Pregnancies/Births: 1 pregnancy/birth
7 weeks postpartum
If you haven’t read my previous post, please do so, otherwise this one might not make too much sense.
I thought after I was no longer pregnant I would be devastated with how my body looked, but now I’m finding that I just don’t flat out care.
My due date was November 12 2010, and the day passed without a single sign of me beginning the first stage of labor. Then I lost my mucus plug and a few hours afterwards the contractions began. The next morning I went to the hospital and after checking me and monitoring me for an hour they sent me home, saying it would take me a while to dilate more (I was 1 cm but 70% effaced) and that my contractions only needed to be LONGER, because they were already pretty strong. So I spent the entire day in misery with horrible and painful contractions, not wanting to go back to the hospital just to be sent home again. That evening I went to the adoptive family’s house(the adoptive mom and I are close, she went to all of my appointments with me and was to be present for the birth) to labor there, and after less than an hour my water broke and off to the hospital we were! When they checked me I was 4 cm and begging for an epidural. Before I could get one though they had to get my IV in, and let me tell you, they took their damn sweet time doing that! My first nurse didn’t want to bother trying so she went and got another one to do it. I actually can’t remember much of that hour because the pain was so intense, but after they got the epidural in they waited ten minutes to check me again and found that I was 9 cms, after only an hour and a half at the hospital. No wonder I was in so much pain. They took me off the epidural medicine and then I started pushing, which was only for an hour, and my beautiful baby boy was born at 12:01 am on November 14th 2010, the day before national adoption day.
I had requested that he be taken out of the room immediately because I knew I would not be able to handle hearing him crying, hell, I didn’t know if I could handle meeting him the next morning either. He came out with the cord wrapped around his neck and couldn’t breathe for a few minutes, but when he started crying I started BAWLING. I have never cried so hard in my life or ever been in less control of my body before. Uncontrollable sobbing overtook me so much that I didn’t even feel the delivery of the placenta or the doctor stitching up my second degree tear. I sobbed for probably twenty minutes straight, and my baby wasn’t taken out of the room for the first ten minutes even though I had requested otherwise. To hear him crying… so many thoughts were running through my head. “How could I have ever thought about an abortion?” “I don’t want you out. Get back in my tummy.” “You’re mine, I can’t give you away.” “How could I have ever hated my body while you were in it?” And so many others. I was in complete emotional overload and lost complete control of my body. I was shaking so violently and sobbing so hard that I was sure there was nothing else in the world except the darkness behind my eyelids.
I still cry every time I remember his birth.
My boyfriend and I went to meet our baby around three that night. My boyfriend is 100% Korean so we were sure he would look exactly like his daddy… but it’s the opposite. He looked exactly like me. He had my chin. My cheekbones. My lips. My feet. My fingers. My forehead. My legs. Everything except his nose, which is a perfect mixture of the two of ours, his eyes, and his hair. Having him look like me made it so much harder to give him away.
Now that he isn’t in my tummy anymore I want my bulging belly back. I miss the heartburn every night, the way he got hiccups almost every hour, how he always stuck out his elbow from the side of my tummy. I want the acne back. I want every single bright purple stretch mark. I want my leaking breasts. I want the swollen feet, ankles, and hands. I want the carpal tunnel. I want to not be able to reach down and touch my feet. I want to be kept up all night because it’s so uncomfortable to lay in bed. I want it all back so I can have my baby in me another day. I feel vacant.
I don’t care that my body is ravaged and destroyed, that this isn’t what an 18 year old body should look like. I just want my sweet baby boy that I carried for nine months. I should have cherished every day, instead of counting down until it was over. I can’t take back the things I said or the things I felt, as much as I wish could.
One of my nurses made me a plaster of his hand, and one of his foot too. I’m afraid that if I touch them they will become marked by my filthy touch, and I can’t look at them because I feel as if my gaze is unworthy. Every nurse I had in the hospital told me how proud they were of me and what a great thing I was doing, but no amount of praise can take the pain away. When I was in the hospital it was better because I knew my baby was down the hall from me. Safe, but still within reach. Now he isn’t. Every dream I’ve had since he was born has been either about him or how I’m no longer pregnant, but without a baby. I jolted awake the second night home from the hospital because I thought I heard him crying.
I know I made the best decision possible for my baby, that he will have such a wonderful life now, but it still is hard. I know I am going to need therapy.
When pregnant, I used to draw a smiley face on the shower door through the condensation every day while showering. My first shower back home was no different, but then after I drew it I realized that the last time I drew one my baby had hiccups and was contentedly snoozing in my tummy. I haven’t drawn one since.
Throughout my pregnancy, I gained 98 pounds, but I lost 40 of it two weeks after the birth. All of the “acne” that I had on my back, actually turned out to be the PUPPS rash, and it cleared up after labor. The worst case she’d ever seen, my nurse had said. So bad, that my entire back is scarred up from it. My stretch marks are terrible; in my armpits, on my sides, breasts, stomach, all down my inner AND outer thighs, on my entire butt, behind my knees and on my calves, and halfway down the backs of my thighs.I know they will never go away.
I’ve gone to see my baby on multiple occasions now, and it is seven weeks since I had him. He doesn’t look so much like me anymore, but he is so beautiful, and my body is equally as beautiful, because it created such a wonderful brand new human being that I am going to be tied to for the rest of my life. I created and nurtured a human being for nine months and went through labor, the most natural and primal thing that can happen to a person. I now feel like I can go through anything in life and I KNOW I will survive.
My baby is beautiful, and so am I.
Picture # 1 is 5 days postpartum
Picture # 2 is 7 weeks postpartum (not much of a difference, as you can see)
Picture # 3 is my baby an hour after he was born
Picture # 4 baby at 5 weeks
Picture # 5 baby at 5 weeks again
50 thoughts on “My body has been destroyed, and I’ll have nothing to show for it: Update (Michelle)”
I couldn’t read your story and not post! I read the first part a while back.
You are amazing. To have the view that you have and to love what your body is now and what it represents is inspiring. You have encouraged me to look at my post baby body differently…
I cannot imagine the heartbreak you are feeling, but as you said, you did the right thing by that gorgeous little boy. Keep your chin up and keep Sharing your story…
hang in there momma! You will get through this. You did a very courageous & loving thing. praying for comfort & restoration.
I am so very proud of you. I can’t even imagine the pain in giving your baby to somebody else, and yet you still did it–for HIM. Your son is a lucky boy to have a beautiful mommy who gave him life and a beautiful mommy who took him to make the most out of that life as possible.
By all means seek therapy, and I have a feeling it will be highly successful because your heart has already accepted what you’ve done. You are a strong woman and I hope it isn’t very long before you start drawing shower smilies again :)
You look beautiful! May God give you the strenght to keep going and you did the right thing for your little one (I know that sometimes doing the right thing doesnt feel rigth, cause it hurts).
You are a powerful, strong woman, and you’ve been through an enormous amount. Think of therapy in this way: people go and seek help for much, much less. Just having a chance to chat with someone once a week is to help prevent your sadness and natural mourning from impeding your future life.
After all, you made your decision so that both you and your child could have a bit better of a chance at happiness and success than if you had a child at this time in your life. So mourn as you need to, and then utilize this decision of yours by being productive, motivated, and create a dream that you can achieve with some work and play.
And eventually, you’ll probably settle and grow a family if you choose, and your first child will always be a part of it.
Oh momma! I cried when I read your story …. how much joy and pain you must be feeling. I’m thinking of you and sending you much love. It hurts, I know it hurts so much to be apart from your baby.
You look so great! In time it will only get better but you look great now. Your story made me sad but I am glad you were strong enough to make the best decision for your child. He will love you for it. Thanks for sharing
First off, you look amazing! I love your stretch marks! I have a lot, and I love mine too…my first passed away. It is awesome that you still get to see your baby boy. He will know you as he grows up, and know how much you love him…you are amazing :)
I cried so hard reading your story. You are such an amazing, selfless person that has given your son such sacrificial love. You have truly blessed that other family and I know that you will be blessed for all you’ve done.
What you did was the ultimate thing any mother could do out of love for her child, next to dying for him. We’re all in awe of your courage and love. We’re so proud of you! What a beautiful little boy you have! Now he’ll have a wonderful life, full of memories, love, regrets, triumphs and friendships. You may indeed need therapy, but that should be nothing to be ashamed of as even the best of us need someone to talk to! May your days be blessed, mama. :)
I cannot imagine how hard this was/is for you. You have an incredible strength and your little boy will one day be proud that you are his mom. Girl, the way you wrote your posts brings me to tears – the emotions can be felt through each space of every word – ever thought about doing this professionally? You have an amazing talent at such a young age. I am sure every mother on this site relates to your story in some way and many may have found inner strength by reading it. Thank You for this post. You son is gorgeous. May God bless you and your son’s adoptive family forever and may he always finds favor from others. Keep us updated with your journey – if you can, create a blog… it would be awesome reading anything with your style of writing! Lots of love and lots of hugs! Stay encouraged… you did an amazing amazing thing.
I think that you are a admirable young woman. I am sorry for what you went through and are still going through. It was inexcusable for what your family and boyfriend put you through. You should’ve had all the support in the world from the ones you were closest to. Thank you for choosing life and for giving your beautiful baby to a couple who will love him and take care of him. I and my husband both have adoptive siblings. That is the best thing you can do for your baby if you are unable to care for the child yourself. But another thing is you get to be a part of your child’s life and that is such a blessing for you and for him. I’m glad that you see how beautiful you are and that you can begin to heal.
You look great! Your body is not ruined at all. You did something wonderful for your son, and that is something to be proud of. I hope that it gets easier for you every day :)
I’m so amazed by your ability to stay positive and share your pain, even though it hurts so much; you truly made a great sacrifice both for you and your son, and you should be greatly proud for that. (And I’m glad to see a second post; you’d been on my mind lately.)
Take care of yourself, and don’t be afraid to get help if you feel that you need it. Remember that you are strong, and you are beautiful.
I just wish I could give you a hug
Keep your head up! Teenage years are so difficult and scary anyway, without what you’ve gone through added to the mix. It’s GOING to get better, it’s going to get better – keep telling yourself that, and it will. And don’t feel bad at all for considering abortion – I’m a 30 year old woman and considered abortion when I accidentally got pregnant with my now 2 year old. No one is perfect, and we ALL have to make difficult choices in life. May your heart heal. Treat yourself well, even if nobody else does, that’s what I learned from growing up in a terrible household. And, you are 18, you’re body WILL bounce back eventually!!!!! I think you look FABULOUS for being only 7 weeks postpartum!
And, you have given such an amazing, wonderful, BEAUTIFUL baby boy the best life you knew how – you have blessed another family soooo much. You did a good thing – and man, you made a gorgeous little baby!
I cried, too. You are beautiful!
Thank you for sharing this beautifully written follow-up to your earlier post. I’ve read it twice and cried both times. I’m glad that you have opportunities to see your son and that you recognize the wonderful gift you’ve given him. I’m also so glad you recognize your own beauty. You are a beautiful and amazing young woman. I wish you all the best in healing and moving forward.
You are an amazing woman. For so many reasons. Thank you for sharing your story.
thank you for sharing your story! I totally agree with the others – you are beautiful. and I can’t even imagine what you’re going through. wish you all the best <3
Hey Michelle, I wanted to comment on your last post but comments were closed before I had a chance to. I’m also a biological mom (I prefer the term tummy mommy). Here’s a link to my post: https://theshapeofamother.com/blog/looking-on-the-positive-side-kalista/
I know our situations are different, but if you ever want to talk to me my email is email@example.com
I only know one person who chose adoption and she had a closed one and doesn’t like to talk about it.
I hope all is well with you.
you look so awesome! you are a brave and wonderful mom doing whats best for your baby!! i have the same stretchies you do except MORE and im about 40 lbs heavier than you lol!! you look great! Best of wishes to you :)!!!!
Are you sure you are 18? You are so mature and you write so nice, you should go into journalism!
I was really scared and thought you were going to write that he did not survive the cord around his neck, so many mother’s lose their children, so thankfully he is healthy!
You really put a new perspective on what happens to our bodies. Please share your story on other baby sites, I’m sure it will help so many women!
I read your 2nd post, then the first, and I am sitting in my kitchen in awe of you. I am a 39 year old mother of 3. One of my children is your age, and I have a 15 year old, and a two year old.
Right now I am feeling pretty spineless and selfish. I had a rough pregnancy and felt very alone the entire time, with no support from my husband, so much so that It sticks with me and to this day I have resentment about it. I am relating to you as my oldest child, since you are the same age, and I just want to lift you up and cheer for how courageous and strong you were during your pregnancy, and you continue to be after the adoption of your son. I am so sorry that you didnt have anyone “on your side” while you went through this ordeal, and I hope that now that the pregnancy is behind you that your family will realize what they did and didnt do for/to you while you were pregnant and step up and really be there for you. As far as your boyfriend, well…..the only information I have about him is what you have written. I hope that you know you are worthy of someone who is truly suportive and you don’t limit yourself to this person who obviously didnt have your feelings in mind during your pregancy.
I’m so happy for your baby and his new family, and hope you know in the end, that all the suffering you may have to do, and counseling too, is a way that you are making his life better.
When you draw your next smiley on the shower door, draw it for him…a little message between the two of you every morning that says “I sacrificed so you would always smile”
Love and Best of Luck to you!
First of all I’m so moved and touched with your post. I can’t begin to imagine how you’re feeling. 2nd of all, he is absolutely beautiful, you should be so proud of him and yourself.
Your post has completely made me re-think my entire perspective on myself. Since having my son I’ve been so down about the way I look and after reading your post, just how selfless you are and just proud of what your body did, I am too going to try and think like that.
You are amazing – inside and out.
You are so wonderful – I don’t even have the words to explain it! Pregnancy is rough, rough, rough, and giving your baby to a loving, stable family was a selfless and courageous decision! I hope your story can encourage others to have their babies, even if to give them to another family. I’m adopting a baby boy soon, and I just want to hug you right now and tell you that everything you are going through is for so, so much good in this world!
I am a sobbing mess right now after reading your story. I feel for you, mama. You did a very brave thing. You have helped me to regain a little pride in the mama shape I have fought with for the last 8 years. Many prayers for your continued strength.
I just want you to know that I understand your feelings of emptiness and guilt. Four years ago I was a complaining pregnant woman who disliked her body and pregnancy symptoms. Then at 36 weeks my baby stopped moving and it turned out he had died from a cord accident. Unlike you, I didn’t have the solace of knowing I had done something charitable, instead my baby had died I felt like I had never appreciated him while he was there. However, I now have a beautiful toddler and am expecting another baby soon. Please know that your pain will subside and life will bring you something wonderful.
You are so incredibly worthy of love, respect and joy! You gave your son life and a stable home and he will always have your love. I believe he will honor you for that!
You are an excellent writer. Your post was so honest, vulnerable and profound. I hope you never stop writing!
Although your emotions are on a roller coaster and probably be for a while, it may be comforting to try to look at your situation as an outsider would. Could you, being as young as you are, not finished with college, not in any established career, not on steady financial ground possibly given that little baby all he deserves in life? Is that really fair to a child? And could you, with the demands of a little person who needed you 24/7, possibly reached your full potential? Is that really fair to a teenage girl? Babies have needs… a LOT of needs, and even parents who carefully saved and planned and did everything “in the right order” end up overwhelmed at times by how much a baby changes their lives. And when you’re a teenager not yet even sure who YOU are as a person, it’s very, very difficult to help shape another person’s life.
Your baby will be raised by a wonderful couple who desperately wanted to be parents. They waited, they saved, they planned, they chose you, and you chose them. He will be their son, but you’ll always be his mother. He as an adopted child will have a unique set of issues to deal with as he grows up and tries to figure out his own identity, and someday he may want to know you. But I promise you, when he’s an adult and mature enough to understand a few things about the world, he will thank you for making the decision you did. He’ll thank you, and he’ll understand.
I just wanted to say that I think you look beautiful. You are a very strong woman. You can do anything you want. Keep your chin up, you are wonderful!
this was so poignant and beautiful to read…you have given the most precious gift that anyone ever can…you gave life to a child…you filled a mother’s empty arms…and i realize in the process yours now ache for that baby which makes your gift all the more amazing…a mother’s job is to do whatever is best for her child even if that hurts…you are an amazing mother and should be very proud…i hope one day you will be…and your pictures are beautiful…
I just wanted to thank everyone for all of the positive comments and your support, it truly has helped me greatly throughout the most difficult time of my life. A lot has gone on since this post, so I’ll be sure to update within the next few months to let you all know how baby, his family, and I are doing. :)
Thank you so much everyone!
Wow…I’ve read a countless number of stories on this site, but I’ve never commented on any of them until now…your story is so touching, and my heart truly breaks for you. I’m so proud of you and admire you SO much for being so selfless! I’m a mother of one child…a 15-month-old little girl who has changed my life in ways I never thought possible! I can’t imagine the emotions you must be experiencing, and I pray that you can/will find a support system to help you through this time…what a beautiful young woman you are…and your son is just absolutely adorable! I know that pregnancy is hard on one’s body, but give it time…I, also, was freaking out about my body (gosh…during the first trimester even)! And afterwards, I didn’t care half as much as I thought I would…it’s like your entire outlook on life changes whenever you hear that baby cry! I know you aren’t raising your precious baby boy, but in my opinion, you should still consider yourself an AMAZING mother…you put the needs of your child above your own wants/needs…and THAT is what it means to be an incredible mother!
I’ve never commented on a story before, but I feel so compelled to tell you how much I admire you. You, my dear, are a beautiful, intelligent, mature, and incredible person. I am blown away, and while reading your post(s) I felt tears rolling down my cheeks. They are not tears of sadness but tears of happiness for what a beautiful person, both inside and out, that you are.
Words can not explain how touched I am by your story. You have given a family a precious gift and they will be forever grateful. You’ve enriched their lives in thousands of ways and you have done the most selfless act.
Please seek therapy; not because you’re ill or because there is something wrong with you, but because it could be helpful to meet with a professional who can help you sort through your emotions in a healthy, and positive manner. Nevertheless, you are a complete inspiration.
You are beautiful. Your son is beautiful. You have an amazing future ahead of you, and so many good things to come. I don’t know you, and yet I am so proud of you, and so happy for you. You’ve come so far and learned so much.
Please keep us updated. : ]
You are an AMAZING young woman. You know, the family you gave that child to will be eternally grateful to you. Remember. When you made the decision to give the child to a family, you weren’t ready at that point to be a mother. You gave that family a gift that they had long awaited and prepared for. One day, though, when you are ready, I have a feeling you will be an EXCELLENT mother, as you very early on learned the meaning of selflessness…. Oh, as for your body, Ive been pregnant 3 times, and have had no deliveries. I’m almost 30.. and your body looks WAY better than mine! Here is to your beauty, and to you!!!!
I am adopted. I have known about it for as long as I can remember. I have nothing but admiration for my birth mother (she unfortunately passed away before i got to meet her), she did such a selfless thing. I don’t think I fully comprehended the magnitude of what she did until I had my first child. What an amazing gift she gave me (the chance at a better life) and my parents.
You have done a wonderful, beautiful thing. I know you will think of your boy every day for the rest of your life, and I hope you find peace and happiness.
I think you are the most amazing woman. Completely awesome.
You are beautiful, inside and out and your son is adorable! You are strong and your son is lucky that you loved him enough to give him a better life than you could provide.
i have read both of your posts and can toally relate. i am 31 now, but when i was only 14, i became pregnant. at 15, i had the most beautiful little girl—who was also adopted. my body is scarred, i have loose skin, and i never had a “teenage” body, but to give life to her was the most amazing thing i have ever done. we have the most open adoption and she is now 15. we are best friends, and it is amazing. if your apodtion is open, respect that and enjoy it. savor every moment you can spend with your beautiful boy. enjoy that he is your’s and the greatest gift to this couple. and one day, you will meet someone that loves and adores you (as i have–been married now for 8 years) and who thinks what you did was incredible, and you will go on to have your own children with him (i have two of my own beautiful children to whom my birthdaughter loves being a big sister to). you will get through this and you will touch others through your story and your strength. enjoy your life, and take care of yourself. you’re amazing!!!!
I never comment, until now. incredible story. outrageously touching. my heart aches for you and I shed tears for you. I wish i knew you so i could support you. much love from vancouver bc canada. <3 xoxoxoxo
Tears…I couldn’t even imagine the pain you feel. I can understand now why you appreciate every mark and memory from your pregnancy. Because of you, I will try my best to appreciate and cherish every mark and wrinkle from my babies. Thank you for posting. Beautiful, touching story.
I too gave my son up for adoption 9 years ago. I know the pain you feel. I have been carrying my stretch marks on my body since then and i only wish that i had the love for my body as quickly as you have found it. Your story is inspiring. our gift of a child to this family is the noblest, selfless thing one can do. I admire you as i do all women who have the courage to carry and give.
Your first post made me want to wrap my arms around you and make your pain go away:-(.I am so,so sorry for how isolated and frightened you were and I cam’t believe your own mother would let you suffer so much all alone(hugs).
Gosh, what a gorgeous little boy. I couldn’t read your stories without tearing up. You are strong & such an inspiration. It’s crazy to read your first story & than read this one,, such a change.
One day you’ll be back on your own terms. <3
I just wanted to wish you all the best. Your story brought tears to my eyes. You are a remarkable person, and so young. What you did was so brave. You are beautiful inside and out.
I’m 17 and your story just made me tear up. I have never been pregnant nor do I ever want to be, but I just wanted to let you know that you are a great person and I’m amazed at your selflessness; I don’t know many people that would go through all that physical and mental pain just to give up the “prize” for all that (your baby). You’ve gone through all that sadness and pain so your baby could have a good life and that, I think, is amazing.
What an amazing person you are! I am someone who could never get pregnant, and was never in a position to adopt. Your selflessness at such a young age is truly remarkable. I hope good things will find you all of your life :-)
I just read both your stories and I find you to be a very admirable person. I’m sorry for everything you have been through, I know I am posting this comment some time after you wrote this but I just wanted to let you know! Your son is adorable, and your body does not look bad at all! I also think that you are a very good writer, and you seem very intelligent and caring and strong.