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Melissa

October 9, 2006

Your blog has shown me a new reality- that women who don’t fit the ideal of the perfect, round, flawless-skinned pregnant belly are just as much mamas as others. Seeing the posts of other bigger mommas on this site has really made me feel so much better about my own body, especially my pregnant body- and knowing that other women of size are showing off their beautiful bodies here inspired me to do so as well, in hopes that maybe my story will help someone else realize that we’re ALL perfect and beautiful, no matter how deep our stretch marks or how wide our birth scars.

At 18 years old, I gave birth to my beautiful baby girl, Juliet, by C-section at 36 weeks.I went through that pregnancy as an obese woman. I didn’t look obviously pregnant but for the few weeks before she was born. I had never been a thin girl, or even close to average- I gave birth at well over 200 pounds (but had only gained a pound my whole pregnancy.) I lost 50 pounds within days of having her, and was left with a saggy, pale, muscle-less mess of a stomach. I felt disgusting- even allowing my then-boyfriend (now husband) to check my incision for me every day was awful. I felt ugly and destroyed.

As time went on and every attempt I made to make the saggy stretch-marked mess disappear failed miserably, I came to a realization. I was BEAUTIFUL, I was a GODDESS. My stretch marks are not scars, they are symbols of the beautiful relationship I had with my little girl while she lived inside of me. My Cesarean incision was not a badge of shame, it was a badge of honor- the honor of bringing life into this world, no matter how it came to be. Slowly, as a mother, I shed the body image issues that had plagued me for years.

After marrying my husband and another pregnancy that ended in miscarriage, I found out I was pregnant on my 20th birthday. Two weeks later, I found out I was carrying twins. And then I found this website. Instead of being ashamed of the stretch marks like last time, this time I’m proud and happy. They are proof of the life I hold inside of me, the life that all mothers have been privledged enough to hold- an experience all the more important to me after experiencing a pregnancy loss.

When I see woman distressed over their stretch marks, or dieting obsessively to lose the “baby weight,” I just feel sorry for them. Learning to love the body that has born one beautiful child and is currently cooking two more has been the most amazing, enlightening experience I could imagine, aside from being a mother itself. I’m finally comfortable as a person in my own skin, because I’m a Mom. I found my first new stretch marks today, and honestly, I was elated to see them!

To the other plus size mamas out there- keep posting. As this website so wonderfully proves, you are amazing, beautiful goddesses, and sharing your story will keep that word circulating!

My photos:
19 weeks with twins- clearly visible stretch marks, which are “old” ones from my first pregnancy.

Hairy belly- another interesting aspect of pregnancy

13 weeks, saggy mama breasts and all.

Thank you for the opportunity to share!

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5 Responses to “Melissa”

  1. Gabrielle Says:
    October 10th, 2006 at 7:27 am

    I’d forgotten about the awesome fuzzy peach belly. Thanks for the reminder!

  2. Anonymous Says:
    October 10th, 2006 at 5:58 pm

    No matter the shape or size of our mama-bodies, we should be proud of the job they do! I’m also 200 lbs+ and since I have PCOS, I have a very furry tummy and plenty of stretchmarks after 4 pregnancies. I’m still working on not feeling self-conscious about it, even with my husband of 14 years. Thank you for posting your story and pictures – absolutely *Fabulous*!!Janicehttp://babycatcher33.livejournal.com/

  3. Lori Says:
    October 11th, 2006 at 7:01 am

    I too am a plus size mama. The thing that amazes me about that is that my children give no judgement about the shape of my body. They just know that it’s warm and round and comfy. Today as I lifted the garage door my three year old son said, “mommy, you’re strong!” and I though to myself “yes, I am!”. It is so cool to see your photos and hear your story and to know that other momma’s like myself are working at self acceptance and joy in our bodies.

  4. Helen Says:
    October 14th, 2006 at 7:30 pm

    That last pic is my desktop pic now- beautiful!!

  5. slackermommy Says:
    October 19th, 2006 at 4:32 pm

    Wow, that last photo is beautiful!

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