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After-Baby Belly Consuming My Thoughts (Jade)

August 12, 2013

Age-24
Number of pregnancies\births-2 one natural one c section

Hello everyone! My name is Jade. First and foremost i have to say this site is pretty awesome. Its not everyday that we see what the bodies of real mothers look like without being photo-shopped or distorted by media. Its really sad, but its great that someone thought of this site and there are so many awesome mamas that put our bodies out there to share with each other.

I’m 24, have two amazing kids (5 and 2) an amazing supportive husband, awesome friends, but a major issue with my post pregnancy body. I am petite and always liked my body but had my issues (aka stupid teenager thought i was fat, how i wish i still had that body\skin UGH!) Anyway i had my first child young right out of high school and needless to say, she tore my skin to pieces. I had the worst stretch marks i had seen on anyone. They are not as red anymore but deep, silvery scars, across the bottom of my stomach like a belt to my hips around to my butt. Now i hadn’t seen alot other then my moms who i didn’t see alot either but i was only 19. Didn’t get alot more with my second child thank god. My issue is, i am OBSESSED with how much i hate my stretch marks\loose skin. I see myself as a 300 lb women when i look in the mirror. I’m just disgusted. I know I could look worse but its just depressing. When i see other young women wearing a midriff bearing top or bikini it makes me green with envy. I look at my beautiful healthy kids and say to myself it is all so worth it and it is. Its just hard. Why did I have to get stretch marks and other women did not. To make things worse I have tried every remedy in the book and nothing is working. I want to start working out and get down to my 112 pre pregnancy weight I’m about 124 right now. I am hoping maybe that will make me feel a little better but i don’t think it will. i feel so vain even saying these things but they take over my thoughts daily. In the shower, when I’m getting dressed. I just wish they would disappear. I am so tired of feeling this way. Its so hard because i feel like even if i was in great shape, i will never look good in a bikini because of my skin. My husband tells me he is not even bothered by them, but i have a really hard time believing it. Does anyone else feel this way or have any experience with fraxel laser resurfacing? Its basically my last resort because at this point i am considering a tummy tuck. I dont know if I can be happy anymore with my body. Thank you for reading my story and I am hoping that my attitude towards my body will change, one day.

I have never shown my body in this way to anyone, not even my husband. I am hoping this will make me feel better by just putting myself out there to women who would understand. First picture is what my tummy looks like in flattering lighting. Second is my scarred belly. Third is when I sit down (loose skin) and 4th is my horrible stretch marks on my hip (they are like this on both sides)

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15 Responses to “After-Baby Belly Consuming My Thoughts (Jade)”

  1. Sara Says:
    August 12th, 2013 at 8:53 am

    I read your story. When I scrolled down to the photos my first thought was, “What in the hell is she talking about?”. Then I wondered if Bonnie paired the wrong photos with your story. Nope. You actually see yourself the way you describe. It made me sad. You look beautiful. Most women get stretch marks during pregnancy. Most women get them during puberty when hips and boobs pop up overnight! I feel like I need to address something you wrote. You said that you see a 300lb woman when you look in the mirror. I know that our hang-ups about our bodies can make us imagine everything differently when we see ourselves. But that comment falls under the category of fat-shaming. It’s clear that seeing yourself that way is a negative thing in your mind. Given the way society perceives the overweight and obese it’s no mystery why. If I were a 300lb woman reading that comment I would be offended. Especially given the fact that it came from someone who is clearly not struggling with obesity. Please be careful how you word things. Please try to be kind to yourself. Life is much too short for self-loathing.

  2. amber Says:
    August 12th, 2013 at 12:29 pm

    I understand how you feel. but you are beautiful. you can search my story under blessed and tortured…. I just had a newborn 2 weeks ago and am trying my hardest not to go back to the mindset I used to have… you look great!!

  3. Jane Says:
    August 12th, 2013 at 12:39 pm

    You need to see yourself straight on not looking down which is the way you take your photoss. what I see is actually a very nicely defined six pack where you can see the edges of your rectus sheath.

  4. Tiffany Says:
    August 12th, 2013 at 12:58 pm

    I just couldn’t help but reply to what Sarah said about fat-shaming. First, feel how you want and don’t let anyone else tell you how to describe your own feelings. You don’t need to censor what you say. This site is supposed to be about honesty, not worrying about everyone else. You didn’t direct it to anyone specifically so don’t feel bad. I feel you look great. You look kind of like me but I do understand how you feel. Thanks for your post.

  5. Ari Brown Says:
    August 12th, 2013 at 1:04 pm

    Many mothers have their struggles with their post-baby bodies. I understand what you are going through, because I have been there. However, it’s important to remember that a 300 lb woman has every right to feel confident and beautiful as does a 112 lb woman. The point you were trying to make about an unrecognized body looking back at you is definitely valid. However using the analogy of a 300 lb woman to convey your discomfort can be very hurtful and harmful to someone that is trying to appreciate their body at that weight. Hopefully we can all find the beauty in our wonderfully changed bodies, no matter the size.

  6. Lesha Says:
    August 12th, 2013 at 2:40 pm

    Ok. I’m sure she didn’t mean any harm with the 300 pound comment. She was just trying to get her point across. I have a similar looking belly after 3 c-sections. I’m not sure that the skin will ever be the same from exercise but you could have a tummy tuck if you are really unhappy. The downside is the huge scar on your bikini line.
    I would try lots of crunches and pilates for working on your core. Good luck. It’s not easy watching your body change and not having any control over it. Some women handle it better than others. I understand how you feel and I’m all for you doing what you have to do to make yourself feel better.

  7. Sara Says:
    August 12th, 2013 at 2:57 pm

    Allow me to clarify something. In no way did I write my response with the intention of making Jade feel badly. However I do think that the way you express your feelings about your body does matter. Every, single, mother I know looks in the mirror and sees a body she doesn’t recognize. That is more than okay. Having babies changes our bodies and everyone is entitled to feel the way they want about those changes. Although, I sincerely wish that more women felt more love for themselves! It’s possible to express frustration with our bodies without denigrating others. Jade, I truly hope that you can see how beautiful you are. It may not happen today but hopefully in time you can see what we all see.

  8. Bonnie (SOAM) Says:
    August 12th, 2013 at 3:18 pm

    I’m weighing in here on the 300-lb comment, and then I won’t be allowing any more comments on THAT part of this post through to bring the focus back to Jade and the underlying issue here.

    I absolutely do not think that Jade meant any harm by it. It (or similar comments) absolutely is (are) something that women often say when they are trying to express how they feel. And everyone is ALWAYS welcome to express how they feel here.

    However, we should also take care with the words we use. The problem with the comment was that her feeling was that she doesn’t like the way she looks. To then align your negative feelings with another person or type of person is problematic. It’s the same as using the words “gay” or “retarded” to mean “bad” – it implies that gay people or those with developmental issues are bad. So to liken yourself to a 300-lb woman when that means that you feel ugly is to inadvertently call fat people ugly. Key word there is INADVERTENTLY.

    And THAT, I think, is why people mentioned it. Not to say that Jade shouldn’t be expressing herself here, or that her feelings are invalid. Rather it’s just to educate her and any other readers about how to avoid inadvertently fat-shaming people. Because 300-lb women are NOT inherently ugly.

    So the point has been made now and this part of the discussion can and should come to an end now unless something extremely relevant remains unsaid.

    Jade, you really are beautiful. I hope that you work towards loving yourself both inside and out.

  9. jessica Says:
    August 12th, 2013 at 3:29 pm

    Jade, I completely understand and can relate. I see myself in a fun mirror, cause logically I know I dont look as bad as I feel. I am 35 and have 2 amazing children 9 & 6. Yes they were worth it and i wouldn’t change that for the world. But before kids I always had a flat tummy and now I feel embarressed that its stretched. I dont want to feel obsesed but I do. I have a great suport system & this site has helped me feel less alone. So in a shorter statement.. YOU ARE NOT ALONE!! :)

  10. Nancy Says:
    August 12th, 2013 at 6:23 pm

    I’m sorry you feel that way. It is really difficult to hate how you feel. I think part of body acceptance comes with age and life experiences. When I am feeling less accepting, I think of my sister who died at 40 and think how she would have LOVED my body if it meant seeing her kids grow up.

    Try to remember that you are not your body no matter if you weigh 100 lbs or 1000 lbs you are you, same heart, same spirit.

    For a more concret suggestion I would suggest having yourself checked for diastasis recti (seperated abs). It is more common for us petite women (lucky us.) I was dx with it and, although it is super common, a lot of people don’t know about it. My doc sent me to p.t., which did nothing. I think they didn’t know much about it either.

    Anyway, I found this site which I thought was helpful. http://fit2b.us/how-to-check-for-diastasis-hd/ There are others like it, so google and find what is right for you. The thing is that doing crunchs and Pilates can actually make it worse! So, check out some exercise that is specifically safe for diastasis recti, and that may make you feel better too. But remember, it took your body 18 months to make those beautiful babies, so getting a flat belly back won’t happen over night.

    And if it doesn’t happen, that’s OK too. You are not your body.

  11. Madison Says:
    August 12th, 2013 at 10:53 pm

    You look fantastic (:
    Congrats on almost making it to your ore baby weight! Don’t be so concerned with the number on the scale
    I’ve had 3 rounds of laser skin resurfacing on my stomach and 2 on my legs (waiting on third). I am so happy I spent the money to have it done. It helped my skin texture so much and really faded the stretch marks. I think 3 more rounds and they would be almost cometely gone! It may be a bit pricey but honestly for me it was worth the money to feel a little more comfortable in my skin (: I had the pixel laser done, just FYI (:

  12. Sally Sue Says:
    August 13th, 2013 at 12:57 am

    I understand how brave it is of you to post these photos and share your feelings.
    It’s pointless me telling you that you look great because you won’t listen will you? :)
    Every single person has an issue with their body, from a slight niggle that their middle toe is too long to major self loathing. This means that if you put on that bikini quite honestly, everyone else will be too busy worrying about their own wobbly bits, scars, stretch marks, areas they forgot to shave to actually notice or care about what you worry about.
    And if by chance someone does notice they’ll either recognise that your body tells the story of your life and move on, or they are so insecure/unhappy within themselves that they need to push that negativity elsewhere and that is their problem, not yours.
    Most women have stretch marks. I have stretch marks all over my thighs and hips. I got mine as I grew up. You got yours as you had your family. I’d much rather have the family as a cause for stretch marks than simply growing up, let me tell you!
    I’d also say that having had stretch marks for about 15 years now they do continue to fade. I have a lot but they are only visible in certain lights now, or if you’re looking for them.
    The thing is your relationship with your body does seem to be affecting your everyday life. It isn’t great to be thinking about them every day and for them to prevent you doing things so have you considered counselling? Your stretch marks may fade or you may find something like fake tan makes them less noticeable but they are never are never going to go away and you owe it to yourself to come to terms with that and accept your post pregnancy body.
    I’m guessing your body works ok? Then recognise that you are lucky. A friend’s partner has just been diagnosed with terminal cancer. He would give anything for a well body with stretch marks. It’s fine to have bits of your body you are unhappy with but to not recognise the good bits is not fine.
    Everytime you think of your stretchmarks think of something you DO like with your body, maybe you have super shiny hair or pretty eyes. or a nicely shaped bum. You need some balance.
    Finally I would also say that your kids will be picking up on your body issues. Even if you try to hide them they will see it. To them,, you are beutiful. Read this: http://offbeatfamilies.com/2012/11/telling-daughters-im-beautiful
    Your body is packaging, nothing more, nothing less. Ultimately when you are gone, your family and friends will remember what is on your inside, not your body and they wouldn’t even give a second thought to your stretchmarks.
    Find peace with your body and they way it reflects your life journey. x

  13. Jade Says:
    August 14th, 2013 at 11:40 am

    Thank you all so much for your kind words\comments. I want to say after reading it, I shouldnt have used a “300 pound” person to describe that i was feeling different then the scale said. All women are beautiful and i am trying to learn this myself. It was just the way i described it at the time, but should have thought that that could have hurt someone who was reading it, and is beautiful! But thank you for making me feel as well that I am entitiled to what i say, and to be honest, because i feel that is very important too.
    Thank you all again, I am gonig to look into the pixel lazer. I do need to focus on my health and the good things about myself, its just hard sometimes, and too easy to pick on what we dont like. Thank you all again, every kind word and suggestion means alot. :) -Jade

  14. jess Says:
    August 19th, 2013 at 10:44 am

    I can’t even see your scar. And you’ve had two kids? You are obviously a healthy person that has done the work and lost the weight. We all have flaws and it’s hard to let them go. Good luck on your journey loving your body.

  15. Lfwfv Says:
    September 27th, 2013 at 11:33 am

    I can very much empathize with your struggle…..similar situation for me and it is so hard to recognize that we don’t look that bad for ourselves. I wanted to second the suggestion to check into diastasis. It really looks to me like you might have that from the pics. I do and my belly looks similar. It’s a health concern not just vanity and you can fix or improve it yourself. I am currently doing rehab with the tummy team and they have a video online about how to check yourself for it. I am slowly regaining my core strength and my belly is flattening a bit.

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