I was one of those women who “knew” the moment they were pregnant.. I was more than ecstatic. It sounds crazy, but I think I felt the moment the baby implanted. I used a pregnancy test that day, waited the 5 or so minutes, saw one line and threw it in a drawer. When I found it a day or two later, there was a second line. I thought it must have been an evap line but decided to test to be sure. Sure enough, positive.. a day before I was even supposed to start my cycle. But, pregnancy felt like torture to me, I never became acclimated to it, and my “cute” bump phase ended quickly. I waited and waited for that “glow” and never got it. I was thrilled to be expecting, but not very educated about all the changes my body would experience. I have always had self esteem and body issues, so growing in size ate away at my confidence. I had a lengthy period of time where you could not tell I was pregnant and not just pudgy/fat. I only ever gained the recommended 35 pounds, but on my short frame, that meant everything was thicker. My face, arms, butt, breasts and, of course, belly. I managed to avoid stretch marks on my belly with generous use of baby oil and by not scratching. I didn’t even think to do this on my butt and breasts, which now have stretch marks, but none too terrible. I delivered a healthy, beautiful, incredibly smart (mother’s pride shining through) baby girl at 37 weeks 5 days after a complication free pregnancy. Went in seeking a natural birth, got talked in to pitocin (to “speed up” my labor) which lead to an epi. Birth aside, I’ve made it back to pre-pregnancy weight about 3 or 4 months post partum. I am now 5 months pp and have maintained the weight. All weight lost simply by breastfeeding and only eating when I’m hungry. My confidence post partum is exponentially greater. After seeing my body go through all those changes during pregnancy, I have a much bigger respect for it. I believe I went through the opposite of post-partum depression – post partum elation. Despite being at pre-preg weight, there are noticeable/permanent changes: my hips are larger, my tummy is no longer flat, my breasts are great when full and saggy when empty – a whole cup size larger (from small b to small c, sometimes full c). Breasts are veiny now, not sure if that will go away after I stop breastfeeding. My areolas are MUCH larger and more brown than before, also uneven. I will be content to tone up my tummy and work some of this extra hip off. Even though I may not look as I did before, I’m quite happy with my body. Recently someone told me who had not seen me since a year prior to my pregnancy: “You don’t look like a little girl anymore! You look like a woman!” And that’s how I feel, like a Real Woman.
Your Age:23, 22 at time of pregnancy
Number of pregnancies and births: 1 pregnancy (so 1 birth)
The age of your children, or how far postpartum you are: 5 months post partum/5 month old