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Where is the time machine? (Anonymous)

February 13, 2009

I’m 26-years-old. My son was born about two weeks before my 25th birthday. My pregnancy was not planned and I spent the entire pregnancy trying to come to grips with being a mother (which I haven’t quite done yet).

My birth was a 43-hour-long, unmedicated journey aided by my mother and husband and a hospital midwife. Afterward I hemorraged and nearly died. From there on, my physical condition was continually miserable for at least three months straight (back went out and I was unable to walk–had to crawl around my house, taking care of my son by myself while my husband was at work at least 12 hours a day–living overseas in a city where I do not speak the local language and have no transportation other than public transport to depend on). I also had horrible post-partum depression. Breastfeeding was miserable and brought pain, itching and infection which no western or holistic treatments seemed to cure (and I tried EVERYTHING!)–I just endured it for five months until my son refused to breastfeed anymore. This is basically the tip of the iceberg when it comes to my experience with pregnancy, childbirth and the aftermath.

So, when I look at the stretch marks on my body and all the extra weight I have tried and tried to lose and seem to be unable to, it isn’t sweet memories I’m thinking of.

Others have told me to just focus on my son and how great everything is to be a mother (which is kind of a fairytale notion too in my opinion–as for me motherhood is hard work, lots of sacrifice and a tiny bit of reward thrown in). They dismiss my sadness and hatred of my body as pure vanity. I disagree. I don’t show in the photo here, but my breasts went from a B cup to a DD and now are a D cup. Some ladies might wish for this–I can’t stand them! I never wanted large breasts. My husband doesn’t even like large breasts–he thinks they are weird and scary. They droop and drag and have just as many stretch marks on them as my belly does–my nipples point south–like the funny cartoon of the old lady who has to lift her skirt to flash you her breasts. I never am without a bra–I now sleep in one and wear one 24-hours/day just because it is uncomfortable to wake up with my boob under my ear or somewhere it wasn’t meant to go.

Anyway, so I wonder where the time machine is that can take me back to pre-baby so I can have a “do over.” If you find it, please notify me immediately.




Updated here.

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12 Responses to “Where is the time machine? (Anonymous)”

  1. Angele Says:
    February 14th, 2009 at 7:33 am

    Hugs to you! Hun, Im worried about you… have you talk to your doc about your PPD? You sound like you are still suffering from it. I too had PPD and it took me 6 months to agree to talk to my doc about it… Still to this day, 7 years later.. I do not remember the first year of my daughters life because i was so sad and upset.
    Your body is beautiful, it birthed a healthy baby, once you find the light again you will see your body in a different light!
    Email me if you need to .. les3elles@live.ca
    Xo

  2. Ali Says:
    February 14th, 2009 at 7:57 am

    Finally, a bit of honesty!! THANK YOU.

    I can really relate to you. I also struggle with my post-baby body, but also struggled with my pregnancy (my baby was a preemie and both she and I were hospitalized). Then, after I had my baby I suffered from depression, and she suffered from reflux and colic….and continues to be a very sensitive and needy baby. The only way I can cope with motherhood is to use a lot of humor and I thank god every day that I have my supportive husband with me that struggles along with me. I also try to take a lot of time to myself and also going back to work has really helped. My little girl is almost a year old and I just continue to hope that things get better as she gets older. I do love her, but I’m sure you can relate to me when I say that I’m really sick of people saying how they are such perfect little blessings and the like. I can’t fake that it’s been wonderful, put on a smlie and lie. It IS hard work. It IS lots of sacrifice. And for me, it’s been more of a difficult road then for some other mommies.

  3. Kameron Says:
    February 14th, 2009 at 8:18 am

    First, I want to just say….I am so sorry! I KNOW WHERE YOU ARE RIGHT NOW. I have had three kids in four years and my third is 3 weeks old right now. I happen to have my tubes tied as soon as he was born. I love my children, but found that I am now a bit insane and a shadow of the fun fabulous “Chanel” girl I use to be. I gained over 100 pounds with my first going from a 2-4 up to 240 pounds. I lost all of that in one year exactly only to get pregnant again that very same month. I suffered from PPD too and all the doctors did was throw tremendous amounts of medication at me. That was with my first. Now on my third, I feel I am a pro at being totally freakin’ insane and anti-social! So, let me tell you that you have a girlfriend in me and what you are saying is normal and true. I would like you to read some of the following books that will ease SOOOOO much of your anxiety, anger and alike. The sun will shine again for you. I am fighting the baby blues right now, but now have a better understanding or new it would come and go, so I am riding it out and waiting for the sun to shine for me everyday instead of every other day:)

    Naptime Is The New Happy Hour.
    Daddy Needs a Drink.
    The Three Martini Playdate.
    It Get’s Easier: And Other Lies We Tell New Mothers.
    The Girlfriends Guide to Toddlers.

    Amazon offers these books used and so you may be able to get all of them for just cents plus 3.99 shipping. Well worth the money to smile, laugh out loud and know you are going to be ok and not alone!

    Breathe, read and know you still have girlfriends all over the world that know what you are going through.
    Dirty Little Secrets From Otherwise Perfect Moms

  4. Southern Mama Says:
    February 14th, 2009 at 1:32 pm

    Please get help, talk to your doctor. I too suffered from PPD after weaning my son and immediately following the birth of my daughter. Medication saved my life. Literally. There is no need to suffer, feel crazy, and taking time for yourself, exercise, meditation etc. doesnt always or completely work for others especially depending on the severity of your PPD. Do not feel ashamed to ask for help. Within a month, I was feeling tons better. In the realm of everything, Im a better mother to my children because Im happy! I can finally say that and it feels good! Thank you Wellbutrin!

    For the people who have a problem with the or don’t believe in the medication route, maybe they didnt get any relief with the brand they were using. I took 4 different kinds before I found one that worked. Im glad I did. Take care!

  5. Cassandra Harada Says:
    February 15th, 2009 at 4:49 pm

    I had the same experience…foreign country, no help, 53 hour unmedicated HARD labor (with pitocin)….I want a do-over too!

  6. chelsea Says:
    February 15th, 2009 at 7:59 pm

    Check out Inconsolable: I Threw My Sanity Out With the Diapers by Marrit Ingman (Amazon has it). It’s a great PPD memior and really funny too.

  7. Ashley Says:
    February 19th, 2009 at 1:29 am

    I can really only relate to you on one thing… crawling! I screwed up my ankles so badly right after I had my daughter that I had to crawl around my house for about 4 months :( Even when it was just me and my daughter, it felt degrading :( I guess I want a do over too, my ankle issues would have been 100% preventable if I had only known! Walking a lot in Flip Flops is VERY bad right after having a baby! They are getting a lot better now, don’t crawl so much, but I’ve done permanent damage :(

    I hope things get better for you, I couldn’t imagine going through all that you have and in a foreign country to boot!

  8. aNonymous Says:
    February 20th, 2009 at 1:28 pm

    Before I had kids, I was hot. After my first child, I was ruined, or so I thought. I had deep blue stretch marks all over my breasts, stomach and thighs. My stomach skin was loose and the muscles were about 3 inches separated. My body turned into a blob. I know its hard to believe now but if you cut back on calories and get exercising as much as you can, you will eventually get back to your old self. I didn’t even bother exercising for a year (and got pregnant again shortly thereafter) because I thought nothing could be done. But that’s not true!

    You CAN fix your body through your own efforts without surgery. You just have to want it bad enough, it will take a lot of work.

    Almost two years after my second child was born, I discovered this website, http://www.bodyfatguide.com/LooseSkin.htm and it inspired me to start exercising again. You can find a lot of exercises for post partem mothers on youtube.com and ehow.com I have been exercising for about a month almost every day, crunches where you lat with your legs stretched out on the ground are good for the lower ab problem area, and bird dogs, reverse crunches, windmills, weight lifting, squats etc. and I can tell you I have lost a lot of the fat, the abdominal separation has closed up almost completely and my skin has tightened up to the point where I am really getting quite happy with my body again which I haven’t been in 5 years.

    And try this for the stretch marks:

    After soaking 10-15 minutes in a hot bath, Mix St. Ives Apricot scrub with a teaspoon of Safflower oil with vitamin E, and a teaspoon of aloe vera gel. Then apply to your stretch marked area and vigorously massage with a boar bristle brush for around 5 minutes, or until you cant stand it any more, whichever comes first. This actually stimulates the blood flow to the skin so it can fill in and heal itself, like they do with expensive laser surgeries. It helped my skin tighten up and heal the stretch marks to smaller and white so they are barely noticeable.
    You can do it every few days. You will probably notice an improvement right away.

    Good luck!

  9. Tania Says:
    June 27th, 2009 at 4:04 pm

    Whoa. THIS is EXACTLY the reason I do not wanna be pregnant. I am very much afraid to feel like you do about your body changes.

    Thanks for the wake-up to reality.

    But you have a child now. And you owe it to YOU to move forward and get out of the pity-party.

    I don’t think you’re vain, and in my opinion your feelings are very much valid. If you can work where you are, start saving some money for a tummy tuck and for a boob-job. There ARE ways to “fix” (for lack of a better word) what you so much dispise in your body.

    Just please, don’t let out your frustrations and regrets on your baby. It’s not his fault.

    GBU.

  10. Mir Says:
    July 11th, 2009 at 10:09 am

    Tania,

    If you don’t have a child, probably not a good idea to use strong language like “pity party.” I’m simply saying what I feel here. Although I feel like shit most of the time, I still move on with life and do what I need to do to take care of my son and my family so therefore, I’m entitled to feel the way I do and say it truthfully.

    I’ve researched the tummy tuck and boob job thing as well–and it’s not totally out of the cards but remember how I mentioned how I almost bled to death in my previous post? Yeah…well, it’s not a good idea to go under the knife if you have bleeding problems.

    I don’t take my frustrations out on my baby–I never once mentioned that in my original post. There is a difference between feeling and doing and not only have I been through hell with my pregnancy and motherhood but I’m a downright saint for doing a damn good job despite the circumstances–that’s the difference.

  11. Mir Says:
    July 11th, 2009 at 10:31 am

    For the rest of you ladies who commented (I haven’t checked this since I first posted so sorry for the delayed reply):

    Angele: Thanks for the hugs and your e mail address. Um…to be honest, I’ve had periodic bouts of depression since my teens and I’ve tried medication–everything out there, pretty much and have found that the most effective/overall best thing for me is rest, writing in a journal, a good person to talk to and a decent diet. Even the best of the best medications I tried totally made me a zombie and zapped my energy and creativity–it wasn’t worth it. Whether or not I will ever see my body in a different light remains to be seen. Even if I don’t, life will go on. Our bodies aren’t made to last for forever so I just have to give up some of the images in my head of what I thought I should look like. Thanks again.

    Ali: Girl! We are on the same page! And you can always expect honesty from me–life is to short to live in a delusion and try to convince other people to live there too. How are things going with your girl? You said you went back to work? I did too–in February and it was the best decision that I pretty much made! I just realized that for me to be the best me I can be, I need to work. I am not SAHM material. So, now the time my son gets with me is not so much quantity time but quality time and it’s way better for both of us that way.

    Kameron: Thank you for the book list. I love it! I will check into those books! They sound great. Also, I hear what you’re saying about doctors throwing medication at you. I want a doctor who can treat the problem, not just mask the symptoms. It’s not healthcare but sickcare–I’m just a bit too holistic for that. Thanks again for your kind words. I really can’t imagine having 3 kids in 4 years! Whooo! I’m done having kids!

    Southern Mama: Thank you for your concern. I’ve taken Wellbutrin in the past and it was effective but I also have some other health issues/risks that make Wellbutrin a risky business for me. My depression is manageable now with other more holistic approaches–as I said before: rest, writing in a journal, talking with friends, decent diet and also working–actually working has done me a world of good! Thanks again for your concern and kind words.

    Cassandra: Ugh. Which country were you in? Was your husband there with you? Fortunately, I requested no pitocin so my labor probably wasn’t as hard as yours (pitocin takes you from 0-60 like that!) Had incredible back labor because of a herniated disc in my lower back (caused by pregnancy) so I got to feel all of my labor straight through my sciatic nerve–awesome, eh? We all need do-overs!

    Chelsea: I’ve read the reviews for Inconsolable but haven’t gotten around to reading it yet. Did you read it? What did you gather from it–what was the best/most important part for you?

    Ashley: Crawling sucks, doesn’t it? Oh, man! Those were the horrible days. I couldn’t pick my son up and it was so panicky! Ugh!

    aNonymous: Although your words are hopeful, the reality is that not everyone is “fixable.” You can want it all you want and you can do everything you can do but some things don’t change. And then there is just the reality of where I live and what I can and cannot physically do. I know myself and I know my body. The crunches you’re talking about are exactly what you do in pilates where you lift your legs straight in the air–I used to do tons of those–but I have a herniated disc in my lower back that makes this dangerous for me now (thanks pregnancy). As I said, I live in a foreign country so forget the gyms because there aren’t any that I can get to on a bus within one hour. I do what I can do for exercise at home and I walk everywhere I go. We live in a 600-square-foot house with a standing shower–so there will be no soaking in a hot bath for me unless I go to a hotel and rent a room so I can soak in a bathtub. Thanks for the suggestions but I look at my mom’s horrendous stretch marks and I can tell you she tried everything out there to make them fade and 25 years on, they’re still there–genetics are unfair that way sometimes. I’m glad that you feel happier with your body.

  12. Shawna Says:
    August 7th, 2009 at 10:34 pm

    Tania until you have a baby I think it is unfair to say “pity-party” because only when you’ve experienced pregnancy and child birth can you really have a profound knowledge of the affects it has on your body and the emotions you roller-coaster through. We expierience these emotions weather we want to or not.

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