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Gaining Self Confidance (Monique)

December 10, 2012

age 21, pregnancies 2, births 2, 2 yrs and PP 5 months

When I got pregnant with my first child I was engaged to a man who was great. Supportive, loving, caring, everything you’d want in a man. About 6 months before our wedding date I stopped taking birth control thinking that it would take about a year to actually get pregnant (I was on the depo), and presumably after the wedding. I ended up getting pregnant a mere month after the shot was set to expire. It was a shock, but I was so excited… for a while. After I got pregnant the man I knew completely changed. He became physically and verbally abusive. He threw me down stairs, broke his hand on my face, made me watch porn and tell me how much better the girls looked/were in bed compared to me. I was so blessed that my baby boy came out gorgeous and healthy even though he was born at 34 weeks.Afterwards my body bounced back immediately. I lost all the weight easily, got no stretch marks, but it wasn’t good enough for him. He constantly put me down and made me feel just horrible about myself. I finally got the courage to leave not for me, but for my son and I met the man who is now my husband. He always tells me how beautiful I am, supports me and cheers me on in everything I do and treats my son as his own. I got pregnant very early in our relationship (on birth control and pulling out) so it was a huge shock. I wasn’t very happy in the beginning, I was terrified about what the baby was going to do to my body. I was afraid he would leave me because my body was going to change so dramatically only months after meeting me. I was afraid I wasn’t going to get so lucky this time around, that added to still healing from low self esteem from my prior relationship I was miserable for the first 6 months of my pregnancy. Once I felt her kick it was all over, but I still did whatever I possibly could to look good after I had her. I worked out until I gave birth, I slathered myself in cocoa butter and bio-oil, ate well, ended up gaining a little less than 20 pounds and used a belly binder PP, I started pelvic thrusts 3 days PP, cut calories and started back at the gym the day I was released for exercise. It sounds a little intense but I was determined. Everyone told me I looked great for just having a baby, but I didn’t believe it. Though I got back to my normal weight, everything shifted and sits differently. My tummy is rounder no matter how many crunches I do, my hips are wider, my boobs are a little saggier. I was miserable and though I loved my princess I hated my body. No matter how I “good” everyone said I looked I couldn’t stop putting myself down. I finally realized I needed to work more on my self esteem and less on my body. I started looking at myself in the mirror every morning and finding one thing I like about my body. Doing this I began to appreciate my body that much more and gained self confidence which I’ve never had. I also realized that before I wanted the same body I had when I was 16, why in the world would I want that??? Becoming a mother has made me a woman in so many ways, so why shouldn’t my body reflect that? A woman’s body has curves, it’s rounder and softer, it has blemishes, it’s imperfect and that much more beautiful because all of this means it gave life. Now I don’t want a girls body, I want the body of a woman, the body of a mother.

First and second pic – 36 weeks pregnant, third pic – 5 months PP, fourth pic – me, my son and daughter after bringing her home

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4 Responses to “Gaining Self Confidance (Monique)”

  1. Natalie Says:
    December 10th, 2012 at 6:44 am

    Kudos to you for leaving an abusive relationship. You look lovely, so womanly, curvy and so beautiful. Love the picture of you with your kiddos.

  2. Diana Says:
    December 21st, 2012 at 6:21 pm

    I am very happy for you for leaving that relationship… and by the way, you look AWESOME! I have never seen a better-looking mother on this site until now!

  3. Rachel Says:
    January 6th, 2013 at 5:17 pm

    Wow, you have gone through some tough stuff, and worked really hard to get where you are. You look absolutely beautiful. What sweet kiddos! Congrats.

  4. Nikki Says:
    February 1st, 2013 at 12:54 pm

    Wow, you look amazing! I can very much relate to your story because, although my husband is the sweetest man alive and would never dream of verbally abusing me like yours did, I was absolutely terrified of the consequences pregnancy would have on my body when i first found out I was pregnant. Like you, I worked out my whole pregnancy, ate well, used bio oil and various other miracle stretch mark creams and barely gained 15 pounds.I also started cardio and kick boxing the minute I got my doctor’s ok for working out! And as a result, my body looks almost exactly like yours! I do love what you said about not wanting the same body we had at 16. But even more importantly, I think we should be proud of the healthy choices we made during and after pregnancy and realize how much they paid off! I may not be a huge fan of my wide hips either but I think we have to look at everything else we do have going for us! To make a long story short, you really do look amazing, and all your hard work at the gym and your healthy diet have terrific results! Keep up the good work!!!

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