~Number of pregnancies and births: 3 pregnancies (3 c-sections)
~The age of your children, or how far postpartum you are: Children ages 7, 2 and 8.5 months
Some days I look in the mirror and see my reflection somewhat of a positive way. “The stretch marks and skin aren’t that bad after all,” I say to myself, “maybe with just a little more time things will get better.” Then there are the other days…the days when I look at my reflection and feel disgusting. The days that I can’t understand how my husband would ever think that I am beautiful. My husband tells me all the time that I am but I’m not sure that I believe him when he says it. Part of me feels like he is just saying it out of pity, to somehow try to make me feel better. I fear that deep down he really feels like I do about it….disgusted. I hate it when my husband touches my stomach and I am always thinking of how I can position myself so that my stomach doesn’t seem to sag so much. I worry that my husband will find someone else….someone more beautiful….someone less “used”. I know that I shouldn’t feel “used”…I brought three beautiful children into this world and my body let me do that, which is a completely amazing thing but that is how I feel. I feel envious of those who are able to bear children without as much as a mark on them afterwards. I worry because I am not the same person (physically) that my husband fell in love with and I am afraid that he will fall out of love with me. I want to be confident and happy with my body but I’m not. I want to be proud of it and what it has done and not feel that I need to hide behind bulky clothes and shapewear, but I am nowhere near that place. The idea of a tummy tuck is always in my mind. The thought that somehow if my stomach would be flat I would be happy… I could deal with the stretch marks….there is nothing I can do about them anyways. I used to be so confident…thought that I was pretty when I looked at myself in the mirror. Now I don’t feel any of that. I used to like when I got noticed…and now I just try to blend into the background…hoping that no one will catch a glimpse of me. I don’t want to feel this way and I want to be happy with that I have. I don’t want my daughter to grow up and think that she has to fit the world’s ideals of being beautiful and most of all I don’t want her to feel like me. I hope to get there someday…a place where I am at peace with myself and my “mom” body…a place where I don’t have a daily struggle with the mirror…a place where my body is not always on my mind…a place where I am comfortable. Until then I will continue what I am doing…sucking in….shapewear….baggy shirt and fading into the background…
Picture 1 and 2: Me now 8.5 months postpartum with baby number 3.
Picture 3: Me pregnant 38.5 weeks with baby number 3.