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A Belly I Don’t Know (Shaunda)

February 18, 2010

Age: 27
Number of pregnancies and births: 1 pregnancy, 1 birth
Age of my child: 17 weeks (4 months, 1 week)

I have always wanted to post something on this amazing site, but just never had the courage. I looked at this site religiously throughout my entire pregnancy, knowing that I would have a hard time coping with my post-pregancy body. So, now I’ve decided to share my story, in hopes that someone can relate to me or offer any input.

I found out I was pregnant on January 14th, 2009. I had always wanted children (as I am the 1st of 8 and love being around kids). So, I absolutely enjoyed my entire pregnancy! At 8 weeks pregnant, I was diagnosed with a subchorionic hemmorage and put on bedrest for 3 weeks. I was absolutely terrified that I would lose my daughter and was, needless to say, ecstatic to find out that the blood clot literally thinned out and disappeared while I was on bedrest.

On September 16th, 2009 at 40 weeks and 2 days pregnant I went into labor. It was so crazy because I was obsessed with being pregant and even more so about being able to survive the pain of labor. But when I actually went into labor, I had no idea that was what was happening. I thought I just had gas or something:)!. When I got to the hospital i was already 7 centimeters dialated. But an hour later, my daughter’s heart rate was dropping and I ended up having an unwanted c-section. My beautiful baby girl was born at 6:35am at 8lbs, 4oz.!!

Today my baby is 4 months old and absolutely the best thing that has ever happended to me. I literally did not know love until I held her in my arms! There is nothing like it–she is my everything!! The only thing is I am slowly becoming sad and unaccepting of my new body. I was always a really skinnny person. Before I was pregnant, I weighed about 127 lbs. I gained 42 lbs throughout my pregnancy and weighed in at 169 the day she was born. Throughout the pregnancy, I was excited about gaining weight, just knowing there was a little person in me growing! But now that she is here, I want my old stomach back. I now weigh 145 lbs and my stomach is so foreign to me. Everyone at work keeps saying, “you don’t even look like you had a child”. I just smile and say to myself, “that’s just cause I’m hiding behind these clothes and sucking it in every now and then”. What’s wrong with me? I’m not fat, but I can only explain it by saying that when you are small for 27 years and all of a sudden you have fat hanging over your jeans, you go from a size 3/4 to 7 or 9 (depending), it’s hard to get used to it.

I love my daugther so much and would do my whole pregnancy over 1 million times if I had to. But if I could just flatten this tummy, I would be happier. I don’t mind the weight, but I got very little stretch marks on my belly (more on my thighs) and want to get into a bikini again, but not with this belly! I hope it will get better with time; I want to run/workout, but I don’t know where to start since I never had to?? I have a ton of clothes and can’t fit any of them, so each time I reach for a shirt or pants to put on and have to take it off cause something’s hanging over or poking out, I get pissed and frustrated. Hopefully this will get better. Holding and playing with my daughter makes it feel better, though. Thanks for listening to my story. All you mothers out there are truly beautiful, strong, and inspiring.

Picture#1: Me pre-pregnancy
Picture #2: Me 8 months pregnant
Picture #3: My beautiful daughter (Shaila)
Picture #4 and #5: My stomach now at 4 months postpartum

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15 Responses to “A Belly I Don’t Know (Shaunda)”

  1. Christina Says:
    February 18th, 2010 at 7:34 am

    Oh my god your daughter is so cute, I love her hair! Don’t worry you are only 4 months pp. I am too, and I have lost all the weight, but I got a ton of stretch marks. I would trade place with you anyday. I’m also nursing so the weight just melted off me. Try to watch what you eat, and go for walks everyday! There’s a work out called the Jillian Micheals 30 day shred. Only 30 minutes for 30 days. Check it out, it works!

  2. kat Says:
    February 18th, 2010 at 8:22 am

    OMG your daughter is such a doll!!! And you are so beautiful :) Your body looks very healthy and beautiful! A few months of pilates will get you belly you want! If you can afford it, join a gym that has classes and and a daycare. They can instruct you and push you so your workout is fool proof. Best of luck and congrats!

  3. Elissa Says:
    February 18th, 2010 at 11:04 am

    Okay first off…That baby is so freaking adorable! Second I gained 61 pounds…I started at 137 and weighed in at almost 200 pounds the day my daughter was born…at four months post partum I still had 31 pounds to lose…I am not almost a year post partum and my belly is still flattening and losing the last bit of pooch I had…also I lost all my weight. I lost it all by 9 months…It will happen you JUST had her…Give yourself a few more months and you’ll see what I am talking about…I wish I had been as tiny as you at 4 months. You look great!

  4. TracyKM Says:
    February 18th, 2010 at 11:21 am

    Four months is still really early in your PP period! I highly recommend babywearing as a form of exercise. It encourages good posture and strengthens the core muscles–all while bonding with baby and having your arms free to do other things (like, housework, shopping, etc). If her head is stable you can wear her on your back in a mei tai and do some stair climbing/hill walking, making sure to stand straight and keep things tucked in. There are even exercises on the Moby wrap website to do with your baby in the wrap!

  5. Berni Says:
    February 18th, 2010 at 12:50 pm

    You and your daughter are beautiful.

  6. Kim Says:
    February 18th, 2010 at 2:32 pm

    Shaunda,
    Congratulations on your beautiful baby girl. She’s precious. You look gorgeous too. I know it takes a while to get used to the new tummy (I bet yours’ll get a ton smaller as you tone the muscles) – I’ve now got a flat tummy with extra skin that just kinda hangs – but then I think that I’m glad it happened with the first baby instead of two or three down the road :-) And it’s a very small price to pay for such an accomplishment.

    As for the running, all you need is a GOOD pair of running shoes. Find yourself a store that SPECIALIZES in either people who run or triathlons (NOT a footlocker or nike or adidas store). In Canada we’ve got the Running Room and a bunch of independents. I think the Running Room might be American too. They’ll do a gait analysis on you and get you in the right pair of running shoes – there are shoes for pronation and supination and flat feet and all sorts of other stuff you’ve never heard of that you didn’t even know you suffered from. And they have learn to run classes or free running groups on Sunday mornings. Spending money on good shoes will save you from injuries down the road. Trust me. And I’ve bought the Gillian Michaels 30 day shred. It’s an amazing dvd and it’s only 20 minutes a day – easy to do with a baby! Get yourself some 3 or 5lb weights and you’re ready to go.

  7. anita Says:
    February 18th, 2010 at 7:18 pm

    Im just like you. same numbers for weight and feel the same way. I had dd #1 at 27 and now have dd #2 who is 4 mo and 1 week as well. I also still have the same little belly and feel terrible about myself sometimes BUT i know it will go away we just need to give it more time! it went away the first time and i know it will for you…just be patient! you look great and your daughter is adorable :)

  8. Sarah Says:
    February 18th, 2010 at 9:41 pm

    First of all, you are gorgeous! And second of all, you are ONLY 4 months postpartum. I think you’ll be surprised by how much you’ll change in the coming months. I read that it takes 18 months – 3 years to for your body to recover. After my daughter turned 18 months and I thought that I had lost as much as I could, I dropped more weight when my daughter dropped to fewer feedings per day (breastfeeding). At 4 months postpartum, that’s really a drop in the hat as far as time for healing goes. And even if I didn’t know you were just 4 months postpartum, I’d tell you that you look amazing!

  9. Maria Says:
    February 19th, 2010 at 5:16 am

    the belly you have will disapear eventually, it is too soon to care!! You have a beatiful body, wait until your girl turns 1 year old, and you will see the difference.
    By the way, check this site http://www.c25k.com
    There is a group of people who runs 5 km and started from 0. it may help you to start working out.
    no doubt about your baby girl is beautiful!!

  10. Katie Says:
    February 21st, 2010 at 11:28 pm

    Hi Shaunda
    I think you might have an abdominal muscle separation (diastasis recti). I have the same condition and my belly button looks very much the same… Just try and see a GP/surgeon/physical therapist.
    The other thing is… You are both beautiful, you and your baby!

  11. Cristina W Says:
    February 22nd, 2010 at 10:04 am

    Shaunda- you should remember that it took your body 9 months to get that way and it will probably take that long to go back to where it was. Also remember how many hormones you have coursing through your body as it attempts to regulate itself back to “normal” mode. You didn’t mention whether or not you were breastfeeding. Breast feeding definitely takes off the pounds but keeps enough chub on the body to support the process. Our bodies were made to bear children- we are equipped with everything we need to do this. I think it’s just a process that takes time. ;)

  12. Audrey Says:
    February 22nd, 2010 at 10:55 am

    You are beautiful! Your daughter needs to be on a huge GAP poster, she is absolutely adorable!

  13. camille Says:
    February 23rd, 2010 at 1:53 am

    Hey! I had my baby girl on Valentines Day and I have been having the hardest time dealing with what my body has become. I was 130 pre baby and tipped the scales at 190 at 9 months. Well 1 week after her birth I have already lost 20 lbs. I am discovering new stretch marks under my belly button i couldn’t see and I have stretch marks on my hips and front of my thighs. I have always been thin and fit but very critical of myself. I feel like this is the universe’s way of saying, “hey get over it”. I gave birth to a beautiful healthy baby, who gives me a new purpose and new rules to live by; and one of them is to set a good example and never beat myself up in front of her. Your body is beautiful even if it’s not the same as before. And your baby is healthy! So be grateful and give yourself time. Do the work and be happy, focus on loving your baby and keep having fun regardless of what your belly looks like. I’ll be doing the same! Good luck!

  14. iraiosc Says:
    February 24th, 2010 at 3:05 am

    hey pretty! you made a faboulous family!! a cute girl!!

    you have to wait… a baby grows on nine months… wait, the belly come backs slowly sometimes.
    You have the belly pot like me, looking outside, you can see my pics if you want!!
    but certainly you haven’t wrinkles, stretchmarks… you only have to wait, don’t worry and enjoy your daughter and your family!!
    Kisses
    http://theshapeofamother.com/blog/update-iriaiosc/

  15. H Says:
    February 26th, 2010 at 6:46 am

    You daughter is BEAUTIFUL :o) You must be so proud.

    And I can only say what you’ve already heard – you don’t even look like you’ve had a baby! You look incredible!! I know it’s hard to accept your new body but you really do look great

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