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If there has been a miscommunication and I added your name or didn’t add something, please e-mail me and I will fix it right away!

Some Notes:
**There’s a backlog of a couple weeks currently. I’m working as fast as I can to catch up, but in the mean time, it will take awhile for your submission to get posted. Please be patient and do not post more than once.

**If, for some reason, you change your mind about the pictures you included or the text you’ve written, please e-mail me the changes, rather than submitting a new entry. I’m finding I’ve posted the same woman’s entry more than once on a couple of occasions, because I didn’t realize it was the same. D’oh!

**And, lastly, please do not submit professional photographs unless YOU are the photographer or can have the photographer e-mail me his or her permission. Due to copyright laws I cannot post photos without the photographer’s direct permission.

Want more info? Read the FAQ! Any other questions or comments? E-mail me!

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…to allow me to post your photos and/or story here on this website, and you realize that this is the internet and a public forum.

…that if your photos include nudity, you are over 18 years old and were at the time the photos were taken.

…that I may choose to use your photos or your words in other settings (i.e. on items in the cafepress store, or in interviews, etc). If you absolutely do not want them used in another way, please let me know via e-mail and I will respect that.

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68 comments… add one

  • dao Thursday, July 20, 2006, 7:39 pm

    Gayle Markovich Carter http://www.flickr.com/photos/60244878@N00/tags/pregnancy/I gained 40lbs with my daughter, and to this day have lost all but 7lbs of it. I am lucky, my body is almost back into “normal” range, and probably would be if I took the time to work out. But running around after an almost 2yr old IS working out if you ask me, and thats good enough. My boobs sag, and are 2 different sizes now, but so what. I am sure I will have a million other things to work out once I have another one. I invested in some good and comfortable bras since I am ALWAYS wearing one if I am awake & upright, and I just try not to sweat anything else. Thanks for creating this website… it is amazing to see all these different women, bonding togther, so that we do not have to feel alone just because our children are not being carried around INSIDE anymore. Below is my birth story, it was a fairly interesting event, to say the least… my website is http://www.baddao.blogspot.comAugust 3, 2004: Elliott Rose Carter, Welcome to the world. Leave it to me, maybe as my penance for every time someone asked me how my pregnancy was going, and I responded with, “Its Great! No problems at all!” I more than made up for it in my lengthy labor and delivery. Saturday I woke up with contractions coming on well. So I figure, lets walk this baby out. We head out into the neighborhood… Mid afternoon hits and I am sweating out some of these babies, Mom’s timing me, and at 4 min apart, Fer had to run off and bring the car. We are on our way to the hospital.Well, hospitals are fun. And its even more fun when you are admitted, checked out, and find that indeed, walking does bring out babies, but only if you are hydrated. Dehydration only brings on painful and annoying contractions that really, do not do much of anything. I was 50% effaced (looking for magic #100) and 1 cm dilated (and waiting for 10) Awesome. Time to put that tail between my legs and take the long ride back home.Hydration and sleep, thank god, took me the rest of the way. I woke Sunday morning with normal contractions happening again. And yet it took me ALL FREAKING DAY to get anywhere with them. So lets count it so far, yes, that’s 2 full days of labor, not counting the false starts on Thurs and Fri. At 9:30 I couldn’t talk anymore so we head BACK to the hospital.10:30pm I’m admitted, and things are happening. IV started, 3-4 cm dilated, 100% effaced. I hear things like, “Getting to 4cm is the hard part, it’s not going to be too bad now”. “Things usually happen quickly once you hit 5 cm”. “Don’t worry about it, your water should break soon, and once that happens, things are on a roll.” RIGHT.No sleep, night 1. I have already been up for 28 hours when they offer me a sedative to try and catch some sleep for an hour or 2. Wanting this thing to be Fully Natural, I call my childbirth instructor and ask her opinion. With an a-ok on that one, and 1/4 the reccommeded dose, I take a 2 hour cat nap. That is the last of sleep I will see until the 3 1/2 hour stretch I will get Wed night. Someone should have told me that.Labor labor labor all the rest of Monday, the Dr. broke my water at 6pm and by 10pm I was ready to keel over. I was passing out in the 1 min increments between contractions and nodding off. Muttering things like: “Mistake, Can’t make it, No, No, No, No. I know why no one wants to feel this.” Almost midnight and I hear the words, 8-9cm dilated, and, “If you turn into this horrible position, that will bring on the most painful contractions of anyone’s existence, but then it won’t be long. Want to try it?” And for some god-forsaken reason, I did.Which brings us to Tuesday Aug. 3 at 2:03 am. Checked by my nurse after much complaining about needing to push, I was told that I should be prepared, the baby was not quite ready to make its way out, and I could have anywhere from 1 to 4 more hours to go. I was supposed to conserve my energy, as this is when emergencies happen, and at any moment, I or the baby could be in distress if I tried to push too much, too early. I was told I was allowed to “bear down some” when I felt the urge, and that I could get up and move around if it helped, but to be careful.Hearing that, my ass shot outta bed like a freaking rocket, and I quickly crouched over some blankets by the foot of the bed, on my knees, with my arm out to support me. And I bore down. I mean, like BORE DOWN. Like, for the freaking love of god, this baby is getting out come hell or high water and she is coming out NOW. The eviction notice has been signed, sealed and delivered and we are FORECLOSING ON THIS PROPERTY. I shouted, “It’ coming, I can feel it!” and both my Husband & Mom said, no way, you heard the nurse, not yet. To which I responded, IF SHE IS NOT COMING OUT NOW, I WANT HER TO GO BACK!!! IT BURNS! (ring of fire) And they smiled at me, as if to say, Silly Woman, the nurse said Not now, not yet. To which I responded, KRIS, CATCH THE BABY’S HEAD, ITS OUT, ITS OUT ITS OUT!!!!!!!!!!!!No nurses, no doctors, on the floor, next to the bed, kneeling, my baby’s head was in the hands of her father, in between my legs.I’ll let that sink in for a moment. Yeah.At 2:18am, after being picked up off the floor by the nursing staff, and one more giant push, Elliott was born. In case you were counting, that was only 15 minutes after I was told that it was still going to be awhile. All I can say is, for shits sake, SOMETHING about that labor had to happen fast.

  • Amanda Thursday, July 20, 2006, 9:37 pm

    http://vergeofood.blogspot.com/2006/07/it-could-be-worse.html#linksWay to advocate for all of us! Not enough women in this society get to see the REALITY of motherhood. We see celebrities in all their glory, but we don’t see what they go through to return to their previos state. The rest of us just have to grin and bear it with pride!

  • lovmelovmycats Friday, July 21, 2006, 10:43 am

    Thank you for posting all these lovely pictures of loved mothers. My daughter is a treasure, and I love my body now more than I ever did, because I am so proud of it and all the hard work that belly did, and the work my breasts do now. Here is me and my sister when I was 6 months pregnant:http://i77.photobucket.com/albums/j51/lovmelovmycats/Stacey/P7170132.jpgHere is my belly and breasts 8 months post-partum:http://i77.photobucket.com/albums/j51/lovmelovmycats/Stacey/closeup8mopostpartum.jpgand here is my body in the mirror, 8 months post partum:http://i77.photobucket.com/albums/j51/lovmelovmycats/Stacey/8mopostpartum.jpgThanks again!Stacey

  • Anonymous Friday, July 21, 2006, 6:28 pm

    I think this site is amazing! I?ve had body issues for a VERY long time. I was stick thin throughout much of my childhood, I remember in middle school someone joking with me that the crap food I was eating would catch up with me, I laughed at them, now I LOATHE them. Because it did! By high school I developed, I don?t remember ever buying a bra in a cup size smaller then C? I was ashamed of my body and my chest. I hid them as best I could, sport bras worked great at this. I struggled with my weight, never feeling pretty enough or thin enough. Being tall and wishing I was the tiny, cute cheerleader? it sucked! In 2001 I managed to lose 30 pounds and for once in my life actually liked my body. Slowly the weight crept back on though and by the time I got pregnant in 2006 I was right back where I started, at least it was gradual right? HA! I was really worried what pregnancy might do to my body, but dieting while trying to conceive was darn near impossible. Each month that my period showed I needed to drown my sadness and when my period wasn?t here I didn?t want to diet IN CASE I was pregnant?. You get the picture. So I started my pregnancy at the overweight range for my height. And somehow I never loved myself more, I actually loved the belly I was growing and wore it proudly. I was fine with showing early, I wanted the world to know I had finally achieved the goal I had worked so hard for. So, I ate everything I could for the first 26 weeks or so, then came the diagnosis for Gestational Diabetes. I was devastated. Again my body issues resurfaced, because to me this was an indication that I was fat and/or unhealthy. The diet depressed me, who wants to diet when they?re pregnant? Well let me tell you, that that diet was the BEST thing that ever happened to me. It made me stop pigging out, and made me take notice. My weight gain slowed down and I was able to control the GD with diet! Best of all, my daughter was safe, as I had done my job.Towards the end of my pregnancy the scales got dangerously close to 200, but thanks to the diet they never tipped over it! By the time I made it home with Antonia I was down 3 pounds from my pre-pregnancy weight and within a couple months I was down approximately 15 pounds from my pre-pregnancy and 35 pounds total! I attribute this to breastfeeding and SHEER exhaustion, but whatever works! I am still not happy with my body and I miss how proud I was of it when I was pregnant. I know I will never have a flat stomach, my one trouble area, but I wish it wouldn?t bulge in weird ways. I hate how even now with the weight loss nothing seems to fit right, one size up and they fall off, the current size and my fat starts to roll over the waistband of pants. I wish I didn?t care, I wish I didn?t walk around sucking my stomach in to be something I?m not, but unfortunately I do. Here are some pics? http://i84.photobucket.com/albums/k30/ajsbabysmama/Shape%20of%20a%20Mom/082005.jpgBARELY showing, but loving every inch of it http://i84.photobucket.com/albums/k30/ajsbabysmama/Shape%20of%20a%20Mom/103105.jpgThe stretch marks popped up sometime around week 30? too bad they didn?t stay away the whole time. http://i84.photobucket.com/albums/k30/ajsbabysmama/Shape%20of%20a%20Mom/020606.jpgI delivered two days later at 8:25 in the morning! http://i84.photobucket.com/albums/k30/ajsbabysmama/Shape%20of%20a%20Mom/DSC06420.jpgHere I am today? the stretch marks are still there and while my stomach may look great to some of you, I am ashamed of how it hangs. OR I WAS, this site has helped me to understand why it?s that way and even more importantly embrace it? as long as I have my little bean to look at, all the marks, fat and body issues are worth it. Can someone please just tell me how I can keep her from having these issues? http://i84.photobucket.com/albums/k30/ajsbabysmama/Shape%20of%20a%20Mom/DSC06423.jpgThat?s what I meant about the bulge over the pants? I HATE IT!Thank you for the opportunity to share my story… it has truly helped in a cleansing sort of way! Here’s me and my daughter~Bronwyn

  • Caren Saturday, July 22, 2006, 2:44 am

    Hi, My name is Caren. I’ve added my own post to my website. Here’s the link:http://thestorytimes.com/wordpress/?p=115Thanks for this site. Its wonderful!-Caren

  • nubianamy Monday, July 24, 2006, 3:39 pm

    This web site is absolutely fabulous. I was 20 when I attended the Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival and had the opportunity to see lots and lots of naked women of all ages, shapes and sizes. Finally — what real women look like!I have always been super-skinny. It was a source of frustration while growing up, because I am super-tall, too, and the beanpole look was not at all “in” in the 1980s. Now I am very comfortable with my body.I think women of all sizes are beautiful, and all you mamas, be proud of your “battle scars”! Tiger stripes are beautiful and so are ours.I was 145 lbs when I got pregnant with my daughter. I gained 50 lbs. Now it’s 4 months postpartum and I’ve lost all but fifteen of those pounds, mostly from breastfeeding. I am hoping to keep them! My belly is soft and squishy — I like touching it. I have some gentle stripes. My linea nigra is still dark, though it has flaked off with some scrubbing… I still have some tied up in scar tissue just below my navel, and I don’t see that going anywhere. 22 weeks: http://www.flickr.com/photos/95797679@N00/61336972/40 weeks: http://www.flickr.com/photos/95797679@N00/109052154/18 weeks postpartum: (front) http://www.flickr.com/photos/95797679@N00/197484726/(side) http://www.flickr.com/photos/95797679@N00/197485614/(closeup) http://www.flickr.com/photos/95797679@N00/197485786/

  • Anonymous Tuesday, July 25, 2006, 5:34 am

    I have always had a poor body image. I hated my body prior to getting pregnant. I had a huge scar on my stomach and always felt like I needed to lose weight and was never happy with my body.While I was pregnant I had never been happier with my body. I LOVED my body pregnant. I felt so good about myself and I loved the way I looked. I feel like I never looked better than when I was pregnant.I figured after I delivered my baby I would go back to hating my body and my body would never return to the way it was. I have been lucky and it did go back somewhat to the way it was before (although my C cup breasts are now A’s). I have to say I think my body is better now that it was prior to my pregnacy I think a large part of that is due to the fact that I learned to acutally love my body while I was pregnant.Here are 3 photos of me 38 weeks pregnant:[IMG]http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y38/khand77/IMG_1125.jpg[/IMG][IMG]http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y38/khand77/IMG_1114.jpg[/IMG][IMG]http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y38/khand77/IMG_1095.jpg[/IMG]Here I am 12 months post partum[IMG]http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y38/khand77/12mpp.jpg[/IMG][IMG]http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y38/khand77/12mpp-1.jpg[/IMG]

  • Katie Tuesday, July 25, 2006, 6:13 pm

    I am a 26 year old mother of one, my amazing son, Patrick. Despite remaining very active during my pregnancy, and not gaining any weight until the third trimester, I still managed to pack on 40 lbs in the last six weeks. I’ve included a picture of a hike to the top of a local waterfall at 33 weeks, over 4 miles round trip. We still do not have an explanation for the weight gain, but it happened. After 25 hours of natural labor, my con was born during a c-section because he was turned, and rather stuck. He was born 6/9/05 at 36 weeks, 6lbs, 11oz.My weight loss was good at first, I quickly lost 25 lbs, but then stalled, and actually gained 10-15 of that back. I’m just now back below 185, getting closer to my prepregnancy weight of 170. I plan to try to loose more though, and get back to 150 if possible.I applaud your efforts with this site, as they have encouraged me to be proud of my badges of honor rather than ashamed!I will add my photos to the group.Thank you so much for doing this site!

  • Kimberly Thursday, July 27, 2006, 2:09 pm

    First I want to say thank you for such a lovely, wonderful tribute to mothers and mothers-to-be. :) All of your images are beautiful and unique to yourselves. The only thing that saddens me is there are really no plus-size gals on the site. :( I’m only 16 weeks pregnant myself, but maybe I’ll be brave enough to post by the time I’m further along. Thanks for the inspiration!

  • Miss Weezee Thursday, July 27, 2006, 2:09 pm

    Wow… Finally some new friends that look the same as me! Of all my group of Mummy friends I am the only one who came out with extra weight. I have gone through the last 20 month’s feeling bad about not getting super skinny and I was breastfeeding!!I am now trying for number two and look forward to again being pregnant as that was the first time in my life I can truely say I LOVED MY BODY!!Thanks for posting your pictures and I look forward to checking in and doing that readjustment self talk … maybe i’ll even post some piccies :)

  • Carrien Friday, July 28, 2006, 2:48 pm

    Honestly, I’m ashamed to admit I’m a little frightened by what I’ve seen on this site. I’m 4 months along with my third child, and I know that the last one did way more damage than the first in terms of my postpartum appearance. I was thinner after my first baby than before, with negligible stretch marks. The second left me much heavier and more tired and and took a really long time to get to a place where I liked being in my body again. I think I just avoided looking until I lost enough weight. I don’t know what it is about these pictures but it’s as though I am looking for the first time at something that frightens me, and I want to run away, but I can’t, because this baby is already here and growing. And I can’t pretend to myself anymore that it isn’t possible that my body will forever change in ways that I don’t want it to as a result of allowing these lives to enter it.Now I need to figure out how to be okay with that.

  • Agi Graham Sunday, July 30, 2006, 8:41 pm

    Dear Bonnie,I’m sure you’ve lost track of how many times you’ve heard this by now but, I love, love, LOVE your website. I was looking in the mirror each day thinking, “Ugh!” and your site helped me not only to see that I was not different from all of the other mothers out there, but also that my body is beautiful and that the lumps and marks I have are just the badge of honor, courage and strength I have earned on my journey through motherhood.I have posted a link to your site and my story on my blog, here:http://granikfamily.blogspot.com/2006/07/shape-of-this-mother.htmlThank you again!Blessings,Agi

  • Anonymous Monday, July 31, 2006, 5:18 pm

    I think this is a great site!!!!! Its great to see what REAL ladies look like. We are not in LA and having c-sec and a tummy tuck so we look better AFTER having a baby than we did before. The only thing that kinda made me sad, is most of those that have posted pics of themselves, are pretty thin. Practically perfect body to me. I am overweight and would love to see other REAL woman with curves after having a baby. I have a hard time relating with some ladies who are 95lbs and say they HAVE to get down to 75 cuz they are so fat! I am a mother of 5. I have horrible stretch marks and I am over-weight. We are TTC #6 and I hope one day to get to my goal weight. But try to be happy with where I am and not stress it. I try to feel beautiful about myself but at times its hard. I will never wear a bikini again, but I am proud of my Mommy belly. Jenn in Delaware, Mommy to 5

  • Anonymous Wednesday, August 2, 2006, 2:24 pm

    It’s been 4 weeks since I had my healthy, beautiful baby boy. I gained 40 lbs duing pregnancy and have so far lost about 25. I’m beginning to recognize my breasts again. The stretch marks are still very fresh but at least the huge, blue veins are going away! And I guess they’ll never be as perky or firm again either, but I can handle that. I had a c-section through, and can really relate to the pouch of skin just above the incision that other women have talked about. I wasn’t psyched about having the c-section, or about the idea of a permanant scar, but I’ll get used to it. It’s my secret battle scar, as no one who sees me will ever know that I am a mother. This is because I placed my son for adoption. Mothers do come in all different shapes and sizes, and this website is a good reminder of the different experiences that all can somehow collectively be called “motherhood”. I don’t feel like I fit into that club very much, but when it comes to my body, my scar will always be there reminding me of my temporary membership. Thanks for helping me see that I’m not alone, and helping me be proud of having the scars to show!

  • Anonymous Friday, August 4, 2006, 11:12 pm

    after reading through this site it makes me sad to think that the comments of everyone around me made me feel so horrible with the way i look that i did not take any photos to remember how i looked. before i got pregnant i had lost alot of weight, i went from a size 20, with a 38DD to a size 9 and 36C. i had always been told i had a “nice rack”.i have always been bigger, i have been covered in stretch marks since i was 10…so being re-covered in stretch marks was nothing new to me, by the time i was 6 months pregnant i was a size 24, so i had even more stretch marks…comments from my family when they asked to see my growing belly made me feel so bad about myself. once i took a picture of my belly just to get a good view of how i looked, when i showed it to my husband he gave a slight grimace and told me that someday all that will go away…i cried. i wish i had seen this site before i had my son, who is now 6 mo old, i would have loved to share my pictures with everyone on this wonderful site….i will definitly share this site with my friends. i love you guys. at least i dont feel so horrible with the way i look being 6 mo post pardem. oh, and one of my old boyfriends, who hadnt seen me since i was 8 month pregnant told me that i had “nice enhancements from being prengnant” that is a total boost of confidence.

  • Anonymous Thursday, August 17, 2006, 10:15 am

    I realize now that alot of women are in the same boat as me, I had my first child at the age of 16. When I first got pregnant I wieghed 125 pounds, and I thought I was big then! I miss my body from before and think about how I want to get back down to that weight. After having a healthy 9 pound 5 ounce son who is already nine months old, im left at 205 pounds. Its really upsetting when your walking through the mall or running errands and you see those moms who have lost all there weight within weeks and dont have a stretch mark in site! When my mother told me about how I should check out this website I wasnt expecting something this beautiful… the people here who share there pictures I wanted to say you all look great and It makes me feel so much better about my sagging stomache and lost bellybutton.Eventually we will all loose our baby weight some day but for now we should just enjoy the most precious thing/things in our lives like our children! Thanx for letting me leave this wonderful website with a bigger smile and a warm glow! Remember You all are beautiful, you gave life to another wonderful human being.

  • Anonymous Monday, September 25, 2006, 9:19 am

    Hi there; i’ve been following your site since it was created. I am not a mother, and will not likely be one for many more years. However, I am deeply touched by your site. This morning in my women’s studies class (I am a fourth year university student)I gave my professor this website. I hope it can help every woman in my class recognize the beauty, the uniqueness, and the awe inspiring potential each of their bodies posses, as it has helped me in ways I cannot articulate. Many thanks and kindest regards.

  • Someone'sMother Saturday, March 17, 2007, 1:24 pm

    This site is absolutely amazing! After seeing all of the beautiful women on here, I got the courage to take some photo’s of myself. As soon as the submissions are back up, I will post them (anonymously of course).

    I was feeling like I was one of the only ones left with a pooch after giving birth. It’s nice to know I’m not.

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