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Curious

July 15, 2006

A poster known as “Curious” left this comment:
Not trying to offend, merely a question. Then how do some women totally bounce back .Not talking about Demi Moore or Hollywood trainers but true women. A woman down the street looks like she never was pregnant. She’s still a tiny thing. I’m not pregnant, not was, but I hate to say it, what pregnancy does to a woman’s body scares me. It’s so damaging. I know pregnancy and babies are beautiful but I guess I couldn’t handle it.

First, I’d like to point out that, even among this small sampling of women here on this site, there are a few whose bodies “snapped back” to their pre-pregnancy form (or close to it). The focus of this site tends to fall on those whose bodies have changed -partly because they are the majority but mainly because it’s such a taboo subject that needs to be brought to light. I in no way intend to make it seem like this is the only way, as it simply is not.

Second, I can certainly understand the fear about the changes in your body – it’s a HUGE thing! A little different situation, but I remember being pregnant with my first child, planning a natural birth, and reading the “graphic” birth stories at Birth Story Diaries. One included a great picture of the child’s head crowning and it terrified me. I swore off natural birth and insisted I was getting a c-section for a week or so. In the end, I worked through it and my baby girl was birthed at home, naturally, after all. My point is, I think I can understand your fear. It’s a scary thing, pregnancy, and all that comes with with it, very much including body changes. I think that life, in general, is a scary thing, too. And I think that people face what they must when they must. If and when you ever decide to have a child, you probably will feel afraid, but when it comes to that time in your life, you will amaze yourself with what you find you can handle.

I hope this doesn’t sound too presumptuous, I realize I can’t truly know how you, Curious, feel or predict what you will do. This is, technically, meant to be a generalization that happens to be inspired by your question.

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11 Responses to “Curious”

  1. thordora Says:
    July 15th, 2006 at 5:55 pm

    Birth was the scariest, and ultimately, the best thing that ever happened to me. My body as it is now, is partially my fault, but partially the result of creating life, period.Plus, nothing if fun if it isn’t a little scary. :P

  2. SpecialRed Says:
    July 15th, 2006 at 7:06 pm

    I agree with Thordora (as I usually do, she’s so smart); NOTHING is fun if it isn’t the least bit frightening.I can say, honestly, I wasn’t scared of childbirth. I had already witnessed four of my six nieces/nephews births before I got pregnant. I saw hard labors and easy, natural and epidural, vaginal and c-section. As different as they all were, it was hard not to concentrate on the ONE thing that tied them all together: That, in the end, mom knew it was ALL worth it, and how quickly the pain fades from memory when you hold that precious child.I admit, I was worried about my body “bouncing back”… for a while. After time, it bothered me less and less, as I focused my energy not on self-hate, but self-appreciation. My body is not only aesthetic, for other’s viewing enjoyment: it is functional. It can carry and birth an 8+ lb human being. It can now carry a squirmy, thirty pound toddler in each arm. To focus on one aspect (saggy belly) of my body would be to ignore the other wonderful things it has done for me thus far.Secondly; this probably only frightens you because it is the first time you’ve seen a woman’s body look like this. Which I say is wrong. I grew up with strong, confidant women, each with their own battle scars and “flaws”, that taught us to be proud of ourselves, not to hide in the shadows post-partum until the weight is gone and the stretch marks faded. Unfortunately, most women in this society NEVER see a post-partum belly until it is their own, and then feel alone, shamed, and “different” than the other moms. Most women don’t go into motherhood prepared for ALL of the changes their body is about to make; they are told of the changes DURING pregnancy, but no one informs us of what a mom looks like AFTER. Which leads to more shock, disappointment, fear and disgust. I’m glad this blog exists, to point out how NOT alone we are, how NORMAL it is, and to show women who have YET to have children. Hopefully, “mom belly” will be normalized to the point that it’s no longer a degrading or shameful sight.You will find, if you do have children, that your love for them and your appreciation of a strong, healthy body will FAR outweigh any negative feelings you have about your stomach.

  3. zebra belly Says:
    July 16th, 2006 at 10:31 am

    How eloquent, Special Red! Thank you for this. :)

  4. kcyogamama Says:
    July 16th, 2006 at 7:24 pm

    I think also that it may appear that many women “bounce back” after pregnancy because they lose their weight fairly quickly… this does not mean that their bodies are not changed. Unless you see them naked, you would not know, and sadly many of us would never let on that we have saggy stripped bellies and boobies, too!

  5. curious Says:
    July 17th, 2006 at 3:59 am

    thanks for the comments and response. and thanks for not judging my fears.

  6. Augusta Says:
    July 17th, 2006 at 5:18 am

    Ditto on what kcyogamama said….I had a beautiful baby boy and within six months I was actually almost 10 pounds LIGHTER and definitnely thinner than before I had him (I am a pretty small person in general). BUT I still have tons of stretch marks on my butt and saggy skin on my belly. With my clothes on, people comment how they can’t believe I’ve ever even had a baby….but with my clothes off, it’s pretty obvious. Now I’m pregnant with my second and this time I don’t worry nearly as much about my body. My husband doesn’t care one whit about stretch marks that I “earned” while I was carrying our child. He says he doesn’t even notice them and that they’re just part of the landscape of my body now–like a birthmark. I guess that is in fact what they are!

  7. Cottage Cheese Bum Says:
    July 17th, 2006 at 10:45 pm

    Some women “bounce back” due to genetics; others do only after a LOT of hard work (pilates is GREAT for your body, btw! :). Most women will never be the same, though the degree of change varies from person to person. I swear I gained most of my pregnancy weight in my butt and thighs though… you should see the cellulite on them! :P

  8. Anonymous Says:
    July 20th, 2006 at 8:23 am

    curious: when i was pg with my first, i thought i would never be skinny again, or fit into my 9/10 jeans. but i certainly did. and after my 2nd, i worked out and watched what i ate and got down to 125 and a size 7/8 jeans. now i’m on my 3rd, probably going to hit the 165-170 range in the next couple months (i’m 29wks now) and i’ll be damned if i’m going to give up the fight. its not always the size of the dog in the fight, but the size of the fight in the dog. it takes much dedication and work. and you have to be prepared. =)

  9. Charlotte Says:
    August 15th, 2007 at 9:12 am

    I was the lady who posted a few days ago ’23yrs old four children aged 6, 4,2 and 3 mths’ and i would just like to say that if you put your mind to loosing the extra weight gained in pregnancy it is possible. Yes i agree that having children DOES effect EVERY womans body in one way or another!!

  10. LinnyLou Says:
    November 6th, 2007 at 8:25 pm

    Yeah, I can totally relate. I have a friend who’s two years older than me, and five months after she had her first son she was wearing belly shirts! I cant even wear them! Its really discouraging, because I know if and when I have a child my body will be damaged like my mothers. I feel really guilty about making such a deal of it though…

  11. just me Says:
    November 23rd, 2007 at 5:02 pm

    hi…I can also totally relate. I am scared to death…TO DEATH of pregnancy. I think I must have died while in labor in my past life…

    It also does not help that I hear the nasty things that immature men say about their wives. It angers me, they dont have to change a thing about their bodies!!Yet they can criticize the mother of their children.

    The worst was My OWN Brother critisizing his wifes body just an hour after she gave birth to number 2..I mean he was just makeing jokes about the “changes” but I thought it very insensitive. My sister in law, did not seem to care. She is SO strong. I can not immagine where it comes from. She actually loves being pregnant and is on # 3. She adores the role of mother and pregnancy and all it brings and she was never scared of birth.

    I told her of my fears and she laughed and offered to be my surrogate! I think a part of her was serious….

    I hope this post does not seem too male-bashing…but…part of the reason women are self concious is well …MEN!!!!!!!!

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