I’m 20 years old and I’m so depressed. I had my first child when I was 19 and I gained some weight but my body changed a lot but I was some what okay with it, but shortly after my 1st child I got pregnant again, but with this pregnancy I gained so much weight, and my stomach is full of stretch marks, I thought the weight would drop of quickly because all the women in my family who’ve had kids are all really skinny like my mom and sisters. My kids father work a full time job 12hr shifts. I’m a stay at home mom and I don’t know how to drive so he takes the car and I’m left at home alone. I feel like I’m slowly losing myself my confidence is gone I was once a really pretty shape and was considered really pretty in high school. I feel like all my friends are driving and living life and I’m tied down ugly and miserable. My boyfriend cheated on my while I was pregnant with my second child, and it’s hurt my pride, self esteem, and everything. He’s been so much better since then he’s grew up a lot, but I still think about it time from time. I just feel worthless most days I don’t even feel like getting out of bed. I don’t work, I can’t drive, cut off all my hair, I’m ugly, I don’t have friends, I just want to scream I want my old life back I fill like a poor excuse of a women.
Reposted here from the Mid Drift Movement Facebook page with Angie’s permission. Photo posted with Jade’s permission.
Deep Breath. Here it is. As many of you may have followed along we recently brought the mindblowingly talented Jade Beall here from Jade Beall Photography. She did mini shoots of mamas and I had the joy of meeting them all prior and helping everyone get comfortable before stepping behind the lens. I heard their reasons for doing the shoot and marveled at their bravery. I told them all they were lovely and I meant it with all my being.
My shoot with Jade was the day before the mamas came. We had come right from an event that morning where so many of you told us how important this movement is to you. I had had the privilege of getting to know Jade over the past few days and felt at ease. And my friends, the shoot was not as terrifying as I had anticipated for me. I didn’t hesitate and I went for it all fully nude (I’ll save those for elsewhere viewings) because I was thinking of all the hiding we do everyday. All of the mamas who think they are the only ones that look the way they do, that certainly no one has as many stretches, sags or bumps as they do. I left with my head held high feeling fuller of beauty than I had in a long time.
Then three weeks later the photos arrived in my inbox.
I thought I was ready, that I was confident. It was clear quite quickly I was not. Clicking through these images that I know show me as I am, I was overcome with emotions I had not expected. Shock. Sadness and Embarrassment. Not for my appearance, but for my reaction to seeing myself. And I wept staring at my screen. Mike sat next to me not entirely sure what to do that could ease the sting. I told him that the me I was seeing was not the me I have in my head. For whatever reason it just didn’t quite resonate.
I had to take a few days to let it all settle with me and then I took another look last night. This time I tried, really tried, to look at them with an open heart and see the real me. Of course the images were the same but this time I saw other things. I saw the sparkle in my eye as I held my head with pride. I saw the breasts that have fed and sustained all four of my children. I saw the stretched to its limits belly that grew these stupendous beings. And I felt a little bit of pride. Do I love every bit of my body? Absolutely not, but I am trying and it is happening slowly but surely.
And I knew I needed to share some of them. Especially when after our news story has been shared I have seen some of the comments. And they are not all that pretty. ( I broke the cardinal rule of never read the comments). I know that as we continue in this journey there will be more negativity and people asking me to “please cover it up” or lamenting that I am just “another fat woman looking for an excuse to not work out”. I know these people don’t know my story and furthermore, I know they don’t care. What I do know is that they are the people that fuel my fire to keep going. They are proof positive that indeed our society’s ideals need to be challenged and need to be questioned. So I will keep pushing forward asking you to join me.
The photo I chose was taken near the end of my shoot when we brought my youngest son in with me. He was less than thrilled especially when he saw that mama was in her undies and that there was not only Jade, but we had our film crew there too. Yup. I had it filmed for our documentary so that others may see that sometimes you have to close your eyes and jump without being certain of what will catch you. And I will continue to encourage you to do the same.
Love and strength to all you brave mamas as you too fuel my flame.
PS, we cannot continue to do this without your support so if this moves you in any way and you can contribute $5, $10 or whatever you can it would be ever so appreciated. Our Go Fund me link is here.
Number of pregnancies and births: 4?
The age of your children, or how far postpartum you are: 9, 5, 3, 9 months?
I’d first like to say, I am 9 months post partum with my 4th pregnancy. I carried a friends baby for her this time as she couldn’t. So I only have 3 children that I take care of not 4. I got pregnant when I was 18 and my body seemed to bounce back pretty well. I assume this is because I was very young when I had her. I then had my other 2 children at 22 and 24 and gained some extra weight (10lb) I couldn’t get rid of. I thought I was done having babies after that but at 27, my friend was having such a struggle getting pregnant so I did something crazy and offered my body as the baby carrier for her child. I wouldn’t take it back for anything but it really did a number on my body this time plus an extra 20lbs on top of that ten. I am now 30 some pounds overweight. I discovered a month ago that I have diastasis recti. I’m sure a lot of moms are familiar with this term but for those that aren’t its when your tummy muscles are open instead of closed like normal. So my organs are pretty much left hanging out without the muscles to hold them back causing a mommy tummy that’s pretty obvious. I was hopeful when I learned I could correct this without surgery. I’m in the process right now of correcting it and have made some great improvements in just a month with exercises alone.
Unfortunately, I have also discovered that I have hypothyroidism, which has made it almost impossible to lose any of the baby weight I have gained over the past ten years of baby making. My initial goal was to lose 30lbs after this pregnancy but I can’t even lose one. Literally. I’m really struggling with this and praying I will figure it out. My goals aren’t unrealistic and I’m not trying to look perfect either but it’s really discouraging when you can’t even lose 1lb and you do everything right. I eat very healthy and over the past 9 months, I have worked out until I can’t work out anymore. I’ve worked my butt off for nothing it seems. I’m not scared to watch what I eat or to work out so that I can lose weight either. It’s been very hard to deal with not just physically but emotionally and mentally too. I use to have my good and bad days with my self esteem because of how my body looks and how society says beauty should look. One important thing I’ve learned from it all and that I’d like to share with women who are struggling with self esteem or body issues after having a baby is this:
I don’t have the cute body anymore. Most people would look at me and say my body isn’t very attractive. I have stretch marks. I have a mommy tummy and my thighs don’t have that perfect little gap between them that so many women nowadays are after. (I probably never will either lol) I carry extra weight practically everywhere and have some interestingly shaped boobs now that I’ve had 4 children. Society would say my body is far from beautiful but……. it has done something more beautiful than I could ever make it look. It’s made life and I am so proud of that. Not every woman gets the privilege to carry their children and make something as beautiful as your body did.