I just had my first (and last) child on September. I had a scheduled c-section. He was 10lbs and 2oz when he was born. I am only 5’1” and before I got pregnant I was only 95lbs. The day I went into the hospital I was 149lbs!!!! Mostly, water and one giant baby, but still huge all the same. I really didn’t gain weight anywhere else except my stomach during my pregnancy and the skin was still stretched tight up til he was born. I didn’t really have many stretch marks either til the last month and they really made up for lost time. I lost almost all the weight without dietary change or exercise right off the bat and then just completely plateaued right after that initial loss. I breast fed for the first three months til I couldn’t anymore. I still don’t know what happened. I was overproducing and then it just stopped coming out creamy and in then needed amounts. My breasts seemed to immediately shrivel up right after that. I was always about a 32D and a full DD when I was breast feeding and now they are just these tiny droopy pancake boobs that make me cringe when I see them in the mirror. In fact, seeing any part of my naked body anymore legitimately makes my skin crawl. I feel like there is no hope for any kind of salvage to my body anymore and my stomach is just going to look like a leather handbag forever. Did I screw myself because I didn’t exercise from the beginning? Is there really any nonsurgical way I can get rid of this disgusting extra skin? I am usually hovering between 105 and 110, so not overweight I guess, but you couldn’t tell. I’ve been going to the gym when I can and doing five miles on the elliptical or 1 mile on the treadmill and it doesn’t seem to be making any difference. Even carrying around my now more than 20lb son doesn’t seem to help. My stomach is still saggy and sticking out further than my breasts. I am just morbidly depressed about the state of my body and go out of my way to avoid letting anyone see it because of my extreme embarrassment I know pregnancy changes your body, but no one else seems to be nearly this far gone. Anyway, any insight on any of this would be tremendously helpful. I seriously am just so lost and depressed and don’t know where to go from here.
Photo: Year before pregnancy/ 4 days before Cesarean/ 5 months postpartum.
Photo 2: Adrian. (3 months old)
7 thoughts on “Trapped in Someone Else’s Body (Anonymous)”
First off, your son is absolutely adorable!! Secondly, I too struggle with the loose skin. I have two babies now, 6 months pp. I started doing the Jillian Michaels 30 day shred 3-5 days a week, and running a couple miles at least once a week. In addition, I am consuming LOTS of water during the day (I am 5’10” and 155 pounds and I drink roughly 80-100 oz of water a day). I have incorporated more fruit and veggies to my diet and I am conscious of my “bad fat” intake. So I don’t deprive myself. I’m not on any fad diets. I practice portion control. And I watch my carbs. Easy. If you are eating a hamburger, just take the top bun off and knife and fork it. I try to eliminate carbs at dinner and only eat them for bfast and/or lunch. Dinner I like to keep more protein based. Working full time, going to school, having a toddler and an infant, and a husband to care for and be around for doesn’t give me much “me time”; so I wake up at 4:30 most mornings to do a 25 minute work out (jillian michaels) and that has helped TREMENDOUSLY. I too struggle with my body after baby. Loose skin. Flat saggy boobs (once a DD/E, now MAYBE a C). These two things will never be COMPLETELY fixed or reversed without surgery, however I am finding that by working out and eating healthier, the appearance of my body is improving and I am no longer turning my attention away from the mirror when I stand there naked.
Because you didn’t work out from the get go has NOTHING to do with the fact that you have loose skin now. It’s all about the elasticity being lost. It happens to a lot of us. Just don’t lose hope. And know that any physical change requires us to put forth some effort. It’s hard but once you are in the routine, and you start to feel and see the results, it’s enough motivation to keep you going.
I want to end with this. We are all seeking to improve our bodies, to bring them back to pre pregnancy or to meet the societal standards portrayed by celebrities, but we first and foremost need to learn to love ourselves in our entirety including this shell (because that’s really all it is). Until we learn to love ourselves for EVERYTHING that we are, then we will always find flaws no matter what we see in the mirror… enjoy your little man because the time flies and today is more precious than yesterday. My goal is to teach my girls to love them selves whole heartedly and see the perfection that I see when I look at them; they can only do this if I lead by example.
Hon, have you been checked for diastisis recti? It’s pretty common and you can make it a lot better without surgery. (I have it, and I look a lot like you.) Hugs to you in any case– I hope you’re feeling more comfortable in your skin soon.
Well, setting your body-image aside for just a moment, it looks like you and your body did an excellent job and made an absolutely beautiful baby! If you haven’t stopped to appreciate this, then you really should just take a moment and love your body for a job well done! Congrats!! :D
I can empathize with the feeling of being disappointed with a postpartum body. My dissatisfaction is in other areas than yours, but I still understand what it feels like to one day feel like you’re rocking your bod and the next day feel like you’re victim to Invasion of the Body Snatchers!
From everything I have read and everything I have experienced, it takes time for anyone’s body to repair and readjust – and some patience, on our part, to let it do it’s work. I would recommend a well-rounded work-out routine (working all your muscle groups, getting in cardio/intervals, strengthening your core, etc), drinking plenty of water, and eating right (lots of fruits and veggies, especially)- this will give your body the best opportunity to repair.
I would also highly recommend asking for help from some professionals if ANY of this seems too overwhelming: a trainer can help you set up an effective exercise routine, a dietitian can help you set up a meal plan that is comfortable and reasonable for your lifestyle and budget, a wardrobe stylist can help you find clothes that make you feel good in the body you’re in NOW, and a counselor or life coach can help you stay positive and motivated. Though, if you ever feel that there is more involved than just dissatisfaction (like depression) then I would urge you to seek out someone with more credentials and experience than just a counselor of life coach – a psychologist or a psychiatrist, etc. And don’t be afraid to ask for help if you need it!
Unfortunately, there aren’t any non-surgical quick-fixes (that aren’t questionably damaging and dangerous), so patience is the key. If you don’t want to wait, though, surgery is always an option if you can afford it – and I don’t think that anyone should feel ashamed if they wanted to go that route. That being said, I think you look very beautiful in your postpartum body, and I know with certainty that there are many women in the world who would give their right arm to look like you. So, don’t despair, and remember that you are much more than your body shape! God bless you and good luck!!
And I second what Krista said.
Hi there, I want to send you a big hug! It`s now 7 months since I gave birth to our second son, and of course, my body is still trying to find back to it`s old shape. Last time it took me approx. 2 years to get back, so I could wear my old clothes again. Give your self some time and love the body you have as much as you can.
Hi I think your amazing and congratulations on carrying your beautiful large baby in the way you did when you are so small! wow, the advice I could give is the 30 day shred and I have seen impressive results with and hope to try myself?? But apart from that I think you should be proud of how you have carried your baby so safely x
I have the same problem as you. My bode is ruiend. Im trapped in someone else body, and I hate it.
My first baby was sooo little, but stil, my body couldnt handle it. So it was distroid….
I cant say anything to make you feel better, but I hope you do!