1 pregnancy, 1 birth. 5 months postpartum.
I finally am ready to share my story and photos. I have been reading other women’s stories on Shape of a Mother since I was 6 months pregnant or so. They really helped to change my views of my own and other women’s bodies. I now believe that every woman is beautiful. Being a mother is especially beautiful, to me.
I met Michael in July of 2008 and even with our 16-year age difference (I’m 23 now), we fell in love and decided to have a baby. I discovered I was pregnant in November 2008. My pregnancy was healthy, though I was very morning sick for a few months and I also gained about 90 pounds . I was very skinny when I met Michael and by the time I got pregnant I had gained about 20 pounds and was at a perfect weight (160 lbs- I am 5’10”).
Pregnancy brought out a lot of emotional issues, some I didn’t even realize I had. I learned a lot about myself, but unfortunately I had some pretty extreme arguments and fights with my close friends and my mother. Michael and I also began arguing a lot. Luckily my friends and mom eventually understood and forgave me, but over time the fighting really started to disturb Michael, who was (and is, I believe) struggling with his own inner problems of depression and anxiety. I kept promising him that it would get better once I had the baby.
Sophia was born in August 2009, at which time Michael and I were getting ready to buy a home for our family (we had talked about marriage but at that point we definitely felt we should take it one step at a time). My water broke one evening after I woke up from a nap, and 8 hours later, my daughter was born. I had an epidural at 9 cm (we didn’t know how far I was until after I got it!), and there were no complications. It was the best and scariest day of my life. I now know what it is like to fall in love with someone you KNOW you will always love! Giving birth really does help you to learn how to work with your body, and if I ever have another one, I would like to try and skip the epidural all together.
So, Michael took 7 weeks of his paid vacation time to be with me and the baby. It was great, but tiring and stressful. We still continued to argue over the tiniest things. I had to learn to let him do things his way with the baby (leave the room if you have to, I figured out! Haha). In October, Michael dropped a bomb on me: He wanted me to move out, and he was canceling the house deal.
I was shocked, hurt, angry, and in denial. I talked to friends and family (whom I love dearly but are not the type of friends or family that I could just go and stay with…) and I decided to stand my ground and say, “I’m not moving out yet. I’m only 8 weeks postpartum!” Sophia and I moved into her nursery and we continued our breastfeeding relationship. Things began to get extremely tense with Michael. One day we discussed how things would be as far as him seeing our daughter when we moved out. We ended up arguing because he thought he should have her some nights out of the week since he had been getting up with her for one night-time feeding (she had, and still has, 3 per night). I disagreed, because I knew it would compromise our breastfeeding arrangement, and I was not prepared to let her sleep somewhere without me at such a young age.
Eventually Michael filed for a PFA (Protection from Abuse) with the court due to “verbal abuse.” The PFA also included an eviction which is what he was after. He just wanted me out, immediately. I had been resisting moving out because I had not worked since I was 5 months pregnant and he had been supporting me. He was my only source of income. I was also really nervous to live alone again, and even more nervous to live alone with Sophia. After a lot of anxiety, crying, feeling sorry for myself, and praying, I agreed to move out if he paid for the move and if he agreed to pay monthly child support. I am a part time student and when I start school again this semester I will also have student loans to live off of. So financially I WILL be taken care of, I just need to learn to budget.
So now Sophia and I live one block away from her father (that’s right, I moved into an apartment building one block away). He has her 3 hours a day. It’s not a lot of time but it’s better than none! He will also be watching her when I take my classes at school. Though as of yet, we are not friends (tried that and it didn’t really work….he doesn’t want me to come into his apartment because he needs his space, and although it seems extreme, I can understand it, sort of.) I am hoping that one day we will be able to get along as friends do. We do still communicate about our daughter and we both love her very much. She’s healthy, and happy, and adorable! I have a therapy session once a week and am learning ways to cope as a single mother. I am sloooowly losing the weight and though I haven’t been exercising much since I moved out, I plan to start again. I am still breastfeeding as well. I really love it and Sophia really loves it, so I want to do it as long as I can!
Sharing my story with all of you is part of my healing process. I could keep analyzing the “whys” of the situation, and keep thinking of all the things I did wrong and could have changed, but that is not what I am supposed to do. I am supposed to be a good mother to Sophia, and that is what I plan to be. Although things did not turn out the way I had hoped, imagined, planned for, and wanted so desperately, they turned out the way they were supposed to, and the best part is- it’s not over- I have a whole life to keep living with my daughter, and I am in charge of my destiny!
Thank you for reading this.
PS. I could have easily gotten Postpartum Depression (and still could!), but I have been on the lookout for it. I have added fish oil capsules to my supplement routine and they have really helped my mental and physical health!
#1: About 4 weeks pregnant.
#2: 20 days before giving birth (1 week late!)
#3. 5 months PP.
19 thoughts on “Healing Takes Time But I’m On My Way (F)”
You are absolutely gorgeous and any man would be lucky to be a part of you and your baby’s life. Your body is spectacular and your breasts are fabulous! Keep your chin up! :)
thanks for sharing ur story. u r a strong woman and will make it through it all. good luck
Thanks for sharing your story. You are very strong and I commend you and just know that everything happens for a reason. You are courageous and no doubt you will be a good mom to Sophia. I encourage you to get back to working out even in 20-30 min increments 3-4 days out of the week. It will do wonders for your confidence and expedite your healing process inside and out. Please keep us posted. I would love to help out if I can, in any way. Thanks again.
You are beautiful and resilient! Sophia has a wonderful mommy to look up to!
I totally agree with John. You look awesome!
Thanks for sharing your story. You’ve been through so much! I can’t imagine going through so much in such a short amount of time. That just tells you HOW STRONG you are! I’m also a full time student and I know what it is to live off loans. You can do it! Keep your eye on the prize. You’re providing a better life for your child!
Wow– What a story. I can’t believe you are only 5 months post-partum and have had to deal with so much. You must be incredibly strong. It seems like you are much more mature than your ex-partner, despite the age difference. You’re beautiful, but much more important than that, you seem to have such a strong spirit. Good luck to you and your baby.
By the way, does anyone else feel uncomfortable with men commenting on this site? I feel less comfortable with the idea of sharing photos recently.
Ok, can I just say how amazing you are?? Incredibly strong and a good mother. I want to share one concern I had reading this – I believe if your daughter is spending time at Michael’s place regularly, you have every right to go in there, even if just for a second to drop her off and pick her up. You need to know what environment your daughter spends time in every day. His story about needing space seems a little shaky to me… I kind of get the feeling there’s something he doesn’t want you to see. Just something to think about :)
I agree with the other posters, you look beautiful and what a strong woman you are!
Taiyo: actually, I LIKE that men comment and look at this site..they are very supportive and I haven’t seen any comments that appear to be inappropriate at all. Sure, they don’t know exactly what we go through BUT don’t you think it’s important for them to be exposed to REAL women bodies too? I find it refreshing.
thanks for speaking up about that. I have never had a problem with men on the site in the past, but I do have a problem with it when it appears they are soliciting contact from posters. And the site feels a bit less comfortable to me in the last few days as well. Seems to me as though something just changed…
to the poster, I’m sorry to have just commented on your post without acknowledging you! You really do look very lovely. I’m sorry your start to motherhood has been less than peaceful, but it sounds to me like you are doing everything you can to try and reach a peaceful place. I wish you luck.
You look great! Screw Michael…he sucks! Taiyo:I am fine with guys on here…they have wives who have gone through this too, plus, let’s be real…guys tell it how it is!
Thank you everyone! What nice comments. Taiyo, yeah…it’s a little strange..never noticed that before…I kind of wish I maybe didn’t do the breast photo now…It was meant for other women. Amanda: yes, I do think it’s a little odd. I do trust him to keep a good environment for her, I think he really just did need his space- she is only over there 3 hours a day and he hardly even puts her down. Haha. But I’m sure that as time goes on he will lift this “ban” of his…I think it might have just been his way of asserting some control over his space. He felt that I had taken over when we lived together. I’m giving it time, and keeping an eye and my mama’s instinct on Sophie’s health and safety. Thank you for your concern! : ) I appreciate it. And Thank you for all the comments- love them! PS. I have lost about 10 lbs since I took the pics- thanks to going back on a gluten free diet and not buying any sugary treats!
i have seen you pregnant, i have seen you a new mom, i have seen you as half of a happy couple, and today i am seeing you as this incredibly strong, mature and positive, with courage to take on the world, in search of a good life for your daughter. i keep you in my prayers always!
You are so strong! Sophia is one lucky baby to have you as her Mama. I am so proud of you!
Taiyo: I agree with you. I very much wanted to share my story/photos, but was too put off by comments and somewhat sexual themed comments from men. This is a site for women healing and sharing, not a place for odd men to inquire about the size/color of a woman’s nipples before vs. after birth.
I’m a man and I think It’s all right to comment on this website, but guys, we need to show the utmost respect for these women becouse they go through a lot of hard changes that we will never know or understand during their time of carrying a living human being in their body. F is a very strong and courageous woman and has gone through a lot, but she is also fair and honest, becouse she will be the first one to tell you during her pregnancy she was hard to get along with as are a lot of pregnant woman,I mean Duh!- you try carrying a moving object in your body, trying for 9 months to get comfortable inside you, and then be expeted to be gentille, kind, friendly and entertain guests weekly- I’m sure you get the point. As far as Michael goes, F loves him and says he’s a great daddy. I think he is a good man and a good father and will do what’s best for all. I love all three of them and back whatever they do…F’s dad