She Changed My Life (Anonymous)

28 years old/ 1 pregnancy/1 birth/12 months postpartum

First off, I would like to say that I appreciate this site and the support that it offers to mothers. I have been visiting it ever since I was about 7 months pregnant, and it has been cathartic to me and my struggle with my body. Here is my story:

I grew up thick. Being classified as an African American, thick connotates having a little extra meat to love on your body. My parents, family, and friends never criticized my looks and I always felt like I was accepted. After leaving for college, I developed some poor eating habits( eating fast food everyday) and I topped out weighing about 185lb and being a size 12. Im 5’8 so it didnt look bad, but I wasn’t healthy. One day in 2006, I looked at my body in the mirror, and I hated the reflection. So I did something about it. I joined a fitness center, and with the help of a personal trainer, I dropped 40lb and got down to a size 4. My confidence and self esteem went through the roof! And I was beating the men off needless to say….I met my husband during this physical journey also. After having quite a few ups and downs over the next two years, we decided to consciously get pregnant.

After making this decision to bring life into this world, I was pregnant two weeks later! We were happy and excited to have a combination of ourselves coming into our lives. I had bad morning sickness until I was five months pregnant, and lost a few lbs, but after the sixth month, I was hungry again!!! I got to about 34 weeks with no stretch marks, until one morning I noticed one creeping up the bottom of my belly. It was a wrap after that. Everyday it seemed I developed a new mark. I had a really hard time accepting this. I had hoped to be one of the “lucky” ones, and not have any, and I slathered on raw shea butter and oil daily. Needless to say, as She grew, I was covered in stretch marks. And I gained a hearty 36lbs. From side to side, past my belly button, which looked weird and popped out. I went past my due date, which was June 7th.

Early in my pregnancy, I had planned to have a natural birth. I exercised throughout my pregnancy, ate heartily and prepared myself mentally with childbirth classes and lots of reading. The OB decided to break my water on June 9th. I chose a hospital that had nurses familiar with the natural birthing process, and they allowed me lots of movement during my labor. I even got to get in the shower while I was transitioning, which kept me from losing my mind! My daughter was born on June 10th, unmedicated, and when her head popped out I didn’t feel anything but joy! (Seriously) She opened her eyes and looked around the room before her body was out. It was the best experience of my life, and I will never forget that day.

I had a minor tear that took three stitches, and I was ok with that. But back to my body. My tummy was black and wrinkly at first. I used belly bandits to shrink it and I nursed my daughter until she was 6 months old. I did have tummy skin that I was unfamiliar with. How am I going to fix this? So about 2 weeks after I began walking, and as the months went on I gradually increased my activity. I had a lot of support from my husband to work out, despite whatever issues we had. I was a full time student, and I managed to stay in school, work out, and take care of my daughter. I had help from family and friends, and I’m very thankful for that. I know some women aren’t as blessed. I lost all my weight plus some by the time she was 9 months, but still was paranoid about my marks and extra skin. My husband and I had a lot of problems and this made me feel worse.

I started P90x about 2 months ago, and it really helped tone up my midsection and whole body. I still have the marks and skin, but you can hardly see it. It still moves and flaps a bit when I sit down. I have thought about tummy tucks, but I actually am fitter now and look better in clothes now than before I had her. The jury is still out about the tummy tucks…I don’t have the money, and the down time could drive me crazy. I’m a fitness junkie now.

Thank you for reading this long post, I have been waiting over a year to submit it. I am including some pictures of my stomach and breasts, as well as a picture of my love, Aashima. I feel like more of woman now, I have so much motivation to be successful, and I owe it to her.

The pictures are all 12 months postpartum. And the photo of Aashima is at 8 months.

16 thoughts on “She Changed My Life (Anonymous)

  • Tuesday, June 29, 2010 at 10:31 am

    :) your post has given me confidence that having this kid won’t destroy everything about my body (like I’ve been terrifed it will). I lost 30lbs before I got pregnant, was a size 8 with a miniscule waist (big butt, though, not much I can do there, lol). I’ve always loved my torso. And now I’m watching my body change, even though I haven’t gained weight since week 11 (I’m 19 weeks).
    It really is unsettling to see my waist disappear. I hope I can bounce back like you have! And I definitely hope I can be as positive as you’ve been!

  • Tuesday, June 29, 2010 at 11:33 am

    A tummy tuck? You’ve got to be kidding. You look FANTASTIC!

  • Tuesday, June 29, 2010 at 11:34 am

    I think you look beautiful! Congrats on having a fitter body than before you were pregnant! You daughter is absolutely adorable with the cute little shampoo do’.

    I am also 28 and 5’8 and having my first baby (a girl) in October. I don’t have any stretch marks yet (at 25 weeks), but I am sure I am going to get them because I got stretch marks on my hips when I was 12 just from a growth spurt. I am so impressed with your nonmedicated birth, I am planning to try for one. Do you have any tips? Also, I hope my boobs look as fabulous as your post pregnancy!

  • Tuesday, June 29, 2010 at 1:45 pm

    Girl, you are BEAUTIFUL, as is your child! Take pride in your life-bearing body and be joyful in what you have! ;)

  • Tuesday, June 29, 2010 at 3:40 pm

    nice boobs!

  • Tuesday, June 29, 2010 at 4:48 pm

    You look great! and the natural birth… wow I admire every woman who can go through that, i just had my baby less than two weeks ago and i was begging for the epidural… i have nothing but respect for you strong mammas!

  • Tuesday, June 29, 2010 at 6:36 pm

    You don’t need a tummy tuck. I’m 1 year pp, and I still have a lot of extra skin, but then again, I haven’t been very active. Good job with getting fit!

  • Tuesday, June 29, 2010 at 6:55 pm

    You look beautiful! In my humble opinion a tummy tuck would be a waste of money. You have such a nice waist, perky boobs, and a flat tummy!

  • Wednesday, June 30, 2010 at 12:11 am

    Holy cow you look gorgeous! I seriously need to hunt down P90X. Everyone has such great results!

  • Wednesday, June 30, 2010 at 4:08 am

    You look amazing! Your daughter is so adorable; that picture made me smile. If I look like you after I have a child, I will be thrilled. You are an inspiration. :)

  • Wednesday, June 30, 2010 at 9:53 am

    you look amazing period :)

  • Wednesday, June 30, 2010 at 6:42 pm

    I have been waiting to see my post! I appreciate all the positive feedback. I just wanted to share my story,and hoped it could help someone like rhis site has helped me. As far as the unmedicated birth is concerned, i believe staying active in pregnancy as well as educating your mind about natural birth were the two major things that helped me a lot. I realize that every pregnancy is different, but the the more knowledge you have, the more control you can exert over your body during the labor process.

  • Tuesday, July 13, 2010 at 6:16 pm

    Hi I am currently 7 months PP and was originally devasted about what happened to my previously beautiful DD’S (before pregnancy, they are now barely a C – not too saggy though.) I weigh between 65 and 68 KG which isn’t huge for my height (168cm) Excuse the metric measurements but I am an Aussie :) I noticed your boobs look fantastic and you breastfed for about the same amount of time as me – did yours deflate and then slowly fill out again with some pushups and dumb bells?? Please say yes! Mine were ugly as and are slowly getting fuller and perkier again and I am not putting on weight (and no I am not pregnant again :)) I have been wanting to post for a while but havent had the courage and was thinking I will wait and see what these boobs are doing… I was lucky to lose all (and more) of my pregnancy weight in the 8 weeks I breastfed, I was very active during my pregnancy too (no obvious stretch marks) and worked right up until 2 days before I had my little girl. My main thing was daily moisturising (no particular brand) I used to swim alot too and I always maintained the best possible posture to the point where very few people knew I was even pregnant. I think core strength saved my stomach!!

  • Tuesday, July 20, 2010 at 4:25 pm

    haha, I’m going to go with the few others on here.. I HAD to sign on because I just wanted to say, and I mean this in a truly honest sense.. you’ve got GREAT breasts!!!! I really don’t think the tummy tuck is necessary, as you still look very good. But man, I’d kill for boobs like yours :P

  • Thursday, August 26, 2010 at 5:20 pm

    You look absolutely fantastic!!! I’m jealous of your breasts and flat stomach. If I end up looking like you after giving birth, I will have nothing to complain about my body!!! I can’t believe you’re thinking about a tummy tuck!

  • Tuesday, November 22, 2011 at 10:45 am

    Wow I read this and started smiling because I thought about myself I got to week 34 with not one stretch mark then they just started COMING!!! I used to pray n ask God when I do get pregnant to spear me only because my legs butt and even knees ate covered in them due to me growing length wise very quickly when I was younger. But Im 5’7 and put on 30 1bs I was 170 to start. Everyone compliments how I carry because I’m not “swollen” but my stomach is huge ppl think I’m having twins. But anyway u look fantasic I did p90x before with my husband only to tone and I plan on doing it after. I will look at your pictures for inspiration thanks for the post this gives me hope to have a natural delivery AND look fabulous afterward. God Bless

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