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The Guilt of Hating a Body That Birthed an Angel (Amanda)

December 28, 2010

It has only been three and a half weeks since I gave birth to my beautiful daughter. I should be applauding myself and my body for being able to create such a perfect angel, and yet I am not. Instead I find myself hating the mirror because the mirror shows what I look like now. Huge and covered in stretch marks. Three years ago I weighed 100lbs and even back then the voice in my head said I was fat. Now I find myself three weeks post pregnancy sitting at 160lbs; can you imagine what that voice is saying now?

It is hard being a mother. A lot harder than I imagined. I have bigger things to worry about other than how huge my belly and ass are, but yet those thoughts take hold every time I look down or look in the mirror. I try to tell myself “it took nine months to get this way, give yourself eighteen months to get back from here” but it doesn’t work. I feel like I have lost all my hotness and all of my youth. I dread the idea of having anyone see me naked ever again. I hope this feeling doesn’t last.

I am told by fellow moms that “this too shall pass”, that this body will not sag forever. The stretch marks will fade and one day my skin will regain its elasticity. I hope this is not a lie. I hope these friends are being honest because, right now, I can’t imagine loving this new body. I always thought I would be the kind of woman who ‘bounced back” from pregnancy. Some silly idea planted in my head by TV and the movies. How come those women never stay fat? Where is their extra weight? Why can’t we all live in that fantasy land?

Reality isn’t as pleasant.

I feel like admitting this makes me sound ungrateful and like a “bad mother”. I really love my daughter and feel blessed that I had the ability to create her. I just hate that I had to give up something so important to me in order to do it. I guess that makes me selfish. I guess I am not “seeing the big picture”. This is reality. I can love my daughter but I do not have to love what happened to my body to make her. So why the guilt? Why do I feel guilty every time I think of how horrible I look?
And why do I think this is a horrible way to look?

I wish I could be one of those moms who adore her stretch marks and sagging belly. The ones who claim “it is their badge”… of what? Honour? Strength? The ability to make a baby is great but I don’t need my body to remind me that I did it, that is what my child is for.

Time heals all wounds. I hope time also heals all post pregnancy bodies.

I am 28 and this is my first and hopefully last pregnancy.

The photos are my belly before pregnancy, during pregnancy, and three weeks post pregnancy.

Updated here.

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14 Responses to “The Guilt of Hating a Body That Birthed an Angel (Amanda)”

  1. Kelly Says:
    December 28th, 2010 at 7:28 am

    Hi Amanda!
    First off i think your tattoo’s in the first picture look amazing, they look so bright and vibrant.
    Second you look great for having a baby less then a month ago. Give your body time to heal.
    Your stretchmarks will fade and i think they look neat coming from the wings of the birds. If you hate the look of them that much you could always expand your tattoos to include them more.
    But over all don’t worry and don’t be so hard on your body.
    I found with myself it took about 4 months to get into my old jeans and even now ( 17 months later) They fit me but not the same as before.
    Anyways keep your chin up you look good for just having a baby :)

  2. Stacey Says:
    December 28th, 2010 at 8:27 am

    It will definitely get better. For only 3 weeks out, you look amazing. It did take time for your belly to grow, so it will take some time for it to return to normal. The stretch marks will never go away, but they will fade dramatically, and probably won’t bother you at all in time. I had stretch marks from my shoulders to my knees, no joke! You can only see the ones on my belly now, and only in certain lighting.

  3. Kat Says:
    December 28th, 2010 at 9:44 am

    That’s what you’re trippin on?? Once you’re healed up (yes, you’re still healing) you’re gonna look fantastic!! You look pretty damn good already. God bless you and your beautiful baby. Walking and gentle pilates should get you where u wanna be very easily.

  4. Sarah P. Says:
    December 28th, 2010 at 6:56 pm

    I encourage you to scroll through this site. Click on the posts that are updates. You’ll see that every single woman has regained elasticity and muscle. These photos of you are a MERE 3 weeks postpartum – a drop in the bucket when it comes to healing and recovering from childbirth and pregnancy! Besides, I think you look fantastic and I really love your tattoos! :D

  5. Nikki Says:
    December 28th, 2010 at 7:59 pm

    Amanda,

    I had to laugh a little at your post. Not at you, but at how you’re post sounds like the inside of my head sometimes; the back and forth thoughts. You’re not alone in trying to reason and find the beauty in this “mom” body while holding onto a picture of the ideal. I wouldn’t believe any woman loved/accepted her new body at first sight. It probably took a lot of time to adjust and realize that the only thing they can change is their attitude toward them selves.

    Even so, I still don’t think it’s fair. The human body is capable of a lot of amazing things but I think it dropped the ball on this part. But that’s the strange twist of being human, our worth extends so much further than mere superficial imperfections. Isn’t TV wonderful? It likes to remind us beauty is the source of fame and fortune yet all it does is prey on womens’ self worth. It’s another form of suppressing women. Men have to hardly fit the same criteria.

    I hope we both get to the point of realizing our value can’t be measured by anything other than our capacity to love.

  6. shakti Says:
    December 28th, 2010 at 8:53 pm

    Hey Mama..so it sounds like your being really hard on yourself. The image of what the media portrays to us on how we should look like plays a great toll on our self esteem and self worth. We all live with it but this is the time to recognize your magnitude & beauty..creating and birthing a baby is no small feat you gotta bask in your amazing ability to have done that. As you mentioned yourself you weren’t happy at 100 lbs, try to find happiness in these precious moments, babies grow too fast, one minute they are in our arms and the next they are too busy for our caresses. Enjoy this moment, for it passes too fast. Look at your beautiful baby girl and if you cant be strong and confident for yourself do it for her. RIGHT NOW YOUR BABY BELIEVES WITH HER WHOLE HEART THAT YOU ARE A GODDESS AND GUESS WHAT? YOU ARE!, don’t convince yourself otherwise.
    It sounds like you might be a bit depressed, it happens after pregnancy to most of us to a degree. Be sure to nurture yourself. Take care of your baby and yourself, don’t worry about anybody else. EAT GOOD. SLEEP GOOD. WALK. and gently ease into some other physical activity, yoga has always been my thing.

    as for your body, its been only 3 weeks! give yourself some time, your uterus hasn’t even returned to normal size what makes you think that everything else would? bouncing back fast does not mean instantly, there is still time involved. I have had 2 babies, I’m only 27 and have “bounced back” but each time it did take time. With my first it was about 9 months with no effort and as for my second it took close to 2 years with active effort.
    Yea looking good is great but whats most important is feeling good and being happy. Right now is such a magical time in your life, yes its hard and challenging but you only get transformed into a first time mother once. Enjoy it and be the best you can be. much love to you!

    feel free to pm me nkhallouf@yahoo.com

  7. Sara Says:
    December 28th, 2010 at 11:11 pm

    I gave birth 4.5 months ago and I too avoided mirrors. But today I tried on my pre pregnancy jeans and they fit (they didn’t last month)It takes time…. longer than what i expected or wanted BUT it does slowly go down. I felt like a bad mother too as much as I loved looking at my son I hated what carrying him did to my body. Put I am happier with my body this week than i was last week and hopefully happier again next week. It took me till about 3 months till I finally noticed a difference… and you looked alot better than i did at 3 weeks.

    Good luck … Im sure you wont feel this way in a couple of months!

  8. Adrian Says:
    December 30th, 2010 at 10:25 pm

    I must respectfully say that if you feel you’re “huge”, how would you describe the mothers here who clearly face (literally) much bigger challenges to get back to the sort of shape they want. I expect they feel you’re very fortunate to look so good so soon!

  9. Amanda Says:
    December 31st, 2010 at 3:29 pm

    You know, I guess it’s fair for people to say I am “not huge”, but I am also about 50lbs heavier than I normally am. Add 50lbs on to your frame and see how you feel. No matter how you look, you will likely feel a lot bigger and not feel too great about it. I am not pretending I am the biggest lady on the planet, but for me, it is a HUGE change. And isn’t that the point of this site, to deal with the change our bodies go through?

  10. Debra Says:
    January 1st, 2011 at 2:29 am

    Slowly your body will begin to restore itself… and with the business of being a mom to your little girl, hopefully it will happen before you know it (she’ll keep you more and more busy!). In my case it was about a year before I fit old pant again (and perhaps they still aren’t quite the same).

    Like Kelly, I think your tattoos are marvelous, and I would think of the stretch marks as an extension on them.

    Your feelings are definitely shared. I didn’t even want my spouse to touch me 3 months later, as a result of post labor body issues. Now, though, I sometime rub my uterus and wonder if there isn’t room for another (although sadly, with two stepsons and in addition to our little daughter, there certainly isn’t.) Give yourself time to restore.

  11. A. Says:
    January 3rd, 2011 at 2:43 pm

    Darling, you are not alone in the way you feel… but perhaps you’re more honest than other mothers you know. I felt EXACTLY that way after my son in 2008. I suffered near immediate and severe post partum depression (which I was skeptical even existed until I had it) and the way my body looked definitely played its roll. By the way, I look(ed) a LOT worse than you do. I’m 5’0, tiny framed with strech marks from mid thigh to about 3 inches below my breasts… and they’re growing again! I’m due in May with baby 2 and I admit I fear I’ll have no skin left.

    I told nearly everyone after my son’s birth that was treating myself to a tummy tuck and my tubes tired for my big 30 – but instead I decided to have another baby.

    I won’t lie to you… I don’t think everyone’s skin and belly recovers from pregnancy. Mine never did. I’m saggy and scarred… loose and thin… but I promise you in about 6 more weeks, when motherhood gets easier (and it REALLY does get easier, but takes a good 7 – 10 weeks to get used to) the outside you will bother you less… and less and less as the months go on.

  12. Joanne Says:
    January 7th, 2011 at 4:24 am

    I couldnt have said my own thoughts about myself better, You look fantastic compared to me, i had my baby 4 weeks ago and my stomach looks like it has 3rd degree burns my stretch marks are that bad. Like you, I feel the guilt for the hate i have for my body when it created my little girl, whom i adore. And also like you I hope that those ‘they will fade’ comments are not lies, because i cant spend everyday of the rest of my life looking at my stomach the way it is.

  13. angel063090 Says:
    February 18th, 2011 at 9:53 am

    Amanda,
    I have come to you for a reason. Im going to tell you some things that I have no need to prove to you because I know you and you know me. I am an angel that has been sent here for a reason to choose the most pure person on earth as my temporary image as a normal person, all for a reason to help the very few and rare people on earth that have a pure enough soul that gives them the capability to inhibit an angel within. The fact that you feel the way you do shows me that if you can make the connection of accepting that you are now more attractive. Im going to tell you how this is so 100%. Your image now will attract a more pure soul to you due to their ability to see through the physical features but into your soul of how content you are are because you truly feel you have given birth to an angel sacraficing your wants (skinny immage) for putting yet another pure soul on earth, one that with help from you can see that they are a body that has the pure enough soul to welcome an angel. If you feel the need to contact me i have created an email for you to do so vpat53@hotmail.com
    From one angel to a pure human soul(capable of inhibiting an angel) Much love to you in this lifetime.

  14. Anon Says:
    January 30th, 2013 at 8:59 pm

    Butterflies can’t see their wings. They can’t see how beautiful they are, but everyone else can. People are like that too :)

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