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Another baby, another 70lbs?! (Anonymous)

When I was pregnant with my son I absolutely adored it. I guess I was channeling some fertility goddess vibes because I was at complete peace with everything — with my appearance, with however things would turn out, things I couldn’t control, etc. It was awesome to finally have a break from the insecure voice in my head telling me things were never good enough! I rubbed on my belly constantly and marveled at what my body was capable of doing.

I am now 6 months postpartum and love being a mom… but my first pregnancy led to gaining 70lbs. I went from a size 6/8 to a size 12. I already have a tall, muscular build, so the fat on top of the muscle just makes me look so bulky — particularly my arms! I was JUST NOW starting to slim down in my legs (I’ve never been one to carry a lot of weight in my thighs until pregnancy… wow, they were jiggly!) and not pooch out in my belly as much… I was feeling good (not great) about how I looked. I could feel sexy and hit on my hubby; I refused to let insecurity keep me from seeing friends or feeling confident in public. I grimaced while I bought XL or XXL tops and size 12 bottoms, but once they were in my regular wardrobe it felt better to wear those than try to stuff myself into a medium and feel ashamed. I know y’all know what I’m talking about with muffin top shame.

Anyway, I haven’t yet verified with a test, but I think I am once again pregnant — and I’d be elated if I am! Except for the idea of gaining more weight on top of this weight. The swelling! The cravings! The health scares of being in an overweight BMI from the get-go! The granny panties!!! Am I just going to keep going up and up in sizes? Will I really have to wait a year and a half until I am once again even this size? I figured some of you have dealt with this anxiety, come through it or had some words of encouragement. I don’t want vanity and weight-worry to get in the way of what should be just another beautiful pregnancy.

~Age: 26
~Height: 5’10 Weight: 205lbs
~Number of pregnancies and births: 1 pregnancy, 1 birth, potentially pregnant for the second time by mere days
~The age of your children, or how far postpartum you are: 1 sweet 6mo. old boy

Categories: Belly, First Pregnancy, Postpartum, Submissions

My Body: 3 Years Postpartum (Anonymous)

I am a mother of 3, my last one was in July of 2013. I was obese at the time, and my son was a 10-pound baby, so my canvas was not the cleanest when I set myself to lose weight.

I went from an unknown weight (probably 180, 5ft2in) down to an average of 130lbs. I’m very athletic, run, cycle, and a good amount of strength training. My diet is dang-near impeccable, with occasional slips on date night, taco Tuesday, or a glass of wine after a long day.

What I’m getting at is: I am doing everything right…as best as I can! But my mommy belly will not go away. It’s like I have a thick shield of fat on top on my abdomen that doesn’t match the rest of me.
I’ve made peace with saggy, stretchy, stripey skin…but the belly fat is pretty unwelcome.
I have read all kinds of health columns, and have been patient, but it seems like there is no use.
Is there anything I need to know that the columns aren’t telling me about the realistic expectations I should have about my fat? Am I truely an exception to all of the advice out there on the WWW?
Please help give me hope or at least peace of mind. I’m tired of feeling like a failure.

Thank you for your time!

~Age: 30
~Number of pregnancies and births: 3
~The age of my children, and how far postpartum I am: 6, 4, and 3. Three years postpartum.

Categories: Belly, Mom over 30, Postpartum, Submissions, Third Pregnancy

Post-Election Thoughts

Okay, I know I said I wasn’t going to get any more political than my last post. But then this week happened. Wow. I am exhausted. Are you?

Personally, I am quite liberal. I feel like SOAM is a radical and subversive idea and I think that things which are radical and subversive are, also liberal. I know there is a large liberal community here, but I also know there are a considerable number of conservative readers and I appreciate each of you. SOAM may be a liberal concept, but I LOVE that it’s a non-partisan issue and a bi-partisan community. Our diversity here is not only the very concept of SOAM (to show the world as many diverse bodies as possible), but it’s also the beauty of it. I love you guys for your love and your passion.

So I want to be very careful in my thoughts here. I am going to try to phrase things as carefully and respectfully as I can (in the time I have to write – I’ve got a buttload of reading to get done for my classes) and I hope that you can do your best to read my intents for what they are.

On the ballot I tend to vote Democrat, but I think my political beliefs can be summed up thus: each person is valuable and important. Our wonderful Declaration of Independence claims that everyone is created equally and I believe that means that each person should have equal access to knowledge and health as well as to opportunity.

Frankly, I am afraid at what is happening in the US right now. People are not being valued. The man who was elected president has said some of the worst things I’ve ever heard in my life about almost every group of people that make up this beautifully diverse nation. I want to cry. I am afraid for my family and friends, for my community.

I am afraid for a lot of things, but in regards to the aims and ideals of this website, I am afraid for the future of women in this country.

As an English student in my first semester of university (I transferred from a community college), I was trying to decide between taking a minor in Women’s Studies and earning a certificate in publishing with the hopes that it would guarantee me a career to plug into if other paying work wasn’t so easy to find. On Tuesday, I actually met with the advisor of the Women’s Studies department to discuss this and I told her I wasn’t sure yet. And then the election results started to roll in and I became very sure very quickly. I have decided on Women’s Studies. I know it seems silly. I probably should have majored in it since I’ve already got the decade-long career here at SOAM. But the River of Life has a lot of twists and turns and I am rowing forward all the way, but can’t always see what’s directly ahead.

Basically I have decided that there is no such thing as certainty. I was hoping for the ideals of my parents’ generation: solid career, a nice house in the suburbs, one job until retirement, and a pretty 401K to come home to someday. But that isn’t what life is. That isn’t what humanity is. That era was but a blip on the history of people’s lifestyles. And it certainly isn’t what life looks like for marginalized people. I decided it’s more important to get out there and try to make the world a better place by working towards a world where each person feels valued and important. I mean. After I die, what is there? Regardless of religious beliefs, I can’t take my nice house in the suburbs with me. I can’t take my 401K with me. All I can do is try to touch some people on this planet with love and respect and hope it makes a difference. That is the meaning of life: kindness.

This has been a difficult week for all of us, on both sides of the political fence. Many people are hurting and afraid. Listen to them. Just listen. And then hold their hands and tell them that they are valuable and important.

Love you, mamas.

Categories: My Own Ramblings, News