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New Found Respect for My Body (Proudmama)

September 16, 2010

Age: 31
Number of pregnancies and birth: 1
Age of my child: 10 months old
Cesarean birth

Almost 10 months ago I finally realized my biggest dream: to be a mom. Most kids grow up wanting to be rock stars or doctors, I wanted to be a mother. From the moment I met my husband I knew he was going to be the father of my children. It took us 8 years to conceive a child (because of circumstances, not fertility issues) but our daughter was well worth the wait.

Before getting pregnant, I never gave much thought as to how pregnancy would affect my body. I’d gain a bit of weight in my mid-twenties but at just over 5’3 I weighted around 125-130, my stomach was flat and I was overall satisfied with my body. I’ve never been one to work out much so I can’t say that my body was in its best shaped but it looked good to me. Now looking back, I wished I’d worked out and had gotten stronger abs before I got pregnant…But I can’t go back.

My pregnancy was a dream; no nausea or heartburn or any real discomfort except for general aches and insomnia. I however grew an incredibly huge belly. People asked all the time how many babies I was carrying. I didn’t gain that much weight (25-30 pounds) but I was carrying it all in front of me. I also didn’t develop any big stretch marks (just a few on my breast and thighs) so people kept telling me how lucky I was, but I just knew that I would be left with extra skin just looking at that big beautiful belly.

I was pregnant for almost 42 weeks, my little one just didn’t want to come out. They finally did an emergency c-section and my big beautiful baby girl came out weighing 9.2 lbs and measuring 22 inches. I could not believe how long and adorably chubby she was. Today you wouldn’t be able to tell by looking at her but I guess I needed a giant belly to accommodate such a big baby.

The day after I got home, my c-section wound opened up and I lost quite a bit of blood. For almost two months I had a nurse come by my home to take care of my wound and it took another few weeks after that to heal properly. Needless to say it took me a while before I could do any kind of real exercising. Just walking up the stairs was enough to open up the wound at first. After the wound healed, the state of my belly left me in shock. I expected a lot of things but I didn’t expect that much extra skin and that huge roll of fat on top of my scar my scar. Plus I had a pretty bad case of diastasis recti (abdominal muscles separation) that did nothing to make me feel better. Losing the weight was easy since I hadn’t really gained anywhere else but the tummy area, but I looked nothing like my former self. It was disconcerting to actually weight less than before but look fatter.

I had a really easy baby from the start so that helped a lot. She’s always been such a happy and smiley baby and of course I knew that I’d do it all over again, but it was still hard to see my deformed belly. I felt like I lived a double life, underneath clothing (and sturdy underwear) I could easily hid my belly and pretend all was well but I was always very self-conscious and had a really hard time finding clothes that fit properly around my mid-section.

It took me months to accept that my body was never to going to go back to its former shape and I now allow myself to wear whatever I want and I don’t feel the need to hide under bulky clothes. I have a healthy lifestyle, I still don’t like the gym but I make it a point to be active everyday and I eat well. My daughter and my husband are my whole world and they make me feel beautiful everyday. I now can look at my body and be proud of it, especially when I look at pictures and realized just how huge my belly was during my pregnancy and how it looked in the first few months after.

I do want more children and I know my body will keep changing. But I truly feel like being a mom is my calling in life and if it means having a less than perfect body, then that’s fine with me. I hope my story helps you accept your beautiful mother’s body, I know all of your stories definitely helped me through some rough times.

Peace

-First picture is at 7.5 months pregnant.
-Second and third are now, 10 months postpartum.
-Last but not least, the beautiful smile that makes it all worth it. :)

Updated here, here, and here

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8 Responses to “New Found Respect for My Body (Proudmama)”

  1. Shannon Says:
    September 16th, 2010 at 8:10 am

    You look great! I do not know how you didn’t get any stretchmarks :) My belly was huge like that too with both of my children…and I had cesareans with both :) I have the cesarean shelf and extra skin too…but you are right, they are totally worth it!!!! Way to go Mama!

  2. meee Says:
    September 16th, 2010 at 9:22 am

    well aint he a cute one!

  3. Shannon Says:
    September 17th, 2010 at 6:31 am

    SHE is a cute one!

  4. meee Says:
    September 17th, 2010 at 12:36 pm

    oops, my bad, SHE is a cutie.

  5. Colleen Says:
    September 19th, 2010 at 5:19 pm

    You had the most fantastic pregnant belly I’ve ever seen! I love big round pregnant bellies. My biggest regret about pregnancy (well, other than having to have a C-section) was that I had a 6 lb. 5 oz., 19 inch baby in a very long torso and my belly stayed so small.

    I think your tummy now looks great for how huge you were. Yeah, you’ve got the extra skin, but it hangs well (there’s a compliment I never thought I’d say) and your waist is tiny! Plus your skin looks awesome. Congrats on a beautiful baby :)

  6. Amber Says:
    September 20th, 2010 at 7:37 pm

    I think you look beautiful :) I am 2mths post partum with my first babe too, and I look very similar, except I have deep, awful stretchmarks too. I was a size 10 pre-birth!

    It’s so difficult to learn to deal with and I still struggle daily. Thank you for sharing these and helping me xx

  7. Mary Says:
    September 22nd, 2010 at 3:58 pm

    As I read your story I found a lot of similarities. My son was born 9lbs 5 0z and 21.75 inches, I never was sick during pregnancy,I carried big in front (i think the last measurement was 45 cm),had a C-section and am 5 3′. so I thought that was neat.I got a ton of stretch marks, you have nice skin. I like your story. We all should be proud especially looking at our cute little ones.:D

  8. shg Says:
    October 18th, 2010 at 11:58 pm

    Thank you for sharing your story. I’m so happy to hear that you now feel comfortable with your body. :-)

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