I’ll be 25 at the end of July, I have had 4 kids. While in high school I struggled with body issues and my weight. I had a tummy, I would always get comments from people thinking I was at least 3 months pregnant, its something the women in our family is cursed with. I maintained a steady 125lbs until my senior year when I dropped to 118 right before becomming pregnant. I could never wear body hugging shirts, the pregnant comments got to me, I was ashamed of my body. I wore a size 7. A friend of mine got pregnant in high school, I remember her staying the night one night with her son, he was almost a year old. We stood in front of my mirror brushing each other’s hair when she said she wanted to show me something. She lifted up her shirt and her belly looked like a road map and all floppy and saggy. She was so tiny before getting pregnant and I remember asking her how she could stand her belly looking like that. she told me “I love my belly, it held my son, I have never felt more beautiful.” It struck me as odd and it would be years before I actually understood her comment. My first wasn’t so bad. I gained 14lbs, losing weight in the first trimester, not by choice. While sitting, people never even noticed I was pregnant even days before I had my daughter, people that didn’t know would come to the house and when I finally stood up, their jaw would drop to the floor! lol I lost all weight by the time my daughter was 3 months old. Throughout the pregnancy though I was ashamed of my pregnant body, I would hide it the best I could. I was young and didn’t quite understand what was happening to me. I got pregnant with my second one when my first was only 9 months old. With this pregnancy I was more liberated, I felt great, I loved my body, I was in awe of the changes that were going on. I found it amazing that my body could hold a child and transform like it was. At the end, I felt huge, though again I only gained 14lbs. I showed off my body, refusing to waste money on maternity clothes, I wore my regular things, belly hanging out for all the world to see. I was amazed at the comments I got, only one person ever voice his disgust at me showing off my belly. I was proud of it, proud of my body, why shouldn’t I? Women would stop me in the store to tell me how great I looked and that they wished they were that secure with their body to show off like that while pregnant and that they admire me for doing so. I got countless comments like “I LOVE pregnant bellies, they are SO beautiful!” I wore my belly with pride (or maybe it wore me with pride…lol). I wish I would of thought to take pictures of that time, I never felt better in my life, never felt so free from previous body delusions. The weight came off by my 6 week check-up, my friend went with me and I remember her telling me how jealous she was. I went on depo and gained weight though shortly afterwards, again I struggled with hating my body. How could it look so beautiful yet so ugly? I began to hide in baggy clothes, I was no longer pregnant, no reason to flaunt my tummy. I was a size 9. With my third I hid again, pregnant with her just days after my son turned a year old, ashamed at being pregnant when it wasn’t a good time, my husband was cheating on me, I wanted a divorce. I gained more weight with her though she was my smallest baby. Afterwards I was 144lbs and a size 13, the biggest I had ever been not pregnant. 6 months later I managed to get back down to 130 and a size 9 or 11, depending on the clothing brand, though I struggled with body delusions again. I was out in the dating world again, who would find me attractive, especially if my husband felt the need to look elsewhere. I thought it was my fault, if he didn’t want to touch me, who would? Before I got pregnant with our third one he would make comments like ‘Why don’t you lose some weight, you look horrible.” I managed to meet a really great guy. Before me he never dated women with imperfect bodies, I’ve seem pictures of his exes, all tall and look to be a size 0! I felt I could never measure up. He loved my body though (still does and tells me all the time!). I got pregnant yet again, and I hid my body again. Embarrassed at being pregnant for a 4th time and only 23 years old, I was afraid at how others would view me, especially since I was still married and the baby wasn’t my husbands (I am just now divorced this month after fighting with him for almost 3 years, he wouldn’t let go, who would clean up after him?). I hid it the best I could. The pregnant pics are from my 4th baby, I had him at the end of June 2006. My boyfriend was in awe of my ever growing belly. He took countless pictures, loving every change he could detect, me husband never did that, he always looked scared to see my belly. It was great, though I couldn’t get past how people would view my “morals” I wish i wouldn’t of put so much into what I thought others would think, wish I would of celebrated my body again. Today my youngest son is 10 months old. The father and I are getting married next April (would you give up a guy who loved you, imperfect belly and all? lol) I am currently 160lbs, at the absolute largest I have ever been not pregnant. A size 13 again. I have come to terms with my body, I hate it, yet I love it. It has been through alot, carried 4 babies and has the stretch marks to prove it! I love my stretch marks, always have, even with my first child. I will never have a “perfect” body, but I will always have my body. There are days I still have problems with, days when I curse my body. I get comments like “When are you due?” or “I didn’t know you are pregnant again!” I want to strangle them! Those are the days when I’ll eat almost everything in the house, giving up on ever seeing a resemblance of my body pre kids. Then there are days when I love my body for all that its done.