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Trying to Find Beauty Among the Stretch Marks (Dani)

February 29, 2012

Pregnancies/Births: 1/1
Age: 21
My sons age : 1 month

I had a beautiful son January 8th, 2012, and on that day, I felt like a new person. All of a sudden, life had a meaning. I look into his eyes and I see his crazy, but amazing personality. And I cannot believe that I created something so amazing. He is my whole life. However, when I look in the mirror I want to cringe at how I look, and it makes me feel like a bad mom. I have this amazing little boy to hold and love, and I am concerned about my body? I have issues with my body for a long time, though….

I was always a little on the bigger side. My senior year of high school I finally tipped the scale at 170 pounds (I am 5’5”). I got so depressed. I started working out and eating a little less, I lost 25 pounds. Which that was good for a while. Then I started dating who is now my husband. Which he loves how I look and always has. But after a year of dating, his parents invited us to go camping for a week at a lake. I got so scared about being in a swimsuit. So, I started dieting and working out…It got so out of control. Over the course of a few months I went from 145 to 93 pounds. And I have kind of a medium build body, so I had bones sticking out everywhere, but I still felt so fat. Towards the end of my dieting disaster, I was only eating an apple a day. And even then I felt like it was going to make me fat. I would walk 2 miles to work, be on my feet for 8-12 hours and then walk the 2 miles back. I did this 6 days a week. And even then, I would sometimes wake up in the morning to go on a jog. But after a while, I had no energy. I even got tired just walking to the bathroom, but I didn’t care. In September, 2010 I missed my period and thought I was pregnant. So I put my selfish ways aside and started eating normal, for the sake of the possible child. I took many tests and they were negative. But just in case they were wrong, I kept eating and so my weight kept going up. I finally got my period again 3 months later. My doctor said my period stopped because I wasn’t eating enough. I was super devastated that I wasn’t pregnant, because I liked that idea. So, I decided to keep eating and then after a months of me getting healthier, my husband and I decided we would try to have a baby. We weren’t planning on succeeding the first month =)
I started my pregnancy at 130. By the time I delivered, I was a whopping 212 pounds. I have a thyroid problem, which was discovered halfway through my pregnancy. I didn’t have gestational diabetes and my baby and I were healthy, so I was hoping most of it would come right off after delivery….I was SOOOO wrong. I am not down to 180 pounds and cannot lose anymore. I am breastfeeding, and I was hoping that would help me lose weight, but I haven’t lost anything. I am watching what I eat, and exercising lightly. (I will exercise more once I get the okay from my doc at my next check up). I hate how I look…My belly is squishy and jiggly and just hangs there, and I have stretch marks like crazy (which is understandable since my son was 8 pounds 13 ounces!!!). But I hate it…i feel so gross…i still wear my maternity pants because the band holds in my sagging belly, which, wearing my maternity pants is pretty embarrassing too.

I don’t know what to do or think. I love my son and I wouldn’t change it for the world, no matter how bad I think I look. But, it’s tough knowing what I used to look like and then looking at how I am now. I guess I will have to get over it, cause it’s not like it’s going to change just cause I wish that it would…Once I am done breastfeeding him next year, I am going to go on a HEALTHY diet and exercise a lot more. I really don’t want to go back to how I was, but that is how I feel….I have to force myself to eat now because I ignore my hunger and feel guilty every time I eat. Oh well, I guess…I have beautiful son out of it, so I can’t complain too much =)

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6 Responses to “Trying to Find Beauty Among the Stretch Marks (Dani)”

  1. Kaitlyn Says:
    February 29th, 2012 at 8:27 am

    Oh sweet girl..I’m also 21, had my baby girl on Jan 18th 2012. She was 9 lbs 6 oz so we both have some similar stories! I got stretch marks all over my belly. I too have the saggy “pooch” as I so lovingly call it. We are blessed to have wonderful healthy children..but I’m there with you in hating my body. I had issues prior..and now they are only amplified. We need to allow ourselves time to adapt..our bodies just endured bringing a life into the world! But I know how frustrating it is. I’m a single mother, have been nearly the entire pregnancy and life so far and it’s hard for me to accept my body when I know I’m going to be going into the dating scene.

    You’re a beautiful woman, I don’t have much advice, all I have is the common bond you and I share and hopefully you find some comfort in that. Give yourself time to go back to “normal” and enjoy your little one (:

  2. Catherine S Says:
    February 29th, 2012 at 12:07 pm

    You really are so newly post partum and your body will change a good deal in the coming year. Mny people think you can’t, but eating well and losing weight is reasonable while nursing. Of course, you should eat way more than an apple a day, but it isn’t going to destroy your milk supply to eat well.

    I do not work for Weight Watchers and am not endorsing them, but I started WW when my oldest was 12 weeks and successfully lost about 20 lbs anding at 10lbs below my pre pregnancy weight. It didn’t affect my milk supply and nursed 4 months into my next pregnancy. That may be a good way to help you manage your diet in a healthy and well rounded way without resorting to extreme diets of ED.

  3. Kerry Says:
    March 1st, 2012 at 9:41 am

    You JUST had a baby! I know it is hard right now to see your body so different than it was before, but it has so much changing to still do! This was a really tough thing for me to accept after I had my first child. Just eat well, exercise and believe me, you will be astonished with how much your body will change! Granted our bodies will never be like they once were, but we aren’t who we once were. We are different now and have gone through an incredible journey and are only just beginning an even greater one. Give yourself time, and cherish your little one. Don’t stress about how you look.

  4. Louellen Says:
    March 13th, 2012 at 2:08 pm

    I can imagine you would have a thyroid problem from the drastic weight swings you did. Try taking Iodine/kelp in either tablets or drops. They will jump-start your thyroid, and help with weight loss and energy.

    I love maternity pants! I came across a wonderful pair of dark wash capri jeans, and they make me feel like a diva :D “Maternity Pants” is just a label. Its what makes you look and feel good, thats what counts!

  5. Bonnie (SOAM) Says:
    March 13th, 2012 at 9:08 pm

    Be careful supplementing with iodine without any knowledge of what’s up with your thyroid. My understanding is that certain thyroid conditions like Hashimotos can become dangerous when supplemented with iodine.

  6. Jamie Says:
    March 20th, 2012 at 9:20 pm

    I’m right along with you for the struggle of feeling like you’re body is still attractive, even though it’s not what it was before. It’s easier said than done to convince yourself that you’re okay with the new body, knowing what the old one looked like. Sometimes I wish I could turn back time and slap myself in the face, make myself appreciate that gorgeous body I had prepregnancy. But then again, we wouldn’t have our children if we didn’t have to sacrifice a little thing like our body image.
    Make sure you always take care of yourself, you have a little man that relies on you to be healthy!
    and by the way, I think you look wonderful. You clearly have a husband who thinks the same ;)

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