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To Love Thyself (Jessa)

April 13, 2011

Age: 23
Number of pregnancies and births: 2 pregnancies, 2 births
Age of children: almost 3, 8 months

I have never loved my body. I was a skinny child, but I never paid attention to my body at that age. By the time I actually became ‘self-aware’ and started nit-picking about my appearance, I had gained some ‘fluff.’ In high school I was 5’3’’ and weighed between 125-130 lbs. I thought I was fat. HA! I stopped eating for a couple months, but my self-image only played a small part in that. Most of it was the depression. The starving dropped my weight to 120. Still chunky for my height and age. When I started eating again (do to my now husband’s encouragement), I gained weight like I was moving to the Arctic and needed the body fat of a whale to survive the cold.

On my wedding day, at 19 years of age, I weighed 140 lbs. Three months later we got pregnant and over the course of that pregnancy, during my second year of college (yay for stress!) I gained 42 lbs. I’m not going to tell you how often I cried because I was only a stone’s throw away from weighing 200 lbs. Really didn’t help my depression any. That first year postpartum was rough. By the time I finally got to a place of acceptance with my new mommy body my daughter was 15 months old, and we found out we were expecting our second child. It was a bit of a roller-coaster, but overall I loved my pregnant body. I loved how firm my stomach was when it had been much like a water bed before. I loved how the second time around I never got a single stretch mark, where my belly was riddled with stretch marks from my first pregnancy. At 40 weeks pregnant I had gained 31 lbs for a total weigh in of 185 lbs.

My youngest daughter was born cesarean section. On top of flabby skin, silver stretch marks over my stomach, boobs, hips and thighs, I have the c-section scar. But I’m okay with all that. My husband finds me more beautiful today, having grown his two children in my womb, than he did when he first fell in love with me. His cat calls, winks and pick up lines are all encouraging to say the least.

I am 8 months postpartum. I weigh roughly 155 lbs. I get asked if I am pregnant at least once a month. But I wouldn’t trade that for anything, because I got two of the most amazing little girls out of it. My jello-like tummy, silver stripes and c-section scar are my battle wounds. I am an Amazonian worrier. I am a mother.

Photos attached are
1. 40 weeks pregnant with my youngest
2. 4 weeks postpartum
3. 8 months postpartum (shirt up)
4. 8 months postpartum with my almost 3 year old (shirt down)

Updated here.

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3 Responses to “To Love Thyself (Jessa)”

  1. shannon Says:
    April 13th, 2011 at 7:19 am

    First off…who would think you are pregnant? You look awesome! I love your attitude, and I am so glad you love yourself now. Congrats on your 2 baby girls!

  2. Jenny W Says:
    April 13th, 2011 at 6:20 pm

    You look great! And no way look pregnant lol

  3. Em Says:
    April 19th, 2011 at 10:50 pm

    You look fab and your child is adorable!

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