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Starting to Accept My New Body (Anonymous)

February 25, 2010

~Age: 24
~Number of pregnancies and births: 3 pregnancies, 1 birth
~The age of your children, or how far postpartum you are: 4 months post partum

After two miscarriages I finally have my beautiful baby! Throughout pregnancy I loved my new body and was amazed watching it grow. I was lucky, I didn’t have stretch marks and I didn’t gain much extra weight. I was genuinely happy with the way I looked for the first time ever and enjoyed the special feeling of knowing that I was carrying a special, secret little person inside my big bump.

All that changed when I had my daughter.

After what many would class as an ‘unnecessary’ (or at the very least ‘premature’) caesarian I struggled to bond with my daughter, I struggled to accept the birth that she had had and struggled to come to terms with the difference in my body. I think the fact that I hadn’t given birth to her myself made the whole idea very abstract: to suddenly go from a pregnant belly with squirming baby inside to jelly belly and all of a sudden I am handed this baby. Well it was hard to accept. To top it off I suddenly woke up with stretch marks. Not only on my hips but on my breasts! That one blindsided me.

Four months on and I feel I have made some progress. I have always had small breasts so breastfeeding has been a real bonus – “nature’s boob job” someone called it and how right they are! In these photos I have just fed my daughter but they are normally a good size bigger. I am pleased to have a bit more curve to my top half.

I am not so upset with my figure. I have always carried a little extra fat (I was a UK12 pre-pregnancy and am a UK14 now) but I can usually hide the flab under my clothing. I even went on holiday recently and wore a bikini (although I did feel extremely self conscious in it).

The scar has healed better than I thought it would but it is still an ugly reminder of the way things went, but it is also proof that I have conceived and nurtured an incredible little life inside me for 9 months. It is hard to accept my body. I was no racing snake before but it is still a big change and hard to come to terms with. But my husband has been amazing and makes me feel just as sexy as when we first started going out. He has helped my self confidence and self esteem no end!

As for bonding, I am still waiting for someone to knock on the door and tell me “it’s all a big joke, you have to give her back now!”. I hope it never happens and I am constantly amazed at this incredible little person that we have created together.

I happened across this website by chance and I am so glad I did. I immediately wanted to participate. I wasn’t shy about showing off my pregnant body (not to this extent I hasten to add!) but I was still very hesitant. I thought about doing ‘underwear shots’ but then decided I would bare all and go for the full monty! And how liberating! I have never ever taken nude photos of myself before and I am so glad I did. If my stretch marks, love handles and podgy bits make other ladies feel even a little bit better about themselves then I am glad I did it. Thank you!!

Photos attached are at 33 weeks pregnant and 4 months (18 weeks) post partum.

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9 Responses to “Starting to Accept My New Body (Anonymous)”

  1. Colleen Says:
    February 25th, 2010 at 11:46 am

    I was like you, I had to have a cesarean and I felt very disconnected at first. I never got to go into labor, so it was like my pregnancy just ended with no effort whatsoever on my part. I was very upset about it at first, but when my daughter was a few months old, I started to come around, and that’s when I wrote this: http://theshapeofamother.com/blog/ode-to-my-scar-colleen/.

    Thanks for taking the plunge and posting pictures of yourself. You have great breasts!

  2. Ali Says:
    February 25th, 2010 at 1:47 pm

    We could be body doubles! I didn’t get any stretch marks on my belly but also got them on my hips and a ton under my boobs too. The ones on my boobs were so shocking at first and I felt so miserable that this part of me that I used to feel was very sexual was “ruined” (for some reason I imagined having these on my belly wouldn’t be so bad- because my belly didn’t feel like as much of a sexual, womanly part of me) but I REALLY have come to accept them. I’m almost 2 yr PP with my daughter and they are barely noticable now and don’t bother me one bit. Mine looked just like yours- I am so confident yours will fade very well too- it just takes time- so don’t expect anything overnight.

    The other thing is I used to stress out about what lotion/potion etc would help the fading and after none of the expensive things advertised worked I ended up using a $2 huge bottle of Aloe Vera Gel that made my skin feel great and helped with the scaring- I still have it to this day and have applied all throughout my current pregnancy……and at 30 weeks so far no new stretchies. But even if they appear- I am ok with it. You look super beautiful and I hope you are enjoying motherhood.

  3. Karla Says:
    February 25th, 2010 at 4:54 pm

    You are beautiful. Women are meant to have curves; so please enjoy them, embrace them, love them!

  4. Newmom Says:
    February 25th, 2010 at 6:22 pm

    It could be my post, although my (horrible) scar is episio + tear (and I feel a photo would be some like pornographic). My current shape is very similar to yours. I also had no birth, as I was drugged. They put out my baby, I saw him flying far away and I couldn´t say “give him to me”. After a while I had a completely-wrapped-in-clothes baby… He couldn´t go to my breast, he couldn´t touch my skin… Now my body is not my body, my sex is not my sex, I feel so depressed when my baby is sleeping and I am alone with my new me… I´ve just discovered this blog and I feel better.
    Thank you all, this blog is great. I guess I will feel better after some time, but now just cannot accept my new body and my no birth… Only get some relief reading your posts.
    Thanks :)

  5. sady Says:
    February 25th, 2010 at 10:15 pm

    you are just awesome, i love your attitude and honesty

  6. Anonymous Says:
    February 26th, 2010 at 6:29 am

    Thank you all so much for your comments! I am amazed that you all find something nice to say about me lol.

    Newmom – I had the same. I didn’t get skin to skin until we got home 4 days later. I really regret not standing up for myself and demanding my baby. She didn’t have her first feed until 3 hrs after the birth. All the little things that were actually really important to me didn’t happen.

    On the plus side I am going to stand up for myself next time (if we manage a next time!) – even if I need a C section, I don’t care how much my body is shaking afterwards, I want my baby handed to me, I want my skin to skin. I didn’t know what her face looked like really until day 2 as I’d only seen her from above whilst feeding lying down! NOT how I’d planned the birth of my first child.

    I laughed when I saw my story had been published. I still can’t believe my bits are on the internet!!!

    I don’t know what it is about being a woman that makes it so hard to accept the way you look, but I still struggle with it. I have lost a bit more podge since these photos were taken but still all I see are the ‘bad bits’ when I look at myself.

    But as I said in the original post, I am coming to terms with the birth and my body, and things are moving on slowly. At the end of the day, that body is a result of growing my amazing little girl and I wouldn’t have it any other way … unless I could magically become a toned size 10 overnight ;o)

  7. Ania Says:
    March 1st, 2010 at 3:17 pm

    You ask about one of the most mysterious “things” in the world…Women have been strugglig with their bodies since somebody invented a swimming costume (a short version). We want to be almost perfect because that’s what one can see on TV or magazines. The “society” or rather those who shape the society make us think that the bodies of mothers must fit the fashion.
    I’m 6 months PP and my thinking has changed a lot. I do not need to fit others’ expectations. I had my little Bubble in me for 9 months and now my body is the greatest proof of being fully mature :)

  8. Newmom Says:
    March 12th, 2010 at 6:46 pm

    Hi, Anonymous and all the other mummies. Visit this blog, and the breasts´ one, was the better thing I´ve done for me since my childbirth. Your posts helped me more than all the doctors and midwives. Even people near me like my partner or my mother just don´t understand how I feel. As everybody else, they say: Hey, you are OK, you have a healthy cute boy, you don´t have any problem… Only you, mums, know, and only you can help. Thank you so much!! I see myself different now, I am (almost) happy again!! I promise to write a post after holidays!!
    I already regret many things that could have been done better but, Anonymous, don´t blame yourself. You were not in the best position to stand up. THEY should have done all those things for you.
    Wow, I think your bits are great, not sagging at all, nice shape. Only those stretch marks, but they fade. I have a lot from adolescence, and don´t bother when they are old and white.
    I´m sure you´ll have another amazing baby and, remember, VBAC is possible!!! And you´ll feel more beautiful each day, because you are!!

  9. Anonymous Says:
    March 26th, 2010 at 1:25 am

    Newmom I’m so glad things are looking up for you and you’re learning to appreciate your new shape.

    This website really is incredible – so much positivity in one place.

    Thank you all!

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