I am 34 years old and gave birth to my first child in June of this year. Before falling pregnant I had always suffered from poor body image at times although I had got really fit and was running and weight lifting. I guess I was as happy with my body at that stage, more than I had ever been before. Having lost an incredible amount of weight in my twenties (I went down from 301 pounds to 140 pounds) I had battled my demons but paid the price with saggy tummy skin and looser skin elsewhere. I learned to live with the excess skin, something that I would have to pay privately for to be removed and something I could not afford to do. To exacerbate the issue I suffer from a condition called hyper mobility which can have an effect on the elastin in the skin, making it more prone to scarring and stretching.
Anyhow I fell pregnant and realised that my tummy skin was going to take a serious hit, after all that weight I had lost. The pregnancy went well and I gave birth. I am now 12 weeks post partum and am glad to see the stretch marks are no different to the ones I had post weight loss, I might have the odd extra few here and there but I am currently 200 pounds so significantly more than the 150 I started at pre pregnancy. So I have a battle with not only losing weight but facing that stomach again. I do hate it, it makes me feel deformed and unattractive. I think it has affected me getting into a stable relationship and will continue to so, I don’t feel normal with it and do everything in my power to hide it in intimate situations. I am no longer with the person who fathered my child and I dread the day I may meet someone else as I have to face all my insecurities once again. I am trying to lose weight at the moment and am terrified of how much worse the sagginess will be, it is honestly destroying my confidence. I always looked great with clothes on and my figure was pretty good but I hated how I looked naked :( Who knows how bad it is going to be if I can get down to my pre pregnancy weight. Maybe I should try to approach my doctor again and explain the psychological effect it is having. I could not bring myself to take pictures to accompany this diatribe, I apologise but it ain’t pretty.
I do not share these feelings with anyone, I am embarrassed and ashamed to admit I have a deformation. Isn’t that sad?
Ugh I need to get over it and love me for me but I doubt I will to be honest!
5 thoughts on “My Story (Anonymous)”
You are not alone! I lost 100 lbs before getting pregnant and giving birth in May 2013 and I have the same issues with my stomach skin…except I have more fat there than skin. The feelings of disgust are still there, however and weight loss efforts are currently not working.
I was curious how much research you’ve done into getting skin surgery? If you have insurance, you just need documented proof that is causes you problems in your day to day life (rashes, mobility issues, etc) to get at least the lower half taken off. Just a thought!
Keep your chin up and I will do the same. My baby usually makes me not care about anything, so when I get too upset I just snuggle him close.
I can relate so much. I was 240 pounds my sophomore year in high school, so I had already had serious body image issues. I got pregnant and had my first daughter at 17, which really changed my body with tons of new stretch marks and saggy boobs. But my first year of college I lost over 100 pounds and was 127. I have since met my husband and had 6 more children. My body will never be more than it is, but that’s okay. I am 135 pounds and my youngest is 16 months. I am fit and also look pretty dang good in clothes, but take it all off and my nipples fall to where my stomach should be :) you can see my story and body with updates under uba5c (under the Csection page) or mother of six children. It is harder some days more than others but I always just try and remind myself I am beautiful and that I can walk and swim and run and hold my babies and dance and my naked body is a beautiful rendition of my amazingly complicated and fanastic experience here on Earth.
After the first childbirth, I worried about my belly for several months. After the 2nd childbirth I was at a healthier point….I remembered and realized that eventually my body will get back to some ‘form’ of normalcy. It might take a few months or even years…but in the end, our children are not looking at the stretch marks we bare, how much wider our hips have become, how saggy our breasts may be, etc…they tend to find everything beautiful about their moms (I know I did with my mom). Maybe start looking into the mirror and begin to acknowledge your reflection. Try to love your body and be proud that it has carried and supported your little baby for 9 months. That is an absolutely amazing feat when you think about it……and that was your Amazing Body!
Be proud and love yourself. You have done two amazing things- losing all that weight to be healthy and giving birth.
You’re gorgeous and you can and should be loved just as you are.
Hi ladies, thank you for your responses. Firstly congratulations to Erin and Stacy :) Losing weight to that level is pretty tough going, it certainly takes strength of character to do that. Erin I live in the UK and so the NHS here will not do the surgery unless it is proving to cause psychological issues that are impacting my life (or physical ones!)I have tried a couple of times but to no avail…I too grab my little person and hold tight, they are infinitely more important than any personal issues we have with body image. Stacy you have a wonderful attitude, way to go with your weight loss and having 6 kids…wow!!! :) That’s amazing
Priscilla you speak lots of sense, I am adjusting to the changed body and am losing some of my post partum weight which is lifting me as I am exercising again. Kids do think their mums are great no matter what personal perceptions we have of how we look, I need to remind myself that my child will love me no matter what. I guess you could argue i’m being quite vain by being concerned by it! I often think that.
Madderakka thank you :) Lovely words