Getting here was a tough road, in more ways than one. Although I am a young mother, my boyfriend and I planned for this baby. We had previously lost two little angels, the first was an early miscarriage while the second loss was discovered at 17 weeks. We were devastated, but it helped us to realize that we were ready to begin this journey together.
Six months after my D&C, we finally conceived our son. For years I had battled with my body, hating it, always trying to improve it, trying to learn to love it. When I got pregnant all of that faded away. I loved my curves, and I often complained about not being big enough to fill out my maternity clothes the “right” way. At 36 weeks I finally developed stretch marks. I had always hoped that I would be one of the “lucky ones” but despite genetics not being on my side, I secretly loved them, too. On May 28th, right on his due date, and after 33 hours of labor, our beautiful bundle appeared and the real journey began.
A friend of mine had her baby about 8 months prior. She was back in her pre-pregnancy clothes, looking great, at three weeks. Being the same age as she, and also breastfeeding, I was sure I would be the lucky one this time around. After having the baby I developed stretch marks on my inner thighs. Thats right, *after* the baby. I no longer loved those little marks. Try as I might, I could not picture them as my battle scars. After a month I still could not even think of fitting into my pre-pregnancy jeans. I was about to return to school, and I frantically bought what I called my “suck in underwear,” horrible afraid that when I walked around campus everyone would see my excess skin start to jiggle.
Along with that, I got post partum [depression?] which took a heavy toll on my relationship with both my son and my boyfriend. I was miserable. I cried every day. Breastfeeding was far more difficult than I had imagined it would be. We developed thrush which remained undiagnosed for three months, and because of the pain, I thought of my nursing relationship more like a punishment. I honestly hated motherhood, hated my relationship, and hated myself. I had wanted this after all the heartache of losing my two daughters, why was I so miserable now?
During the third month, everything changed. I got on medication. I became an avid visitor of this website. I got breastfeeding support. I cannot say I am 100% satisfied with everything about my body (admittingly, I took several pictures for this website, hoping that I could stand or suck in to look better, but I chose to post the first natural pictures that I took) Despite that, I can say that I am truly happy. I am a mother. I LOVE being a mother. I am now nearly 6 months post partem, totally off my medication, and my son is my entire world. It is a shame that it took me this long to stop worrying about every little thing. I am truly saddened that the first two months of my son’s life were wasted while I wallowed in my grief, but I am so thankful that we made it through. I am so much more fulfilled now than I can even express.
One woman commented on another person’s post in this website that this is how we are supposed to look. We aren’t supposed to look like women who haven’t had children. To that woman, I want to say thank you. That single comment changed my entire view. I know that these stretch marks and these curves are a part of me now. For better or worse, they are mine. They ARE my battle scars and battle bumps and battle curves. I still have my days where I am less than thrilled to go walking around in my underwear, but I can say that I am proud to have a mother’s body. I am proud to be a mother.
(The first picture was taken while I was in labor, the next were taken today at 6 months PP)