I found this website in a moment of weakness I was having with myself over issues with my body and I decided that since reading everyone’s stories and seeing their pictures that I couldn’t resist posting my own photos/story to maybe help someone else. I am 20 and actually planned a pregnancy (with my boyfriend of 5 years) due to the worry of infertility with age from issues with my reproductive organs. Anyways, I was very excited. I weighed 159 pounds (the most of my whole life) when I found out I was pregnant. I didn’t have a single stretch mark until I was 8 months and 2 weeks pregnant and then it seemed I got one with every breath I took. I was ALL belly which I thought was a good thing. My pregnancy was very rough on me, I lost over 20 pounds within the first 5 months from being so sick, then I finally gained some weight and kept gaining. I got pre-eclampsia at 38 weeks and was put in the hospital. I never progressed even with early labor and being induced therefore I had to have a cesarean (which I so DESPERATELY did not want!) It was very hard on me, it traumatized me but I had my baby, whom I love with all of my heart. My child never breastfed correctly so I pumped for four months and my milk literally dried up over night (yet another unexpected disappointment.) Anyways, I weighed 172 pounds the day I had my child, then while pumping I got down to 139, and now I am back up to 160! I don’t understand! I got on Nuvaring and it seems to be the best birth control of my life (the others gave me clots, gain weight, etc.) I’m not sure if the ring, stress, or negative body image is making me gain weight but I need help. I am struggling so much with my body image. I feel 6 months pregnant. My legs and arms need toning of course, but my breasts seem deflated and my belly just seems like a large (LARGE) unattractive lump that hangs over my jeans! I am sure that the way I look at myself doesn’t exactly turn my boyfriend on – which causes issues also. I just feel like I’ve never been satisfied with my body even when I weighed 100 pounds and I’ve never had a flat stomach but I am young. I want to be able to take my child swimming (which means me in a bikini – not happening.) I am not crazy about the stretch marks but I at least try to feel okay knowing that I got them from carrying my amazing child – yet the flabby jiggling belly is just wrecking me. I am just ashamed.
The first picture is 37 weeks pregnant.
The second picture is frontal stretch marks 8 months PP.
The third picture is my belly from the side, also 8 months PP.