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From Loving My Body to Loathing It (Anonymous)

August 14, 2013

I got pregnant at 17. It was unplanned and unexpected. I was scared, but a little excited too. My boyfriend was supportive and so were his family. I loved being pregnant.. I so enjoyed watching my belly grow each month. For the first time in my life, I felt womanly and sexy. Pre-pregnancy I was a mere 89 lbs. Keep in mind I am very petite- only 4″11. Well, by the time I delivered my son I was 115 lbs. I was happy though, because I really felt like I was all belly. I never got a single stretch mark. My beautiful baby boy entered this world weighing 6 lbs 3 oz.. a decent size for me I think. By the time I got home, I realized what pregnancy had really done to my body. My stomach was loose and flabby. My boobs were so saggy I hardly recognized them. Not to mention my nipples went from being small and pink to being giant and brown. My ass is too big to get into any of my jeans, which I wore my ENTIRE pregnancy, I might add. Every time I look in the mirror I want to scream. My vagina looks like complete roadkill.. I won’t include a pic because I’m honestly too embarrassed but my urethra is much lower than it used to be, and my labia is very stretched out. I also have a new ‘lip’ from getting snipped down there. I feel like no one will ever want me ever again. My boyfriend assures me my boobs aren’t ‘that’ saggy and I’m not ‘that’ fat, but then he tells me to curl ups and go running. If we ever break up, I know that no man would want me. I have battled anorexia, bulimia, depression, and bipolar disorder since I was 13. I have been self harming for many years as well. My body is already covered in scars. I no longer feel beautiful and womanly like I did when I was pregnant.. I feel empty, deflated, and disgusting. My son is so much more important than my body, but I am so depressed about the changes that came after him that I’m finding it really hard to enjoy being a mom. I cry during late night feedings, I hardly leave my house, when my dad offers to watch him I decline because I don’t have anyone to hangout with anyway. No one wants to hear me cry about how awful I feel.. and I really don’t blame them. I currently weigh 97 lbs, I’m hoping to get down to 90 by the time my son is 12 weeks old. I only hope that I can overcome this loathing of my body so that I can fully enjoy him while he’s this small. I feel like I’m missing out on being a mom because this is eating away at my self esteem. I don’t want to fall back into the cycle of cutting myself, starving myself, and purging because I want so badly to be happy for him. I hope god hears my prayers, because right now, I am lost.

Your Age: 18
Number of pregnancies and births: 1
The age of your children, or how far postpartum you are: 4 weeks postpartum

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24 Responses to “From Loving My Body to Loathing It (Anonymous)”

  1. Joe Says:
    August 14th, 2013 at 11:12 am

    Your story moved me to write my first comment on this wonderful website.

    You must know that you look amazing! You are NOT saggy or fat either! I am assuming your boyfriend is young and doesn’t know the correct way to talk to a real woman.

    Just so you know, you’re about to get a ton of comments from other mothers who will be incredibly jealous of your body ;)

    Now go eat and enjoy your son :) You really do look fantastic :) Trust me!

  2. Sussana Says:
    August 14th, 2013 at 2:43 pm

    Brown nipples! Mine are an awful orange and my husband loves brown nipples (but I know he loves the most my nipples whatever color they make). You look fine, it has only been a month and it is not easy to tell you have been pregnant. You are very young, love yourself, give yourself time, to know yourself, to know your baby, to know your boyfriend as a father, to get fitter (you really look very good right now), to feel accomplished, fulfilled, happier than ever.

  3. Jen Says:
    August 14th, 2013 at 3:05 pm

    Sweetie, it sounds like you have a bit of postpartum depression. After you give birth your hormones are all out of sorts and they are trying to return back to normal. There is nothing wrong with your body at all. I am a personal trainer and mom of three, two of them being twins, there is nothing wrong with your body at all. Exercising is great because it releases stress and tension, you should put that baby in his stroller and go for a nice long walk, it would do you good! You are young and vibrant and all you need to is talk to someone. Call your OB/GYN and tell him or her that you are feeling sad and they can refer you to someone who specializes in postpartum depression. I had it a little bit after I had my twins because they were in the NICU for a bit because they were early but very healthy :) You need to enjoy your little sweetie while he is tiny because it goes by in the blink of an eye. My twins are already 7 months old as of today!! Don’t waste any time, call your OB!! All it takes is just to talk to someone about it :o ) I will tell you that you are your worse body critic. From my point of view you look amazing!

  4. Steve Says:
    August 14th, 2013 at 7:39 pm

    Thank you for being so courageously honest about your feelings. As a husband and father, I can tell you that you are beautiful, truly beautiful. Not only have you done the greatest thing a woman can do, which is to bear a child, but are physically a lovely woman. You may feel that you are not as “pretty” as you were before you became pregnant. But you are truly lovely, and God will bless you.

  5. mrspetunia Says:
    August 14th, 2013 at 8:07 pm

    I can’t figure out why anyone would say you’re not *that* fat or saggy. You are clearly not at all fat or saggy. I also don’t know what your resources are, but if you can manage to find your way into some counseling or a support group I think that might help. Hang in there girl! Your hormones are very likely wonky right now and not helping you think any clearer or see things any more accurately. You mention that you have a long history with mental health issues. These issues do tend to crop back up with hormonal swings and major life changes. I wish you the very best and hope that you can learn to see the beauty that is so obvious to all of us.

  6. Amanda Says:
    August 14th, 2013 at 9:07 pm

    WOW!!!! you look amazing!! youre 4 weeks pp and you don’t look like you’ve had a baby!! I know its hard to see yourself as others do, ive been there. but you are nowhere NEAR fat OR saggy, take it from a woman who isn’t much taller than you and weighed 210 at one point. go give your baby some snuggles for me, I cant have anymore, love him and yourself, it could be ppd causing you to feel this way, talk to your dr about how you feel, they are there to help you :) xo

  7. Natalie Says:
    August 15th, 2013 at 7:36 am

    Sweetie what you need is to give it time. Time for body parts to shift back in place. Like hips, I think that’s why your jeans don’t fit. You have one toned booty. Let me tell ya I still looked very much pregnant at 4 weeks PP and wore maternity clothes. You need time for crazy hormones to normalize. I remember myself crying everyday for 1 month postpartum. I had no reason to cry, just crazy hormones. Your vagina went trough some serious trauma, it will heal I promise. And talk to someone, anyone, even your dad. I hope for you to find acceptance of your beautiful body.

  8. katie Says:
    August 15th, 2013 at 8:40 am

    omg I would kill to look half as good as you! I hear you about the nipples though…mine also went from small and pink to large and brown, and although I look at yours and I don’t think they look bad at all, I hate mine too. I guess we are only hard on ourselves ha!

  9. Zee Says:
    August 16th, 2013 at 7:51 am

    I’m currently pregnant and wish i look like u after birth my entire stomach has stretch marks and this is my first child I always had smooth skin and I’m worried about how it will look after but you look damn good to me!

  10. sara Says:
    August 16th, 2013 at 1:41 pm

    I hear you. I have felt really awful about my body in the past but it gets better. When I was at my lowest, even though people would tell me know great I looked, I just couldn’t feel good about myself no matter what they said. It’s normal to feel sad, lost and scared after giving birth. Your whole world has changed dramatically, your body included. It’s okay to be depressed and cry about it, let it out, there is no wrong way to feel. Just know that you will not feel this way forever, your body will readjust and you will gain a new perspective. Motherhood is full of ups and downs and even though you are ‘down’ right now, remember that there is an ‘up’ to follow:)

  11. Eric Says:
    August 17th, 2013 at 8:35 pm

    I really wish TSOAM would stop denying my posts. Please. Anyway, I had commented previously that you are gorgeous!!! I am a guy…and trust me when I say some guys like pink nipples…and some like brown :) I personally find your breasts PERFECT! But even more attractive to me, is your use of grammar! Understand that its not all to do with the size, shape or color of your breasts, but sometimes more to do with your personality. That’s not a lie. That is NOT a lie, trust me. Chin up :)

  12. Kim Says:
    August 18th, 2013 at 9:23 am

    You look beautiful. I hope that you’re able to find the beauty in yourself. And just an FYI, my nipples always go dark at the end of pregnancy. They turn pink again once the hormones are all out of my system. I don’t know if that happens to everyone or not though….

  13. Bonnie (SOAM) Says:
    August 18th, 2013 at 11:54 pm

    Eric, I haven’t paid enough attention so I don’t specifically remember not allowing your comments through, but there are times when I don’t allow comments from men through, even if they are not negative. These are usually short comments such as “Beautiful!” or “Your breasts are very nice.” While these comments are probably almost always innocent, some of the mamas on SOAM feel uncomfortable reading them. It’s much easier to feel comments from men are innocent when they start out something like “I hope you don’t mind my comment, but as a man I wanted to tell you that men like all kinds of bodies, and that many men would find you beautiful just as you are.” I realize it is unfair to men and is probably frustrating to you and any other men involved, so I hope you can try to understand this from a woman’s perspective. We’re all suffering for the patriarchy here.

    I do, frankly, LOVE to hear from men. I think it’s really important that women hear from men about what men actually find attractive. However, experience in running SOAM for seven years has taught me that women feel more comfortable when they know the men who comment are doing so kindly and not looking for any personal connection.

    I hope you understand.

    Thank you for supporting women.

  14. Sarah Says:
    August 20th, 2013 at 8:35 pm

    I’m so jealous of your figure!!! Wow!!!

  15. joelle Says:
    August 26th, 2013 at 5:44 am

    You do not need to lose any more weight. You are healthy and gorgeos. Im a petite woman, i was 90 pre pregnancy at 5’1”. Now im 107. I realized how unhealthy it was being 90 pounds. You’re not fat, you look fantastic. Dont try to lose your wonderful womanly assets.

  16. Charlie Says:
    August 27th, 2013 at 10:50 am

    Four weeks is a very short time. You’ll find that as time goes by your skin will become tighter. Your breasts don’t look “saggy” at all, they are simply fuller and much more womanly. You can look forward to a lot more changes to your body in the next year, it will return more towards “normal.” While it won’t be exactly the same as before, it will be more womanly, and still just as beautiful.

    I was pregnant at 20, and a mother at 21. Now, at the age of 25, I love my body more than I ever did before I was pregnant. My nipples darkened to brown as well, but they are back to being more pink now. Not exactly the same, before they were kind of a bright pink, now more of a toned down rosy pink.

    As far as your vagina looking like “roadkill,” I didn’t even look at mine for a very long, long time. I had very extensive bruising and tearing, my labia was so swollen that it looked “like a scrotum” (as one nurse said to me). It took the Dr an hour and three shots of local to finish my stitches, and my labor was only two hours long. I was too horrified to ask how many stitches there were. Even after most of that was healed, maybe three months?, it was wayy to painful for me to have sex. In fact, I developed bartholin cysts on both sides, which weren’t resolved until 9-12 months postpartum. I felt like my vagina was at war with me and it would never work again, forget how it looked. My physical problems, along with marital problems, I could not have sex for two years.

    I’ll tell you what, the skin on my labia is a bit more stretched out then it was, but all in all, it’s a vagina, and it looks perfectly normal. You can’t expect everything to look exactly the same, your body has changed and your expectations need to change. Your body is still absolutely stunning, and I don’t mean “stunning for having had a baby 4 weeks ago.” I mean STUNNING.

    As far as future worries with future men, you don’t need to worry at all. Trust me. Every woman is different, and while you and your boyfriend can compare you body to what it was before baby, someone else won’t have that comparison. Your body will be different from other women’s bodies, but it was different before because each woman is different.

    At the risk of judgement I will tell you from personal experience that men will still love your body. I split with my husband shortly after my son’s second birthday, when I was 23. I went a little crazy with freedom, er. Even men four years my junior fully appreciated my body.

    In summary, your body will still be changing for awhile yet, and you are stunning, period.

  17. amie Says:
    August 27th, 2013 at 11:27 pm

    First of all, remember that your body is going to improve a lot over the next few months. 4 weeks isn’t enough time for your body to fully recover from pregnancy and child birth. Your uterus is still shrinking for heavens sake! Of course things are lose right now, they’re supposed to be. It’s temporary, I promise. Use this time to relax and love your baby. There is always time to work out, but your baby is only a newborn for a short period of time.
    Second, you don’t look like you just had a baby! Other than your brown nipples (which will fade back to normal within the year), there is no sign that you’ve ever had a kid. no flabby belly, no stretch marks.. and certainly no sagging in your breasts.
    I am a complete stranger, so don’t assume I’m saying any of this to make you feel better about yourself. I’m saying this because it’s the truth- Your body is beautiful. Stop comparing yourself to what you used to be.

  18. chris Says:
    September 16th, 2013 at 7:29 am

    Let me tell you this. Nu,ber one you look great I wish I looked like that at 4 weeks pp. Number 2 it takes 9 months for your body to change during pregnancy. 4 weeks is not nerely enough time to go back to your “original” body. Yes pregnancy changes your body but not THAT much. Believe me in no time you will be looking like you did before pregnancy. ESPECIALLY since you didnt get stretch marks.It took me 6 months I got stretch marks. GIVE YOURSELF TIME! I think you look great but who am I top sa, oyu need to feel comfortable with yourself.
    This is the first time I commment on this site I felt I nEEDED to

  19. Jessica Says:
    September 18th, 2013 at 7:03 pm

    OK you look fantastic. I know it’s all over these comments and it is true. Your tummy looks great! I know how you feel all too well though, but you have nothing to worry about. Everything everyone else is saying is a fact. It hasn’t been long since you have given birth. Give yourself time. Find things to do that make you feel good about your new body. Get used to it, get used to seeing it. Tell yourself you are beautiful because YOU ARE!

    As far as your nipples go, that will take a few months to go back to the original color or something close. You are still trying to produce milk. I dunno if you are breastfeeding but those hormones will make them have that color. And if you aren’t breastfeeding, it still takes time. You are OK and everything you are feeling is normal. It’s called the baby blues. Although, it is important to contact someone if you are feeling like hurting yourself or others. But I assure you, you are beautiful!

    Oh btw, there’s a wonderful exercise for your vagina called kegels. Look it up if you aren’t familiar. It’s good stuff and works like a charm!

  20. Autumn Says:
    September 19th, 2013 at 9:17 pm

    I have just recently discovered this site, and I was so gripped by your story because I could relate to so much of it. My first pregnancy was also a surprise, and while I loved the journey of growing through pregnancy, the aftermath felt devastating. I especially hit a rough point at about 2 months postpartum, and it sounds like you’ve reached that point even sooner. It felt like that “post-baby bump” should be gone by then, or that things should at least be semi-normal. But like so many have commented already, it really does take a little longer. The sagginess up top was one of the hardest things for me, too. I knew that sagging was normal with age, anyway, and that my boobs probably looked no different to anyone else, but I knew they were different, and the felt different. I felt depressed every time I thought about it. I wish I could say that it was some soul-searching revelation that helped me out, but honestly, it was as simple as an excellent new bra! haha. I found one that flattered me and made me feel comfortable with my shape, and it made a world of difference. A pair of flattering new jeans also helped.

    It is so okay and normal to feel miserable – child bearing is a huge undertaking, and recovery is a process, both physically and emotionally. We just have to ride it out, like a long wave, and hold on to hope, because it really does get better. I’m now just over a year post-birth, and I still have some struggles, but I also see how far I’ve come.

    I also echo what several people have said here – men are attracted to all kinds of appearances! I’ve heard several guys say they don’t necessarily prefer skinny women, and I think my own husband would secretly be thrilled if I happened to gain 10 pounds. “More to love,” he says. Haha. He has loved and admired my body through all its changes, even to the point that he feels personally hurt and sad if I speak badly about it.

    I hope that things start looking up for you. Your body really is beautiful, as many have already said!

  21. John Says:
    December 12th, 2013 at 3:47 pm

    You look amazing don’t get yourself down. Youre an amazing strong independent woman who from the sounds of it has overcome so much. Youre nothing but beautiful. Since I’m a man I can tell you that your boyfriend truly knows how gorgeous you are. I can tell that he is young and doesnt understand that even the phrasing of a word can misconstrue and change the meaning of what hes trying to tell you. You know he cares about you more than anything else in this world and would be devastated if something happened to you. My girlfriend too has suffered with anorexia and is getting better but still struggles with it everyday. From being with someone who has gone through that I understand how you might think poorly of yourself because it is a body image issue (well at least for my girlfriend) but the fact of the matter is is that youre nothing below exceptional. You have so many people that love and care about you and I realize that when you hear it from them you might just think “theyre just saying that to cheer me up” but theyre speaking the truth! I could go on and on about how great you look and how strong you are but that would be pointless because Id just bore you. Dont ever give up. Dont ever think poorly of yourself. Love everything about yourself. And always remember that your friends, family, and God love you and will always be there for you. No matter what happens

    Stay strong for yourself but most importantly the ones who love you.

    PS YOU LOOK FANTASTIC

  22. Ayla Says:
    December 15th, 2013 at 11:50 pm

    Your post really touched my heart! I was 19 with my first and after I had my daughter you couldn’t even tell a month after. I though I was a beast! I thought I was huge! I thought I was disgusting! I’m now pregnant with my 3rd and I look back at my first pregnancy and my recovery and how quick and easy it was compared to now! You look amazing and I know you can’t see that but trust me everyone else does and someday you will see it yourself when you look back!

  23. Nor Says:
    February 5th, 2014 at 1:19 am

    Your body is completely and totally fine, and beautiful. No one would ever know you had been pregnant unless you told them. If you think men would be horrified by your vagina, let me tell you, at your age hardly any of them even know what they look like (or what to do with them, honestly). There is a huge amount of natural variation in them anyway, and I guarantee you, even if you had heavy heavy scarring down there, not a single man would likely ever notice. Hey, if trans women can go undetected, I promise you can too. Your body is perfect honestly, I’ve never been even remotely as attractive as that and I in no way have ever lacked for male attention, and neither will you. The next time anyone, boyfriend or not, says anything negative about your body, kick them in the testicles. Make it very clear to your immature boyfriend he is to respect you, and love your body as it is (because it is beautiful. You have no idea how amazing you look. Don’t let him hurt you like that). If you are not in therapy, get in therapy. Talk about how you feel about this issue. With your diagnoses, you should have access to mental health care for your whole life. You require regular health care, like anyone with a chronic disease. There is no shame in it, it’s just a statement of fact. Obamacare is on your side for this one. Sign up if you haven’t. Your health is important, your happiness is important, you are important. Make sure you take care of yourself. You owe it to yourself and your kid to learn how to overcome this fear that is hurting your life. You can do it, I know you can. Also, post partum depression is very common. With a bipo diagnosis, you are at extremely high risk for it. In fact, you are at high risk for post partum psychosis, which if you are in therapy your shrink should have told you about. You need to get some help for your illness. And you need to yourself (or have your shrink, bring him in for a family session, maybe your parents too if you are living there so they can learn how to support you properly) set your bf straight about body image issues and providing sufficient emotional support to a new mom w/ a history of depression/bipo/self-harm. You are an important valuable person, and so strong to have come so far. Do if for your kid if you can’t do it for you. You may have body dysmorphia, and there is real help out there for that. CBT and similar is a good way to start, ask your therapist.

  24. Cyrena Says:
    March 1st, 2014 at 1:43 pm

    I see that this was posted quite some time ago, but I wanted to say that you look absolutely AMAZING! I am 18 and 6 months pregnant with my first and I only hope I can bounce back like you did just a short four weeks after baby. I am sure that you look even better now with all the time that has gone by! Be confident. You have a gorgeous body,

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