Hard to Feel Good (Chelsea)

Hey there, I’m a 22 year old first time mother of a 7 month old beautiful little girl. While pregnant with my daughter I gained 80Lbs making my weight a whopping 220. At my age I feel like being a mom has certain expectations, one of them being that you shoudn’t look like you just gave birth. In our society it’s almost frowned upon to look like a “mom” and have pregnancy battle scars.

I have countless peers with children that don’t have one stretch mark, have no extra loose skin, and still wear two piece bathing suits. I have friends that are pregnant that would hyperventalate if their pregnancy left any physical scars on their body. That’s hard for me to see when I have gotten stretch marks on literally every part of my body including my belly, breasts, thighs, calves, upper arms, and butt, not to mention my permantent double chin.

When I first gave birth everyone reassured me that the scars would shrink and get lighter, I just needed to give it a few months, yet they seem to have gotten worse. Meanwhile I still need to lose 40Lbs to return to my prepregnancy weight.

It’s now summer and all I want to do is take my daughter swimming but I’m embarassed to go out in a bathing suit looking and feeling the way I do. I realise that there are a lot of moms that feel the same way I do, but where are they? When I’m out at the beach, or a store, all I see are these skinny, flat stomached young moms.It makes me feel like I should look a certain way being a young mother and that’s the hardest part of it all.

I feel like if there weren’t such harsh physical expectations on women then I would feel differently about my body, but when I’m drowned by images of tall, dark, slender, skinny women after birthing a child, I just feel defeated.

This website makes me feel better, actually being able to see that I’m not the only one whose body has been so affected by pregnancy. For the past 7 months I’ve been so hard on myself and the way I look so it’s nice to feel like it’s normal. Thank You.

13 thoughts on “Hard to Feel Good (Chelsea)

  • Monday, August 8, 2011 at 8:42 am

    Chelsea, I’m a 22 year old mother of a 6 month old girl and I know what you’re going through. My family often has pool parties and I want to join the fun so bad, but I’m ashamed of my post-pregnancy body (loose belly skin, stretch marks and deflated breasts). I just want to let you know that you’re not alone. You look great and it’s a shame that society puts ridiculously high standards on women.

  • Monday, August 8, 2011 at 9:27 am

    i know how you feel – i posted blessed and tortured
    — it took me 3 years to find this website and 4 to finally feel good again, enough to wear a bikini! good luck on your journey!

  • Monday, August 8, 2011 at 10:45 am

    just wear a shirt over your bathing suit, i see skinny girls who do this too and they wear shorts!!! who cares, have fun before its too late!

  • Monday, August 8, 2011 at 11:01 am

    There’s nothing wrong with your body. All the images the media feeds us are not real images, but are produced by computers. The models/celebs may be the beginning subjects, but after editing, airbrushing, and photoshopping the images that we see are not reality.

    Take a look at this link: https://homepage.mac.com/gapodaca/digital/bikini/bikini1.html

    When I look at a Victoria’s Secret ad or see a Cosmopolitan magazine cover it will sometimes piss me off and make me think, “why couldn’t I have been blessed with large breasts, flawless skin and hair, and a perfect body?” but in reality those models may have good genes, but they aren’t anymore blessed than we are. If your pictures were to go through the same editing as theirs, you’d look just as fabulous as they do. Don’t let the media get you down! :). Everyone is different and that”s what makes us all beautiful.

  • Monday, August 8, 2011 at 8:37 pm

    I always felt like I was the only one who looked and felt the way I did. It wasn’t until I found this wedsite that I learned differently, thus opening doors to talking to women I know about the bodies we possess after pregnancy and realized just how uncomfortable so many of us were with our bodies. It was then that I learnt about their stretch marks and “mommy tummy”.
    Please allow yourself time, as much as it takes too. After having children we have to relearn our bodies and learn to accept them.
    You are not alone. I am just turning 24 in one week and have 2 babies, my first when I was 18 and my second when I was 21. Search my posts, there are plenty, and there are pictures of my body. Search “Bryana”
    Stay strong!

  • Tuesday, August 9, 2011 at 12:21 pm

    You have a beautiful shape and a flat tummy. Don’t hesitate to wear a swimsuit! Your daughter’s memories will be of her mommy smiling at her and taking her wonderful places, not of her mommy’s stretch marks. :)

  • Tuesday, August 9, 2011 at 12:39 pm

    im 24 just had #3 first at 19 second at 21 and have the same problem.. stretchies everywhere and 30lbs overweight.. ive said this b4 on other posts, i finally “like my body but im still trying to “love” it again.. its giving life to 3 kids and fed three kids its a piece of art!! just like your body!!

  • Wednesday, August 10, 2011 at 1:39 pm

    Chelsea, i just turned 22 today, Im 26 weeks pregnant with my second child. i have a Soon to be 4 yr old son. when i was pregnant at 17 i was “skinny” only weighing 112 lbs.. after having my son i was 184 lbs… holy crap did i ever get huge!!! i got nasty nasty strech marks and this what i like to call my “budda belly”. lol ive lost alot of weight since having him but i cant seem to get back to pre-pregnancy size. and i dont think i ever will… now that im pregnant again… i have a sister in law who is the same height and build as me and shes also 26 weeks prego.. but let me tell you she has such a cute TIGHT little pregnant belly and me on the other hand do not.. my “budda belly” hangs over my pants even pregnant. and like you i have countless peers that hav kids and not a mark or pound to prove it. and at only 22 i feeeeel sooooo icky about my body. but theres really nothing i can do expect hope that people understand and dont care what my body looks like.

  • Friday, August 12, 2011 at 4:31 pm

    I am also a 22 year old first time mother of a 6th month old boy and I understand exactly how you feel! You are not alone. Our bodies are practically identical. I gained 60 pounds during my pregnancy and I also gained stretch marks over almost every part of my body.

    I have a lot of friends and girls in my small town that didn’t get a single stretch mark and went back to their normal size within a month! I always feel so defeated when I look at my body because I’m constantly comparing myself to them.

    I live right along the river and still have yet to take my son out to the water because I’m so embarrassed to let other people see my body. I keep telling myself that next year will be better! Maybe my stretch marks will fade to white lines and I can work out enough to actually see muscle instead of my saggy stomach? Because it sucks to have to hide my body in jeans every day in 90 degree weather because I have stretch marks all the way down to my calves.

    I keep telling myself just to suck it up and not care what others think. But that’s hard. It’s way easier said than done! But what I’ve come to realize is that most people could care less what our bodies look like!

    We judge ourselves harder than anyone will ever judge us!

    So just take it one day at a time, and know that you aren’t alone!

  • Tuesday, August 16, 2011 at 7:38 pm

    I’m a 22 year old mother of 3. I’m about the same weight but have gained and lost up and down through my 3 pregnancies and am bow about 80 pounds heavier then where started. I hate my body and to top it can’t seem to lose weight because I love to eat. I understand how you feel and have yet to get any of ny children swim lessons because I don’t want to have to get in the water with them. I also still wear maternity pants because my legs are thin and my belly large and oversized. Nothing fits right.

  • Wednesday, September 7, 2011 at 6:51 pm

    As I was scrolling through this, this was the first story that related to me and picture too! I am a 24yr old mother of 3 I had my first at 17, 2nd at 19, and now I just had my 3rd 2 months ago. I thought that this being my third and being older I could mentally prepare myself for the way I would feel after but nothing has helped. It took me four years to get back to the shape I wanted, and I still had stretch marks since 17.I have always felt so embarrassed, I was on the swim team and I have not stepped into a pool since my first, like you all of my friends seem to be perfect and skinny without a mark, ug I was and am jealous! I feel so pressured to look skinny because I live in a small town and there is always that look from others of them eyeing you to see if you are “fat” or thin and what the latest gossip could be. I have always felt like a loner being a young mom and having this body but after visiting this site and reading yours I know I am not alone! Just know that it really does get better in time, its hard to think years but I was huge after my first but in 3 to 4 years I was back into a size 2 looking great, now I am back up the scale and not at all motivated to start it over again! :)

  • Friday, September 30, 2011 at 10:15 am

    Hi! I am a 25 year old mom with a 3 month old baby, who gained 80 pounds as well during my pregnancy and boy did my body suffer. I used to surf ALOT and now I have stretch marks in every area of my body! I now am scared to do the thing I love the most all because I do not want to wear a bikini or even a one piece! I know what you are going through hun, I am on the same boat!!!

  • Monday, December 19, 2011 at 2:00 am

    You make me feel like I can get to my goal weight and look as lovely as you do in your pictures. :] <3

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