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I Wish I Could Love My Body (Kayla)

May 6, 2009

I was 19 when I found out I was pregnant. I was scared, nervous, and excited all at the same time. Ive never been the thinnest girl walking around, but I didn’t realize how nice my body was, until after I became pregnant. I had an easy pregnancy for the most part. I traveled a lot, to and from Australia where my boyfriend was from. He ended up leaving me when i was 32 weeks pregnant and I had to move back to Canada. My body went through hell and back after he left me. I kept losing weight because I was so depressed and my doctors started to worry about me. I gained all together about 30lbs even though near the end I lost some. I got stretch marks starting at 4 months. No matter what I tried, and how many times a day I put it on, they kept coming. I hated it. My son was born a healthy 6lbs 13oz on November 22, 2008. He was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen, and all my worries and stress just floated away the second I saw his face. Being a single mother is the hardest thing I have ever done, and I’m sure Its going to be a struggle everyday for years to come. But when I see my son smile, it takes away all those fears, on that day, that I may have. Everyday when I see the stretch marks, and saggy skin on my belly and my uneven saggy breasts from nursing, I hate myself a little bit more. I wish I could have appreciated my old body, before becoming pregnant. I’m trying to see the beauty in the stretch marks, and the fact I grew an amazing son inside of me for 9 months, but it is hard. I try to tell myself that I am still good looking but the truth is, I cannot stand to look at my self in the mirror most days. I haven’t had a chance to start going to the gym, I don’t have the time. Between trying to take care of him and myself and our busy life, there just isn’t time to fit in a work out. One day, I hope Ill love my body again. Until then, Ill just do what I know I can do best, and that is raise my son to be a loving, caring man.

My age – 20
Number of pregnancies and births – 1
I am 4.5 months postpartum

Updated here, here and here.

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12 Responses to “I Wish I Could Love My Body (Kayla)”

  1. TracyKM Says:
    May 6th, 2009 at 11:25 am

    I think what you really mean, is that when you see your belly/breasts, etc, you hate the boyfriend and what happened to you, not that you hate yourself, and you have this visual representation of what he did to you (although it takes two to get pregnant, LOL)
    If you don’t have time for a gym, you really don’t need one. Your son can be your gym. Try babywearing. Put him on your back in a mei tai or wrap, and just do the things you have to do–laundry, clean, grocery shop. It’s an awesome way to get a workout.
    You really don’t look too bad for 4 1/2 months!

  2. Nina Says:
    May 6th, 2009 at 4:46 pm

    you don’t hate yourself. you just hate what’s happened to you. you’re brave, though. you’ve been through a lot and you’re going to soldier on, aren’t you?

    the first few months of having a baby are so hard, but know that it will get better. soon you will have more time.
    Meantime, my advice for you is to buy a baby sling and go WALKING! I did this my first 6 weeks, lugging my big fat baby in front of me on my chest and walking with my ipod. I lost so much weight doing that. Baby was happy, I was losing weight-it was all good. You should try to walk at least a mile a day, it should take you around 30 minutes and as that got too easy I upped it to like 45 minute brisk walks.

    You should seriously consider this! I know advice is easy to shell out, but sometimes people are right! Take care and many blessings.

  3. Bridget Says:
    May 6th, 2009 at 6:09 pm

    It takes so much to come here, share your pictures and your story, so thank you for your bravery. I’ve been in your shoes as far as the postpartum body-bashing and it is hard. Over time I began to accept my body, especially since it gave me my precious babies. I don’t go to the gym or even walking but I am getting back in shape by doing crunches or whatever while I watch tv, do bellydancing/yoga/tae bo/pilates videos with my kids at my feet. I also do yardwork to keep active.
    The best advice I can give you is that it DOES get better. Just try to show your body some compassion and patience… treat it well (eat well and find creative ways to exercise) and it will get better. Try to develop a support system if you don’t have one and use those in it to bring you back up.
    Hang in there!
    And by the way, you look great! If you saw my belly, you’d sigh with relief about your own.

  4. kay Says:
    May 6th, 2009 at 8:08 pm

    oh sweetie! i know how u feel – I had a baby at 20 and his father left me when i was about 7 months. It’s hard, I wont lie and it takes twice as long to do anything but the good news is IT CAN BE DONE!!! The thing to do is set attainable goals for yourself just keep at it. Mine was to finish school no matter what – so first i said ok get this associate’s Boom! done! then work on the Bachelor’s – got it….then just for added flair – do law school…I just got done with that and I am now 30. My son is 9 now and we are both happy!! :)

    Your body did what it had to do and now it is the way it is, which is beautiful. But if you dont like it, change it but take time while doing that and dont be too hard on yourself. Start small, like others suggest, take a walk every day – u get exercise, your baby gets fresh air and you both bond with eachother. As you start getting more time add some pilates, running, weights or whatever type of exercise u enjoy.

    Good Luck to You!!! :)

  5. Lindsey Says:
    May 6th, 2009 at 9:19 pm

    My daughters father left me while I was pregnant. I dealt with the whole thing as well as any 18 year old could have after being abandoned but the day I saw my first stretch mark I lost it. I cried uncontrollably until my mom finally said “They are just stretch marks, every mom has tehm” I screamed “Why did he get to leave? Why did he get to abandon us? Why did he get to run off and live his life like nothing has changed and I am here stretch marked and all alone?!”

    It ended up being my breaking point, that no matter what he did to me emotionally, it was the physical proof that left me angry.

    Your body is the way it is now. I think you are beautiful. Everything we do in our lives changes us, having our children just changes everything, including our bodies.

    I hope you go on to be able to love your body the way I know your son loves you.

  6. Christie Says:
    May 7th, 2009 at 3:36 am

    You look just like me hon *hug*

  7. taiyo Says:
    May 7th, 2009 at 1:01 pm

    You’re beautiful, and your son is so cute! I can’t imagine how hard things must be for you right now. I think you are brave for confronting these issues. Have you thought about speaking to a counselor? You’ve been through a lot, and it might help. Take care. :)

  8. Jo Says:
    May 8th, 2009 at 8:35 am

    The thing that helps me accept the changes in my body is looking at my child and thinking:

    I *did* that!

    You are doing an incredibly difficult thing, raising a child on your own. I don’t know what kind of support system you have, but I hope you have a good one, full of friends and loved ones who can help you, guide you, be there for you.

    It stinks that your boyfriend walked out on you and your baby right before the birth. STINKS. {{{{{hugs}}}}} I agree with the suggestion that you seek out counseling. I’m struggling with postpartum depression too (moved 1000 miles from family/friends right before the birth) and getting to vent to someone who knows something about what you’re going through but who isn’t involved in your life is absolutely invaluable.

  9. Black Belt Mama Says:
    May 8th, 2009 at 10:53 am

    There will never be time to go to the gym unless you make a concentrated effort to make that time. In the meantime, you can always start doing some things at home too. Fitness doesn’t need to start at the gym.

    Take a walk with the baby strapped to you for a weighted workout, and remember that it took 9 months to push that body out of shape. It will take at least that for your body and skin to start to go back. You WILL get there if you want to get there. Believe in yourself. I bet you didn’t think you could be a single Mom and you’re doing it, probably quite well.

    Also, don’t look at them as stretch marks. Think of them as “warrior markings” on someone who’s done something truly heroic, bringing a baby into this world and now raising your baby by yourself.

    Good luck to you. Brave post.

  10. Lu Says:
    May 25th, 2009 at 11:49 am

    I am 4.5 months PP and my belly looks just like that, stretch marks and all.
    I know what you mean, Im so busy working and taking care of the baby, at the end Im so tired the last thing I want to do is work out.
    But Im so unhappy with my body, I just need to do it. I agree with everyone about wearing your son and walking, thats what Ive been trying to do and it feels good.
    Take care hon!

  11. Lani Says:
    May 28th, 2009 at 12:05 am

    You’re SO incredible for getting through that ordeal and now raising your (gorgeous!) kid on your own. You should cut yourself a little slack right now. You’re doing it all on your own! Congratulations–you’re officially super mom! You’ll eventually find more “me time” for exercise and whatever makes you happy…honestly, when they get older it gets a lil easier. And your body slowly heals itself if you give it some time.

    You’re so beautiful and so brave and you’re getting it done. I’m sorry that things didn’t work out for you and your boyfriend. It must have been very traumatic having him leave you while you were pregnant. I honestly get teary eyed for you just thinking about it. But YOU are AWESOME. And YOU can do ANYTHING. Because here you are, making it work for yourself and giving your baby a good life.

    I KNOW that you will make it through this because you, girl, are a survivor. You’ve already proven that. Move over, Beyonce.

  12. kimber Says:
    December 7th, 2009 at 3:25 am

    your little boy is too cute! i have a little one just the same age and he too makes it all worth it. sometimes men suck but our boys will be some of the good ones. watching them get there is gonna be amazing!

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