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so insecure 5 months post partum (Anonymous)

My son is my light. He is everything to me. He makes me so happy; sometimes I just look at him & cry. He was due May 27th, & born on June 8th by ceserean. He weighed 11 lbs. 8 oz. I had a c-section because of his size, & because even almost 2 weeks past his due date, no progress towards labor had occured. I’d not dialated, had zero contractions, he had not even turned or dropped. My doctor did attempt to break my waters but couldn’t. Even if we’d induced, I probably would’ve needed a c-section anyway. Now I absolutely hate my body. It is so ugly. I wonder if I will ever be pretty again? I feel so young to have destroyed my body. I’m only 22. I have a saggy, wrinkly belly, covered with stretchmarks. I also have stretchmarks on my very lopsided breasts, on my thighs, hips, & even calves. NOTHING fits. I want my body back. I worry about being such a selfish mother that is so upset by my ugly body when I have the most precious & beautiful thing in the world because of it. Taking these pictures & showing them is really hard for me to do. Here’s what I look like now:





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17 comments… add one
  • k Sunday, December 2, 2007, 11:20 am

    Give it some time. While you may not look quite the same as you once did, I found there was a huge difference between the skin and stretch marks at 1-2 years postpartum, compared with a few months after giving birth. And eventually some stuff started fit again, but early on, oh, how terrible it was. I just wanted to wear jeans and a t shirt again and look relatively normal, so I hear you.

    (I’m older than you by more than a decade, gained abt 100 pounds while pg, and then lost most of it, had/have diastasis recti, a 10 pound baby and a c/s. So I’ve been there.)

  • Sarah Sunday, December 2, 2007, 2:51 pm

    Sweetheart, please don’t be upset. You are a beautiful person. No, you do not look like a person on the front of Teen Vogue, but isn’t that a good thing? People are so obsessed by these pictures of fake, photoshopped, airbrushed people, that they focus on things that really are not flaws! You are only 5 months post partum! It takes years for a woman’s body to recover. You are fabulously gorgeous. The more you tell yourself that, the more people around you will agree with you and believe it, too. People feed into how we feel about ourselves. If we feel ugly, then people automatically know it. If we feel beautiful (and you are) then people will believe and know it!

  • Natalie Sunday, December 2, 2007, 3:03 pm

    Even though I know how hard it is for you to see, you really don’t have a bad shape at all. Stretchmarks do fade, and the previous commenter was right, after a year or so, things do seem to fit better.

  • Regina Sunday, December 2, 2007, 4:13 pm

    hunny you look great!!! you are only 5 months post. don;t think about the women who shrink right back down. they are rare. your stretchmarks are fading fast!!!! they are almost gone!!!

  • nina Sunday, December 2, 2007, 8:39 pm

    i think you will see major improvements if you think positive thoughts! and yes your stretchmarks are fading!

    I am 8 months post baby, and i gained 60 pounds. here is how i sped up the process of getting back my old body (not perfectly, but it’s getting there).

    I started wearing a pedometer to measure my steps each day. they say that japanese people stay so thin by taking 10,000 steps per day (that’s about 5 miles). the pedometer helps you keep track of those steps and motivates you to walk more.

    i also started doing yoga. the best yoga video instructor ever is sarah ivanhoe. she is amazing! she does a “fat burning” yoga and boy, i swear i started to see results in just a few weeks. you stand up straighter, your thighs get thinner, it’s great.

    for a little while until my stomach went down more i wore a gurdle. it’s not sexy at all, but it helps your stomach muscles go back together and keeps you in until you develop your muscles again.

    just stay away from the sweets, eat lots of fresh fruit and veggies and lean proteins, TONS of water, and you’ll be on your way.

    sorry i wrote you a book, but i wanted you to know how i did it. i lost almost all the weight already by doing these things.

    love!
    *nina

  • alexis Monday, December 3, 2007, 6:11 am

    I am 22 also, and though I do not have any children yet, I have delt with loose skin and stretch marks. (Remember too, these are problems for a lot of women and not just attributed to giving birth so don’t let it discourage you from soaking up the joy of being a mother or being pregnant!) I know it is not even entirely cosmetic, although it is totally valid to want to look nice. Lose skin and stretch marks can just be physically uncomfortable.
    Just like they came naturally, you can deal with them naturally. Here is what I do to deal with loose skin and stretch marks:
    Dry Brushing: Look up techniques on google, and pick up a good brush for around seven dollars at any healthfood store (Whole Foods is good, or you could probably find one at a beauty supply store or just the internet.) You bascially exfoliate BEFORE you shower, then apply some nice oil after, within three processes everyone will notice your skin is glowing and you will notice it is firmer.

    L-Lysine supplements: I have used these since I was very young because I always have skin rashes and irritations. It is easy on your body, you can’t really take too much (of course talk to your GP), and you will see results with just two a day. It is an amino acid that aids in bone building and cell turn over and repair. You will notice a lot of little things clearing up on your body, the redness will go down on stretch marks, and your skin will feel tighter.

    Of course, work out – keep things moving in your body. That is the only way it can repair itself – by keeping blood moving in and out, cleaning up and doing its job.

    The more love you give your body, the more you respect how well it can work (and it DID work, you MADE another person!) the more efficantly it can do its job.

    One last thing, sorry this is so long, give some extra attention to a body part you feel good about. Your upper body is slim and your hips are lusciously curvey – work those out with weights and bring out even more definition. The extra muscle will burn extra calories, the process will invigorate you, and the form will boost your spirits while your body takes care of healing from the tremendous task you have completed.

  • McBeth Monday, December 3, 2007, 11:27 am

    I think your body looks perfectly like itself.

    I appreciate your honesty – I imagine it’s hard to say those hard things about your fears and disappointment when it stands in such conflict to the excitement of the past year, but lookit you, being all straightforward and clear. That bodes well for your future, I think.

    It’s awfully hard (of you, on you) to set some arbitrary imaginary goal of your pieces and parts looking a certain way at any given time, when a look in the mirror reveals something that seems far less appealing than what you’d hoped for in your imagination.

    I want you to know I heard you. I know what you mean. I happen to think you look lovely, and I hope you won’t permit your disappointment to overrule your future happiness.

  • Cori Thursday, December 27, 2007, 9:41 am

    Hello Momma!
    I am 10mo Post Pregnancy now, and I was shocked to see your pictures because I was looking at a replica of my own belly. DD was born a week early via c sec. and I am also covered in stretchmarks. I also have my “flop” as I call it, where the skin hangs over the incision. I didn’t gain much with the pregnancy, but I started it at 183lbs. I am now down to 189lbs, but my body still have the same shape (and flop) to it. It is just slow… just remember that. I cry all the time about it. I will never be in a size 9/10 again… It is just life. Mixed emotions, I think, is the key word here. I find justice in my body everytime I see DD. This may sound a little rambly (not a word!!!), but it does take time. It is a HUGE change that I don’t think women are prepped for when they are pregnant. Time will heal, I promise. That doesn’t mean that it will go away all on it’s own, but with time, you learn to love different parts of your body and start accepting the “new” you. Just stay healthy in your habits, and you will form back to your new normal!

  • Tina Tuesday, January 1, 2008, 10:51 pm

    You look beautiful. I too was 2 weeks late with a big baby and my belly is like yours. My son is the light of my life and the sacrifice was well worth it. You made a BABY and your body is magical and beautiful. I wish you peace with it (and me as well) You look GREAT .

  • angela Thursday, January 17, 2008, 9:57 pm

    for some reason ny navel area is portruded.. its flat under.. but my navel stuck out really bad during pregnancy.. and now its all dry and blach.. hense my skin town is dark brown. i wanted to know if this was normal?

  • Emma Thursday, January 24, 2008, 1:43 am

    Im only 20, and i know how it feels i looked exactly the same though im petite, its been 10months now and the stretchamrks too fade in time but it takes even longer with the skin but you will get there :)
    the thing is there nothing really that you can do about it. it is a huge shock to go from an amazing body to something like that but you have to accept your body. You now have an amazing baby, so everytime it gets you down just think about him.

  • Elizabeth Friday, January 25, 2008, 3:04 pm

    I just wanted to write you a note of encouragement. Your belly is beautiful because it is a belly that held a baby! I know, I know. Probably doesn’t make you feel tons better, but I love it! I haven’t been able to have a baby yet, and I would easily trade my no-baby-belly for yours if I also had a baby. Plus, I’ve heard that 5 months post partum is nothing. Having a baby in there takes some time and energy, and so does recovery from that! Know that you are helping the zillons of other women out there with very similar bellies who think “oh, what’s wrong with me? am i the only one that doesn’t look like katie holmes after i have my baby?” it was brave of you to share – since you said it was hard – and please know that it is great for those of us who haven’t had babies yet who can prepare for the changes we’ll go through. Thanks for sharing. Your tummy is really great. Much peace to you, E

  • Jamie Sunday, January 27, 2008, 5:29 am

    I just want to say that I can completely relate. I felt horrible after the birth of my son because of the way I looked and because I felt guilty for being so vain. Although it took me two years, I did finally get close (6 pounds off) to my original weight. That and the fact that I was getting used to my new skin have helped me to feel better and more secure. I just wanted to let you know that you’re not alone. There are thousands of women who feel bad about the way we look, but we dont have to. You’ll lose more weight, your skin will tone, and your stretch marks will lighten. It does get better.

  • Rachel Tuesday, January 29, 2008, 7:52 pm

    Hi, I just had a baby over a year ago and our tummys look like twins. I won’t let anyone see it. It pisses me off looking at celebritys with size 4 after kids. It makes real people (not fat people, just regular everyday people) feel more horrible about themselves. We feel like something is wrong with ourselves when we never did anything wrong. I was so careful what to eat when I was pregnant, now even if I lost a few pounds my belly would still look weird. I’m at a lost at what to do. Someone said vitamin E oil helped stretched marks, but it feels like a drop in a bucket. Don’t know what to tell you.

  • Emily Thursday, April 3, 2008, 1:45 pm

    Hey, girl your marks are identical to mine. i was a month shy of 17, when i had my (now 5 yr old) daughter. i stood in front of the mirror and cried for months, every time i got out of the shower. i researched stretch marks and remedies online for so long, and obviously still do occasionally, or i wouldn’t have found this page! i found out that all the creams, lotions, and butters don’t do a thing to prevent it, because it’s hereditary to your skin type. i was discouraged to think that surgery and laser skin treatment was unattainable for a normal person with NO funds for such. even after the weight was gone, i still felt “deflated” and embarrassed of what i thought was an unattractive body. i and the father separated, so i was left young and single with what i felt (and still do sometimes) was an embarrassing belly. i’m still out in the world, competing with other girls my age that have pretty bellies, for guys. i’ve spent money on the skin firming lotions and gels and whatnot. they do seem to help a BIT, with continuous use. but it’s been 5 years now, and it’s taken time, but my skin HAS drawn back up A LOT and is regaining normal shape. red and purple marks are fading to silvery pink. i think that being so young still, there may be a slight advantage to skin healing. i’ve heard that the body regenerates it’s cells every seven years, so it takes time but it does get better. i’m always insecure about my floppy belly and being attractive. i really haven’t had trouble getting guys at all, and when there’s somebody that truly loves and cares about you, they don’t care in the slightest! it’s great, and eases the insecurity. it’s true that not matter how upsetting your belly is now, you won’t think about it when you’re baby smiles and grows beautifully! =] chin up, girl. IT WILL GET BETTER!!

  • Jasmine Thursday, April 24, 2008, 9:00 am

    Hello! I am 31 years young and My baby was due Nov. 24, 2007 and he came Dec. 23. A beautiful baby boy of 9.5 lbs was born I started at 145 and gained 70 lbs. When I saw your picture I cried because I also am feeling very insecure about my body and I look just like you do. My husband tells me everyday how beautiful I am but somehow still feel insecure about my body. Now I know I am not the only one. I am now 4 mths. postpartum and fianlly started walking and Taebo. In the last two weeks I have lost 10 lbs. I am now 185. I know I will get my body back and it will tkae some time. Always look to your loved ones for support and remember you are beautiful and Mother Nature is a beautiful thing. You will get your body back. Be patient and if you would like to do this together my email is flowersofathena@yahoo.com.

  • Kirsty Tuesday, June 10, 2008, 2:44 pm

    Hi there, I just wanted to say that I am in the same position. I had my daughter nearly 3 years ago and although my stretchmarks have faded to almost nothing, my skin still sags when I bend forwards or sit down and I’m dreading wearing a bikini infront of my new boyfriend on the beach this summer! I’m only 25 and I often feel that I have also ruined by body at a young age. . . just wanted to let you know that you are not alone honey xx

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