Age: 21, Pregnancies: 2, Births: 1
11 weeks postpartum
I’ve tried writing this entry almost ten times. Some stating how much I admire my body now, some stating how much I hate it. Instead, I’m just going to be honest.
I’d love to tell you that I adore my body despite it’s changes, but that would be a lie. What I can say is that I finally found appreciation for my body. Not only for it’s physical appearance but for the strength it had to grow my child and bring him to me on it’s own. You see, I come from a history of still born babies, miscarriages and incompetent cervix. When I found out I was pregnant, I was the most scared I have ever been for what journey I may have to take, what loss I may have to make. I struggle with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome and had my fallopian tube erupt when I was only 16 years old. I never thought I would get pregnant, and was encouraged by my doctor to try before my chances lessened. I was newly single when I discovered I was pregnant. I had just ended a 2 year engagement with the love of my life and was going through a difficult struggle with depression, one that led me to lose a good amount of weight before finding out I was carrying another life inside me. One of the biggest struggles in my relationship was building a future and the fact that my fiance just wasn’t ready to let go of his youth. We started working on our relationship again despite his fear of becoming a father and didn’t up up getting back together fully until 2 months before the arrival of our son. I ended up a week overdue and went into labour on my own. I had a natural delivery and birthed a healthy, 7 pound little boy. All my fears dissapeared, and new ones emerged. My son was in my arms and he was okay, he was perfect.
From the second my boyfriend laid eyes on our son, I saw the change in him. I saw every path in our future together change. Now, with a relationship stronger than it’s ever been and a beautiful son who makes every breath worth taking, I still can’t help but stop and stare in sadness at the stretch marks and sag my skin has taken on. I’m not going to say that this struggle with my body is a new one, I’ve always been far too hard on my physical appearance, but I always had found confidence when it was necessary. I have a wonderful man who tells me everyday that I don’t look like I had a baby and look the exact same to him as before I had our son, but his effort just pushes me away more when it should pull me closer, and I feel guilt when he has to see me with my clothes off. Guily for not being the beautiful, sexy woman he once admired so much. I love him but to me the idea of him seeing me the same way as before our son seems very unrealistic, since the person I see in the mirrornow looks very different from the one I used to know. I know it’s going to take time to love my body again but I think I need day by day to get to know this new me, the way I look now.
At the end of the day, I always find myself able to shake my head and step away from the mirror. Every difference my body shows is the doing of bringing my son into this world, something I never thought possible for me, something many of those I love have not been able to accomplish. I hope one day I can love the physical changes of my body the same way I love the ability it had to bring my son to me. Until then, I’ll just continue being forever thankful to it, and realising that thousands of women out there would give more than the stretch marks we think are so terrible, just to have a baby they aren’t capable of having.
My first photo attached was 3 months before the conception of my son. Second photo is my belly at 40 weeks and 6 days pregnant, I went into labour the next night at 41 weeks pregnant and had him at 3:58am the next morning. Third and forth photos are of my body now, 11 weeks postpartum.