Age of child/how far pp: 3 months
I was 21 when I found out I was pregnant, and though it was not planned we could not have been happier. I had always wanted a baby, and now I was going to be a mother! The pregnancy was very easy and I went on to deliver a healthy baby girl at 37 weeks. Though I never had any medical or health problems during my pregnancy I did have self esteem problems. I always had what I considered the perfect body before pregnancy. I was 5’6″ and 115lbs. I was lean and toned, with curvy hips and perfectly round perky breasts. I had 36 inch hips and a 20 inch waist. I loved being able to throw a bikini on and turn heads with no effort. I never had to work for my body, it just was, and I loved it.
Little by little during my pregnancy the weight added up. 5 lbs this month. 7 the next. Until at 37 weeks I topped out at a weight gain of 53 lbs. Every pound was like a punch in the stomach. I hated it. I was watching my figure vanish under the perfect little person that I loved so dearly. I went 36 weeks without a single stretch mark. That was what kept me hopeful the entire time. I knew that if I could avoid stetch marks, then there was a chance I would someday feel pretty again. Then suddenly, almost overnight, they were there. All over my lower stomach. My sides, my thighs and on the back of my knees. I cried harder than I have ever cried before when I saw those horrible streaks across my skin. I delivered one week later.
I am currently 3 months postpartum and having a very hard time accepting my new body. Everything is different. My bone structure has changed, my hips and rib cage are inches wider, my stomach is flabby and not smooth, my skin is textured and uneven. My breasts, which I now hate, went from a B cup to a DD and now sag. I have cried every time I have taken a shower since the day she was born. I cannot look in the mirror when I am naked. Even though my husband will tell me every day that I am beautiful and perfect, I will not let him touch my stomach because I don’t want him to feel my skin. He used to joke that I was his trophy wife, and he wanted to take me every where he could and show me off. I feel like I ruined those dreams for him. I am no longer the trophy wife he married, but I am the woman with the stretch marks who should never be seen in a bathing suit ever again.
I weigh 125 lbs now, only 10 lbs more than before I got pregnant. I have breast fed my baby since the day she was born, and I believe that helped some, but I can not seem to lose the other 10lbs, and I fear that even if I do I will still never fit my old cloths, I will never have smooth soft skin ever again, and I will never be as little as I was. I fear that even though I love my baby and my husband more than life itself, that I will never be able to love my body. I will never have self confidence. I will never feel beautiful or pretty, and sexy is a word that will never be uttered in my direction. Maybe I sound vain and petty? Maybe I do. But these feelings that I live with every day, they do not feel so petty to me. When society has been screaming at you since you were 5 that you must look this way to be beautiful, and the mirror is screaming at you that you will never even be close, it does not feel petty. It feels like defeat.
Even though I feel this way about my body, I am determined to hide it from my daughter. I want to teach her that she does not have to look like the girls in magazines and on the t.v. That she is perfect just as she is. I know this is going to be hard to do when I can not even tell myself that, but I am determined. Afterall, the only thing that keeps me going is the enormous amount of love that I have for my daughter and my husband. I do not think I would be here today without them. They are my world. They are my angels. I live to see the smiles on their faces, and even though I look at myself and feel like I am all used up, I would not change anything, because doing so would mean that I would not have my little family. My little world.
The first two pictures are from before pregnancy, and then three are of the stretch marks and the extra weight at 3 months pp, and the last one is me at 36 weeks.