1 pregnancy/1 birth
almost 4 months postpartum
I had always been thin and I took pride in being in shape and attractive. My weight was fluctuating in 2009- from 112 lbs in January to about 130 lbs in July (the heaviest I had ever been). I saw the “+” on a pregnancy test 2 days after my 21st birthday.
My self-esteem was never that great and the pregnancy didn’t help. I looked in the mirror and was embarrassed by what I saw: the new larger breasts, the belly button that popped out, the belly piercing that was stretching as days went on. Looking back, I’m saddened that I didn’t feel as beautiful as I was. I was glowing and I only gained 22 lbs total. I didn’t have one stretch mark.
I gave birth to my son in April of this year. My breasts grew outrageously when my milk came in and while I tried my best to breastfeed, I couldn’t do it for several reasons. Pre-pregnancy, I wore a size 34B bra which turned into a 36C while breastfeeding. After my milk dried up, my breasts were left deflated. I can now fit into my old 34B bras, though the band is a little snug, but my boobs slope down when they used to be “perky” and round. I can’t stand to look at them at all and I hide them from my boyfriend at all costs.
I currently weigh 135 lbs and wear a size 6 (I was a 2 or 4 pre-pregnancy), but my entire body is so different. I feel so detached from it sometimes, like this isn’t really my body. Somewhere inside of me I was expecting to lose the weight and look the same as I did pre-pregnancy, but now I’m seeing that that’s not possible.
Right after I had our son, I asked my boyfriend if he was still attracted to me even though my body was different. I told him I was scared that he was going to leave me for a girl who was in better shape than me. He responded with “I’m in love with a beautiful woman, why would I want to leave her for some girl?”. It was one of the sweetest things anyone has ever said to me. My boyfriend tells me I’m beautiful every day and I am so lucky to have found a man who appreciates my body and loves me the way I am. It’s hard for me to accept his compliments and kind words because I don’t see anything attractive about my body anymore. My desire for sex has dwindled even though his has remained the same.
I wish I could look at myself in the mirror and see beauty and strength. I wish I could be in awe. Instead, I am jealous of the other girls my age who have flat, tanned stomachs and are wearing string bikinis at the beach. I hope someday I can accept and appreciate this body for all of the miraculous things it did to give life to my son.