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Still Struggling (Anonymous)

My beautiful daughter was born almost 7 years ago. I loved every moment of my pregnancy. I did my best to savor each moment and I loved feeling every flutter, kick, and hiccup. A few weeks before my baby girl was born, I had a visit with my midwife and she marveled at my smooth, stretch mark free belly. When I visited her the next week, I remember her saying “oh no! you have stretch marks!” I remember feeling let down…as if I had almost made it through with my tummy in tact. What I didn’t realize at the time was that the stretch marks would not end up being the source of this frustrating struggle.

It took me quite a bit of time to get back to my pre-pregnancy weight and once I did, I was devastated by what I saw in the mirror. Who cares about the stretch marks? look at that saggy, wrinkled tummy! I was not prepared for the way my body had changed. Prior to this, I had prided myself on the fact that I was a woman who would NEVER consider cosmetic surgery…yet, as I looked in the mirror at this hanging skin…thoughts started to creep in about a tummy tuck. That made me feel low as well. How could I be so vain to consider something like that???

Now, all these years have passed and I am ashamed to say that when I look at my belly in the mirror…when I look at the body that grew and birthed the most precious little being…I still fantasize about the tummy tuck. I don’t care about the stretch marks. I’m even rather proud of them. The saggy, wrinkled skin that doesn’t improve no matter what I do is the source of the embarrassment and frustration I feel. I don’t want to seem petty. I don’t want to seem vain. I am just speaking my truth and it is a truth I never thought would be coming from me. I have been thinking about submitting my story to this website for YEARS and I am just now finally following through. It is my hope that I can find my confidence once again.

~Age:
39

~Number of pregnancies and births:
1

~The age of your children, or how far postpartum you are:
7

in 5+ Years Postpartum, Belly, First Pregnancy, Postpartum, Submissions

7 comments… add one

  • Summer Hellewell Wednesday, March 16, 2016, 3:49 pm

    You are beautiful, mama. Bodies stretch aND grow to make beautiful new babies. Didn’t your heart stretch and grow, too? Also, though I don’t think you need a tummy tuck, I do think it’s ok to take care of yourself in any way that is healthy. You wouldn’t think yourself too vain for wanting a manicure, would you? You do you. Whatever that means to you.

  • Shelfling Wednesday, March 16, 2016, 6:33 pm

    Beautiful mama. You are wonderful. You are brave. And you deserve to feel every bit as beautiful as you are.
    We can be so critical of ourselves, not only in the mirror but in the ways we think we ought to focus on certain things to the exclusion of others. It’s an unkindness to ourselves to imagine we have to live in some elevated corner of our minds without doing what we need, desire or wish to give ourselves moments of joy in these bodies.
    Thank you for sharing your truth.

  • Eva Monday, March 21, 2016, 6:22 pm

    I don’t think you’re vain for wanting a tummy tuck! Oh my goodness, if it’s something that’s going to give you your life back and you happiness back, do it! I think you would look great afterwards. I’m totally considering it also and my daughter is not even a year old yet. Women don’t realize that being unhappy about their bodies and looking in the mirror everyday with disgust takes away a piece of you. It makes you sad and irritable. I’ve been on forums and talked to Moms that have gotten one and they say that their only regret is that they didn’t do it sooner. Get your confidence back momma!

  • Shana Sunday, March 27, 2016, 12:48 pm

    If a tummy tuck changes your self-image and makes YOU feel attractive again then you should do it! I had a lift and then breast implants after my son was born and it actually had a huge impact on my self-esteem. Don’t worry about society and what they think- do you girl you are beautiful noi matter what and deserve to be happy in your own skin!

  • SuperNess Saturday, April 9, 2016, 2:22 pm

    Before I go into my spiel, I want to say that you look great. There are so many women on here who wish that they had your stomach.

    That said, I know EXACTLY how you feel. Exactly. I will be 31 in May and I have two children. My youngest will be FIVE in a few days and I completely understand how you feel. My stomach looks very similar. I pride myself in being very active yet no matter how much I work out my pouch is there. I would love to have a mommy’s makeover (I would be the ideal candidate) however, I don’t know it is worth the risk. Do I really want a scar? What if the results look WORSE? There is always a tradeoff. It’s up to you to decide if you are ready to cross that bridge (I wouldn’t blame you- I too fantasize about a tummy tuck).

    For now, what has helped me tremendously is dry brushing, talking vitamins (hair, nails, skin), and eating a healthy, well balanced diet. Drinking PLENTY of water and strength training is a must. These suggestion help make the stomach look less “wrinkly” and more smooth and elastic. Again, I must go back to healthy eating and exercise- so important.

    I hope I have been helpful. At the end of the day we have a beautiful being(s) to show for it. And believe it or not, our spouses love us for who were are, then and now. You have to be happy in your skin. There is no harm in having a consultation with a doctor to put your mind at ease if it is something you are really serious about. Still, there is no way around having healthy habits to maintain the results.

    Take care and God bless.

    SuperNess

  • anonymous Tuesday, May 10, 2016, 1:32 am

    Thank you so much for all your kind words and for NOT judging me!

  • Aimee Tuesday, June 28, 2016, 4:37 pm

    I just wanted to bring up something that I heard once that has really helped me with finding love for my new body. I don’t remember where exactly I heard it but the premise was that as women we become ashamed of our post pregnancy bodies because we ideally see ourselves to look like we did in our early 20’s and this stems from us wanting to be perceived as attractive by men who (through history ) find 20 somethings attractive due to this being the “prime” childbearing age. But you did that you proved your ability as a woman and you are now past that stage in your life (or so I’m assuming your not trying to have more kids) so enjoy your body as a kind of road map to your present life from your past and sit with the knowledge that soon this body will change again and look different in new ways. Have you ever had a picture taken of you that right after its taken you see it and pick yourself apart and think “gross” or “do I really look like that/that bad” but then you see it a few years later and think “wow I looked great/I’d kill to look like that again? We are always trying to improve ourselves and we often become too self critical. Try to appreciate what you have now and how beautiful you really are now instead of later. If you can’t honestly say you feel beautiful start by saying what is beautiful about you (your always helping others/your a great mom/ect.) And look at yourself naked often just stare until you can point out things you like and you think are beautiful.

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