticed that I also have stretch marks under my pubic hair! And then a few days later while looking in the mirror I saw something I have never seen mentioned on this website, I have stretch marks going into my butt crack, how is that even possible!! Not to mention extremely embarrassing, so if you’re reading this and you have them, you are not alone! I also have them on my boobs, which doesn’t bother me actually since I never liked showing them off anyhow.
So now it is three weeks since my little princess was born and I still can not shake my feelings of ugliness, I feel like I will never be confident or feel sexy again. The worst part is that I actually feel like I am letting my husband down by looking so terrible, he is so sweet and tells me that he thinks my new body is sexy, but I can not help but think he is just lying to me. And the thought of taking my shirt off in front of him makes me cringe. I used to walk around our house naked half the time, but now I don’t even want to sleep next to him without a shirt covering my stomach. And all of these feelings of being unconfident and sorry for myself make me feel guilty, because it seems like such an unimportant thing to worry about, but I just can not help it.
There are three upsides to my experiences though.
One – I had purchased a ‘belly bandit’ band to wear postpartum, and though full of stretch marks, my stomach has gone down extremely fast. One more inch and I’ll be able to button my pre-pregnancy jeans! Woo hoo!
Two – this website, which has made me feel so much better about myself. I can not thank you all enough for the support you unknowingly have shown me.
And of course the biggest upside is my beautiful daughter. She is completely worth all the issues I am having with my own body; I would do it all over again in a heartbeat.
Pictures: 1 of 3 days postpartum, 2 of 3 weeks postpartum and 1 just before I got pregnant.