I’ve Learned a TON at Twenty-One (Abby)

Most people my age are changing their majors in college, because they decided they don’t really like Art History as much as they thought they would.
They know exactly how many beers they can drink and probably still drive home.
They still are secretly thrilled that Mom can’t tell them what to eat or the “appropriate” way for someone that age to dress.
But not I.
I have been married almost four years, have experienced what “Two under two” really means, and yes – I relish the fact that I would rather sit at home watching Madagascar 2 then go to the club.

I met the man of my dreams when I was 17, married him within five months, and got pregnant in our first year. I was 5’3, and 125 pounds (super muscular too; I was a dancer).


I gained at least SIXTY pounds by the end.


And nobody told me that might happen. I never lost enough to get back to my pre-pregnancy weight. I tried so hard to have the self esteem I once did, but those around me were determined to bring me down. One of my friends felt the need to tell me that “a few crunches would tighten that tummy right up.” Thanks, skinny friend of mine. People close to me thought it was a good idea to enlighten me as to why I “gained so much EXTRA weight.” Apparently, they thought it was just me being a cow while pregnant. Okay, maybe that last part is a teensy bit true.
My amazing and beautiful daughter made me forget about the things that used to matter to me. Like: how I look in a bikini; is that girl staring at me because she is jealous of my awesome boobs; can I buy that in a size small…. These things magically got away from me while I was busy raising my baby. Also, she started walking at 7 months old, so I didn’t have much time to sit and think anyways. Bless her little heart.


I got pregnant again when she was ten months old, and I was 150 pounds. And I decided I was happy with that.


I only gained 30 pounds the second time around.


When my baby boy was born, my tummy seemed to recede much faster. Maybe it was because I was chasing around my 1.5 year old. Who knows.


I felt myself getting happier about my body so much sooner. Everything has fallen into place for me now – I spend my time worrying about toy recalls, wondering if my girl can still fit her fat head into the 12 month shirt, when my boy will decide that boobies are not enough and that he wants some real food, and how my toddler wakes up several times a night but my infant sleeps at least 8 hours straight.
It really helps that my husband is realistic – he knows exactly what a body is going to look like after a baby. And he tells me everyday that I am just as beautiful as I have ever been (except now and then he says I am just a little bit more beautiful…. he is such a wily one). I stare at myself in the mirror all the time and say, “You are one hot momma!”
And not because I am flawless. But because I know what makes me attractive to the people who matter; the fact that I am doing a great job raising my children.

I know my body isn’t perfect now. But it wasn’t perfect when I was skinny either. My life, on the other hand, feels about as close to perfect as it can get. At least until we have our other four children.

Me, four months after baby #2


17 thoughts on “I’ve Learned a TON at Twenty-One (Abby)

  • Wednesday, June 3, 2009 at 9:23 am

    I wish I had as much courage as you to wear a bikini!!!! Hopefully I will one day! And Im tiny with an alright belly! Im jealous you have so much confidence!

  • Wednesday, June 3, 2009 at 9:25 am

    such a smart cookie, you are. Although a bit older than you, I have just the same thoughts. I also feel so sad for the moms that post about how ashamed they are of what they look like now and wish they could have the “old” body back.
    And kudos to your husband who is realistic in his thoughts. You ARE more beautiful now: you’ve given him the most precious gift ever..his babies. It is so helpful to have a partner who builds you up and is on your side, isn’t it?!
    P.S. those babies are gorgeous!

  • Wednesday, June 3, 2009 at 9:59 am

    You look like “Supermom” in the last picture.

    Your story is very refreshing.

  • Wednesday, June 3, 2009 at 10:16 am

    You look amazing! I’m a young mom, too (first one born when I was 21 and one month from finishing college, also with my high school sweetheart), and can definitely relate to the changes you talk about in your post. I really admire your spirit and your body looks wonderful! Congrats!

  • Wednesday, June 3, 2009 at 11:13 am

    You are my twin…both outside and inside. Good for you mamma!! love to you and your beautiful family…keep it up!

  • Wednesday, June 3, 2009 at 11:14 am

    Man, I feel like I couldve wrote this. My daughter is about five months old and at 21 I wouldnt change a thing. Thank you for your sweet post.

  • Wednesday, June 3, 2009 at 11:43 am


    your story made me cry.
    probably because im “pms”ing
    after 10 months or being pregnant.

    but wow.
    you are such a beautiful person.
    i wish i had half as much courage..
    self esteem.. and all the wonderful
    things you have.
    im really jealous.

    i wanted to let you know
    that you look amazing!
    your kids are beautiful.

    i really wish my boyfriend
    was as awesome as your husband
    sounds.. my bf treats me like crap.
    in fact in getting ready to go to
    court right now because i had to get
    a restraining order on him.
    hes more worried about getting doin
    drugs and being with his friends
    than spending time with this baby.

    but im really happy for you.
    your story gives me strength
    to beleive that things will
    get better.. and it opened my
    eyes and made me realise that
    MY SON is the most important
    thing in the world to me.

    you should see my body.

    its under csections
    one unhot mama.

  • Wednesday, June 3, 2009 at 1:26 pm

    You look great, love your pictures! The one of you pregnant and yawning is soo cute!

  • Wednesday, June 3, 2009 at 1:50 pm

    Thank you for all of your comments. They are greatly appreciated. I still struggle sometimes, and I could always improve on my self-esteem more. So thanks for keeping me going!

  • Thursday, June 4, 2009 at 12:42 am

    She really is amazing eh? I love her to death. And our beautiful children make me CRAZY, but I go to sleep happy every night :) Abby you are an amazing mother and I wouldn’t change a thing about you..

    Your loving husband, Josh

  • Thursday, June 4, 2009 at 1:17 am

    you have changed from having the body of a girl, to that of a woman, whilst at the same time having your babies. :) Be proud!

  • Thursday, June 4, 2009 at 1:36 am

    this is one of my favorite posts so far.

  • Thursday, June 4, 2009 at 3:37 am

    Wow! Your last shot is awesome!! You sure bounced back beautifully after 2 bubbas. Congratulations :)

  • Thursday, June 4, 2009 at 9:32 am

    OMG, Josh, sweetest comment EVER. *sniff*

  • Thursday, June 4, 2009 at 5:37 pm

    I wish I could be as happy about my post-baby body as you seem to be. I’ve had two as well. I weigh only 10Lbs more than before having any children, but I’m still disgusted with my body. I would be a million times happier than I am now if only I hadn’t gotten these stretch marks. I would have rather gotten extra weight gain in their place. Well, good for you…you’re even wearing a bikini again! Great story! Thank you!

  • Monday, June 8, 2009 at 5:38 am

    You look amazing — I hope that I can find the strength and courage in all of this as you have. I’m also a young mother (2 at 18 months apart) and I understand where you are coming from on ALL of this.

    Congrats to you — you are goregous.

  • Wednesday, June 24, 2009 at 7:55 am

    my tummy looks EXACTLY like yours :)

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