My name is Rachael and I am 27 years old. I became pregnant when I was 18 years old. I was a size 6 and still thought I wasn’t skinny enough. At that time, I knew only one other person my age who had been pregnant. My adoptive mother was never able to have children, so she also had no clue of what to expect. I had two “back-to-back” pregnancies, and gained 65 pounds with each one. All of the sudden, I was wearing a size 20! I had seen so many pictures in pregnancy magazines of round, stretch-mark-free bellies, and toned arms and legs. I also studied photographs in “new mommy” magazines of women getting back into prepregnancy shape, looking like they must have never been pregnant to begin with! And here I was, huge and saggy
and literally covered in stretch marks. I had expected to get them on my belly. Maybe even my breasts. But I had them all the way down my inner thigh and calf, my lower back, my crotch, and up and down my sides. I thought I was a total freak!
It wasn’t until my friends began having babies and we started to show each other our new “mommy bodies” that I realized how totally normal I was. I was so relieved to find out that I wasn’t the only one who was hiding under long t-shirts and constantly hiking up low-rider jeans.
A few years later, I became pregnant with my third child. I faithfully did my cardio workouts, practiced yoga, and was fanatical about my diet. I gained 60 pounds. I came to the conclusion that I was never going to be one of those women with the “basketball tummy”. I am the kind of woman who will blow up to astounding proportions, grow a belly outwards AND sideways, and birth wonderfully healthy 9 pound babies.
This was taken a few months before my first pregnancy. The stupid thing is, I thought I looked “so fat” in this picture:
This picture was taken a week before my third son was born:
And this is me today, 10 months postpartum:
6 thoughts on “Rachael”
Isn’t it amazing how critical we are of ourselves? I look at old pictures of myself and think ‘hey! I looked pretty good!’ yet at the time I felt bad about my appearance.Trust me, your post 3rd baby belly is something to be proud of :)
Your belly is so pretty! It looks healthy and full of life. I have same exact stretch marks on my sides and on my calves too.
I have to say that your preggo belly is gorgeous!
Aw, thanks ladies! I’ve been advertising this blog for months, but finally found the courage to post. Your kind words are so encouraging. :) Rachael
Your belly looks great, especially after housing three blessings!
Beautiful! Thanks for sharing your story. :)