Long Hard Road (Anonymous)

I’ve never been perfect. I know this. But for most of my life I’ve been satisfied with my body. As a teenager I had a wonderful body in my opinion. No, I never fit into those size 0 jeans, but I was curvy, had a pretty flat stomach, and all of this was done with no effort. I could pig out all day for weeks on end and end up losing 5lbs. I adored my 36-26-36 hourglass figure.

I got pregnant with my son when I was 18. I absolutely loved it, but my body didn’t. My sedentary lifestyle wasn’t cutting it anymore and I gained a total of 60lbs before all was said and done. I managed to make it until my 8th month before the stretchmarks started coming, but when they did they came on full force. Suddenly I was covered all across my stomach, my hips, my butt, my thighs, and even on the back of my knees and calves. It was horrendous! After having my son I felt anything BUT sexy. And it didn’t help that I had him by c-section, so my confidence in my body was already shot down because I didn’t even feel like a woman anymore.

I lost a little of the weight but the stretchmarks remained behind as reminders of the wonderful little boy I carried for 9 months. Over time I gained more confidence and soon the stretchmarks faded from red to silver. But my body was still foreign to me and I’ve never felt quite comfortable in my own skin since…

Then almost 2 years later we decide to have another child. I kept my weight gain at a good 38lbs, only got a few more stretchmarks, and for the most part was happy that my body wasn’t falling apart again on me. I had a wonderful successful natural VBAC and regained the confidence in my body and how it worked. I wasn’t broken anymore.

But even that lift in spirits over the mechanics of my body still can’t override my dissatisfaction in the way I look. I keep telling myself that I’ve just given birth 2 months ago. That my body is a result of the beautiful children I’ve brought into this world. That I am beautiful. But every time I look in the mirror I see differently. I see the sagging breasts that have nourished my kids. I see the stretched out, saggy, loose, scarred stomach. I’m no longer that 36-26-36 I used to be. Now I’m 39-39-42. I’m fighting a war with myself. I’ll never be like I used to be and that’s fine with me. But I need to be comfortable at least. I can’t go on afraid to be sexual with my husband or avoiding mirrors when I change clothes. This has to stop.

So I’m traveling down a long hard road on a journey to find myself and the confidence that I used to have in my body. I’m not sure where or when I’ll find it, but I’m working on getting healthier and into shape. One day I’ll finally feel like me again and I can’t wait until that day comes….

10 thoughts on “Long Hard Road (Anonymous)

  • Monday, January 26, 2009 at 10:49 am

    Your breasts are gorgeous!! Your body will take some time to regain its natural post-baby shape after having that baby. It looks so beautiful, healthy, and sexy! Make sure you have other friends and family to hang out with who have given birth too.

  • Monday, January 26, 2009 at 3:12 pm

    I think you look great for just giving birth two months ago!

  • Tuesday, January 27, 2009 at 1:33 am

    Congratulations on your VBAC :) I think your body looks great so close after having given birth, let alone after two pregnancies. I know it’s hard but be proud mama, you’ve done something amazing.

  • Tuesday, January 27, 2009 at 3:29 pm

    Thanks so much for posting your pictures. I gave birth to my second child 2 months ago on Dec 1/2008 and have been concerned about my weight loss etc.
    I am feeling more normal now, after seeing your pics. Best of luck with your weight loss. The most important thing is that we are healthy and strong for our family and ourselves! Don’t worry, we’ll get our sexy back!!

  • Friday, January 30, 2009 at 1:10 pm

    I was the same way with the stretch marks. I made it until my 8th month unscathed. I was like “Woohoo! I’m going to come out of this without stretch marks! Lucky me!”
    That didn’t last long. It felt like I’d go to sleep one night and then wake up with a new stretch mark! lol.

    But you look absolutely fine. It’s been a very short time since you’ve given birth. We’ve been fed these unrealistic expectations for how quickly we should bounce back. We see celebrities out in bikinis and looking better than ever right after they pop out some babies. Most normal women take a lot longer than that.

  • Tuesday, February 17, 2009 at 7:36 pm

    I was the same way with strech marks too!!

    I have a question not specifically for you but in general is this a european site?? Because maybe its just the site but i have never heard so many mothers that breastfed and especially as young mothers!! I live in USA and i’m 20 and breastfed my first son 11 months and im currently breastfeeding my 10month old and ALL the girl i know that had babies did NOT breastfeed. I breastfeed every where and one day i was at the mall and i finally saw another woman breastfeeding!!

  • Sunday, August 2, 2009 at 11:44 pm

    Your body looks amazing, you have everything in the world to be confident about.

  • Friday, March 5, 2010 at 10:40 pm

    I was expecting horrific photos after reading your story and literally laughed when I got to the pictures because you look so good! Girl, get off your own back! Are you kidding you look fantastic!

  • Monday, June 28, 2010 at 10:55 pm

    we have very, very similar breasts!

  • Monday, December 2, 2013 at 8:36 am

    You really do look amazing and after another year or so I’m sure those marks will hardly be noticeable. I hope I look like you after my vbac in May! Btw, after my first I had trouble getting the last 15 off and then I started hot yoga and my life changed. It also cured the depression that I battled for a decade and gave me more confidence than I thought was possible! So you just gotta find “your thing” I definitely hated working out before.

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