1 Pregnancy, 1 Birth
4 weeks postpartum (post partum pictures taken at 2 weeks)
I have always been a thin girl without trying, my weight was a complete non-issue and I have always been very confident. When I found out I was pregnant I wasn’t worried about gaining weight, I thought it would be fun to be round and jolly for a while. I thought “chubby” pregnant women were really cute and I looked forward to being one. However, everyone else in my life seemed to have other ideas. I started gaining weight extremely fast, probably about 20 pounds in the first trimester alone. My husband remarked “Sooo, that’s all the weight you will gain and everything else will just go to your belly, right?” He said he felt bad for coworkers whose wives got really big during/after pregnancy. That was the first clue that people would be more concerned with my weight than I was.
My ‘friends’ and some family seemed delighted that the lifelong thin girl was now getting fat and made lots of fat jokes and dropped things like “Oh I thought you would be a skinny pregnant chick” and “Wow, I weigh less than you for the first time, can I have your old clothes?” People started calling me “Big Mama” and “Kool Aid Man” when I wore red. Midway through my pregnancy my husband said “My friend’s wife only got a big belly, when she turns around you can’t even tell she is pregnant. I’ve seen lots of women like that, how do THEY do it?” Obviously implying that THOSE women can stay slim while pregnant so why can’t you? It was endless comments from everyone in my life. I finally brought up to my husband how much it hurt when he said things like that and he was horrified that it cut me so deeply but the damage was done, for the rest of my pregnancy no matter how many times he told me I was the most beautiful pregnant woman he had ever seen I knew he was secretly thinking about how fat I was getting.
At 15 weeks I had a subchorionic hemmorhage after running to catch a train and my doctor recommended taking it easy, so I was scared to be too active lest it trigger more bleeding and a miscarriage. Then we moved from the city to the suburbs so instead of walking everywhere I was driving and sitting around a whole lot more so that obviously didn’t help me out physically. I’m 5’10” and I don’t know what I weighed pre-pregnancy (like I said, I never cared about weight before so I hadn’t been on a scale in about 5 years) but I think it was somewhere around 145, which looks a bit too thin in pictures so I don’t mind if I don’t get that small again. I ended at 215 so I reckon I gained 60 or 70 pounds. I wasn’t retaining any water and had no swelling at all so that was all a tiny baby and lots of fat. On the plus side, I only got a few stretchmarks on my hip/love handle area very early on until I started using pure coconut oil religiously and after that I never got another single stretchmark.
My 6lb 7oz baby was born (triggering comments like “I can’t believe the baby was so small, you were HUUUUUGE!) and I didn’t immediately drop the 20 or 30 pounds that everyone says they lose in the beginning. I only lost about 12 pounds (probably solely the baby/placenta weight) the first week and in the 4 weeks since, haven’t lost another single pound despite eating ~1800 calories a day, walking and breastfeeding. Family keeps asking what I plan to do to get my figure back because in my family appearance and weight is really important. I feel so ugly and trapped in my own body. I avoid being photographed. I don’t feel like myself and even worse is the guilt over how silly and vain I must be to worry about this. I should be grateful that I have a beautiful, healthy baby, not obsessing over fitting into a normal size pair of pants and hoping that my husband doesn’t find me repulsive.
Was everyone on a mission to destroy my confidence and give me a body image complex? If so, congratulations, my self-esteem is shattered!
The pictures are from pre-pregnancy, 38 weeks pregnant and 2 weeks post-partum.
46 thoughts on “My Self-Esteem is Shattered (Ann)”
I want to start out by saying that I am disgusted by the way your “friends” and “family” treated you. You were sooo cute pregnant, with glowing skin and a perfect belly! Your husband should especially be ashamed of himself. You carried HIS baby for him…what an insensitive jerk (sorry, but he was). Now I want to say, ARE YOU KIDDING ME!!!! You look great. Your uterus is not even back to its normal size, and your tummy is almost flat already. You really look great :) Take it easy, enjoy your baby, and tell your husband to back the heck off…did his body just grow a human in only 9 months???
You do not in anyway look huge in your pregnancy pictures- you look like a normal, HEALTHY pregnant woman. Your post-partum pictures are beautiful, as well. Again, I see a normal, healthy mother that should be proud of her body and how she looks!!
why is it that everyone else is worried about what we look like….every pregnancy is different and you would think people would realize that….i think you look great and if those pictures were taken at two weeks and your that small then i’m sure you’ll have no problem losing weight if thats what you wish to do…but its your choice…dont let anybody pressure you…your body did an amazing thing and you should see how great you look since after all, it was taken over by another human being!…..i hope you can look at yourself and see how great you look, and tell everyone else to worry about their own bodies :)
I think you look gorgeous! A beautiful post-partum figure and only at 2 weeks. Tell everyone to shut up and keep their thoughts to themselves, you have nothing to feel ashamed over or to have your self-esteem shattered.
Are you kidding me?
You look phenominal!!! You are only 2 weeks PP in these pictures and you look so amazing! You look better than many women who have never had babies.
I am so sorry that your family is shattering your self esteem because quite frankly, you deserve to feel so much better about yourself.
And btw, you were an absolutely perfect pregnant woman, you looked awesome!!
I hope you find the love for yourself again, because you are beautiful! :)
You looked amazing pregnant and you look amazing now. I know that it may be hard for you to see as someone who was always so tiny, but I think your body is phenomenal.
You should hold your head up and be proud of yourself.. it’s everyone else who should be bowing theirs in shame.
Honestly? I think you look better now than you did before you got pregnant. You were almost too skinny before, now you have a beautiful womanly shape.
At 2 or even 4 weeks postpartum, your uterus hasn’t even returned to it’s normal size yet, and people are already asking when you’re going to get back in shape? I think you need to have a few stern words with your family and friends. Tell them that you HAVE your figure back and it’s now the body of a mother. Or something along the lines of how your doctor wants you to take it slow because you’re still recovering. You look amazing and your family should be ashamed for making you feel bad about a gorgeous figure.
You have a beautiful figure in ALL of the pictures!! Maybe some of these people were jealous of you and have taken your few extra pounds and ran with it. and only FOUR WEEKS pp?! fabulous! i actually see very few women who only look pregnant from behind and lose the weight right away. your body isnt nearly done healing yet. when its healthy for you to,, just add more weight training,, thats helped me and also,, add back that confidence,, tell those others to shut the H up and love yourself if not for you,, for your child!! Best of Luck to you!
After reading your post. I sat here for a good 5 min in complete disbelief. You looked like such a beautiful pregnant mama and now … you look great. And not the… well you are only 2 weeks out – you will look better kind of great. If you stayed EXACTLY the same it would not be to your detriment. I still say you are beautiful! You should be proud.
you look awesome, tell all those people how you feel and how they affected you because they need a clue. holy crap, i would have slapped someone.
You have got to be kidding me! You are two weeks post-partum and you look like that? You look incredible and that’s an understatement. Hopefully your little boy will grow up with more respect for women than what your family has shown to you. I’m sorry you had to deal with that when you were supposed to be celebrating the miracle growing inside your womb. I had plenty of people say rude things to me too and it is sad.
I almost cried when I read your post. I’ve had an eating disorder for so long that I have virtually no memories of being happy with myself. When people told me I looked thin, I felt like they were mocking me or something. I can’t begin to imagine the loss of self you felt when people suddenly decided to focus on your weight when it had never presented itself as an issue to you before.
In terms of before-and-after pregnancy photos, I have seen some pictures online that have scared the crap out of me. Yours photos are beautiful, ALL of them– before, during, AND after. Even if you don’t lose your baby weight, you’ll still have an enviable figure (only 2 weeks PP and you have a waist again! …. I can’t wait to give birth and get my own waist back, lol). It took you 3 months to gain the first 20 lbs, it’s only fair to yourself to wait to see how your body changes in the next 10 weeks. Your stomach is already flattened itself back out.
You could try reminding people that the amount of weight you gain during a pregnancy is no sure indication of how healthy you or your child are. My older sister is pregnant with me, we’re due on the same day– she lost 17 lbs in her first trimester (hyperemisis gravidum)and has yet to regain the same 17. Due to other issues, she has a high-risk pregnancy and is having a lot of problems. I’m a recovering bulimic/anorexic who has gained about 15 lbs (at 31 wks), had a few relapsing slip-ups during gestation (I’m no proud of it), and I’ve had no symptoms (no strech marks, morning sickness, hemmorhoids, headaches, varicose veins, etc) and my child is perfectly healthy.
A good example of how someone who is healthy has trouble gaining weight/a high-risk pregnancy and how someone who is not healthy can gain weight and have a normal, healthy, symptom-free pregnancy.
You are beautful; remember that no one has the right to go out of their way to make you feel like less of a person. For them to use your weight as the only means of attacking you is shallow, mean-spirited, and cheap. It doesn’t matter if it’s your husband, your mother, or your friends. If perfect strangers online can see you’re beautiful, they should be able to as well. Maybe they need to be reminded of that.
i cant believe how mean the people who are supposed to lov eyou have been to you, maybe if they knew how much it hurts to hear stuff like that they wouldnt have said it… you look amazing bwt
You look like me! I was always slim before kids and when I was pregnant with my first I gained about 70lbs and dont worry your body will go back! People will always have their own opinions about what is right during pregnancy, sorry that the people around you feel like voicing their thoughts! You look amazing, I bet in a few months you will look like your pre-baby picture! Tell anyone that has a negative thing to say to shove it!
ummmm, I would kill to look like you at 2 weeks pp and I’m 4 yrs pp!!! :) What a bunch of douchebags for making you feel inferior when you just did the most amazing and beautiful thing on earth, created and nourished a precious child!! I am hoping that by you posting these pictures, you can truly come to see what we all see, an incredibly beautiful and healthy body that just gave life! I’m not one to comment on these forums but after reading what you wrote I felt like a big sister or a bff that wanted to have “words” with your insensitive family and friends. Psssh, I probably would have taken them DOWN! lol! I know how emotionally draining pregnancy and the postpartum period can be with hormone shifts and all that, so I really hope you can get past those hurtful words people have said to you and if they say it anymore, tell them to go stuff it! Please, please, PLEASE enjoy this time with your little one cause it goes by SOOO fast! And whenever you feel down, just talk to yourself, be kind to yourself, and tell yourself all the things you wished others would have told you. Posistive self affirmations can do wonders on self esteem! Chin up girl, you deserve it! Oh and fyi, I think you look better after baby than before baby. You’re a hot MAMA!! :)
To be perfectly honest, I think you look even better now than pre-pregnancy. Don’t get me wrong, you were gorgeous then, and adorable pregnant, but with the slightly softer, smoother features, and no ribs visible through your skin, you look even better and more feminine. And since those picture were taken at only 2 weeks pp, it is even more amazing that you look so fantastic.
I wish I could tell your “friends” and “family” to go stuff it, because they treated you like crap and should be ashamed of themselves for it.
I can relate to everything you wrote!!! Check out my post, under Katherina in the post-partum archives, and you will see how similar our posts are.
I love your question: Was everyone on a mission to destroy my confidence and give me a body image complex?
In short, the answer is a big YES! I truly believe our society’s obsession with youth and perceived perfection has affected our views on pregnancy.
I wish I could rid the world of the following comments made to/around/about pregnant women once and for all:
1. Wow, you’re only (x) months along? You’re so big already!
2. When so and so was pregnant, she was all belly. You couldn’t even tell from behind.
3. Wow, your baby is going to be huge!
4. The weight just flew off so and so after she gave birth, without her even trying.
5. I only gained 30 lbs when I was pregnant (okay, maybe its true for some women, but eighty percent of the time I’m going to say that’s a total lie!)
The above comments are insults and they hurt, especially when you’re pregnant and the scale keeps going up and there’s nothing you can do about it.
I’m sorry your husband made negative comments about your weight – my husband did too and it felt like such a betrayal. Your husband should have been worshipping you because you are gorgeous!
Tell everyone around you to shut up, cuz you look amazing right now, and let me make a prediction: your body is only going to get better!
So you’re about 200lbs in the 2week pp pics? If so you’re pulling off 200 WAAAAY better than I was 180! And I’m only 1/2 inch shorter. (I started at 145 and ended at 205) You look great, especially for 2 weeks postpartum! Give your body some time, it took 9 months to put the weight on, you can’t expect it to come off in 2 weeks. Keep up the breastfeeding and try not to stress about your body too much. Try to ignore their comments, believe it or not they’re only saying the things they say because they’re STILL jealous of you, if they were confidant they would never feel the need to make comments about you.
You look fantastic. What you have right now will change, just give it time. Take a deep breath and give yourself a break. You will get your figure back. I was right there with you — always skinny, packed on 60 lbs, and was in shock post-delivery with my body. Ignore any outside pressures and if you chose to focus on fitness right now, don’t do it to change people’s perceptions of you. Because you are gorgeous just as you are.
I cannot believe that the people closest to you were on such a mission to make you feel terrible. ‘scuse my French, but what a bunch of horseshit! Everyone’s said it above already, but I believe in the power of many comments sometimes. :D
I want to SLAP all those people (including your husband, sorry) who are clearly delusional and decided to take it out on you. YOU ARE GORGEOUS. THAT’S THAT!
I feel so bad for you that you had to endure the vanity and stupidity of your friends and family during an already emotional time in your life :( I wish I could look like you in a bikini, you look amazing and you looked truly beautiful as a pregnant women. I hope your husband grows up and never hurts you again with his words that I to personally now hurt the worst, he is who you should be able to go too to recieve the affirmation of being sexy and beautiful that you are not getting from yourself at the moment. HUGS
your skin is probably the most gorgeous i’ve seen in a while! amazing. i’m just sitting here reliving how embarrassing the comments were while i was preggo too. i think i blocked most of them until now. jeez, i’m scared to do it again. people should really lay off large hormonal women.
I’m really really sorry you had to face that. I had one friend who did that to me while I was pregnant and it made me SO ANGRY and hurt, I can’t believe you had to deal with SO MANY people saying those things to you.
What I’d say to you is, first of all, you look absolutely amazing for being two weeks pp in those pics. And second, you’re just going to keep getting better. And then, you can laugh in those people’s faces when you are as skinny as you were before, only better (because now you’ll have beautiful hips and your tummy will look even flatter, that’s what happened to me).
Those people are/were just jealous of you. My friend was of me. She’d always been heavier than me and would say things like, “Ha I can’t wait until you’re fat and I’m skinny and I wear a smaller size than you” and “number three will wreck you” (I was on baby 3). Well, I lost all the weight, look and feel great, and dumped that toxic friend as well.
Good luck, and trust eveyone whose posted, you look GREAT!
And, your waist is REALLY defined! You’re going to discover your pre-pregnancy figure really soon!
Are you kidding me??
Two weeks pp??
You look fantastic. it takes a while for your uterus to even get back to shape. Plus you do NOT look even overweight. Once you lose any more weight, and tone up, your body will be right back where it was, if thats what you want.
I really wanna just hug you! You look fabulous and you looked adorable pregnant. Your ‘friends’ and family should keep their stupid comments to themselves! I would kill to look like you postpartum!! You are skinnier than me and I have 0 children! You need to find some less image absorbed people to raise your child around, you don’t want your child to have the same negative body image. As for your husband, I don’t think he carried a life for nine months!!
Sounds like you have a lot of jealous “friends.” You really do look great. Don’t worry about the weight. I know, easier said than done. But really, your body is still healing itself. Your weight loss will probably be different after baby as well. For instance, I noticed “chunks” of weight loss rather than a steady loss. I’m an inch shorter than you and lost about 15# right away and then sat at that same weight until about 6 or 7 weeks post. Then, a week later I’d wake up about and be 5# lighter, and then a month later, another 5#. It was like my body was only willing to part with the fat when it was good and ready. Six months later and with some exclusive breastfeeding and strolls with baby in the evening, the weight was gone! Women will typically return to their starting point. You don’t look like you started with much body fat, so your body may be stubbornly hanging on to it, just in case, for baby. You’ll get there. Just give it some time, eat well and don’t starve! That will make it worse!
Oh my god, you were such a beautiful pregnant woman and you are already so slim… I don’t know where you family is living, some kind of super-skinny-size-zero world? I actually prefer the way you look now.
Are you kidding me? You MUST be kidding because you look absolutely STUNNING post partum. Your “friends” and family are big, fat, JERKS and you should tell them to go jump in a lake! I actually think you look BETTER post partum than pre-pregnancy!
if i look that good 4 weeks postpartum i will be beeming!
Ok, holy crap… I’m not going to type an essay here, b/c these other mamas already posted what I think too. Your husband, family and friends SUCK! You are sooo BEAUTIFUL! I’m incredibly jealous of your adorable figure! You had the cutest little baby belly, I think you look very small… and you’re so lucky to have not gotten stretch marks on your tummy! I’m still so bummed about those. :(
And your postpartum pictures… oh my gosh. Your bellybutton is so cute!!! Nice and tight, and you have great curves, and a hot figure. I think you’re a very sexy mama!!! Your husband is a lucky man to have such a gorgeous wife! Congrats on your new bundle of joy too. I hope we can help you build back your self-esteem, b/c you have every right to have it! If your family or “friends” have any further comments, tell them to buzz off! ;)
You really look lovely with beautiful skin. It’s a shame people said hurtful things. I hope you’re taking in what people are saying here… It could be that when your uterus returns to its non-pregnant size you’ll be surprised at how flat your belly is! In any case, you look very pretty and give yourself some time.
I’m really sorry the people in your life treated you so terribly. In my opinion you look fantastic!
You are stunningly beautiful. Try not to waste your emotional energy on this. Obviously, you are used to being very slim, but you truly look gorgeous and so feminine. Your hubby probably is just used to seeing you differently. He did not mean to hurt you and I’m sure that he wishes he could take it all back. As for your “friends,” they are SO JEALOUS- apparent to anyone with eyes in their head:). It really is quite evil that they said those things to you.
What you don’t need is to be hard on yourself, too. Forgive yourself: It’s ok to be worried and think about your figure. You’re only human. It doesn’t make a difference to how much you love your baby. What it will do, though, is tint your everyday life with sadness that is just so totally unnecessary. Please learn from my mistake: My children are 4 and 5 and I am only now feeling good about myself. I feel I wasted a lot of energy on this. You need to change your perspective. This sounds silly, but I was looking for dresses online and found a website for full-figured women’s clothing (www.igigi.com). Now the clothes were too big for me (and you), BUT just look at some of the beautiful women modelling the clothing and read the comments from satisfied customers and how they feel about themselves. After a few hours on that (and similar) websites, I started to appreciate that I could be attractive even though I was still overweight. In fact, many of those women looked far more beautiful than the ones you usually see as models and so on. I then went shopping with the mindset that I would forget about weight and just get a flattering dress to suit ME. I walked into a boutique and asked for assistance (I would normally never do that). I bought two flattering dresses, and then lost 10 pounds before the wedding because I was not obsessing about it (I had to alter them a bit:(). I am now only a few pounds away from a healthy BMI and feel great. I will still be bigger than I was before children, but I feel better than I ever did when I was the ‘right’ size. And if I can do that at 43 (and after a lifetime of weight issues), so can you. And I am talking about attitude, because when it is not a question of health (ie., if you are not actually so big that your health is affected), but of society’s ridiculous standards, it is up to us to “unbrainwash” ourselves. For our daughter’s sakes, too.
Wow!!! Your belly looks awesome! You have NOTHING to be ashamed of at all!!!!!!
You look beautiful! And the people who make those comments are ugly inside! They were obviously always jealous of you, not just your body but your relaxed attitude, don’t let them take that away from you. It’s great you’re not obsessed with weight and can see you don’t want to be as thin as before. You’re looking awesome, especially for 2 weeks post partum OMG! I have not given birth yet but I hope when I do I look as good as you after!
I have been bullied before though and my advice is don’t be afraid to cut fake friends out of your life and to stand up to your family like you did with your husband. A quote I find personally inspiring in standing up to bullies is “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.”- Eleanor Roosevelt
Good luck and let us know how it goes!
Whoaaaaa. I read the whole thing and expected something totally different when I saw the pics! Your body looks amazing- pre-baby, during-baby and after-baby!
I’m sure its a huge change for you to look different but remember that just because your body looks DIFFERENT doesn’t mean it doesn’t look GREAT still.
You’re hot, woman!!!
Girl, You look great. You look better than I did prepregnancy. :)
I come here often and have never commented on a story before, but I have to comment on this one because it really upsets me. Your body post-pregnancy IS SEXY. You have an amazing hip to tummy ratio. You have a gorgeous waist. No, you’re not rail-thin like you were previously, but honestly, that first photo you look too skinny (I know that’s just as bad as saying you look too fat because who am I to say what you should look like). Your 38 weeks photos are also super adorable. You don’t look overweight to me at all. You look gorgeous. I think your body is totally hot.
Wow, you were “huge” at 38 weeks? Really!? You looked totally normal, and you look fantastic now! There are women out there one year, two years postpartum who wish they looked now like you did at 2 weeks postpartum. Your “friends”, family and especially your husband all suck. You don’t deserve their abuse. If I could, I would give you a big hug! You sound like you need one!
I’m not a mom, just sort of stumbled on this site. I’m 20 years old 130 lbs.
Honestly your before picture looks unhealthy and gangly… and not saying you are like this because your skin looks good but the only people I know who look like that either live in Boca Raton and/or they are addicted to cocaine.
I’d loveeee to have your after body and how your hips have that shape is really cool. Also I know this is not my place and I don’t know your husband obviously, but in the eyes of many middle class white men I find they have very weird almost pre-pubescent ideas of beauty. You have boobs now you have hips you have beautiful curves you are a woman!!! To a black man you’d look TINY. I luv my black guys. :-)
Big hugs to you
I think your body is beautiful you have got nice boobs a flat tummy. don’t let anyone bring you down.
well I managed gain about 25-30 pds but did not get to enjoy my pregnancy really. I exercised twice a week, climbed 3 flights of stairs several times a day at work and watched what I ate (cereal was my main craving). I also bought those shape ups and tones ups to help.
I’m pretty happy with how I look now but still have wider hips than before.
When I look at how precious my baby is, I feel like crap knowing I did things that may have harmed her just to stay thin :(
Just a reminder… every woman’s shape is “womanly.” Some of us have narrow, thin builds and no hips. Some of us have womanly athletic bodies. Some of us have womanly juicy asses. Some of us have womanly mastectomy scars on our chests. Let’s stop with the “real women” crap. It only alienates a different body type and doesn’t embrace differences. I am a womanly toothpick. And I look amazing.
Mamma… every one of your pics is hot. Change is hot. If we all looked like our teen-age selves in our 80’s, we’d be an awfully boring species.
I know this was posted 2 years ago but I hope you get to read this. those people who made comments like such were just jealous of your body from previous and wanted you to feel bad!!!!!
I don’t understand. You look beautiful. You have nothing to be ashamed of. Why did they say things like that? How rude, mean and insensitive… and more than that, untrue.