4 weeks pp – angry at my body (Anonymous)

Four weeks ago I delivered my son prematurely by c-section. The fear, stress, and worry were undescribable. Jack was born at 35 weeks weighing only 3lbs. He spent 17 days in the NICU and had surgery to repair bilateral inguinal hernias, then came home with us. I am furious with my body for causing problems during my pregnancy that resulted in a premature baby. It was my job to grow my baby safely and help him to be big and strong — and my body failed at that. So far our son isn’t showing any problems, but if he does in the future, I know who I’ll hold responsible. I gained 30lbs during my pregnancy, and probably would have gained more if Jack had gone to term. In four weeks I have lost 25 of my 30lbs, and am back into my regular clothes. I’m not exactly thrilled about it – I have some serious muffin top, and I’m sure my hips have gotten wider. My ribcage looks much smaller than it was before I was pregnant. The skin on my belly looks like cement and when I run I can feel it jiggle. I’ve got a ‘seam’ of skin, that’s folded along my abdomen from hip to hip. I’m happy to have lost 25lbs, but know that I have at least that much more to lose before I can stop obsessively staring at my belly in the mirror and weighing myself. If my body had helped my son to be a healthy full term baby maybe I could forgive it for looking so abused after bearing a child… but with all my body’s shortcomings on the inside, its ugly outside is just another drop in the bucket.

Updated here and here.

16 thoughts on “4 weeks pp – angry at my body (Anonymous)

  • Tuesday, May 20, 2008 at 8:38 am

    Your body didn’t fail- sometimes, babies come early. We don’t always know why. I’m so glad your son is doing well now. It must have been so very frightening for you- don’t let that fear morph into anger at yourself. Who held him and took care of him while all this was going on? I’m sure it was you! And as far as your body looking ugly, you look *great*- I had to go back and check that you had really only had him four weeks ago! You look curvy and simply beautiful! Best of luck as you heal, Mama! XO

  • Tuesday, May 20, 2008 at 11:33 am

    i know that sense of failure when the pregnancy doesn’t go as you expected. i delivered 23 weeker twin girls in ’03, one survivor and one stillborn. i was angry with my body for a long time (physically i bounced back well – emotionally, not so much!). but you can’t let it rule you. the pregnancy is only a small portion of caring for your son. you have a lifetime ahead of you that will be spent rocking him, holding him, helping him say his first words, take his first steps, etc… enjoy all the time to come and remember without your body he wouldn’t be here at all!

  • Tuesday, May 20, 2008 at 12:14 pm

    Sweetie, you sound so mad at yourself. It makes my heart hurt for you. I know it sounds trite, but your baby is ALIVE and doing fine. That is a great thing. As much as possible, look at him, this little being who came out of your body, and know that your body didn’t fail you or him. It got him out when he needed to come out. Maybe this is crass, but if I am ever feeling sorry for myself, all I have to do is read something written by a mom who lost her term baby, and I think, “What the h@)) do I have to feel bad about? My son is right here with me, and he’s beautiful.”

    Have you considered going to see an OB doctor and/or counselor for some postpartum debriefing so you can a) talk with an expert to learn in an objective, non-judging way about what happened, and b) to help stem any postpartum depression that may be creeping in on you?

    And don’t worry – you’ll go back to (close to) normal eventually, especially when your little man turns into a Mobile Baby Unit and you have to chase him constantly. I am almost 10 months postpartum, and my tummy is only now looking like what I remember seeing pre-baby (though the old belly button will NEVER be the same).


  • Tuesday, May 20, 2008 at 12:35 pm

    Don’t be angry at your body and don’t blame yourself for your son’s premature birth! By the way, losing most of your pregnancy weight in four weeks is absolutely amazing!! I have an almost 8 week old son and have more weight to lose than you…

  • Tuesday, May 20, 2008 at 1:46 pm

    I second Helen’s comment(s). Sometimes our babies just need something on the outside that they can’t get on the inside. It’s not always a failure on our end, either. Some babies are just “higher maintenance” than others. :-) It’s easy to be angry at ourselves, or feel we did something wrong, but don’t beat yourself up over it. It breaks my heart to think of someone saying their body looks abused – if you must look at it that way, think about it from the perspective that your body was doing every thing it could to deliver a healthy baby and that meant exhausting all its resources. :-)

    Best of luck to you. I hope that, with time, you will be able to find peace with your body. After all, it is easier to love it than fight it every day. :-)

  • Tuesday, May 20, 2008 at 2:12 pm

    I don’t think you look remotely ugly; you have beautiful, voluptuous curves; and you did a GREAT job of growing your baby, we don’t know why some babies come early. Be gentle with yourself!

  • Tuesday, May 20, 2008 at 4:00 pm

    Dont beat yourself up. I carried my daughter to 41 weeks and then my son was a 35 weeker. Same body, different pregnancies. Sometimes babies come early. Im glad all is well with your son.

  • Tuesday, May 20, 2008 at 5:14 pm

    You look fantastic! Don’t blame your body. Your body didn’t fail. These things just happen. You never know why!

  • Tuesday, May 20, 2008 at 8:05 pm

    Although your feelings may be hard for some to understand, I am FULLY AWARE of what you are experiencing emotionally. I gave birth to my son at 35wks, after spending eight weeks on bedrest. During those eight weeks I felt so angry that my body was “turning against me.” After delivery, I felt like a failure b/c he couldn’t breathe and was whisked away for treatment. I dealt with PPD for months afterwards.

    The GOOD NEWS is that as time went by, I realized that it’s just hard when you have a preemie. Your emotions go from high to low in a second and it’s a struggle at first. But I learned to FORGIVE my body for whatever happened and focused my energy on the here and now. I hope that soon you will learn to do the same.

    Four weeks is a short period of time to adjust. I hope that soon you will feel more comfortable and can see your body for what it is – a Miracle Maker. May God bless you. You look FANTASTIC!

  • Wednesday, May 21, 2008 at 2:58 am

    aw darling.. you should not be feeling like this.. your bisy did not fail you, you fell pregnant and carried your baby and he is now on the road to recovery.. do you know hwo proud you should be of yourself..

    you just gave birth four weeks ago!!! i think you look amazing.. and you are amazing for sharing your story..

    your baby decided to come early to meet you.. he probably couldnt wait to be loved by you..

    (im not religious in any way) but i do believe little souls choose who they want their mummies to be..

    your baby chose you..

    i had a horrific birth and pregnancy experience and it was around four weeks that my depression set in.. i was very very angry at what happened to me and how my body reacted throught out my pregnancy and for letting me down during giving birth.. i dint seek help for a long time cause i thought i was a failure…

    you are so so lucky, you look great 4 weeks on .. your baby is now doing well, you need to realise that you have just made a whole new person in you..

    what a miracle!!


  • Wednesday, May 21, 2008 at 11:07 am

    hi- look at it this way. maybe your baby was actually supposed to come a lot earlier and your body actually protected it from that and held on to him for enough time so that he can survive on his own on the outside. so in this case, your body actually did a great job, and didnt fail at all.
    try to focus on what is good now.

  • Thursday, May 22, 2008 at 10:57 pm

    I believe that things happen for a reason. God had a plan for your little one and it required him to come early. Your body didn’t fail him, it grew him and nurtured him.

    I think you have a lovely curvy body and it seems like your breasts, although large, are very perky and beautiful. You have curves in all the right places and you’re so sexy!

  • Sunday, May 25, 2008 at 10:58 pm

    Your body did grow your baby safely for 35 weeks, and you gave him the strength to get through his earlier than expected birth. He is thriving and healthy now because of you!

    C-sections are hard on us. I had one with my first child and it was weeks before I felt like myself. You are still recovering from major surgery, so be gentle with yourself. I agree with Katherine that it could be a good idea to check with your doctor to see if you may be experiencing a little bit if postpartum depression.

    It is hard to believe that you are only 4 weeks post partum. Your body is so beautiful.

  • Friday, July 25, 2008 at 1:04 am

    You did not fail in any way…. You carried that precious bundle of joy for 35 weeks, you gave him life! I too have had 2 premature babies (1 born at 33wks and 1 born at 35wks) and 1 baby who was early but didn’t have a NICU stay (born at 36w1d), I know oh so well those feelings. My 2 who were in the NICU are fixing to turn 7 & 6 and it’s taken me that long to realize that it really wasn’t my fault! Hugs there mama!

  • Tuesday, December 15, 2009 at 4:56 pm

    Wow, I was actually about to comment that someone had a body like mine, and I think it looks beautiful, and I’ve never been pregnant. And please go talk with someone. It’s important that you feel good about yourself…your children learn that. I hope your little one is alright as well.

  • Tuesday, February 2, 2010 at 12:59 pm

    Fantastic body!

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