22 years old
2 pregnancies 2 births
3 years 11 months, and 13 months PP
Most recent post here.
I’ve posted a few entries in the past, here is one, the last one was almost 2 years ago. Reading back on my posts I read the things I was trying to convince myself to believe, but wasn’t quite there yet. I thought if I wrote it and saw my pictures I might start believing it. Truthfully though, I hated my body. HATED it, though I so desperately wanted to feel beautiful. I was apprehensive about posting all of this with my name, and my face, but it is who I am.
As you can tell, if you look at the pictures in my old posts, I yo-yoed with weight, from saying I felt fabulous at 165, and then dropping 40lbs by my final entry. I’ve been wanting to write a new entry for a while now, since I started healing. So here it goes :)
I got pregnant with my second child in April 2011 (10 days after weaning my son!) we practiced NFP but he was home for 1 day in between trips and “in the moment” hormones took over. I hadn’t wanted a second child because the emotional roller coaster that happened as a result from my first pregnancy, birth, and bodily change was so horrific that I wasnt sure I would be able to handle it again. I had PPD for the first 10 months, which went untreated because I did not want to acknowledge failure, which is what I felt it was.
My husband was never that great of a guy, I had had him arrested for domestic violence and every apartment we lived in I had to patch and fix before we could move out; he had quite the temper, along with substance abuse. He had wandering eyes and blamed it on me, my lack of sex drive (3-4x a week was not enough) and my ruined body and lack of desire to get in shape to turn him on. I was told about all the beautiful girls he had been with, and since I was ruined I was lucky to have him and even if he left me I’d never find a man who would find me attractive. I didn’t want to bring another kid into the mix, I hated the fact that my son had to know this life. When I was 4 months pregnant he admitted that he had been cheating on me with my co-worker/best friend, I left him that week. I packed up what I needed, and moved my two year old son and myself into a room in my parents house. Leaving an abusive, controlling relationship was the hardest thing I ever did. I wanted so badly to go back,” I was comfortable with it, I could put up with it.. it wouldn’t get THAT much worse” thankfully I held firm and after 7 months of going to counseling individually and as a couple with elders from my church, without seeing a change on his part, I filed for divorce. God blessed me with an amazing family, and church family that supported me and encouraged me every step of the way. I had an amazing second home water birth, 4 hours of light labor and 10 minutes of intense labor. My daughter was born at 41 weeks exactly, perfect in every way :) I never got PPD after her birth, I had my placenta encapsulated and took that, but I think more of it had to do with the fact that I was in an encouraging, loving environment this time around. Fast forward a year and here I am. I’m still living with my parents, but I am a full time student going for my RN, I have two beautiful kids who are safe and do not have to see that life. I am so thankful, God is good!
That process was the beginning of my healing. Discovering that I might just be a worthwhile human being who might just be beautiful, who might just have a brain (I am maintaining a 4.0 GPA!), and who, someday, someone might truly cherish. I took the power back. I continued to eat healthy and stay active throughout my pregnancy, quitting work as a CNA at 35 weeks. I felt awesome after she was born and started the couch to 5k program when she was 3 weeks old. I was doubtful, I just wasnt a runner… I wasnt made to run. I completed my first 5k within 9 months :) I started doing crossfit when she was 7 month old and it’s pretty safe to say I’m hooked! I absolutely love working out. It’s no longer something I feel I have to do to try to look attractive, or that my body is so disgusting that its the only solution. I’m strong, I’m powerful, I’m good at what I do and I get such enjoyment out of it! Last week I deadlifted 226lbs, I failed at 130 6 months before, needless to say I was pretty happy, not stopping here though! After giving birth I lost the weight pretty quickly, and settled at 133, where I have been for the last 9 or 10 months, I eat clean (though the occasional bag of almond M&Ms and lattes have to be snuck in ;) ) I am not interesting in losing any weight, I like where I am at and feel awesome. Just love challenging my body and getting stronger and faster. I am signed up to do the Tough Mudder in May. The idea of getting married again some day and a man seeing my body still makes me a little apprehensive, not going to lie.. and I find myself second guessing things like wearing a two piece because my belly will show, but I am reading This Momentary Marriage by John Piper and there was a chapter on being naked and not ashamed, and how it was not due to perfect bodies. It doesn’t mean no stretchmarks, or “perfect” measurements, or straight teeth.. but that the love of a husband (or wife) does not see and pick apart those imperfections, but loves the spouse as a whole. I was floored. I felt hope.
Sorry this is so long, I still struggle with my saggy breasts, and stretchmarks from time to time, and Im not sure if those struggles will ever be gone for good, but I feel real, and I feel alive, and most days I feel beautiful. Over the last two years the biggest transformation is not of my body, but of my mind and soul. I cant stop smiling on the inside, or just saying “God is good, God is so good!” I am healing :) I hope that my story reaches out to at least one woman out there who can take encouragement from it.
pictures 1 & 2 are from my daughters birth
picture 3 is me deadlifting 226lbs
picture 4 is my stomach presently