Don’t be afraid! (Anonymous)

I think this site is great, but to a new or expecting mom is can be VERY scary. I think I was about 7 or 8 months pregnant when I first came across this site and I was scared to death! I think it’s important that you show a varity of women and how they look. We don’t all look the same before pregnancy and we’re sure as hell not all going to the look the same after. We don’t all end up with so many battle wounds,but we’re mothers and women just the same. I was really thin before I had my daughter. 5’4″ and 107 pounds at the most. I gained 40 pounds while I was pregnant. My daughter is now 9 months old and I’m only a few pounds above my pre-pregnancy weight. The weight has shifted differently though. I’m curvier. I don’t really have any strecthmarks or saggy skin, but my boobs are a bit deflated. My pics are from before pregnancy, at the peck or pregnancy and about 8 months after the birth of my daughter.

21 thoughts on “Don’t be afraid! (Anonymous)

  • Monday, April 2, 2007 at 1:33 pm

    You look great. I think, though, that a few of your comments were poorly said. It is encouraging for women to see the wonderful variety of mothers’ bodies. To say that you came to the site and were “scared to death” that you might end up looking like one of the courageous, loving mothers who posted here is a little DIScouraging rather than ENcouraging. What was to be feared or disgusted about any of them? If a woman returns to her pre-baby state unmarked, that is wonderful! If a woman is marked and changed by her pregnancy, however, is it any less amazing? I would hate to think that anyone will ever look at me and be “scared to death” to resemble me. I think I am beautiful, stretch marks and all.

  • Monday, April 2, 2007 at 2:19 pm

    That was a really cool way of showing how much you’ve changed. I also did not have many battle wounds, and all of the pounds of my overweight body didn’t come from pregnancies, but my own doing. I recovered from my 2 pregnancies very well. It was a few years afterward that I packed on the weight. Congratulations on your baby :)

  • Monday, April 2, 2007 at 2:42 pm

    You are actually more skinny after having the baby than you were before. you look great. And your belly was so cute :)

  • Monday, April 2, 2007 at 2:43 pm

    I was wondering.. Did you do any type of exercising to get your stomach back down?

  • Monday, April 2, 2007 at 3:38 pm

    You know, the real problem with this is that I see women that look like you all the time. I see them on TV, I see them in movies, and I see them in magazines. I NEVER see women that look like me. I didn’t even know that your stomach COULD look like this after you had a baby. I think that this website is important because it shows women who DON’T look like that. I will never look like that again, and I thought I was alone. That is why this website is important, and I don’t think you have to have the perfect looking afters, we see them every single day everywhere else.

  • Monday, April 2, 2007 at 6:16 pm

    I think it’s perfectly natural for many women to be afraid their bodies will change. My hope for this website is that it will change the idea of what a woman’s body should look like, and for many women who come here, it HAS done that. However, for society in general, it’s still very far underground.

    I think that every mother here is beautiful and I agree that there is absolutely nothing about them to be feared, but the idea of CHANGE is a scary one. The idea that a mother’s body isn’t what’s considered pretty by society is a scary one. I think it’s OK she was honest about her feelings. After all – feelings are not good or bad; they just are. And they must be acknowledged or the fears become worse. And THAT is the point of this website – to bring to light the reality of motherhood. There are many things we mothers are unprepared for (pooping during labor – hello?!) why should this be one of them?

    I love the diversity of bodies on this website: stretched-out, bounced-back, marked and non. We really are all so different and that, in and of itself, is beautiful.


  • Monday, April 2, 2007 at 6:40 pm

    You look great after having your baby. But all women should feel like they look great…that is what this website is about. We should not feel the need to go to EXTREMES to get back in that prebaby body. It is not worth the health issues it causes to stress ourselves out to look like you happen to after your child. Not all women are willing to do that.

  • Monday, April 2, 2007 at 7:54 pm

    Thank you for this post. I’ve often wanted to share my story but have held back because I’m one of the “lucky few” who “bounced back”. There’s almost a kind of opposite shame, a sense that somehow if our bodies aren’t ravaged by stretchmarks and saggy skin then somehow we’re less of a mother.

    I know, obviously, this isn’t true but the feelings are still there.

    A little over a year post partum and I’m back down to my size 1. I try to eat right and get enough exercise. I’m still nursing and so pay attention to getting enough healthy calories for both me and my child.

    I’m proud of my body. It has nurtured a life and, god willing, it will nurture more. No matter how I look at the end, it’s my body and I have to care for it as best as possible.

  • Tuesday, April 3, 2007 at 12:33 am

    DISCLAIMER: I am not a mother (yet). I am also a size 3 (and always have been). So feel free to ignore everything I have to say.

    However, I am in what you might call pre-mother mode. I am definitely planning for the future and this site helps with the culture shock, if you will. All of it- not only the body changes, but the pooping during labor, the not being able to keep your pee in, the emotional changes, having a child who will poop and puke on you and depend on you for her life. Motherhood is terrifying because of my emotional immaturity but overall, I think it’s beautiful, and sites like this help me “grow up” and embrace the changes I am going to put myself through soon.

    My motivation here is that I look a lot like the young lady above. And you know what? I want to maintain that as much as possible. Just like so many posters are clearly looking for needed support and comfort in their newfound feelings, marks or softness, I ALSO want to know that it IS possible to at least resemble the old me- no matter your frame, I think all of the women here, from 95 to 250 pounds, have that in common.

    I am a small person. It’s my natural frame, and it’s part of my identity, because my healthy (!), petite body helps me do the active things in the outdoors that I get a lot of joy from. I want to be able to enjoy hiking or climbing with my kids as much as I have been enjoying it as a non-mom.

    So the original poster encourages me. I have a feeling she’s always looked like this, is a genetically gifted girl and might supplement that with healthy living choices. That’s cool. I know where she’s coming from then. So I am glad to see that that has remained basically intact.

    This site claims to celebrate women of all body types, and I appreciate Bonnie’s sentiment. I do believe she is sincere in it. But judging from a couple of the above posts, I just don’t believe that the culture around here is truly welcoming to petite women. But sadly, I am not surprised. Women of all sizes and stations have been judgmental and flat-out rude to me since I was a teenager, simply because I wear a size 3. I don’t expect sympathy, but I’d like to put that out there anyway.

    People like Lynn won’t actively participate because some women on this site, like in the real world, are subtly to outright hostile toward thin women. It’s not welcoming, it puts me on the defensive, and ironically, creates a distorted view of “mommy culture.” That’s just sad. Makes me want to not even lurk anymore, and when I do have my baby, not participate here if somebody is going to imply that I have an eating disorder or that she’s sick of people like me if I happen to maintain the small frame I was born with.

    I hope this gets posted. If nothing else, the pretty young mother above should know that other people identify with her and appreciate her story. And isn’t that the point of this site? For everybody?

  • Tuesday, April 3, 2007 at 9:00 am

    Let me attempt to clarify, you seem to be saying that I was mean, which certainly not my intent. When I got pregnant, I was 5’1″, and a size 4. I know what you mean about the fear that you’ll never look the same. But my point was just that we see women who look like she does. We see Angelina Jolie, Kate Hudson, Gwen Stefani, and Heidi Klum. I know that it is possible to look completely fabulous after a baby. They have proved that. I, personally, had NEVER seen stretch marks on someone’s stomach. My mother is a size 2, and has been for a very long time, with no stretch marks anywhere. I’m not saying women who look perfect shouldn’t post, merely that even if you start out perfect, and eat healthy, and do everything you should, you may not end up looking like the original poster. I don’t. And I wish I had known about this site before, that I could have known that the way I look now was even one of the possible outcomes. Maybe then, I wouldn’t hate the way I do look so much.

  • Tuesday, April 3, 2007 at 9:46 am

    I responded above, as anonymous. I would just like to clarify here that I think this post is a perfectly wonderful addition to this site and that I agree that all mothers – thin, thick, smooth, wrinkled, whatever – should be included. In fact, although I have stretch marks on my tummy, I have also returned to my prebaby shape and fitness and have posted my own entry a while back. What I objected to in the post was the comments that stated that other women who have posted here are scary. It implies, to me, that the marks of motherhood are monstrous somehow, something to be feared. I respectfully disagree with Bonnie that our feelings are neither good or bad. I think there are times when our feelings can be hurtful to others and that we should be sensitive to that when deciding how to express them. The title of the post – “Don’t be afraid” – does not seem sensitive to me. “Don’t be afraid…you might not end up like these other scarred and damaged women; you might be lucky and look like me.” That’s the sentiment I came away with from those comments and that is the only aspect of the post I objected to. She is beautiful and, as she said, a mother and a woman just as the rest of us are. I just think some of her comments about fear misfired a bit.

  • Tuesday, April 3, 2007 at 1:09 pm

    You look absolutely fabulous. I do not want stretchmarks, saggy boobs and fat around my stomach. That is not attractive TO ME. That’s my opinon and people shouldn’t be trying to shove their own personal tastes and opinons down other’s throat. Now I do not look like the above poster, but I only wish I did. That’s why I excercise and try to eat healthy, so that I maintain and nice looking figure (if only for myself or my husband, I could care less what others think).

    I think people have no choice but to ’embrace’ the changes in their bodies because realistically most of them can’t change them.

    I think more women who bounced back should be represented here to give some of us hope that we don’t have to go through too many changes in becoming a mother. Nothing wrong those that do have them, but for alot of us…we would rather have a scar & fat free body.

    Millions of women can’t be wrong. :)

    My two cents.

  • Tuesday, April 3, 2007 at 2:21 pm

    I’m about to close comments to this post, by the way. It’s becoming a debate and while I, personally, LOVE a good debate I don’t want any mother who posts pictures here feeling her pictures are debatable. :)

    Anonymous – I actually don’t disagree with you. Perhaps some more tact would have made this entry a little easier to swallow? I maintain that feelings are neither good or bad – HOWEVER, I absolutely agree that what we do with those feelings can make or break a situation. I do think it’s a valid feeling and I know that lots of women feel afraid of what their bodies will look like after pregnancy, so for that reason, I’m glad she was frank with us. Maybe wording it a little differently would have been less upsetting to those of us who didn’t, quite, bounce back.

  • Tuesday, April 3, 2007 at 2:51 pm

    hey A* thanks for posting this. i think it is good that people see some women can bounce back after pregnancy. it took me awhile to get back to pre preggo state but my body is different, nonetheless. stuff shifted during landing, so to speak. i don’t have a problem seeing skinny moms on here. i think it’s great because i can relate to them so thanks!

  • Tuesday, May 8, 2007 at 7:17 am

    The main comment I have for you are, THANK YOU! I’m currently 14 wks into my first pregnancey @ 23 years old. Although I understand other people’s points that not everyone can look the way they did before entering motherhood, for someone who has taken great pride in their body, it’s scary. All of the women in my family have basically left the hospital looking like they did before their miracles were conceived. I thank you again for giving me a sense of hope for my everchanging body.

  • Sunday, June 3, 2007 at 5:58 am

    I know its terrible to say but I’m vain. I know I cant help it. I’ve never been over 120 lbs in my life and I’m scared after I have the baby what will my husband think of my new body or at 22 i’ll never wear a bikini again. He just tells me I’m being stupid but gaining pound after pound its hard not to think about it. I never thought about how pregnancy changes your body until I was pregnant. Everyone is changed in different ways after they have a baby and thanks for you posting showing us that some women do bounce back. I hope that whatever my body looks like after the baby i’ll have the confidence that all the women on here have.

  • Friday, June 29, 2007 at 5:52 pm

    I just want to thank you for putting up this picture and for the words you said. This is my first time looking at this website and it was really scaring me until I came across your picture!! I think this website should show different bodies and not that all women get really bad marks and scars and stuff like that!! Thanks!!

  • Wednesday, July 11, 2007 at 9:31 am

    I think it’s cool that you were able to be truthful about how looking at some of the women’s bodies on here made you feel at first. It IS scary for someone who is used to being small, or even someone who isn’t, to think about how having a baby may change their body. What is important, though, is that we just try to be as healthy as we can be and accept the changes for what they are. Although I am quite tall, I am very thin and currently 5 months pregnant. Like you, I worry about what pregnancy might do to my body. But as you said, I think it is helpful to see a variety of different sizes, shapes, stretchmarks, and lack thereof on this site. To avoid the hypocrisy of judging someone because of how their body looks, people should watch the negative comments toward someone just because they are thin, unstretchmarked, and honest about their feelings.

  • Friday, August 31, 2007 at 5:52 pm

    Thanks for your photos. I was a Mom that “bounced” back too and hope to again with this pregnancy. Motherhood is a beautiful thing and I know that the scars that come with it are sometimes impossible to avoid, but I dont want them. No one wants to have sagging, stretched skin. We all want to feel beautiful and like our old selves. I too thought this website was somewhat “scary” and my heart broke for some of the women on here. They really sacrificed for their babies and their partners.

  • Friday, November 2, 2007 at 3:33 pm

    first of all congrats on your baby girl and on your body! let me just say that any disrespectful coments made on ur pics were just out of JELOUSY!!!!!!!! so take it as a compliment! i look and feal pretty good after having my baby and girl so should u!!!!

  • Thursday, October 28, 2010 at 8:00 pm

    Thanks so much for this! i am 18 and 24 weeks along with my first baby and this site is both a blessing and a burden to me. its wonderful to see how proud mothers can be other their bodies and its helping me remember that the most important thing is the life i am creating.. still, its nice to be reminded my entire body may not be lost!

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