Getting here was a tough road, in more ways than one. Although I am a young mother, my boyfriend and I planned for this baby. We had previously lost two little angels, the first was an early miscarriage while the second loss was discovered at 17 weeks. We were devastated, but it helped us to realize that we were ready to begin this journey together.
Six months after my D&C, we finally conceived our son. For years I had battled with my body, hating it, always trying to improve it, trying to learn to love it. When I got pregnant all of that faded away. I loved my curves, and I often complained about not being big enough to fill out my maternity clothes the “right” way. At 36 weeks I finally developed stretch marks. I had always hoped that I would be one of the “lucky ones” but despite genetics not being on my side, I secretly loved them, too. On May 28th, right on his due date, and after 33 hours of labor, our beautiful bundle appeared and the real journey began.
A friend of mine had her baby about 8 months prior. She was back in her pre-pregnancy clothes, looking great, at three weeks. Being the same age as she, and also breastfeeding, I was sure I would be the lucky one this time around. After having the baby I developed stretch marks on my inner thighs. Thats right, *after* the baby. I no longer loved those little marks. Try as I might, I could not picture them as my battle scars. After a month I still could not even think of fitting into my pre-pregnancy jeans. I was about to return to school, and I frantically bought what I called my “suck in underwear,” horrible afraid that when I walked around campus everyone would see my excess skin start to jiggle.
Along with that, I got post partum [depression?] which took a heavy toll on my relationship with both my son and my boyfriend. I was miserable. I cried every day. Breastfeeding was far more difficult than I had imagined it would be. We developed thrush which remained undiagnosed for three months, and because of the pain, I thought of my nursing relationship more like a punishment. I honestly hated motherhood, hated my relationship, and hated myself. I had wanted this after all the heartache of losing my two daughters, why was I so miserable now?
During the third month, everything changed. I got on medication. I became an avid visitor of this website. I got breastfeeding support. I cannot say I am 100% satisfied with everything about my body (admittingly, I took several pictures for this website, hoping that I could stand or suck in to look better, but I chose to post the first natural pictures that I took) Despite that, I can say that I am truly happy. I am a mother. I LOVE being a mother. I am now nearly 6 months post partem, totally off my medication, and my son is my entire world. It is a shame that it took me this long to stop worrying about every little thing. I am truly saddened that the first two months of my son’s life were wasted while I wallowed in my grief, but I am so thankful that we made it through. I am so much more fulfilled now than I can even express.
One woman commented on another person’s post in this website that this is how we are supposed to look. We aren’t supposed to look like women who haven’t had children. To that woman, I want to say thank you. That single comment changed my entire view. I know that these stretch marks and these curves are a part of me now. For better or worse, they are mine. They ARE my battle scars and battle bumps and battle curves. I still have my days where I am less than thrilled to go walking around in my underwear, but I can say that I am proud to have a mother’s body. I am proud to be a mother.
(The first picture was taken while I was in labor, the next were taken today at 6 months PP)
15 thoughts on “Changing Shape at 21 (Anonymous)”
I know how it is to suffer silently with pp depression. I did for 7 mo until I finally got the courage to tell someone. You look amazing to me tho. I would kill for your breasts. By the way my post is Making My Way Back to Acceptance.
I am so sorry to hear about your two baby girls… I couldn’t even imagine. You must be a very strong girl to work through all that.
Your little baby boy is so precious…I LOVE the picture of you two nursing!! My son is just over five months now, I am still nursing with him, and I absolutly love it. I don’t think I would want it any other way.
Your strech marks aren’t very bad at all, Mine don’t really even bother me anymore.
I am …”Happy with her body.”
Im sorry for ur loss.. I cant even imagine.
I know how postpartum can rob you of time with ur little one, and looking back they grow so fast- I wish I could relive some of that baby time…
looking at ur pics is almost looking in a mirror- we have the exact same body type.. right down to strech mark placement…lol. I think that u look beautiful. Its amazing how we see such beauty in others, and are unable to see it in ourselves…
You’re body looks fabulous!!!! Honestly! I have stretch marks all over my hips and I haven’t even had kids yet. I think you look fantastic.
I haven’t really posted here – but I read it ALL THE TIME. I have been reading it for two years – since my son was born – wishing I could post my own pictures. You are truly GORGEOUS. I wanted to comment on your pictures because I, too, had undiagnosed thrush for awhile and hated breastfeeding. It was like a prison because it hurt so much. The first 6 weeks I cried and cried and tried to be happier…my husband and son were great, but I was a bit of a mess. Then I had to go back to work! It all worked out, though, and I can see that it worked out for you.
You are amazing. Congratulations on being an awesome mommy!
I am a man who has found this website by accident, let me tell you I am impressed by the women here. Let me tell you, all of the women here are beautiful, and you are no exception. There is nothing more attractive than a woman who’s body has created life.
Can I just say that you are stunning. I hope that I can look this good after 6 months. I just had my baby almost 3 weeks ago (11/13/08) and am trying my best to learn to love my new purple-tiger striped body, and sagging belly. And give myself space to breathe to try and get back to where I want without hurting myself or my child in the process by trying to lost the weight too quickly. You’re amazing, and an inspiration.
You look absolutely FABULOUS.
Looking at your body is like looking in the mirror.
I’m two days shy of 10 months PP, and while there are days where I can’t even look at myself, there are also days where I look at myself in wonder. I created a life, and that’s a beautiful thing.
You are beautiful, mama! Mother’s are beautiful!
My wife’s story is very similiar. 4 yrs later we see how it was all part of the foundation that has made here the great mother she is now. Be sure to move on, but never forget. The lessons you learn going through hardship are invaluable. And you look FABULOUS. Get that lucky man to marry you.
The picture of you nursing your son is one of the most beautiful breastfeeding photos I have ever seen. You are beautiful and your child is beautiful and your love for him is beautiful. Be proud!
I don’t have any children, im far too young for that but this site is pretty inspirational.
Im sorry for the loss of your first two girls and im glad you got over your ppd.
You look amazing, I must say.
You have ab definition and all.
you look stunning, your body says “woman” not “girl” I am sure your other half thinks you look more beautiful than ever as you are now the mother of his child. Breasts that have contained milk are always more shapely than those of the plastic tit brigade, hold your head up you are far better than them
Be proud of that beautiful body!
Yours boobs rock and kuddos for NOT giving up on breastfeeding!!!! One more thing your vulva is preety. Mine is an outie and its not as preety looking as our innie