My name is Courtney Bray, I am 20 years old and live in Washington State with my husband and two beautiful girls.
I am a mother of 2.
In my first pregnancy I gained 55 lbs. Stretch marks spread almost all the way up to my breasts. My skin hung and my belly button did as well.
I cried. I cried over and over. I contemplated what I thought was “reconstructive” surgery. I thought my husband wasn’t attracted to me. Every time we passed a skinny attractive woman on the street my heart burned in envy. I dreaded the arrival of summer.
Then I finally lost the weight. I changed my diet entirely and became very passionate about organic food and the fight against Monsanto, the FDA, and USDA. However, despite new passions and a slim body, I hated my stomach. I still cried. Selfishly. Ignoring the immense reward that became of it; my sweet baby.
My second pregnancy came along. This time I felt determined to not gain that crazy amount of weight again. This time, I only gained 35 lbs. I worked out, didn’t limit myself physically, and ate clean. I felt more amazing than I had ever felt in my life. This time I loved being pregnant. I glowed. I didn’t want it to stop.
When I delivered my stomach was flat again after 1 month with the help of wrapping my postpartum tummy. I still have mild diastasis recti though.
This time I cried for a different reason. Staring in the mirror at my stretch marks, I cried. I cried because I loved them. I brushed my fingers over them, pulled at my loose skin a little and smiled. Tears running down my face. I kept on crying, because I finally realized that I love this body so much more than the body I had 3 years ago. This body was the look of true beauty, of work and reward, of suffering and love.
My body is perfectly “ruined”.