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36 and Concerned (Anonymous)

January 21, 2009

I came to this site for two reasons. One is to offer hope. I had my first child at 27 and bounced back well. I lead an unusually active lifestyle at my most sedentary because I have horses, goats, and a bunch of dogs and other animals. I can’t keep still for very long. As a result, I achieved a look I can be proud of about two years after my first child. The photo is me about four years after my first child. This link goes to a photo taken about two years ago.

I hope it offers hope to a few and a reality check for those who need that. I never became Twiggy thin, but the larger breasts and hips became assets because I thought of them that way. To some, this is a picture of a woman who is much too thin. For others, it may be a ray of hope. Either way, it shows that the postpartum body need not be something to feel ashamed of. I’m quite sure this photographer realized I’d given birth and still he felt the picture (NOT airbrushed) was beautiful enough to appear on his web site.

That said, I know genetics played a role and that being older will make it that much harder to achieve the same results, if they can be achieved at all. That brings me to my second reason for being here. I have remarried since that picture, and am a couple of years older. I don’t look appreciably different, perhaps a few pounds heavier. My new husband loves my body and is, in fact, proud to show me off. I want to keep him happy with my body as long as I am able. I also want to offer him another child. He loves me and all three of our collective brood and has a great deal to offer a new baby. I am struggling with these seemingly incompatible desires. I kick myself for being so vain, especially in light of issues like stepsisters, a stepfather, sibling rivalry, education, finances, etc, but I am no more than human.

Most of the women here seem so young to me, and it makes me think “But they are not like me,” even though I know that isn’t necessarily so. That human thing again, trying to make my situation different. I keep wondering if being fully physically adult before having my first made any difference. I look for the older woman who is proud of her postpartum body so I can feel some slight hope, even knowing that I will not be quite the same after another child.

In any case, I will likely continue to do what we as humans love to do-find excuses to do just as we please. I know I will get over changing my body’s shape if I really want that baby. I also know that, whatever the outcome, it will be worth it and my husband will love me regardless.



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4 Responses to “36 and Concerned (Anonymous)”

  1. Kaly Says:
    January 23rd, 2009 at 5:51 am

    If it helps at all, you’re one of the most stunningly beautiful women I’ve seen on the site!

    I know what you mean about a lot of women posting on here being very young – at 30, I’ve felt the same way. And it’s not really representative of all the women out there having kids, many of whom are well into their thirties and forties. For some reason, the site seems to attract a lot of under 25s, even under 20s. I just noticed the “Mom over 30″ tag on your post – it’s as if having kids over 30 is a special case, instead of being very normal. :p

    Looking forward to reading more of your experiences, and I agree that it would be good if more ‘older’ (!) women wrote about their post-partum experiences. Best of luck, and as I said, you’re absolutely gorgeous and I’m sure will only become more so if you have another child. :)

  2. Mina Says:
    January 23rd, 2009 at 8:34 am

    I’m 36 too, and I have 3 children. Two of them were born in my 20′s (at 26 and 29), and one in my thirties (32). I will say that it was harder to get the weight off after the last one, it took much longer, but I got my strength back just as quickly. I don’t know whether the weight sticking around longer was a function of age or number of pregnancies. The fact remains though that I’m older. My skin is aging, I’m sure everything isn’t exactly as gravity defiant as it was 10 years ago. I will not say that I look the same as I did at 25, but that’s probably not a realistic expectation.

    I guess my point is that you can have a child in your thirties and recover your body well. It is unlikely to be exactly the same though.

  3. Becca Says:
    January 24th, 2009 at 11:07 pm

    You look very fit and beautiful!

    I’m 33 and expecting my first child. I’m also hoping to be as physically fit and vibrant after the pregnancy as I was before. I want to be a good role model and raise an active child.

    I think this site skews young because older mothers are more aware of the trade-offs of motherhood and more likely to have planned their children. We also see age approaching and know that physical change is inevitable. I don’t mean this as criticism of younger women–I just think many of them experience a real sense of loss over the physical and life changes that occur with pregnancy and this site is such an important way for them to heal/come to terms with it.

  4. Sabrina Says:
    January 26th, 2009 at 2:07 am

    First, a big thanks to Kaly! Your comments gave me the confidence boost I need right about now
    :-).

    I made my decision and went ahead and got myself pregnant (interesting phenomena, that, and seems so common, lol). We’re very happy and I don’t worry so much about regaining my shape. I believe it will all work out. Being older often does mean being more aware, having fewer illusions, and likely facing the reality that very soon that “middle aged” stamp will fit very well, in all possible ways.

    Now that I’m expecting my second, I can move on to wondering about…twins.

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