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.