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This is Four Months Postpartum (Anonymous)

This is four months postpartum. I cannot lose the weight no matter how hard I try. The shame I feel is sickening. I want to vomit whenever I see myself in the mirror. It’s so hard to leave the house and be around people. I am so so so ashamed. I can’t even be in the front yard unless it’s dark. Everything sags and my waistline is gone. I didn’t even get boobs from this mess. They’re still small but now they sag and are deflated. So I’m horrible looking, fat without breasts. My husband always liked the little gap between my thighs and now it’s gone and I can’t get it back. I try to eat healthy but sometimes I just feel so terrible that I go for something good because at least I feel a little happy when I can eat good food, even though I hate myself for eating it afterwards.

I hate myself so much for letting this happen to me. I love my son but I was left with nothing but a disgusting mess. Sometimes I cut and punch myself and they say to use a marker instead so that’s what I did.

I used to be the girl who could wear whatever and it’d be okay. More importantly I used to be the girl who could carry thirty pounds of gear into the mountains and hike myself out with an injury (dislocated kneecap). Now I can’t even hike seven miles without my body giving up. I can’t even talk about what happened to my mind or I will really break down.

I failed at everything. I failed at breastfeeding so I have these disgusting boobs and I can’t even breastfeed my son. I labored for thirty hours with back to back contractions and still had to have a c-section. My hips and back gave out during my pregnancy and I had to be on crutches and I couldn’t exercise although I did what I could. I have really intense postpartum depression and anxiety. I’m on four medications and have tried so many different kinds of treatment. Electroconvulsive therapy might be the next step.

I can sense my friends and family getting frustrated with me so I’m starting to pull away from them too. I have no damn idea why my husband even still has sex with me. I think it’s because I’m there and he’s a very loyal person but I’m convinced he’s imagining he’s with someone else. How could this wreck of a body ever appeal to him? He didn’t give me a single compliment after I gave birth but he used to say I was beautiful every day before. He started again when I broke down about it but now I can’t believe him because I had to cry and beg for him to see me as beautiful so I know it’s him lying to make me feel better. I don’t blame him for forgetting because the first month is so hard and if it’s not genuine why would he even think to do it?

I hate myself so much I cry every day and some days I can’t leave the house no matter how hard I try. I would have surgery in a heartbeat if I could afford it. I just want to hide forever but I can’t because I need to find a way to endure for my son. I just don’t know how. I give up on being attractive. I just want to not care.

in Belly, First Pregnancy, Postpartum, PPD - Postpartum Depression, Self-harm, Submissions

7 comments… add one

  • a blessed dad Thursday, February 15, 2018, 10:52 pm

    you are severe in how you judge your appearance. i’d like to say i understand how and why you feel what you feel, but instead i just find myself politely disagreeing with your assessments.

    for four months postpartum you look good. your skin looks amazing. your breasts may have deflated some, but they do not look like they are sagging. i’ve noticed with my wife that her breasts have inflated and deflated several times over the course of three children and finally settled down and filled out a bit more after the last deflation. also please understand that large breasts are not required to be attractive. my wife’s are also small and i don’t care the size as long as i’m still allowed to touch them.

    please don’t assume you know what your husband feels. sex is with a person, not just with their body. you don’t need a perfect body to turn a partner on. men don’t think about women’s bodies the way women think they do, anyway. no more so than women, i suppose. shallow men and women probably hold a lot of stock in perfect bodies, but the rest of us are more understanding. women’s bodies are delightful to men. yes, even the ones that aren’t perfect.

    pregnancy recovery is a process and it takes time. keep going on hikes. be patient with your body. it’s not as affected (or permanent!) as you see through your eyes. you can definitely get through this.

  • Judy Williamson Friday, February 16, 2018, 2:59 pm

    You look like you had a remarkable good body before pregnancy and with some exercise will be able to bring your body back into shape. But the depression you are suffering is something else and is heartbreaking

  • Peppermint Sunday, February 25, 2018, 7:44 pm

    Girlfriend, you need to sit down and make some green tea, right now. What you are feeling is super normal. But it is time to snap out of this, as in today. First of all, you are going to get your body back. Stop thinking of your body as compared to anyone else, you are you and you just gave birth, which changes basically everything. Your body needs time to create and develop a new set point. This is what has just occurred.

    You got pregnant and put on weight, which was the right mode for you and your baby. You told your body, “hey, gain some weight, now, and keep it on for around a year, thanks so much.” Your body did what you told it to do. Our bodies are smarter than we are, trust me. Then you happily gave birth, the body complied nicely. Now, you want to start yelling at the body about how unhappy you are. I am saying, slow the negativity down a bit.

    Second, you will lose the weight, in due time. You have to allow your body to make a new set point, which is your prior weight. Your hips have changed, thank goodness usually, and it has given you some nice mom curves, appreciate that for what it is. Your dresses will look smashing in a few months. Maybe you forgot about the mom classes pre-birth, but you just discombobulated basically all of your internal organs, for I reiterate – about a year. Let’s give your body time to readjust, take stock, check this and that and it will start to calm back down to its original shape.

    Third, you don’t want to lose weight too fast, or you will get the slacky skin, and that is not so great. You want to lose weight as slowly as possible, so that you can do it in a healthy way (no fads or starvation diets needed). Take the baby for walks, not to lose weight, but to get outside and push the pram/stroller and take in the scenery. Talk to the baby, bond and enjoy the fresh air, the raindrops, forget what you look like. Trust me, no one is looking at a new mom, we want to see the new baby really now. All babies are adorable, I have never had anyone look at my new baby and say to me, “Oh, I notice you are a little flabby in the (name the body area).” It will never happen.

    Finally, it is time to show some strength here, you just gave birth for heaven’s sake. Women used to give birth in fields and tie the baby on our backs and keep bending and lifting to make the day’s wage already! You are a strong woman, start acting like it, and I say it nicely. You are giving the baby negative vibes by all this fretting, you need to just relax, stop stressing out your organs and brain, and practice relaxation techniques. If you do that, I guarantee you that your body will respond. It is carrying weight if you keep stressing it out, it will add more weight. I think you look good in the photo, better than I looked after I gave birth. I can’t tell, but if you are drawing on yourself, stop that at once!

    You are adorable in so many ways, start looking to realize this, no one needs to tell you how great you are, you are a new mom, you are already great. Try not to be so hard on yourself. When the baby grows up and wants to see the baby photos, no one will remember your tummy, everyone will be looking at the baby’s spit bubbles and how cute the baby was at that stage.

    I hope you can take this advice. Get out for fresh air, appreciate that you are good and will just get better, and kiss your man for most men don’t judge about this and he is waiting for you to mentally come back to who you were, for his and your sake. God bless.

  • Lucy Saturday, March 3, 2018, 10:11 am

    Honey don’t be so harsh on yourself, you look good, remember it’s only been four months since you had your baby your body needs more time to heal.

  • Cloey Friday, March 9, 2018, 5:47 am

    If you aren’t seeing one already I suggest finding a counselor who specializes in postpartum depression. Your mental health is SO important, getting that stabilized will go a long way toward making things easier. When I had my son almost ten years ago (yikes!) I saw a woman who worked for Healthy Start and she was very helpful. They charged us on a sliding scale and my counselor would come to the house.

    Realistically your body is unlikely to go back to what it looked like before pregnancy, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t/won’t ever be happy with yourself again. It doesn’t mean that you can’t work your way up to taking long hikes again. Pregnancy changes your body rapidly and drastically, it’s going to take some time for things to settle. Four months isn’t much time.

  • Zine Saturday, April 7, 2018, 12:48 pm

    You have an amazing body. It just gave you a baby.. I’m 7weeks postpartum and I have to agree with you…..this not the body I envisioned for myself but you need to remember that the weight wasn’t gained overnight and it won’t go away that easily either. Be gentle with yourself. Don’t use food as a crutch. It won’t help you.

  • AnneMarie Sunday, April 8, 2018, 1:46 pm

    I was shocked when I saw the pictures, after reading the words- your body is completely average. Average period- not just considering your recent pregnancy. I mean- I guess you had a stunning body before?

    Have you considered you might have PTSD from a traumatic birth, rather than depression? Something to consider.

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