Am I Ruined? (Anonymous)

I’m currently 24. I have had two pregnancies and have two beautiful boys 1 year and 20 days apart both delivered vaginally. I will be 3 months postpartum in 11 days. I am writing this post because I am working hard to become comfortable in my own skin again and want to love my new body. In college I had so much confidence in crop tops, short shorts, bikinis etc…. Again, I am 24 years old so if this sounds immature I apologize. I love fashion, I love wearing things to compliment my figure and my midriff used to be my favorite part of my body. My first son left me stretch mark free, well on my stomach only, I developed a couple on my hips and some deep in my upper inner thigh area (yes I cried, my husband said that he didn’t care, yada yada all the things men say to comfort you.) My thoughts on his response…. No matter how vain it sounds I thought, “well at-least my stomach is OK.” Well then came my second baby boy and now I feel ruined. I am still young and I’d like to dress in all of the things I felt able to wear before, well a bit more conservative of course out of respect for my husband and children, but I am scared that strangers, yes people I owe nothing to, will stare…. Ugh this sounds so stupid…

I am about 30 lbs overweight now and just got the “okay” to resume exercise. I have diastasis recti so my pouch didn’t go down as fast as it did after my first pregnancy but I am working on closing the gap through physical therapy. I am eager to get toned again, but now I fear that weight loss may enhance the appearance of my stretch marks that, in person, look like deep horizontal tears in my abdomen area (although exfoliation has evened the texture out a bit), plus the light discoloration (which I’m not sure if it will fade into my skin color because as an African American woman I found my belly looks darker for a while after birth), and may reveal sagging skin, which I’m not 100% sure if I have any, but the ab separation is about 3 fingers wide so that may contribute to sagging. Also, my belly button looks soooooo weird to me now, but that’s not a major issue for me, it seems to be shifting back to place lately… I’m probably hallucinating.

Anyway, I remember as a child, my mother showed me her stretch marks and said that her body was ruined, so that replays in my head, plus one of the first questions she asked when I was pregnant with my first was if I had developed any, which I hadn’t on my stomach. I find myself, in between bathroom breaks and nap-time for my babies in the mirror obsessively checking them as if they’re just going to disappear all of a sudden. I am exfoliating like crazy in the shower trying to fade them as fast as possible…. I’m considering a spray tan, yes I know I have dark skin already but I’ve read it could even out your skin tone and disguise scars regardless… I look at clothing online and automatically feel like I’ll never be able to wear what I like again without looking stupid. I have decided to get a tubal ligation because I honestly do not think I can handle anymore changes to my appearance. I know that beauty comes from within, but to me when you feel good about the outside, your self esteem is boosted… But maybe that’s just me. I know I have a long way to go and I will not allow myself to regret my amazing boys. But am I ruined? Can I still dress as a 24 year old? Is my body now disgusting? I need to know. Will it get better? Please help me ladies, I know it is all in my head, but I can’t seem to break free from this mentality.

Updated here.

My postpartum body is horrible, and I have a lot of insecurities!!! (K. Evans)

Well for starters I have a lot on my plate. I’m a single mom, I work, and go to school. I just turned 20 last December, and this was my first pregnancy. I love my son to death I wouldn’t trade him for anything, I just regret having him at a young age. I feel like a bad mom sometimes because I get so down about my postpartum body, and it worries me so much I lose focus on what’s important. I’m 3 months pp and I thought I would be at least almost back to normal but I’m not. My stomach is very wrinkly and covered with stretchmarks as well as my sides, thighs, hips, even my calves. I don’t even want to date in the future because of it…its just that awful. The only thing that cheers me up about it is my son because he was well worth it. I just wish it wasn’t so bad ?

The first picture is me before pregnancy, the last two are me 3 months pp….

Past Possible Miscarriage (Anonymous)

My last “Normal” period was October 19, 2014 and I took a test around where I would approximately 4 weeks pregnant and it was negative but then my period was extremely late so I took a test and it was clearly positive then a week later I bleed for 2 days then my symptoms started up again.

Sore breasts, Darkening areoles, Darkening nipples.
Extremely tiredness
Vomited 3 times since positive test
Growing fingernails (currently)
Nausea here and there
My boyfriend slept a lot too and gained weight (a lot) he vomited yesterday

Embrace Your Body! (Mrs. Roussell)

Age: 23
Number of Children: 1
6 months Pp

Previous post here.

My First Post was at 4 week pp and I felt horrible about my body..I was constantly comparing my body to other mothers but I now realize every woman Is different and as we get older our bodies change. It’s up to me to change my attitude along with my body!! I have diastasis recti so I can’t do traditional abdominal work outs so I still have a solve that problem I bought spanx :-), my weight is between Pre pregnancy weight was 123 so I can fit most of my old clothes but my boobs are still huge and my hips are wider…I’ve embraced my curves…my message to all new moms is as time goes on your body will change..EMBRACE IT..appreciate your body for what it is…it made a HUMAN!


Update on My Diastasis Recti (Mrs. Roussell)

Age :23
Weeks PP: 9!

Previous post here.

When I last posted I was 4 weeks pp and very insecure about my stomach. I haven’t lost any weight yet (still 140) but I’m ok with that being I’ve never had a big butt and being that I’m African American I’ve always been made fun of because of it but now I LOVE my new booty!! … One person commented on my post that just by looking at my pictures she was 100% sure that I had Diastasis Recti (separation of the ab muscles) first thought was “what the hell is that” so I started to google. Every picture I saw reminded me of my stomach and through further research the “Tupler Technique” popped up. I have a belly binder that the hospital gave me to wrap my boobs after I had my baby(no I didn’t breast feed!!! Don’t Judge) I cut it into 3 sections and wrapped my stomach while hold in my abs and pushing them’s not the same as the proper diastasis recti rehab splint that is endorsed by the “tupler technique” but hay money is a little tight because we’re until we’re settled that’s what I’ll be doing. I’ve been wearing it for 2 days now and doing transverse abdominal exercises and I already see results!! To all moms PLEASE google this condition before doing CRUNCHES !!! I have a new found confidence knowing that I have this condition and that I CAN fix it..hope this post helps new and old moms

Updated here.

First Time Mommy (Mrs. Roussell)

Age: 23
Number of Children:1 4wks Pp

Im so glad I found this website!! I was 124lb 5″1 before I got pregnant..I loved my body and so did my husband which why I got pregnant lol…I was 160lbs and gave birth at 39wks.. Only one of my friends (age 23) has kids (2 girls) and only one immediate family members has 1 son, so I looked at them to see what my body would look like after having my friend and I was pregnant at the same time.. we were 3 months apart.. 2 weeks after she had her daughter she looked like a freaking model!!!!! Big booty, nice boobs and a FLAT tummy!!! My family member is 3 yrs pp so I looked at her body since we are related I assumed my body would look similar after I had my son WRONG!! She looked like a thicker Model!!! Im so insecure about my body.. I wear big shirts and sweats around the house and refuse to let my husband touch my stomach no mater how many times he calls me beautiful or sexy I just dont see it…and the media doesn’t help..I see moms on tv and they look great example Heidi klum (i swear that women is a pure freak of nature lol) but needless to say seeing the images on this website has bought my self confidence from a 1 to a strong 2.5 lol but I so happy this website exist for moms to share :-)

1st picture: before pregnancy
2nd 9 months pregnant
3rd 3 weeks pp
4th and 5th 4 weeks pp.

Updated here.

I think my body is holding a grudge against me (bcortez)

Number of pregnancies: 1
Number of births: 1
Age of children: 2 years old

I love being a woman. I love being a mother. I love being a wife. I don’t love my body. I love me, but I feel like my inner self is cursed with this failed promise of what my body is supposed to be. True maybe I’ve seen too much TV with women’s goal to be thin, but I don’t want to be thin I’ve always wanted to be curvy and sexy, shaped like a sexy adult woman. Biology shapes women as it does for the purpose of survival, carrying pregnancies, nursing babies, and to continue procreation. So all media influences aside, I believe women are able and should be able to have a sexy shape after having children,because nature had to have a way for mothers to have more than one child and not be seen as unsuitible for mating after one birth. I’m not talking about stretch marks or breasts not being as perky or an extra 10 pounds,so I guess I should tell my story.

I have always carried extra fat on my belly, but I could suck it in and look close enough to what I wanted. I still did spend majority of my teen years trying to lose weight and I was overweight by the time I was 18. I developed breasts in 7th grade age 12, by 9th grade I was a c cup. I liked the size but I never felt they were perky I honestly think they grew in saggy, not my biggest gripe because bras work wonders. I wanted to breast feed my children. I felt like 1 positive was I had big breast, 1 negative was they were saggy, to be more precise my areola is big and low my nipples point down I can hold pencils and other things under my breast but if I could just move my areola I wouldn’t feel so bad about it. When my baby was born she was tongue tied and couldn’t latch on, so I pumped for 6 months and no supplements and she did wonderfully. I wanted to have her on breast milk for the first year but around month 5 I kept getting sinus infections and in
my sickness pumped less and was so tired and worn I was producing less milk and I stopped pumping. Interestingly enough I never had any issues stopping pumping never felt engorged or pain. So even though I feel I have the breast of a middle aged woman they feed my daughter so at least they did their job! Hopefully when I have more children I can actually breast feed and go to a year.
I am African American, I have a mixed heritage, I am married to a Latino man and all I want for Christmas is some hips and butt. My husband is awesome and he tells me I’m sexy and doesn’t make me feel bad. Growing up all I wanted was to be able to feel beautiful and wanted and sexy and womanly without feeling ashamed. I had skin rashes and discolorations as a child and I was not overweight but like 10 pounds away for it so I wasn’t comfortable. I felt very ordinary, as a teen I was happy to have breast but I continued to wait for my hips and butt to develop and it never did. I was a size 12 by the end of high school but no real curves. Then during college I found out I have hypothyroidism and pcos, I did concieve naturally without really trying( I was depressed about pcos and the infertility part and stopped taking birth control) I lost 30 pounds and 6 months after being of birth control was pregnant. I weighed 235 when I had my daughter, emergency c
section, very depressed about that. Pumped breast ilk for 6 months no real weightless because milk supply would suffer. Stopped nursing still no change. I did drop 18 pounds a few months ago but I scale has broken and I probley gained some back. Currently I am around 218, size 14. I carry a lot of that fat in my belly none in my butt. My husband and I are ready to add another baby to the family but I still haven’t lost all my pregnancy weight and since I have pcos I probley can’t get pregnant as this weight even though other people bigger than me can, when I was diagnosed I was 215 and my testosterone was too high for ovulation. I feel angry I feel let down I feel like I inherited the worst genes in my family. I didn’t snap back after pregnancy, I nursed for 6 months and didn’t use and stored up fat I carry fat on my belly not hips or butt which is not only unattractive it’s a warning of all sorts of health issues to come. I have fertility issues at 25
and I supposed to be able to raise my daughter to be so much better than me but somehow I have to keep all this anger and unhappiness to myself. I don’t want my daughter to feel like I feel I don’t want her to have my health issues.
I was upset one day and I wrote a letter to myself and it was so sad. In summary the letter said, “why are you so fat, other people have babies and are not fat, why aren’t you pregnant yet other people can be fat and get pregnant , why don’t you love me. ”
I know I am judging myself harshly but I feel like I may never have a yound hot body that youth gives. My mother my sister my grandmother my aunt all were thin and no weight issues till after pregnancies or older age has set in, I have always been on the bigger side but not even with any curves to show for it. I’ve always had to watch what I eat my sister only recently has gained weight in unwanted places.

I don’t drink alcohol much maybe once a month but I’ve never even been drunk I don’t smoke I can be active and am fairly strong but I’m plagued my issues my peers who drink smoke eat whatever that want don’t have I know their actions will catch up to them eventually but what have I done to make my body behave this way . I have no choice but to keep trying but deep down I really think my body really hates me and is stubborn and as no intention of changing . When I did lose 30 pounds I only ate ceral skim milk baked chicken and salad only water to drink. I can’t go that extreme because my toddler and husband have to have other food. Woe is I

Turning Trauma into Triumph (Raashida)

Age: 26
Pregnancies/births: 1/1
1 year post partum

I am so glad I found this website! Here is my story: I had a petty easy and uneventful pregnancy. I had few to no pregnancy symptoms. Food craving, a little emotional and hypersensitive sense of smell but that’s about it. I was active duty military when I had my son and towards the end of my pregnancy I had a routine appt with a really rude and nasty, insensitive doctor. I call the commander and told him that I did not feel comfortable having my baby on base and begged and cried (literally) to be referred to an off-base hospital but they did not refer me and when I went into labor and showed up to the hospital that same horrible doctor was on call and it all went downhill from there. He talked down to me and told me basically that I didn’t go to medical school therefore I didn’t know what was going on in my own body. I was talked into getting an epidural and pitocin which put my son in distress and after 23 hours of labor I was rushed in for an emergency c-section (by a different more awesome doctor)

I was horrified and traumatized by the whole event not to mention this is my first baby and for a while I didn’t want anymore children. I filed complaint against that doctor and wrote him several letters letting him know how his terrible bedside manner forever changed my life and my view on doctors in general. For the first few weeks I did not feel connected to my baby because I was so distraught over having to lay on the bed and have him cut out of me when it could have been avoided. I felt very alone and depressed. Eventually I came out of the cloud and now I wouldnt trade my baby for all the stars in the sky :)

I struggle with my post baby body and disfiguring c-section scar and the painful memories that come rushing back every time I look at it. I don’t think I look horrible but I definitely don’t feel sexy anymore. I haven’t really worked out consistently since having my son so I know I could look a lot better with a little effort. (I am in the process of getting a personal trainer) I did bind my belly immediatley after surgery which helped tremendously in weight loss and shrinking my belly back down. I also breast fed.

Ugly Obsession With Beauty (Anonymous)

I am a 26-year old African-American female who is half in love with her shape and half disgusted by it. Let me explain first why I am posting in a site for women with children and I have never been pregnant.

My body issues began when I turned 15. It was then that I developed perky breasts and curvy bottom half. Guys gave me attention, girls told me I was beautiful, it was cool. At that time, I was a staunch Christian, and for me, that meant that somewhere deep inside I felt my newly sexy body was innately shameful. So here I am with this new womanly body, that I am kind of in love with, but I’m also absolutely scared of the kind of attention that brings. Then I started modeling. I was in love with the attention, and the way photographs and photoshop and ad campaigns made me look better than I really did. I think I began to see myself as the woman in the commercials and airbrushed photos, instead of the girl with cellulite and (according to model’s standards) slightly saggy breasts.

Ever since I can remember, I’ve had a fascination with pregnancy. I am TERRIFIED and in awe of what birthing a child can do to a woman’s body. My mother can be very negative at times, and I can always remember her saying how pretty she was before she had kids. She warns that I will definitely gain weight and get stretch marks. She recently had a tummy tuck and breast lift. I have no idea why I have this obsession, but anyone who knows me will know this. This is why I know of this site. I’ve been categorically researching pregnancy since I was about 17. I’m now 26. My loving and supportive boyfriend can tell from the sound of my voice if I’ve been googling “fit pregnancy” or “how to avoid stretchmarks during pregnancy” or Facebooking friends who have had children and are sporting bikinis like three months later.

Why this irrational fear? I could get them, as it’s mainly a genetic trait (or so my scientific research says) but if I exercise and eat properly during my future pregnancy there is a chance I wouldn’t get them at all. I know in my mind that pregnancy doesn’t always mean your body will never be the same — but I have such high standards for myself that I don’t know what I will do if come out on the other side changed in a way that my mind sees as “ugly.”

My younger half-sister had a son a few years ago and her stomach was absolutely changed. She gained 70 pounds during her pregnancy (admittedly due to overeating and an unhealthy diet) and got bright red, violent (in my mind) stretch marks over her entire stomach. I will never forget the first time I saw them. I didn’t want to make a reaction and hurt my sister’s feelings, but the bright red marks gave me a sinking feeling to my stomach. “I would literally go insane if my stomach looked liked that”, I thought. Is this my fate? This is an odd coincidence because along with my fear/obsession with pregnancy comes dreadful fear of getting stretch marks.

A lot of this comes from my body type, which I know I will have forever, even if I tone up or slim down a little. I am a curvy, curvy chick. Period. Everybody tells me how lucky I am to have a big butt and hips as a Black woman, and that I should be proud to have the ideal Black woman’s frame — but I don’t feel that way. I don’t always like walking down the street and hearing men say, “Now that’s a big ass,” or being at the pool where a group of tourists gather around and laugh and point as if I cannot see them, or feeling like a sideshow attraction every time I wear tight pants — and almost ALL pants are tight pants on me. I like the attention sometimes, as you will see in one attached photograph (with the black dress.) It can be a beautiful thing to be curvy, but I have cellulite and unstoppable jiggling when I walk. I do work out and eat healthier than I have in probably my entire life ( currently weigh 125, my heaviest was 135), but I secretly envy white, slim supermodels. I admire the long, lean legs of Heidi Klum or the cute, discreet butt of a Victoria Secret model, or my roommate, or anyone else but me.

Sometimes when I’m in my room alone I put on clothes and stuff towels inside my shirt to look pregnant. It makes me feel good. I try different amounts of clothing to emulate the different months. I tell myself, “You better look like this when you are pregnant.” Does being curvy mean I will definitely gain a lot of weight during a pregnancy? If I look at the women in my family it does. Where does one draw the line between reality, fantasy, genetic determination, free will and vanity?

I want a child. I work with children everyday. I’m sorta stable. All that good stuff. But I’m scared of what I will do to myself emotionally if I don’t stay under X amount of weight or X inches or bounce back in X weeks.

These are completely candid thoughts. I have never shared much of this information with anyone, but I read this site every week and for some reason this seemed like the perfect place for my distorted, irrational, dark thoughts. If I offended anyone, I apologize. Just my honest thoughts.

*The picture in the light blue bikini is from 2004.
*The picture in the white bikini is from 2005.
*The picture in the black dress is from 2010.
*The pictures on the beach in the blue bikini are from 2011.