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Trying to learn acceptance (Anonymous)

September 18, 2008

Well here it is. I am a 20-year-old mommy to be. For the last 8 years I’ve struggled on and off with an eating disorder.I wish I could say that I outgrew it and realized I had a problem and got over it, but that’s not true. I know that it’s a problem, but it’s not something that I could let go of. Like any other addiction it’s just not that easy. But I can say that since I’ve been pregnant I HAVE let it go, if only for now. I’m hoping that maybe eating normally for 9 months will have broken me of this awful habit, but you never know until you test yourself. So I can’t say I will definitely be better after Caden is born, but I can say that I will try. But here’s the good part of all this. I’m completely shocked at how easily I’ve accepted my pregnant body. Even how excited I’ve been about it. Until recently I loved absolutely everything about it, yes, I had moments where I would feel insecure but for the most part I thought my baby belly was the cutest thing. And I say until recently because in the last month I’ve gotten lots more stretch marks. At first I was getting a few on my hips and LOTS on my breasts but I was ok with that, I had expected it and they weren’t that bad so I didn’t really mind them. But then I noticed one on my belly, just one, and I totally panicked. After I’d reached week 30 and I was still virtually stretch mark free, I had rejoiced a little and relaxed about it thinking I wouldn’t get any, but then low and behold here’s this little uninvited guest invading my belly space. I have to say it took all I had not to cry, but I didn’t. Instead I just started worrying constantly that I would get more and I would be horribly disfigured. Well I did get more. A LOT more. And although I’ve seen much, much worse on other people I felt so ugly and disgusting I just wanted to sit in my room and cry. I started to really dwell on it, it was all I thought about, every day I would look at my belly and just feel completely disgusted. I didn’t even want Justin to look at me and I was totally embarrassed for anyone to know. But slowly something great began to happen. I won’t say I started to like them or think they were beautiful like some mothers do, but I started to ACCEPT them for what they were, the marks my beautiful little boy had left on my body. Proof that I had done the ultimate thing, I had created and nurtured a brand new life. I was more than just a silly little girl now, I had become a strong, amazing WOMAN. And not just any woman, a mother. Caden isn’t here yet and I still don’t know what my belly will look like after he is, it may be just awful, but I am optimistic. And even if it is terrible and I will have days, maybe even weeks where I feel terrible and unattractive, the fact still remains that I am the way I am because I brought a beautiful new life into this world. I don’t expect to look the way I did before I got pregnant, but I will work very hard to at least look my best and feel great about myself again. I know that I’ve done well and I haven’t gained 50 pounds or anything. For the most part, other than my belly I am still the same size. Of course I have gained SOME extra weight but I guess I’m really not a moose after all, lol. Along the way I’ll just have to remind myself that it was all worth it and I did a fantastic thing. Not everyone can go through an entire pregnancy and barely gain a pound and escape the dreaded stretch marks. But pounds can be lost, and stretch marks will fade. One thing that won’t, however, is my love for my little man. I know that when I finally see him for the first time it will all have been worth each and every little scar. And the first time he says “Mommy” I’m sure I’ll forget all these insecurities completely. I can only hope that his father will realize the same things I have and be more supportive. I always thought that he would be overjoyed and understanding but it turns out he’s pretty much repulsed by my new body. I know he can’t help it but it still hurts a lot, I don’t think the stretch marks would really bother me at all if they didn’t bother him. But I guess we can only see… So there’s my story, completely open and blatant honesty. Think and say what you will because this is something I needed to say. And who knows, maybe it will help another mommy deal with her thoughts and insecurities. I can only hope so. Here are some photos all throughout my pregnancy, I’ll post some more once he gets here!









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14 Responses to “Trying to learn acceptance (Anonymous)”

  1. mama2 Says:
    September 18th, 2008 at 5:11 pm

    you have cool stretch marks. it looks like a van gogh painting. i have alot over my entire stomach.. and i must say that the first year is the hardest.. after you start to lose the weight the skin tightens up after a bit..and the marks fade and shrink..they’ll always be there. i’ve just come to accept them. it helps me if i stay in shape and get the rest of me looking good. then they dont bother me as much

  2. Pam Says:
    September 18th, 2008 at 7:06 pm

    I wouldn’t worry about the stretch marks. I have them and i’m 3 mnths pp and they will fade. Mine have already started to. And the belly as long as you do BOTH of these things you can start to bounce back. You have to eat healthy afterwards as well as work out. Not eating right and losing lots of weight will cause your belly to sag even more. But you will be a beautiful mommy and it just gets better once your little miracle is born. : )

  3. Trevor's Mama Says:
    September 18th, 2008 at 8:10 pm

    I don’t know what it’s like recovering from/battling an eating disorder, but I was 21 when I had my baby this past November. I, like you, remained stretchmark free up until the last few weeks. I gained about 35-40 pounds.

    Judging by your pictures, your stretchmarks are pretty similar to mine. Now, ten months later, I can BARELY see the stretch marks. With moderate exercise and a reasonable low-calorie diet, I weigh almost ten pounds less than I did at conception. I realize that not every body is the same, but there is hope.

  4. Rachel Says:
    September 18th, 2008 at 11:04 pm

    You look amazing. I am so sorry that Justin isnt very.supportive at this very vulnerable time for you. Men have a hard time understanding the changes we have to go Through and dont always know how to appreciate it. The younger they are, the worse it seems to be. Be patient, he’ll come around. I am also very sensitive to my husband’s view of me, and Hollywood has done more harm for me than good, that’s for sure. Keep your head up, things Will gradually get better in the months following birth. Enjoy your.precious little one!!!!!

  5. Vikell Says:
    September 19th, 2008 at 7:40 am

    On my goodness! You are an amazing woman! You are wonderful for putting your baby first and putting your eating disorder aside. Your man is very immature and needs to get over himself!

  6. Healthnut Mama Says:
    September 19th, 2008 at 8:15 am

    The “type” of stretch marks that you have will fade very easily. Yours are thinner and will heal better than the really deep ones. I know, because I have both kinds and my thinner ones are non existant . You’re gonna be fine, and your body IS sexy! Don’t forget to eat healthy after your baby is born (as hard as it can be sometimes). Drinking lots of water and meat/fish will help your skin really bounce back. Also, a diet rich in omega3′s helps. I used a skin cream called “striae” that works wonders on stretch marks after the fact. Good luck! Congratulations on your little bundle of joy!

  7. Healthnut Mama Says:
    September 19th, 2008 at 8:17 am

    Oh! I forgot! Don’t expose your stretchmarks to the sun for at least a year or they will turn a brownish color.

  8. scarlett Says:
    September 19th, 2008 at 9:49 am

    Hey girl!
    I wouldnt worry too much about the stretch marks.
    I was 21 when I had my son and I got stretch marks like you. I am now a year pp and my stomach is flat, I weigh less than I weighed before I got pregnant and the stretch marks have faded dramatically. They’re still visible in some lighting but they’re no where near as bad as I though they would be. They still bother me though and I cringe everytime I see a celebrity mom baring her stretch mark free body in the magazines but I’ve learned to live with them and will continue to search for ways to reduce/diminish them.

    Good luck and dont worry you’re still a hot mama!!

  9. Ashley Says:
    September 19th, 2008 at 8:52 pm

    Thanks so much you guys, you’ve really helped!! And my little one will be here on Monday, we have a scheduled C-Section!

  10. Stephanie Says:
    September 21st, 2008 at 6:55 pm

    Oh, girl. My heart reaches out to you. Your post brought tears to my eyes. You are such a strong and wise person. Knowing your feelings and limitations and how you feel about your body is a very good thing. Good for you for recognizing that you may not feel perfectly happy about your body after pregnancy but that you did a great thing for that little boy.

    As an L&D nurse, I tnd to see the very first starts of the baby blues after delivery, so please, PLEASE don’t hesitate to talk to someone after your delivery about your changing body and how it makes you feel. Eating disorders are so very serious (as you know and have stated so eloquently in your post) that they must be talked about frankly.

    Good luck to you and your little one!

  11. MilkMama Says:
    September 27th, 2008 at 12:06 pm

    What a blessing for your baby to put aside your disorder like that! Congratulations on your new baby!!!!!!!! :D

  12. Cierra Says:
    October 7th, 2008 at 1:24 pm

    I gained 90lbs during my pregancy. I battled anorexia for most of my highschool career and into my college years. I got pregnant just after I turned 20.

    Pregnancy sucked for me. I kept going into labor, my doctors had me on bedrest for over 2 months, I wasn’t even allowed to eat fruit or drink juice by the time they induced me at 40wks. I would have truely enjoyed my pregnancy if my coworkers and family would have stopped bothering me about my weight. My boyfriend consistantly joked about my weight as well.

    My daughter is now 6months old and I’ve lost 55lbs. My stretch marks hadnt showed up until 6months and what started with one ended in a spiderweb effect over my entire abdomen.

    Even though I’m sure I’ll never be what I once was, I’ve learned to appreciate my current looks. I don’t really know how to accept what I’ve become physically and I haven’t shown my boyfriend my body since I was 4months pregnant. I’m scared to know what he’d say or how he would feel.

    But at least I’m no longer struggling with my ed and I have an amazing daughter to look after. I’ve never loved anyone or anything so much in my life and I’m so thankful I had her.

  13. Val Says:
    October 10th, 2008 at 4:17 pm

    hah i have those same black underwear.
    i love how your baby bump is shaped its perfect

  14. katie Says:
    November 24th, 2008 at 5:05 am

    It’s so refreshing to hear someone else who has struggled with an eating disorder. I felt the same way when I got pregnant- I loved every pound I gained because it was all for him in my gigantic tummy- I felt like I had a big sign that said “im going to have a baby!” I loved every extra inch.
    Now, of course, it’s hard not to feel like the same stupid messed up girl obsessed with my size. I thought for a time I had grown as a person, and moved past what I saw as a flaw in my character. But it ISNT easy, its something that has roots in you, and you cant just cut it out- you have to unplant the seed that grew it in the first place. stay strong- I still think we can be healthy, functioning souls someday.

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