Number of pregnancies/ births: 2 pregnancies, 1 birth
Age of child: 14 months
Let me begin by saying that in my family being overweight is normal and I’ve always been the odd one out. You would think being the healthiest one would be a good thing, but it wasn’t. I was always different, and I always wanted to be like everyone else, big.
I came into my own at 14 when I started my period. Finally I had the breasts, and the butt to match my family. I wasn’t rail thin anymore; I even started getting attention from boys. Within a year the attention put me in a sexual relationship I wasn’t ready for. It took its toll on me both physically and emotionally. My weight suffered, losing 17 pounds in a matter of weeks, two bouts of Mono, and a severe depression. When the relationship finally ended I was lost. I threw myself into being a teenager, going to games, working at the local dinner and just forgetting where I had been. I flew through a relationship, began talking to an older guy, and got the courage up to talk to the boy in health class.
The boy in health class, who knew he was my future? It was a slow beginning which swiftly turned into a serious relationship. We were inseparable and planning a future together. The plan was two year engagement and a wedding after I graduated with him joining the military in the meantime. But what always happens when you plan too fast? Life, a baby. When we got the news everything went into fast forward.
We married in July, days after my 17th birthday. He enlisted and went off to BCT in my first trimester and I finished school. At this point I had just gotten my body to where it really needed to be. I was thriving. My pregnancy was a walk in the park. I had no complications and barley gained any weight if anything I didn’t gain enough weight. When my daughter was born I lost most of what I had gained and within the first three months I was back to my old self.
And then came marriage. My husband came home, and we moved to our first duty station. Stress, motherhood, hormones, hormones galore, and the role of being a wife was the first 20 lbs. When we found we were pregnant again just six months after having our daughter we were elated. We couldn’t wait to have another child. But too soon things went wrong. We lost the baby when I was just two months along. The doctors said it was normal and it happened often, but it tore me apart. I was put on birth control; we did not want to face a situation like that again. Depression and hormones caused me to gain another 20 lbs. At this point I was no longer the twig in the family. I struggled with my new self. I missed who I had been.
Now months later I have learned that though I may be different I am still me, the girl who found herself after a terrible relationship, the girl who fell in love with a boy in Health, the mother of an energetic one year old, and the woman who lost a baby. My daughter is a gift, and my husband adores the body I now own. I have finally become the norm in my family, and though there are times when I struggle and think less of myself. I know I am beautiful and that I can do anything no matter what my body type.
The pictures are of Me before I got pregnant, at 41 weeks pregnant, and 14 months postpartum.