As a teen, I always struggled with my weight. My heaviest in high school was around 155 pounds, which is a lot sitting in my 5’0″ frame. I finally was able to shed the weight just after getting married, when I was 18. I never stepped on a scale, but I was able to fit a size three and had never been happier with my body. Just a few months later, I was pregnant with my first child. I began gaining weight right away, no problems. I was in denial about the pregnancy for the first few months. I didn’t take great care of my body and I ate anything and everything I could get my hands on. But I still hadn’t gained any stretchmarks. I remember looking through pregnancy photos online with a friend and being horrified. The photos were the same as what I’m seeing here and what I see in the mirror everyday now. I ignorantly thought at the time, that the stretchmarks were somehow the mother’s fault for not taking care of her body. That if you took care of yourself and rubbed magical cream on yourself everyday that you’d be able to return to your pre-baby belly and anything less what pure neglect. How naive and judgemental I was! I was around 34 weeks when I got my very first stretchmark. Just the one stretchmark sent me into a 2-hour long crying fit. I was distraught and the reality began setting in that my body was going to be changed forever and there was nothing I could do about it. After week 38, I’d gained over 60 pounds and my one stretchmark grew and turned into hundreds. I was ashamed and quickly edited them out of every picture I showed my family and friends. On July 5th, over a week past my EDD, I gave birth naturally (no epidural, woohoo!) to a healthy, beautiful baby girl and my life hasn’t been the same since. But that goes without saying, right? lol. My daughter is about a month and a half away from celebrating her first birthday now. We’re still nursing, with no end in sight. I’m sure my already sagging breasts, will continue to do so and I’m prepared to accept it. I have my good days and I have my bad days. I appreciate all that my body has gone through to grow and nourish my little girl, but I long for my sexy, pre-pregnancy body so much it hurts some days. To all the mothers before me– I apologize for being so cruel in my judgements and I can’t believe it took becoming a mother myself to appreciate all your loving sacrifice. You’re all beautiful!