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Really Having a Hard Time With This (Kali)

June 16, 2009

Age: 38
# of pregnancies:3 total, 2 miscarriages before 12 weeks, 1 full term
Postpartum: 4 weeks postpartum, C-Section

At my age and given that I lost 2 pregnancies before this I should really not be so vain, but I am horrified and floored at what I look like now. I don’t think that time or exercise are going to help.

I started my pregnancy at 5’5″ and hovering between 151 and 155 pounds. I lookied pretty good at that weight because I carried a lot of muscle, although 145 would have been perfect. I felt like garbage my whole pregnancy and lost my job at the end of my first trimester, so I was not very active. I did not, however, eat like a crazy woman.

Imagine my shock when I weighed myself the day before I had the baby and was at 205! FIFTY pounds. The stretchmarks aren’t too bad, fairly faint and all on the lower belly.

In the 2 weeks after I had him I lost 35 pounds. I really had no appetite after the c-section, so it wasn’t too hard. Now, however, my metabolism seems to have crashed. The scale hasn’t budged in 2 weeks, and I am eating healthfully, and trying to eat more to keep myself from going into starvation mode. I started walking 1 week postpartum and just started back at the gym this week.

Here’s the thing, I could handle the stretchmarks, I could handle the fat, even the fact that my boobs have gone down a cup size and headed south, but the hanging apron of skin is just gross. I feel deformed. It even smells bad under there so several times a day I have to pull up the flap of skin and clean & dry the area so it soesn’t get all sweaty & nasty. Plus I think I have a hernia. I feel a weird “ball” just over my belly button. The front pictures don’t look so bad, but the side picture shows the hangy stuff.

My fiance is loking to be intimate and I just hate the thought of exposing myself to him. He’s several years younger and has a permanent 6-pack, and although he would never say anything bad about the way I look, I can’t deal with the thought of him being secretly turned off by what’s happened to my body. I know I am.

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21 Responses to “Really Having a Hard Time With This (Kali)”

  1. billboardz360 Says:
    June 16th, 2009 at 9:12 am

    kali, my heart goes out to you and your family. I understand that confidence is not where you want it right now and its directly linked to your body image. i personally don’t think it’s very bad. you’ve had several pregnancies and as we get older, our bodies do get a little more stubborn. It doesn’t mean, however that we just have to settle for what it does. very pleased to see that you’ve started back at the gym. what is your plan? nutritional and fitness? would love to hear from you, billboardz360@gmail.com. thanks so much for sharing.

  2. ashley Says:
    June 16th, 2009 at 10:25 am

    omg are kidding you have great skin, that’ll snap back, give it some time it can take up to two years staying healthy and working out does speed it up, but you look fantastic, and your boobs dont look like they are sagging either, they look awesome, im jealous, i live in canada and the gov is paying for my my breast reduction cause of how bad mine are, mine are huge, they would have been firm except for the weight, i wish i had your boobs so i wouldnt have scars from surgery!!!, if you have a hernia, go to a doc tho, they’ll know what to do!! and be thankful your waist still tapers in, you have a very feminine figure!!

  3. Sara Says:
    June 16th, 2009 at 10:31 am

    Kali, I don’t know how you’re already walking for exercise and considering renewing the intimacy between you and your husband at a mere 4 weeks postpartum! That in and of itself totally amazes me. You are mighty! At four weeks, I was still bleeding and torn, and the baby was demanding everything I had. And my friends who had C-sections told me how much more difficult their recovery was than mine. You should be so proud of yourself for starting back to your routine this soon (provided you have your doc’s okay — you wouldn’t want to hurt yourself).

    4 weeks is nothing. You sound like you’re going to work hard to get your body in a shape that you’re happy with. Over time, and with your weight loss and muscle tone returning, that apron will lessen.

    Try to treat yourself kindly, you have been through a lot. Try to focus less on your body and more on the tremendous love in your life, from both your little boy and your devoted husband.

    Everyone’s body changes over time or from one thing or another. At least we mothers are lucky enough to have something so incredible to show for it!

    Good luck to you, and congratulations on your baby.

  4. Janice Says:
    June 16th, 2009 at 11:12 am

    Your only 4 weeks postpartum…I had 2 c-sections. It takes a lil while for the swelling to go down for me it seemed like fluid would gather there in the belly above the scar…as for the smell its cause your still healing, for me that went away about 3 months pp, i washed it with dial soap an it helped. I had my last baby 8 months ago an my scar is now finally lookin less pink. I think you look great. I was black an blue from tits to thighs at 4 wpp .. my bf wanted nothing to do with it…lol.

  5. Summer Says:
    June 16th, 2009 at 11:26 am

    4 weeks postpartum? Sweetie you really need to give your self more time! I also had a c-section and lost alot of weight at first. I had the skin flap you’re talking about also.. and at 19 years old I DID NOT LIKE IT. But it will get better, my son is now 16 months and although I would like to lose 10 pounds I don’t work out AT ALL but i still look pretty good clothed. Anyways.. It’ll go away. You also walk and work out so I’m sure it’ll happen alot sooner for you… I was back in a bathing suit at 6 months postpartum!

  6. Jen Says:
    June 16th, 2009 at 11:29 am

    I think you look great for four weeks. I’ve had two csections and after each it took a while for the lower apron look to go away, but it DID go away. And I’m short. I know it seems bleak now, but it took 9 months to get your body, so it can take just as long to get your old body back. I got pregnant w/ my second eight months after I gave birth to my first, and I still had a way to go, but it was getting better. I’m pregnant again, w/ a 3-yr window instead, and by the time I got PG this time, it was gone. So don’t lose hope. I think you look amazing for 4 weeks! Remember, it takes longer to heal your tummy after a csection, so don’t get so down on yourself!

  7. Angèle Says:
    June 16th, 2009 at 12:09 pm

    Hi hun ! As for the hanging flap of skin, talk to your doctor about it. I have the same issues and if you are experiencing smells, rashes, discomfort and especially a hernia, you may qualify to have it removed at no cost to you! Having an abdominal hernia is quite dangerous, I would see your doc about it! PS: You do look great however and it will continue to go down! I know too well the same symptoms you are having, plz feel free to email me : les3elles@live.ca

  8. Mary Says:
    June 16th, 2009 at 4:10 pm

    You have such a womanly body, so curvy, but if you are unhappy with your belly work at it or talk to a doctor, there is nothing wrong with making yourself happy! It takes time for your tummy to suck itself back in, and esp after a c-section, you could have internal swelling that just takes time to go down. Dont be down on yourself, you look great (4 weeks WOW!). And as for the hubby situation, when Im feeling “ugly” about my belly I opt for positions that keep my problem area out of his site :)

  9. taiyo Says:
    June 16th, 2009 at 8:43 pm

    I can so sympathize with you! We started out our pregnancies at about the same weight, and I’m the same height as you. My ideal weight is also 145, and I managed to maintain that for about 8 years before I got pregnant. I didn’t have c-section, but I gained 40 lbs, lost 25 in the first week, then it’s basically taken me the next 19 MONTHS(!!!) to lose even 8 more. I’m still about 12-15 lbs above where I want to be. I started running in January, though, and am riding my bike a lot recently, and am FEELING great and fit. I’m trying to focus on how exercise is making me feel– that it can have such an amazing affect on my mental health. I eat well, too, and have just stopped bf’ing recently. I thought that after I stopped the weight might just “fall” off, but, silly me! Weight loss for me is not something that will ever come easily. My husband and I are planning to try to conceive soon, and I really wanted to be back to my pre-baby weight before I embarked upon another pregnancy, but I also don’t want to let 15 lbs dictate how I live my life. I am, however, planning to be very active and to eat well during this pregnancy. Wish me luck! You look awesome

    Here’s my last post: http://theshapeofamother.com/blog/18-months-postpartum-update-anonymous/

  10. shannon Says:
    June 17th, 2009 at 8:39 am

    I know how you feel…I just had my second cesarean almost 10 weeks ago and I have the apron as well, and I am only 22! It did go away after my first, and it is getting better every week right now. You are only 4 weeks, that is nothing! You look great, enjoy your baby, they get big sooooo fast.

  11. TracyKM Says:
    June 17th, 2009 at 11:38 am

    Four weeks? Oh, honey, you need lots more time still! You shouldn’t even be exercising yet, after major abdominal surgery!
    I highly recommend babywearing as a great way to bond with baby, continue your daily life, AND exercise. It made a huge difference to me, and my baby. I miss it so much once my baby hit 35lb and I had to stop. Check it out!
    If you do have a hernia, get it looked at! You had MAJOR surgery; things might be a little misplaced inside :)

  12. LissaL Says:
    June 20th, 2009 at 9:56 pm

    Kali you are beautiful! Honey you are so wonderfully proportioned and you look so so GREAT for being 4 weeks PP! You have beautiful skin also!

    I truly think you are beautiful

    Namaste

  13. Mother of 1 1/2 month-er Says:
    June 22nd, 2009 at 2:02 pm

    only 4 weeks- chin up you will get there. Its only a month give your body a break its been threw alot. it might take awhile to lose it but if you keep trying you’ll get there

  14. Neecee Says:
    June 22nd, 2009 at 3:13 pm

    I know it seems unimaginable…. but the apron actually shrinks amazingly. My daughter is 17 months old now and I have let the 50lbs I gained come off on it’s own. The flap is VERY acceptable. I am also 38! Anyway honey, don’t obsess, focus on how pretty that baby is, and i promise it will get a lot better. Especially if you work at it, but even if you don’t.

  15. A Says:
    June 24th, 2009 at 9:31 am

    Hey there. I think you are so brave and fortunate and blessed you could have children. I’m 33. Single, no kids. Love kids, don’t really want to have them.. but I do sometimes wonder about it.

    I’m naturally a skinny person… and I work out hard almost everyday just to maintain tone, health, time to myself, positive mind-body connection, etc. I eat like a super star health nut and rarely eat fried food or desserts. Lots of raw, organic, always know what’s in it kind of person. Don’t really eat frozen, canned or processed foods. This is mostly because I am very sensitive and my health is directly dependent on it. As soon as I stop working out, or start eating like most people, I feel terrible. I feel negative and tired…

    My sister has 3 children and she has a body very similar to yours. She doesn’t really work out while she’s pregnant. She eats like the average american eats. Maybe a little better. Frozen dinners, some veggies, some fuits, mac and cheese, carrots and hummous, desserts, candy. She cares, but she doesn’t obsess. I admire her. She’s beautiful and so are you. Its been a year and a half since her last kid and she doesn’t work out hard ever, but she just takes a slow approach to life/working out. She like walks, treadmill, or hiking occasionally and of course with daily chasing three kids around is a work out all in itself.

    This just takes time. Her body really has bounced back. Her skin is tightening up and honestly, looking so nice. I never thought she didn’t look nice.

    She’s positive about her size. She’s a great role model for the kids about it. Her husband is supportive and he is always respectful to her in every way. She dresses in ways that accent a bit of the cleavage I will never have and just feels comfy in her skin. She would point out on visits that I looked so skinny and OMG I’d kill for your stomach or something like that. I always point out what suuuuuper different lives we have lead since 1996!

    I know secretly we are envious of the other. There are times when I wish I had a family and children and I wish I was voluptuous and curvy and could just eat whatever. And I know she wishes she could sleep in more, and wake up skinny, and focus money and time on healthy eating and time to her self. But she would never want to wake up alone everyday or give up american food. And I would honestly go crazy after about 6 days straight of all those kids, so…

    We have almost the closest genetics two people could have… The thing we have in common is maintaining a healthy weight and positive attitude about it. It is a positive commitment. Commit to being positive about it, no matter what. Tell the magazines and ads and diet industry to ‘kiss your perfect ass.’ It’s fun to say. Little, manageable, good changes at your own pace. Be open, talk about it. Talk to him about it. It can only help. Be open. It will make your relationship stronger. There is humor in there as well. I know it. Find it. Working out is so underestimated for improving your total well being – your mind, your body, your guts, and your soul… I love walking. Just 30 mins. Fresh air. Run an errand or two. Visit a neighbor or a sunset. I went and saw the sunset last night. We chased it for a while. Love it. Love yoga and can’t say enough about what that can do for you in every aspect of your life.

    We grew up in a house hold and my mother has your body too. I always thought she was beautiful and I still do to this day. My father was verbally abusive to her and called her fat everyday or her life in front of us kids and it was aweful. You don’t need me to go into detail. It took both my sister and I a long time to shake that off. Took her less time I think, she’s much better adjusted to life.

    My mom was very hurt by it and never really shook it off. He hurt her self esteem very badly. She’s slowly getting better. Slowly. And it’s hard to watch at times, and at times I am very proud of her. She is learning how to tell the rest of the world to go f-off. At times, a bit too much… She’s got decades of pent up anger and frustration. Obviously they had terrible communication. Enter your relationship on your terms and at your own pace. There is no rush. There should be no pressure on you to be intimate. Talk when you are ready to talk, take of your clothes when you are ready to an not a minute sooner… This is you, this is your body and this is your life. Love this body. You are so fortunate for your health and mobility and fertility. Make your life exactly what you want to to be.

    Your post has really charged me and brought so many important memories. Thank you for that.

    And I love this site…

  16. Elaine Says:
    July 3rd, 2009 at 11:18 am

    Kali – You look great! I was 39 when I had my only child via a c-section. I wasn’t even allowed to drive a car for 3 wks! I was able to breastfeed my son (who had an amazing appetite from day 1) and I do think that helped me lose weight faster than I would have otherwise. You definitely need to talk to your doctor about the possible hernia issue. But please, just give yourself some time!!! As far as the intimacy issue… talk to your partner. You need to make sure that you are healthy physically and you might be very surprised what he thinks of your post pregnancy body! My husband thinks I’m sexy even when I don’t — but I am gradually learning to agree with him. :-)

  17. michelle Says:
    July 9th, 2009 at 9:52 pm

    You look GREAT for being 4 weeks Post C/S…I look like you and Im almost 11 MONTHS post C/S. My hanging skin won’t go away, the scale won’t budge one bit and hasn’t since I was 8 weeks post C/S.

  18. Danielle Says:
    March 4th, 2010 at 5:06 pm

    I, too, look almost identical to you and I struggle with the way I look everyday. I am 24 and 16 months post partum. My “flap” of skin hangs over my jeans, and i am disgusted by it. My relationship is struggling because of my weight, because I don’t want him to see me and get turned off. I doubt he would care what I look like because we have a beautiful son because of it, but I don’t think he would tell the truth either. I think you look great though!

  19. Natalie Says:
    May 2nd, 2011 at 12:52 am

    Hello, I’ve read several of the stories on this website and I have to admit, I’m right there with a lot of the mother’s that have had to have c-sections. I’m 46 years old, I have 4 beautiful and wonderful children, 3 boys, 1 daughter. I too have had to have all my children by c-section because I don’t go into labor. I have looked at a lot of pictures that everyone has put up and I feel like I’m looking in the mirror with a lot of them. I have the stretch marks, the hip to hip cut, and the saggy belly. I hate it, I really do and even though I know it’s proof that I am a mother, it makes me ashamed of what was left behind. My youngest are twin boys, they will be 24 in September, and honestly, I have done so much to try to flatten my belly. I am only 5′ 1/2″ tall, when I got pregnant with my first son whom is now 26 I weighed 98 lbs. I carried him for 11 1/2 months, never went into labor, but the doctor’s kept saying maybe they were off on the due date, lets give it some time and see what happens. He left me with what I call my own personal road map to nowhere. I was only 19 then, and after coming home and looking at myself in the mirror all I could do was cry. I lost some of it but still had the saggy belly not as bad as it is now though. I then had my daughter 2 years later, again c-section, saggy belly but no more stretch marks only because I think I got all I could from the first one. Then when she was 6 months old and failed birth control pills, I got pregnant again, but this time it was with twins. So there went the losing weight, and now today I can’t seem to get rid of any of my belly for nothing. I tried the gym with a trainer for a year, no result and just more hate for the body I now have. Finally talked to my ob-gyn only to be told that my c-sections were done wrong, they are supposed to cut 1″ above your pelvic bone, mine is only 1/2″ and they never tied the nerve endings or the muscle back together during the last c-section which is why I now look the way I do, however after being told that and seeing special doctors to try to get it fixed, I was told that my insurance won’t pay for a tummy/reconstructive surgery because of my age. My biggest problem with my belly is I am afraid to lose too much weight, and I’m afraid that as I get older it’s going to sag even more and sooner or later my belly will be hanging over my stuff. I just thought that I would share with everyone how I feel about my body after 23 years of pregnancy, I wish sometimes that I could get rid of it, or just wake up one day and it be gone. I don’t want to be a model but I really believe that it’s only fair for women that have to have c-sections that the doctor’s that do them would realize what we will face later in life and figure out a better way of doing them, The other thing I found out was when I was cut open for the twins, they never cut away any of the extra skin, they just rolled it up inside and sewed me shut. It should feel like a punishment to mothers to give birth via c-section, but for some of us even though we love our children to death and would not trade being a mother for anything, we shouldn’t be scared and disfigured by giving birth unnatural, it’s not our fault so why should we be punished? I think that if a woman has to have a c-section and the doctor that is doing it knows at the end of the surgery that their belly is going to sag at all, they should automatically give us a tummy tuck and try to make it look a little more pleasing to new mother’s and their partners. Why should we have to pay for the childbirth and then if able later down the road have to pay again to be cut up and have our bellies fixed. But I am glad to hear that I’m not alone in this and that there are other mothers out there that have to deal with the same issue as me. I guess in the end it only makes us stronger. Good luck mom’s and way to go, even if our bodies look saggy and wrinkled at least we can all say it’s because we are mothers and we love it.

  20. Michael Says:
    September 14th, 2012 at 8:28 am

    You really look quite normal. If your man loves you, and you trust him, do not feel embarrassed or ashamed. I’m sure he doesn’t expect you to be identical to before, and you can continue to improve towards your goals. If necessary, you may be able to get a tuck at some point in the future, if that is your desire, but really you must love your body as it is, because that is what is keeping you here and alive on this Earth.

  21. another mom Says:
    March 3rd, 2014 at 10:03 am

    Not sure if original poster comes back to this site. I had a baby 3 years ago by emergency c section and my stomach does that hangy thing now. It sucks. I had a flat stomach and was in great shape before my pregnancy. Now I feel so out of my body.

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