I am 22 and a first time mother to an 8 month old. I came across this site and couldn’t believe there were such strong and proud people out there dealing with the body issues that occur. Everyone I know who has had children have gone right back to normal, no stretch marks or signs that a human being had come out of them. I thought it was just me until I found this site and now I am glad to share my story. I never thought I would have kids, truth be told I never wanted to. I became pregnant unexpectedly 2 months before my 21st birthday. I came to terms with the fact that I was going to be a mother after I was about 3 months along, and yeah I got excited about it. I weighed in at 135 when I became pregnant and thought I would go right back to that weight after I had my child. The reason to that being because my mother did as well as my older sister. I thought it was “good genes”. I got pretty big pretty quick and had no stretch marks of any kind. I was lucky! Around my 8th month of pregnancy I started to notice a few stretch marks around my belly button, but decided that was it and they would go away after I gave birth. By my due date I had stretch marks, deep and red, all over my stomach. I was upset but still tried to maintain my “good” outlook. I weighed in at exactly 200 pounds when I had my son. After my son was born I was devestaed to find out that the strechmarks were still there, along with some excess skin, and lots of extra weight. I had to have surgery 6 weeks after the birth of my son to repair a hernia. They went through my belly button so I wouldn’t have a scar. I told myself and my husband I was going to work out to fix the body my son had left me with. I have been working on my body for the past 6 months and I have lost alot of weight but the stretch marks and excess skin haunt me till this day. My husband tells me he loves the way I look and there’s nothing wrong with me. Everyone else says the same thing, “You lost weight! Be grateful for that!” “You’re crazy, I don’t know what you’re talking about!” I won’t wear anything that is even the slightest bit tight around my stomach, or could possibley get raised up enough for someone to see. I’m hoping I can become more accepting of my body, but it’s hard! I’ve read a few stories on this page that have touched me and gave me the courage to write this and post pictures. For that I thank you. I wish I would have found this site before I gave birth so maybe I would have had more realistic ideas of what could happen to my body. I love my son and wouldn’t trade him for the world, I’m just not so grateful of the body he left me with. I have included shots of myself at 3, 6, & 8 months pregant, and one on my due date. I have also found enough courage somewhere inside of me to include a recent picture of my stomach. Hopefully it will get better.