I really do have a wonderful life. I have a beautiful son, a loving husband, a supportive mother, a best friend of almost 30 years. I am a student-nurse. I live in a nice, modern home. I drive a decent car. I have a dog, 2 cats and some fish. I laugh often, I love constantly. I do not want for anything…except my old body back. I am not a fan of what has become of Melissa. Matter of fact, I am completely devastated by how my body has changed. I am not ashamed of who I am, I am just tortured by the way I look. Writing this essay makes me queasy. The thought of attaching a photo? Downright nauseating. I cant look at myself in the mirror…and when I cast that fleeting glance, I think, “That is not me.”
Most of my life I considered myself fat. Key phrase being “I considered myself fat”. No one else ever thought I was. Matter of fact, most considered me rather shapely and thin. I am 5’8 and now 205lbs. And I detest what I look like. I have had BDD (body dysmorphic disorder) since my very early teens. I decided to journal to this site because I know I am not alone, that I am a garden variety postpartum mom, and I want to ease the hearts of other women as they have done for me. And while I am sickened by my physique, I am enamored by my life. I just wish I could figure out how to meld the two and accept myself for who I am and not by my size or how much I weigh. It has affected many aspects of my life. My self-esteem, my sexual attitudes, my style, my grooming…I just don’t feel like “me” and I really, really want to. I just seem to be preoccupied with my weight. I compare myself to every woman, and it just makes me feel worse. I don’t care to dress nicely or fix my make-up or hair. I don’t even care if I match. I want to draw the least bit of attention to myself. But then I look at my son…and none of that matters. And when my son is with me, attention is what we catch…and lots of it. I can make him laugh and smile, he had bonded to me like glue. He looks into my eyes and I know I am beautiful, because he sees the truth. He sees me with no judgement, none of the much influenced, unattainable norms. He sees Mommy…and he loves what he sees.
I gain 76 pounds with my angel. I weighed in at 238lbs on the day I had my C-section. Throughout my entire pregnancy, I dropped all of the years of dieting. I just let it go. I wanted to be able to eat copious amounts of whatever I wanted…and I did. And the doc never complained. Since I had started at a much meeker weight, no one really seemed to notice the scale (but they did remark on how rotund I was becoming with each passing month!) My little man entered the world kicking and screaming at a healthy 9lbs 9oz and 22inches long! He was a big’un. I was so swollen and distended antepartum that by the end of the second week I had lost 25lbs. And what was leftover was not nearly as “cute” as when he was still riding shotgun. I never got any postpartum complications. I didn’t even have any antepartum issues either. I had a wonderful, easy pregnancy. For the first time in my life I was able to live a life free of anti-depressant and anti-anxiety medication. It felt good to be anticipating the arrival of my son. It felt marvelous to have my son. Every moment that I have spent with him has been the best moments of my life. While I long for the body of yesterday (er, yesteryear…) I wouldn’t trade in this body for the world. Without my fat, flabby, uncomfortable-in-my-own-skin body…I wouldn’t have the single most amazing treasure on earth. I love being a mommy. I love waking up to seeing his smiling, happy, exuberant little face. I love hearing the raspy, melodic and curious jibber-jabber. I adore that laugh. Oh my oh my, that laugh. And those two little teeth he has? Pure joy. I love how total strangers compliment his handsomeness. I love how people walk over
to me and tell me how wonderful of a mother I am…or they say my favorite, “That boy sure loves his mommy!” I have followers on my facebook, people who have never met us, that look forward to seeing my happy, sweet boy. I love when my mother hugs me and says to me: “You are beautiful, and you are the best mother I have ever seen…” And I know she means this. And I know she wishes I could just see the beauty in me. While I can take all the compliments and praise…I just don’t feel pretty anymore. I often say that if I could lose the weight “I’d have a perfect life”. Something I never thought I would ever have. My son has completed me, I just need that itsy bitsy complement. But, I will wait for it…I’m trying not to rush it. After seeing all you ladies post pictures and stories, I feel a bit better. I feel like a little breath can be taken, and a little pat on the back to congratulate me on my acceptance into the “Mommy Club”. Where great women come in all sizes. Where strong women have the right to complain. Where valiant women are awarded with the utmost love and admiration. If only I could just get back to me.
1 pregnancy 1 birth
10 months PP
Pictures 1,2 and 3 are me, 10m PP.
Pictures 4 and 5 are me pregnant
Picture 6 is me and my boy