Age 31, 1 beautiful daughter
I became pregnant last Christmas with my first child, a surprise to both my husband and I…our little Christmas present :-). Before becoming pregnant, I struggled with body image issues and had gained about 30 pounds over the previous 2 years. Going into my first pregnancy already overweight really bothered me and I really tried to keep my pregnancy weight gain under control, but ended up gaining about 50 lbs anyway. I never struggled with my pregnant belly; in fact, I actually enjoyed having the round pregnant belly, but I was terrified of stretch marks. I put buckets of cocoa butter on, knowing that it probably wouldn’t help but trying anyway, and around the 6 1/2 month mark, the first little purple squiggles began to appear. By the end of my pregnancy, they were everywhere. My entire belly was covered, my hips, my upper thighs, my “love handles”, and even my upper pubic area (how did they get there???).
As much as I hated the stretch marks, after I had my daughter my body transformed into something I hadn’t imagined. I had an unplanned c-section (I really wanted to avoid one but ended up with one anyway) and now on top of all of the stretch marks, my belly hangs/overlaps over the incision. I literally have to lift my stomach up to clean my incision and because of the way my skin hangs over it, it isn’t healing as quickly and is very uncomfortable. Most clothing is uncomfortable because it just mashes the overlapped skin down onto the incision. On top of that, it’s hanging crooked (the right side hangs lower than the left) and my left hip has this weird dent/overhang. I avoid looking at myself in the mirror and I won’t undress in front of my husband because I’m disgusted by my own body and can’t imagine that he isn’t too. When I do catch glimpses of myself in the mirror, I find myself fighting back the tears. I’ve lost 30 pounds over the last 6 weeks and have watched my body change quite a bit, but I can’t shake the feeling that my body is too far gone.
I adore my daughter and I’m so happy that I have her, but I’m really struggling with this and desperately wish I could get past it. Hoping to find some encouragement here. Thanks for reading!