I am a 32 year old mother of three children; ages 3,8,11.
My youngest/last child and I are two days into weaning!
I was 21 when I gave birth to my first child. That pregnancy was crazy on my body. I gained almost 65lbs and struggled afterward with what know was post partum depression. I breastfed him for 13 months and abruptly weaned him since I believed the hype that he was “too old” to nurse much longer. With my second child I gained 55 lbs. and breastfed him till he was 2.5 yrs. old. To stave off another round of ppd, at seven days post partum I restarted on an antidepressant medication ( I was diagnosed with major depression but got off the meds when I discovered I was pregnant) and didn’t get ppd. My last pregnancy was not easy. I was hospitalized since for 3 days I littearly could not stop thowing up and then passed out at my child’s doctor apt due to dehydration. The rest of my pregnancy was like that, constant throwing up when ever I move or eat or didn’t eat enough. Luckily, my then four yr. old is a sympathetic and patient child and my oldest was in school. I gained 40ish lbs. with my last pregnancy, and a line of stitches in my cervix to go with the stiches on my perineum from my first baby. Some hemorrhoids made them selves at home while I was pregnant with my daughter and I think i messed up my urethra, since I leak when I jump or laugh. My daughter is my last. I made sure of that by having a tubal litigation right after she was born.
I think I have always had body issues since high school being chubby or just thicker than others in my group, then restricting my diet to fit a certain look. the funny thing is, in high school I almost starved my self to my current weight of 121. but now I am two to three pant sizes bigger then I wore then. I remember when I was pregnant with my first and at about four months in I tried on my size 4 jeans. I was devastated that they wouldn’t go past my knees! then when my 34c/d breasts ballooned to ??? size where even a 38ddd barley coved my areola and my breasts got interesting white stretch marks on them over the weekend i got engorged right after my child was born. I thought that I could never be seen as pretty again, that i might never be happy again, that it was the worse event of my life! Lol, of course not. My husband was across the country on a military base from 7 months along until two weeks after our 1st baby was born. Then he shipped out to Iraq shortly after. I lost a bunch of weight, became very unhealthy and then saw him once at 8 months pp and finally moved back with him after his deployment when our child was 13 months. I was so skinny everything drooped. my breasts, stomach, and twiggy legs, nursing took my once ample behind and sucked it try to panckakeish proportions. My husband saw me nude and at once asked me what happened to my thickness? I was mortified and hated the way I looked. Over time I gained my weight back to a healthy126 and after my second i lost a lot of weight, but worked out to keep mucule tone. My body has kept it self healthy after my third child.
Over the course of the last 11 yrs I have birthed my 3 children, experienced personal tragedies, near death sickness of my second child due to sepsis, divorce, depression, getting on my own two feet, getting healthy, and seeing my children succeed! My children have done the most amazing transformation to my heart and mindset and shaped my life goals as much as they have changed my body. I have spent a total of almost 7 years breastfeeding, actually nurturing bodies of little humans. It’s incredible! I don’t mind the marks so much. I would love to not have a stomach pouch that hangs over my pants when I sit down or that bunches up all lumpy from a tear in my ab wall but I try to not make a big deal of if for my children, especially my almost four yr old daughter who “wants to get a big belly like mine so she can drive a car.” I was talking with a 38 yr old mom of 2 and Zumba instructor who reminded me that every mother has those marks and flabby skin on their stomachs, even female body builders, maybe they don’t have fat but they do have the hanging skin and marks. I would rather have them and be a mother then rocking my 20 yr old taut stomach and full breasts.