~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.