When I got pg with my first baby I weighed 108 pounds and was a former long distance runner. I was proud of my body. I gained an unbelieveable 65 pounds. After I started pumping milk for my baby (she never learned to latch right) I went from an A to a D cup. In the next nine months after her birth I lost all but 4 of those pounds, and all of the breast tissue, and they looked like deflated balloons for awhile. But my skin was still young, I had some major tummy stretch marks but I still had a flat tummy, and that’s all that matters under clothes, right?

Enter the 30’s and baby number two. I only gained about 45 with her, but I was on bedrest and not active at all. Those abs that separated with first baby separated even more with the second. My skin is not as young. More stretch marks. Okay so I did get some hips with baby #2, at least a wee bit of a hint of hips. And a butt. Never had that before. Now at 2.5 years beyond the birth of baby #2 I am only 12 pounds heavier now than I was before I had any kids at all. But my body is oh so different. My arms are fatter, my butt is bigger, and my hips have expanded. I cannot even begin to fit into the same size 6 shorts. I look back at old photos of myself and wonder who that was, and if she appreciated her thin-ness as much as I appreciate the priveledge of becoming a mother.

I am not ashamed of my body. I am, on most days, secure with it now. If I can find clothes that flatter me, I’m happy. I have stretch marks. I have flabby skin. If I lose another 12 pounds and become thin as a stick again, I will still have flabby skin. Some of us get the great skin and some don’t. Oh well.

Quite frankly, I’m damned proud of those stretch marks. I earned them. I think they are, in their own way, beautiful. When I’m 80 years old I will still be able to trace my finger on my tummy and know exactly where my babies curled up within me. Time will never take that privilege away from me.

Here are some photos:

This is my tummy at 4 and 5 week pregnant with baby #2. Looking pretty good huh?

Front view 6 weeks pregnant with #2, old stretch marks from #1

Front view at 25 weeks pg with #2,old stretch marks coming in handy! I didn’t get new ones until last month with #2.

Top view at 30 weeks with #2, separated abs and baby pushing against my belly

Current photos of my belly, 2 years after giving birth to baby#2.

6 thoughts on “Darshani

  • Monday, July 17, 2006 at 6:27 pm

    You have a beautiful belly!Be proud! :) I am just in love with this website and am so proud to have been able to read it, post about it (on my blog) and be part of the wonderful “sisterhood” of mothers with bodies that are no longer “perfect” but beautiful in there very own way!I know that neither of my kids care what my stomach looks like! :) I am trying not to care either!(((HUGS))) and thank you for creating this website!

  • Monday, July 17, 2006 at 6:54 pm

    This was the most eloquently written entry. I love the part about time not taking the memory of your babies curling up within you away. Awesomely put. And SO true. I wish we could all remember to look at our bodies that way…

  • Monday, July 17, 2006 at 7:32 pm

    Oh my goodness. Thank you SO much for sharing this incredibly personal blog and those pictures. I have two children, and I too gained a lot of weight with my second child. I had my first at 19, and the second at 30, and although I bounced right back from the first one (despite some amazing stretch marks), with the second one, I have never been able to shed the pounds. Most days I HATE my body. Today, I was incredibly moved by your blog… and I will try to look at my body differently.-k

  • Monday, July 17, 2006 at 8:28 pm

    I love your comment about your stretch marks, that’s exactly how I feel about mine. Your comment made me cry! :-)

  • Tuesday, July 18, 2006 at 12:42 pm

    Just wondering if you’re the same Darshani from the BBC birth club boards … Feb 2003?I’m still coming to terms with my stretch marks and scars that cover my stomach. I had a better grasp of them after baby #1 … but baby #2 was a whole new experience (with a csection scar going from my belly button on down) and #3 just left even more of a pooch.

  • Wednesday, July 19, 2006 at 9:23 pm

    Your statement about tracing your stretchmarks touched me deeply and brought tears to my eyes. What a wonderful way to look at it! Thank you so much for sharing that!

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