I am a 28 yold new mom to a smart and beautiful four month old girl. I guess I have always had body issues and struggle with eating disorders since I was eleven. I have also been diagnosed with manic depression and feel that it affects my life more than I would like to admit. I never wanted to be pregnant, and never ever wanted a child. It was an accident. Unlike other accidents that I sought to end with a visit to the doctors office, I decided to own up to my irresponsible behaviour and carry my baby to term. I made a few appointments at the abortion clinic. Thankfully, I never went. My greatest fear in having a child was not if I would be able to take care of her, or if I would be a good mom. I was afraid of my body changing and losing control of how I looked. I had always had the “perfect” body. I use to dance and made money with it. I knew how guys talked about women with stretchmarks or those with extra weight. So I always dieted myself down to 103 at 5’4. I would run, do drugs, anything to stay thin. I was always anxious and would stare in the mirror looking for imperfections. If I saw one, I would fix it.
I always wanted a baby, I loved children and made it my other career. I would dance to make money and then nanny to be around children. I wanted one to love and take care of , I just didn’t want the body . I hated being pregnant. I was always sick, my back always hurt, I had horrible sciatica and my legs were swollen and painful from four months onward. I tried to hide my belly with a girdle . I was embarrassed of my stomach. I wasn’t married and wasn’t sure if I was going to stay with the father or not. So, I felt like I had made a huge mistake throughout my pregnancy. As I got bigger, I got less attractive to the opposite sex, I felt uglier. I stopped getting compliments and guys were way less nice to me. Dumb huh? Well, I never realized how much of my self esteem and identity were tied into how men treated and viewed me. I just never wanted to be a fat ugly girl, and here I was hugely pregnant and I didn’t look pretty at all. At least in my mind.
I couldn’t wait to have my baby an get back into shape. I had my girl and fell in love with her. I felt like nothing else mattered, not the stretch marks not the pain nothing. I am very happy and feel so blessed to have her and be in her life and have her in mine. I started the pregnancy at 103, flat board abs, not a stretchmark in sight. At 38 weeks I weighed 165, At six weeks I was 154. Now four months later I am at 133. I know that I won’t be happy until I lose twenty pounds. I work out every day. I watch what I eat . I don’t feel that pretty or sexy. My hips had spread, I got stretchmarks. My thighs were huge and flabby. My face was round and puffy, none of my size 1 pants were even close to fitting. I could not believe that for the first three months I had to borrow size 11 jeans.
But it’s not all bad. I feel like having my baby taught me, that my body is more than just eye candy. It was something wonderful and mysterious. I have softened my harsh views toward myself somewhat. I now realize there is way more to life than how I look and these days I don’t spend nearly as much time obsessing over my appearance. I spend way more time giving love to my baby.
It isn’t easy to escape the demons that have always kept me in fear. Having a baby helped increase the love in my life and forced me to accept the changes that came with pregnancy. I lost some control and found myself enjoying parts of it. I know that I will always have to work on loving myself, and having a daughter makes me want to be a good example. I do not want her to suffer like I did. I think she is perfect and I want her to always love herself. So I will work on loving myself.
To battle the depression, postpartum ouch!, I have to workout. I have been going to the gym five days a week or doing yoga. I am slowly seeing my body look more toned and in shape. I am slowly feeling like I look pretty again. I know that I will obsess over every ounce of flab until it is gone. All I can say is that it is a journey and I am walking the fine line of not spinning out of control and resorting to restricting food, or excersizing obsessively. Having someone that I love more than myself helps keep me focused. It is never easy. It will always be hard for me, but it is the most rewarding thing and feeling I have ever had! I am the happiest I have ever been, even with this imperfect body.
At times I feel so self centered, I know I should be happy that I have a healthy baby, and drop the issues, but it is really hard to change my thought patterns. I am giving it my all and trying to overcome all of this with healthy diet excersize and communication. I feel like this site helps me to be honest with how things went and to put into words how I have been feeling.
Firstpics in white undies, were three months postpartum:
Second pics in red shirt were around 3 1/2
Third (with purple shirt) four mos
~Your Age: 28
~Number of pregnancies and births: 2 pregnancies : one birth
~The age of your children, or how far postpartum you are: four mos