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Be Strong and Courageous (Anonymous)

June 21, 2011

My first daughter came when I was only 20 years old. I was newly married, working part time, and going to college full time. I gained 57 lbs. And it showed. My ballet body expanded everywhere it could. My legs, my hips, my breasts, and my stomach. I could not understand how people made it through pregnancy with little to no stretch marking. I was covered in huge “rips”. My breasts had never been perky, and whatever anti-gravity they had was destroyed when I went from a 32B to a 34F. But I did I lose all of the weight within a year.

My son was born 2 years later and he passed away (due to a severe medical condition) when he was only 9 weeks old. I miss him every day. My skin stretched further, despite not gaining as much weight. I said they were “his marks”. I lost all by 10lbs, but within 3 months of his death, I was unexpectedly pregnant again.
My second daughter arrived just a month after my son’s first anniversary. I stretched even further with her, even though I didn’t gain as much as the first time around. But like my first pregnancy, I lost it all within a year.

When my second daughter was about 15 months I became pregnant again, but lost the baby before 8 weeks. I was scarred; half of my children had died.

In the midst of moving overseas and the stress of liquidating our household, I became pregnant after just one period cycle. We were shocked and scared. But I had the nausea, the exhaustion, and I thought all was well. I shared with the world that we were expecting again right around 13 weeks.

At 15 weeks I began bleeding and made a trip to the ER. It was there that the doctors discovered my baby had stopped growing 8 weeks previously. I waited almost a week from the first visit before I miscarried. I began bleeding heavily at our church’s Christmas Eve service. We raced home so that I could be at home to miscarry.

I have lost 3 of my 5 children. My husband doesn’t want any more children. I am broken. I don’t feel I am finished. But I am scared out of my mind to try again.

And in the midst of all this – I gained 15lbs in the 15 weeks I carried the baby – and after 6 months have not lost a single pound. I fit into nothing. I hate the way I look.

HOWEVER….. I know that my scars, my sagging skin, my large and sagging breasts, my muffin top, and my misshapen belly button are marks of my children. With and without me, my children left me marked. I am learning to love the body I have and appreciate what it has given me.

~Age: 26
~Number of pregnancies and births: 5 pregnancies, 3 births, 2 living children.
~The age of your children, or how far postpartum you are: Daughter1 – 5, Son – died at 9 weeks, would be 3 1/2, Daughter2 – 2, Miscarriage1 – August 2010, Miscarriage2 – December 2010. 5.5 months post partum.

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7 Responses to “Be Strong and Courageous (Anonymous)”

  1. L Says:
    June 21st, 2011 at 9:28 am

    Im so sorry for your losses. Your body does carry the marks of your children I also had the ripping stretchies they look like slashes from a knife deep into my skin. My mother in law had 4 living kids though the youngest daughter was murdered at 19 leaving behind her fiancee and 2 yr old son who is almost 9. And my mother in law lost 4 children one between each other living kids. Its hard to deal with im sure but you are blessed with two. As far as your body I understand how you are feeling but during painful traumatic times we become less concerned with our image. Life is to precious and with the circumstances you have been through I know thats why its hard to focus on yourself the hurt is to deep. Im so sorry.. I know your fearful of what could happen if you became pregnant again so thats something you have to work with your husband on. May you have peace in your heart whatever your choice is. I know your verse full well its something I pray for my son and thought him about when he dealt with bad bullying at school. I also apply it to my life when Im weak and feel I can’t go on. See the Lord is directing you even in that one verse. Blessings to you and your family..

  2. kristen Says:
    June 21st, 2011 at 10:06 am

    THANK YOU for sharing YOUR story with us.
    It brought me to tears. I am sending you warm vibes and hugs.

    It is women so boldly like yourself, who remind us of the beauty in Life. Thank you for posting your pictures, and when I start to get down on my weight and body shape- I will think of your story.

    =)

  3. Dee Says:
    June 21st, 2011 at 10:21 am

    Your story is so sad. I’m sorry for your losses. You really have been on a hard journey with child bearing, but I’m sure your 2 living kids bring you so much joy. Stay strong, hun.

  4. Katie Says:
    June 21st, 2011 at 12:41 pm

    I am so sorry for your loss. My second child was born with a heart deformity and needed several surgeries when he was born. Being faced with possibly loosing a child was enough to rock my world and shake me down to my foundation. What happened to you wasn’t fair. None of it. I know ‘life isn’t fair,’ but I think you deserve to be told that it was wrong, it wasn’t fair, and I’m sorry. Your a warrior, and being there for your two children is a worth applauding. I’m very proud of you.

  5. shannon Says:
    June 22nd, 2011 at 5:24 am

    I am sorry about your babies. You will always be a mother of 5. I lost my 1st son when he was 19 months old (also a severe medical condition), and like you I got pregnant (unexpectedly) just 3 months later. There is nothing more difficult than losing a child (why is it called losing?). I will always have 2 boys, and you will always have 2 daughters, a son, and two unknowns (you will meet them someday in Heaven). You are beautiful, do not give up. If you want more babies then try again. Pray to your angel babies to keep this child safe.

    Good luck

  6. MJ Says:
    June 24th, 2011 at 2:01 pm

    i am so sorry for your losses:( i cant imagine the pain you have gone thru.. ive misscarried three times all three were within the first 6 weeks of pg and it was difficult to accept.. i think you look great! congrats on your to lil girls im sure they are amazing!

  7. faye smith Says:
    June 28th, 2011 at 10:08 am

    Thank you for sharing your story, my heart goes out to you for your losses x x
    The group SANDS has a great website and direct you to a local group if you ever wanted to speak to others who have live with losses too
    ALL the best to you on your journey :)

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