Hi there! I’m 30 years old and the mother of two (3yr-old son, 10month-old daughter). I can’t remember a time when I didn’t struggle with my weight. I’ll spare you the details of a my childhood and report that puberty helped. I lost what I then called “baby fat,” grew into my medium build, 5’6” body, and stayed at a reasonable weight, fluctuating between 140 and 150 pounds.
When I got pregnant with my first I swore I wouldn’t gain more than the average 30 pounds. Moreover, I wasn’t going to get stretch marks and applied every type of lotion imaginable to my expanding belly. You’re smiling because you know the whole lot of nothing that did for me. As my son grew, the more my belly looked like a freshly chopped tree trunk with stretch marks expanding outward in perfect circles.
Right before my son was born I tipped the scales at 201 pounds. He was 9 lbs, 7 oz, and I lost 20 pounds within the first month. The extra weight hung around for well over a year. I had just got back down to the nice weight of 147lbs when I got pregnant again.
Unfortunately I don’t have any belly pictures of baby #2. My son stretched me out so well that I didn’t get any new marks with my daughter, but my breasts swelled after the third month. I gained 50 pounds the second time around and my daughter weighed 9 lbs 5oz at birth (I make ’em big). Again, the weight did not want to come off. By the time my daughter was 5 months I weighed 168 pounds, and the scale refused to budge. Not only that, but walking around with inflated breasts for 6 months and then deciding not to breast feed meant that my boobs shrunk from ample Ds to no longer perky Bs.
I love, love, love my children but I was seriously hating my body. Luckily, I resumed an active schedule and went back to school. The stress of school combined with caring for two kids meant some weight loss. Later, a personal hardship melted twenty pounds in a few months, but I still missed the firm, smooth skin of my youth. I missed my once perfect belly button. I wasn’t too happy with the sagging boobs either. Then I found Shape of a Mother and was blown away. Not only wasn’t I alone struggling with body after baby, but I realized our post-baby bodies are beautiful. We’re mothers, there are no beings on earth tougher than us. Why did I look at what happened to my body with such a disapproving eye? I earned those marks. I earned those scars (the kind you don’t want to see). Thank you for creating this forum and thank you to all the amazing women who’ve posted their stories and photos. Rock on moms!
Here I am today: 138 pounds and 10 months after baby #2. I’m taking things one day at a time. Who cares about having a perfect body anymore? Not me! (I’m happy if I have time to brush my hair.) I’m happy with the body that bore two really great kids.