You don’t know what you have until it’s gone… (Kimberly)

Age: 21
Pregnancies: 1
Births: 1
3 1/2 Months PP

I became pregnant with my daughter less than a month and a half into my relationship with my, now, husband. As much of a shock as it was, it by all means was a position we put ourselves in. We were careless with our intimacy. It took a few weeks to come to the conclusion that we would continue our lives, but we would be bringing a life into this world with our own lives. My pregnancy was easy to say the least. During the first 5 months I had pretty severe morning sickness, that resulted in me losing 13 pounds my first trimester. Once I was out of the woods of the morning sickness, though, I felt that everything had started coming together. I didn’t have stretch marks, I got comments all the time about that “pregnancy glow”, my husband and I had a regular, AMAZING sex life, and I felt absolutely beautiful. However, later down the road that sex life slowed down. It became almost non-existent, and it wasn’t because MY sex drive wasn’t there. I started feeling unattractive to him, unwanted, and unsexy. I felt like I had to fish for compliments, and even when I got the result I wanted, it just didn’t feel as satisfying as I wished it to be. My last month and a half I grew large, and started developing stretch marks on my hips, stomach, and thighs. All in all, my stretch marks are nothing compared to circumstances other women have. However, I can’t help shake the thought that I still despised my late pregnancy body. I was in pain, I was exhausted and sleeping all the time, and had to leave work earlier than initially planned, suggested by my OBGYN. My husband and I were still not intimate, but now it was because of my large belly and how uncomfortable it was for me.
I went into labor on June 15th of this year, at nearly 5am. Throughout the day I dealt with mild contractions, but they progressively became more intense and unignorable. We went into the hospital around 1am on the 16th. My labor continued very slowly. They had me walking for hours to help me dilate. At 11am I was given a small dose of inducer to help, and within that same hour I was given my epidural. That was the worst part of my entire pregnancy. Due to severe lumbar scoliosis from my adolescence, my vertebrate were closer together than they normally should be. They had a hard time finding the right nerve, and also getting it in place correctly. It took them over an hour to get the correct placement, and they had to re-do the insertion of the spinal needle 4 times until it was right. After that, I was fanastic. I was giggly, happy, talkative. Around 5pm that day I decided I was ready to push. I was still in the same, euphoric mood, cracking jokes in between my contractions and pushing, laughing, and making conversation with everyone who was helping me. At 5:28pm and after over 36 hours of labor, a 7lb 10ounce, 19.5 inch long beautiful baby girl arrived. She was immediately put on my chest to nurse. And to make the situation even more memorable, my husband became teary eyed, which is not something I had ever seen in his eyes before.
The first two weeks home were miserable. I felt like I was doing everything wrong. My husband works nights at his job, and also needs to travel to Seattle, 4 hours away, nearly 1-2 weeks per month. It just so happens that the first trip they require him to make is the first week our newborn, and first child, is home. I cried, and cried, and cried. I didn’t understand why I was so unhappy. I missed my husband, wished for HIS help, and felt as if it would never get any better. Since then, it has done a complete turn around. Once my milk came in, life was much easier for all of us. I have adjusted to being a stay at home mom, as well as taking nearly full responsibilty for maintaining our daughter’s well-being while he is working at night or sleeping during the day. I absolutely LOVE my life as her mother and his wife. I have such an amazing thing in front of me, and I completely recognize every ounce of it.
However, my personal battle is this: my self confidence has been shot through the window, and I don’t know how to regain it. I, by NO means, resent my daughter for the changes my body made to accompany her development. I would rather have my body as it is now, than not have her in my life. I have never been a very confident person, however, I am at my lowest point in the longest time. I realize I am not as bad off as I nearly FEEL. But the way I feel doesn’t change just because I really am not as bad as it seems in my head. It’s hard for me to look at my body, I never spend the time getting myself “pretty” anymore. It’s funny how before I was pregnant, I didn’t like my body. I look at the very few pictures I DO have of my body from before, and I resent myself for not being confident then and realizing what an amazing figure I had. I know my body change can be easily obtained with excercise and eating well, which is my plan. I just don’t know how to raise my self esteem. I feel disgusting, I hate seeing my body, let alone my husband seeing my body. I wish I believed him every time he calls me beautiful. I believe it on some days, but I don’t on more occassions. I want to FEEL like the beautiful woman and mother that I am. I just don’t know how. I realize all of it is in my head. I have days where I feel confidence, it just doesn’t happen very often.

-Picture 1 is when I initially found out I was pregnant
-Picture 2 is around 35 weeks, the last picture I felt comfortable taking in my last trimester
-Picture 3 is just from a few days ago, 3 1/2 months PP
-Picture 4 is of my beautiful daughter, Makenna Jaylene

8 thoughts on “You don’t know what you have until it’s gone… (Kimberly)

  • Monday, November 9, 2009 at 12:11 pm

    You have an amazing and beautiful body, before, during and after pregnancy. I know how feel, the low confidence, the feeling of wanting to FEEL beautiful again. I am 22, as of this past August, and have 2 beautiful babies. I had my son when I was 18, and my daughter 4 1/2 months ago in June. I have stretch marks from my pubic bone to below my boobs. I never asked or wanted a body like this, but if that’s what it took to get my beautiful babies, then so be it. Eventually you will begin to feel the confidence again, and put in the effort to make yourself look and feel pretty again, but for now, give yourself a break. You are beautiful! And not to mention, that beautiful bright eyed baby girl of yours! :)

  • Monday, November 9, 2009 at 12:18 pm

    you have the cutest baby!

  • Monday, November 9, 2009 at 12:43 pm

    you look the same as you did before! You look beautiful! I understand its hard to accept your pp body but someday you will and you will appreciate it as well. Believe your hubby when he tells you youre beautiful cause you are. Good luck and God bless you and your beautiful family.

  • Monday, November 9, 2009 at 1:41 pm

    I am also 21 and 3 mos PP. Our before and after bodies are almost exactly the same, and I think you look great. Yet I look at myself and feel bad. I bet if you saw a picture of me you would think I looked great…see where I’m going with this?? We women are sometimes very silly. :)

    Beautiful baby girl!

  • Monday, November 9, 2009 at 3:06 pm

    First of all…you have a wonderful perspective on realizing first and foremost that you ARE a beautiful mother and wife.

    The last paragraph of your post really summarized exactly how I feel also. My entire body changed soo much after having my son. ( I’m TrueMother)..not only with the predictable stretch marks and saggy skin..but my entire metabolism and weight management. Before I had my son I could east fast food and not gain and ounce…now I have half of an oreo and the scale goes up a few pounds

    I dont think women are ever really emotionally prepared for what their body is capable of doing after they have a baby…
    Someone told me recently that womens bodies are genetically created to store fat because we are the ones who nurish and care for children..when we nurse our babies- our bodies need to store fat to nurture us and the are genetically built to have muscle to work and do hard labor…I don’t know if that is 100% medically correct but it makes sense. So many women have body issues after pregnancy..
    Sadly in todays culture and society we are literally brain washed to think that unless we are skin and bones we are not beautiful.Thats not true but I know exactly how you feel
    I also have no confidence anymore..I get dressed and I feel miserable. I got so depressed one day that my boyfriend actually removed our mirrored closet doors from our bathroom. I hate seeing myself, and I want there to be a solution to my sadness…
    This site is really helpful and I hope you find comfort in knowing there are other moms out there like you.
    If only all the women on SOAM could live in a peacful little town that is not effected by society, media and hollywood..we would all be just fine.
    Hang in there…you are doing awesome!!

  • Tuesday, November 10, 2009 at 3:39 am

    HI :) When i read your post i was expecting your photo to be so different, you look absolutely amazing ! really you have hardly any stretch marks on your belly and they will fade you look very slim and your skin is very firm i think you are lucky to look so great so soon after the birth of your baby, try not to be to hard on yourself i would love to look like you XX

  • Tuesday, November 10, 2009 at 11:52 am

    You do look pretty good, for 3 1/2 months. Is it possible you are suffering with a bit of PPD? Stress after birth can do that. You have a ‘negative tape’ running in your head, and only you can ‘erase’ that tape and play a positive one. “Fake it till you make it” is a great quote. Every time you see yourself in a mirror, everytime someone says something good, everytime you start to say something negative, stop the tape and play the positive one. Even if you don’t believe it, just say it. Eventually, you will come to realize that in order to fully love your baby, you have to fully love yourself, or you are cheating her and your husband of the best of you. You CAN do it.

  • Wednesday, November 11, 2009 at 1:44 pm

    Thank you all so much. Since I wrote this I’ve had a pretty back and forth battle with myself. I went through a motivational phase, lost 6 pounds, and then just lost it. I came to the realization that I was ignoring a bout of depression I was experiencing. And since I have admitted to it, I have started to feel better. Now I just need to get back on track, start eating better again (damn Halloween candy! lol), and start doing excercises that I can fit into my day.
    Again, thank you all. Your responses are uplifting, and very very appreciated.

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