Hi, I’m a 40 year old mother of three. My last pregnancy was my third and last Caesarean section 14 years ago. I had heavy babies, and at my heaviest (during pregnancy) I have weighed 210lbs. I now weigh 154lbs and wear a UK size 12. I have an overhang which I don’t think I’ll ever lose without surgery. I do Yoga daily and my body is very strong, but my skin is very loose! Everything else on my body escaped pretty much unscathed, except my tummy which I am still self conscious of, but less so than in my younger days.
If my pictures help any other mother to feel ‘normal’ (I mean, what’s that anyway??) then I’ll be happy. I spent too many years hating my body, despite the miracles it has performed.
Age when I gave birth 21
This was my only pregnancy & I had to have a csection.
My son is 11 months old now
I went into labor on my own at 330am and was going in for a no epidural natural birth. Things quickly changed and I got the epidural only for the guy to mess it up and have to take it out to restart. The epidural didn’t even work and I was having back labor like no other. I was also bleeding but the nurses just thought it was from checking me. I made it all the way to a 9 before my cervix swelled shut. Later they found out the bleeding was from me bleeding internally, I had to be taken to have an emergency c section. Everything went good, and I got to meet my beautiful baby boy.
Two months later I had to be cut open again to have my gallbladder removed. I didn’t get to fully heal from my c section before the surgery so I had to heal from two surgery’s while caring for my newborn and my 3 year old step son who lives with us full time. (My husband traveled work at the time, so for most part I didn’t have help) My little boy refused a bottle and was breastfed so you could imagine the pain I was in trying to feed him. But he is definitely worth it all.
Images: purple bra black pants 3 weeks postpartum
C section scar with baby I was 1 month postpartum
White bra grey pants scars I was 2 months post baby and 4 days post gallbladder surgery
Nude breastfeeding baby I was 5 months postpartum
Character pajama bottoms with stomach tattoo is today 11 months postpartum
~Your Age: 25 now (23 when my son was born)
~Number of pregnancies and births: 1
~The age of your children, or how far postpartum you are: 2 years
This is long so please bare with me
August 2016 I was told I had a higher chance of not being able to have kids because I had PCOS. My husband and I were sad when we found out…. We started having sex thinking nothing of it cuz hey I couldn’t get pregnant… well we were wrong. November 2016 we found out I was 8 weeks pregnant.
During pregnancy everything was fine. My son was growing perfectly. I had the usual morning sickness 1st trimester, burst of energy 2nd trimester, and super uncomfortable 3rd trimester. I gained a lot of weight… pre-pregnancy I was 150lbs…. I am 2 years post partum and I now weigh 200 after losing 30lbs the last few months.
My husband and i were planning a homebirth (his mom had 13 kids and all were homebirths). I’ll be honest I wasn’t very fond of the idea because I didn’t know people still did homebirths. But I did A LOT of researching and I came to the conclusion it would be good, less stressful, easier cuz you’re doing it in the comfort of your home. A lot of friends and family on My side told me there is no way I could do a home birth. But I wanted to give it a try.
My husband and I went grocery shopping on my due date and that night I started labor-i didn’t realize it was true labor so I just went to bed. Around 5 the next morning I woke up with horrible contractions. My husband decided to stay home from work… 12 hours later I only progressed to 4cm. I was throwing up cuz of the pain. I was already tired but I was determined to have a home birth and prove the people who told me I couldn’t that I could (cuz I am very hard headed). Another 12 hours passed and I got to 7cm. I was to the point I kept feeling like pushing but I couldn’t. I was beyond exhausted. My husband kept telling me something wasn’t right (as he is the 2nd oldest out of the 13 kids)… But I kept telling him I wanted to continue. I didn’t want to go to the hospital. Well another 15 hours passed (now I’ve been in labor for 39 hours) I was still at 7cm. I wasn’t progressing. I was in a tremendous amount of pain. I was exhausted (as I hadn’t slept for the past 39 hours). I was dehydrated as I couldn’t keep anything down (I kept throwing up). I couldn’t walk. But I was still determined. I continued to labor at home for another 10 hours and by then I still hadn’t progressed I was even more tired and exhausted. And that’s when my husband said we are taking you to the hospital whether you want to or not. We drove 40 mins to the nearest hospital (my midwife had called ahead and they had a room all ready for me). We got there about 5pm (2 days after I had started labor). They decided to give me an epidural. But because my spine wasn’t aligned they had to poke me 3 times to get it in correctly. All the while I’m having contractions.
Once they got the epidural in it made the back pain even WORSE! The doctors decided to break my water (as it still hadn’t broke) and they found my son had pooped in the amniotic fluid. As soon as they saw that they pulled my husband aside and told him I was going to need a c section (during pregnancy I told my husband I did not want a c section. I wanted to do it naturally). My husband said he told the doctor that was the one thing I didn’t want and the doctor told him if they didn’t do it I might die and our baby most certainly will die. She told my husband our sons heartbeat was dropping because he has been in the birth canal way too long and he was getting stressed. They told my husband I had been in labor so long they didn’t know how much longer I would make it. So my husband came back and told me what they said and we decided to do a c section (and I only decided to do it because I wasn’t going to lose my son because I wanted to do it my way).
They got me down to the surgery room and my hsuabnd said they started asking the normal questions before a surgery ie my name, age all that. Then they asked “what are we performing on you?” And my husband said I screamed “YOU’RE GETTING THIS BABY OUT OF ME!!!!” and everyone started laughing.
After they got the spinal in me and numbed me from the chest down I remember laying down and just letting out a humongous sigh of relief because there was no more pain. When my husband was finally allowed in the surgery room he came around the curtain and looked at me and said “you’re smiling. It feels like I haven’t seen your smile in so long.” ??
And after a total of 54 hours my son Gabriel was born at 11:04pm on July 14 2017. He weighed 8lbs7oz, was 21in long and he was PERFECT. He came out holding his head up. Wasn’t even crying just looking around at everyone. The first thing I said after he was born was “is he really a boy?” And my husband said “yes babe he is definitely a boy.”
My son is 2 years old now and is the best thing that has ever happened to me. I am still overweight but I am working to lose it. I have my c section scar and when I see it it reminds me of what a supermom I was. It reminds me of the pain I went through. The tears I cried. How scared I was. And then how happy, joyful and peaceful I was when I held my son finally. I have horrible stretchmarks on my stomach, thighs, butt, hips and boobs. But those are the marks of a woman who loves her child so much that was was willing to let her body change in order to bring her child into this world. My stretchmarks and c section scar are not ugly to me. They are beautiful and a huge reminder of all the stuff I went through to bring my perfectly wonderful son to this world.
~Your Age: 25 now (23 when my son was born)
~Number of pregnancies and births: 1
~The age of your children, or how far postpartum you are: 2 years
~Any key words (second pregnancy, plus sized mom, cesarean, etc): plus size, cesarean
I was 23 when I got pregnant. Being a very short and active young adult, I’ve always been a wild one at heart. My favorite joy is dancing. I love to just turn the music on and have fun! That was me before pregnancy.
Now I’m 24. I’ve had my first baby. I’m 3 months postpartum and I still don’t feel like that girl again yet. Somehow she’s me – but somehow she’s somebody else. Anyone feel that way? I know many have, but I have never in my life struggled to feel myself. I’ve always felt confident in my own skin. Sometimes I felt too skinny or non-curvy but… when I had my son… I suddenly felt foreign. I feel my tummy and it’s foreign. I feel my boobs – they feel foreign.
It’s okay to sometimes feel like things are different. They are different. We can’t hold ourselves to the old us because all through life we will change and morph into new women. I realized that this must be what it feels like to look in the mirror at 60, or try to run or when your metabolism just wasn’t like it once was and now you eat one piece of pizza and blow up. It all hit me. Is this real life? It may sound so silly and vain but seriously some people simply haven’t gotten there yet. Instead of me feeling like I need to catch up with others or feel sad that I’m not the same and other women get to feel hot … I just need to give myself a firm swat on the buns and say “listen up lady – you are a boss babe, the woman you were is still there but she has grown, she is strong, she understands life in a new way, she went through tough labor, she stayed in the hospital 5 days, she woke up all night and she cried, she wanted to be her old self but she also wanted to snuggle her baby with all her love, she birthed a new life, she is a mother, she is loved, she is valued and she is special beyond belief. Don’t you dare discount that. You are learning big things, and your mind and experience have went through something many women have not had the privilege of, and the challenge of.” Life is an experience and a gift. May we always remember that motherhood is nitty gritty, deep and emotional but ever so rewarding and we mature in massive ways.
To be honest… I still don’t feel like me. In some ways it’s coming around but in some ways I feel as though some parts of me will always stay. I will always feel my stretch marks and go “whoaaa that’s intense”. I will also think “hehe omg it’s so soft and cuddly”!
Let us give ourselves time, relax, live healthy and stay strong. ? You can do it ladies. We are the mama family.
This is my 3rd time submitting my story, and a lot has changed in the last 5.5 years!
I had my first son at 19 (now 7) a natural hospital birth, no complications. He was 6lbs 14oz and i breast fed him for 9 months.
I got pregnant with my second son when my oldest was only 10 months old, i was 21 when i gave birth to him. Another all natural hospital birth, he was 7lbs 14oz and i breast fed him for 1 year, he is now 5.
My husband and i were done having children, or so we thought. July 31st 2016, i found out we were expecting once more. We were excited and scared, we have our hands full with our 7 and 5 year old boys. But we welcomed the challenge! Instantly this pregnancy was different, i was sick and crampy, so i had an ultrasound done at 7 weeks. The baby had implanted to low and had an abnormal gestational sac, we were given a 50/50 chance of it surviving. So again at 9 weeks we went back, and to our amazement the sac was normal and the baby was growing upward! So i was cleared to have my dream delivery, at a birthing center!
Everything went smoothly the next few months, i was sick all of the time, but hey, that can happen when you’re pregnant! Then came our 22 week anatomy scan. It was our 3rd son! He looked great, measured perfect, but i had partial placenta previa, which meant my placenta had grown in the lower part of my uterus and was touching my cervix. The dr. Said it was such a mild case he was not concerned, and was certain it would migrate upward as my uterus grew.
Again smooth sailing until my follow up 28 week ultrasound. My partial placenta previa was now a complete placenta previa and i could no longer have a vaginal delivery. I was put on bed rest and told to look forward to having a csection at 37 weeks. So my placenta went from touching my cervix to completely covering it, i was absolutely devastated!
Before i had time to even find a regular ob (5 days later), because i could no longer go to the birthing center, i woke up to bleeding and off to the er we went. They were able to stop the bleeding and give my 2 rounds of steroids for the baby. After a 2 day stay in the hospital we went home on even stricter bedrest.
Then at 30 weeks i was woken up to the sensation of my water breaking, only to discover it was not water at all, it was blood, and i was bleeding out right there in my bed. We drove 10 min to our closest er, where i was airlifted to a hospital with a level 3 nicu. As if i wasn’t scared enough They lost the babies heartbeat in the helicopter and i feared the worst. Once we landed they were able to find his heart beat, faint, but there.
They rushed me up to L&D to discover not only was i loosing a massive amount of blood and clots, i was contracting every 3 minutes. So they made the decision to do an emergency csection.
My little boy was born at 30 weeks weighing 3lbs 7oz and 16.5 ” long, he is our little fighter!
He spent 8 long heart breaking weeks in the nicu. Talk about a Rollercoaster, he was up and Down for the first few weeks.
We are now 3 months post partum, and i am so blessed he and I both lived, the drs and nurses told us we were very close to not making it.
So now i carry a scar as a reminder of what we went through. I’m not happy with my stomach, but I’m trying very hard to take it easy on myself. I have good and bad days, i didn’t realize how difficult the recovery from a csection would be.
God has blessed me with 3 Amazing little boys, so i will try and carry this body with pride!
1st picture: 29 weeks prego (the last picture i was able to get pregnant)
2nd and 3rd picture: 3 days post partum
Pictures 4-7: now, 3 months post partum, including my scar
I had severe undiagnosed perinatal depression with my first child, leading to me demanding a c section or I was going to throw myself off of a ledge. I was terrified and didn’t want to ever be left alone for fear of what might happen. Thankfully treated Post partum depression with my 2nd, so much more manageable.
I will never look the same again, and it has severely impacted how and when I work out or hike or rock climb or anything. My sense of self has been so contorted since being pregnant I am just now grasping at who I used to be.
I loved my body before children. It was the body that was reliable, and would push me to my limits, create expression through movement or strength. I could feel alive in my body and what I was capable of. Pregnancy changed my entire existence. Would I trade my body back?? Of course I would. Right now though, I’m dedicated to reading to my children in the evening even if it means I can’t get my run in. Sometimes I’m depressed about it, most times, however I am now realizing that permanence has no place in my life. Everything is temporary and there is a peace that comes with experiencing and living this.
That’s how it goes. Some days I’m lost, some days I’m found. But it is what it is.
Ages at births: 21, 23, 26
4 months pp
Weight gained with pregnancies: 20lb, 30lb, 27lbs
Pictures are 38 weeks preggo with #3, 4 months pp side and front view with Cesarean scar
I posted on here after my first two babies forever ago it seems, seemed appropriate to do it again. My first birth was an epidural with vaccum assist, my second was natural, so when we found out we were expecting our third baby I naturally assumed we’d have another “normal” for us birth. I have always gone into labor naturally, once on my due date, once the day after, but with our third I began have prodromal labor two weeks before. Nightly I’d experience painful contractions until around midnight. They became normal, 3 days before my due date I woke up at 5 am and knew it would be the day, we packed to head to the hospital 2 hours away, dropped our older two off and were excited to meet our little man. I was 7 centimeters when we arrived, and 2 hours later I was fully dilated and pushing…then my doctor says. ” I see a scrotumn! I’ve never done a breech birth before! ” in pain and wanting to be done, I consented to a c-section. And here is where I begin to struggle, I hated my birth, I know it got me a healthy baby and we are both OK! But I hate my body because of it, not sure if it was a 3rd pregnancy or the c-section, but my tummy is NOT to my liking. I feel like i failed my body having a csection. I know too it’s only been 4 months, but I began exercise as soon as I got my go ahead and I can’t even shake these last 10 pounds. I am breastfeeding so maybe that’s why, but I’m discouraged and frustrated and know I shouldn’t be. I’ve got 3 healthy kids, and I’m healthy, why isn’t that enough for me? Why do I feel the need to fit into the pre-pregnant me? Knowing all these things doesn’t make them easier to accept for me. So that’s where I’m at.
We have all heard the phrases beauty comes from with in and beauty is in the eye of the beholder but such phrases come up short and feel shallow when we are talking about ourselves, our body image. I have struggled with certain aspects of my body like most of the women on this site, but I have been blessed with the opportunities to overcome/look past/accept the parts of me that aren’t perfect. Not to drag on here but in high school my friends were all much smaller and prettier than me, which I was well aware of and so were all the boys who would befriend me in hopes of me putting in a good word for them. But to be honest I loved that I had so many guy friends that I could go to for advice or to talk to for an honest opinion. I loved that my friends were so pretty and I admired them. Sometimes I would get down on myself that I had crooked teeth or that at 16 my thighs had dark thick stretch marks, but luckily I had these guy friends that I could talk to about it and you know they always would tell me the same thing …that it doesn’t matter that I was an awesome person and fun and if someone was so superficial as to not want to be with me because of what I saw as flaws then it was their loss and to not worry about. And you know I took this to heart and I found ways to love myself. Before I got pregnant I was working out 2 hours a day 4-5 days a week, I was in no way ripped but I loved my body and had so much energy. When we didn’t get pregnant right away I thought it might be due to the stress I was putting on my body by exercising so I decided to stop until I got pregnant with the intention that I would go back to light exercises once it happened. That never happened I slept through my first trimester, second trimester was amazing and I started doing occasional hikes and walks but nothing crazy and I had gained 10 maybe 15 pounds by this point didn’t look pregnant and had no stretch marks. Then the third trimester hit and I gained 40-45 pound!(that’s 40 pounds in 3 months my Dr was shocked) My stomach erupted in stretch marks (they didn’t hit until I was 8 months along) and my whole body felt swollen and sluggish. My heart was always beating very hard and I had a hard time catching my breath if I did too much. So I became obsessed with looking for pictures of women in a similar situation, I saved every possible exercise regime, I drooled over post pregnancy flat bellys, and I researched every possible remedy for stretch mark reduction. Then I had my beautiful boy via c section (planned) he was 9lbs 1oz and then in the first month I had dropped 30lbs. I felt great about the prospect of getting my body back. But that went out the window with the struggles of breastfeeding. It was very important to me to breastfeed and I put all of my time and energy into making sure we developed a good breastfeeding relationship. Which led to my now exclusively left side breastfed body. There are times that I’m embarrassed at the fact that one breast is at least 2 times the size of the other. I sometimes try to hide it when we are going out with our friends. But for the most part when I see it I’m proud. I’m proud that I am able to sustain a healthy happy boy only needing one breast to do the job. I’m proud because it shows my dedication as a mom and that I’m not superficial I can go out in public with my body the way it is. I have stretch marks, a slightly saggy stomach, lopsided breasts, and my hair is falling out faster than its growing back in but I’m a devoted mother, a caring wife, a fun loving friend, an understanding sister and a forgiving daughter. I do love myself and though my old clothes don’t look as good on me, when I see myself naked in the mirror I think I’m beautiful. We go through many stages in life and some are better than others but we will continue to change throughout our lives and our mindset is what’s going to affect whether those future changes are positive or not.
I know my body will continue to change and that there are others out there who have gone through more dramatic changes than I have but I challenge you to be proactive and to find at least one thing you love about yourself and one thing you love about your body (I have great shoulders that I think are very sensual). Look at your new body as a reflection of the past you’ve lived and embrace the changes as they continue to appear. I’m posting my pre, pregnant, and post body because I researched like crazy when I was pregnant trying to find people with a similar body type. I don’t do any special diet and as for exercise I walk about a mile at least once a week (this only started happening a couple weeks ago).
I’m built very petite (5’2″, 100-105 lbs when I’m not pregnant or nursing) and yet three times, I’ve given birth to nine pound babies (my boys are almost 12, 9, and almost 7). It’s taken me time, but I’ve learned to love, honor, and respect the fact that my body that so often feels so small and vulnerable was able to grow and accommodate such big babies. I had to have c-sections because of the width of my pelvis and for a long time that felt like a failure- but now I honor that, too. The loose skin that buckles and puckers when I bend or sit is a physical representation of all the growing and expanding my body and soul have had to do, in order to become a mother. How could that possibly be ugly?
I went into the hospital at 7:30 am to be induced. After several hours of my baby’s heart rate being consistently low and frequently dipping further it was clear she was not coping well with labor and with my cervix refusing to dilate past 2cm despite doing all we could we knew that a vaginal birth would not be possible and I went in to have a c section a little after 2 am. Although some people see it as such, a cesarean is not “the easy way out”, it does not make me any less of a mother nor does it make my daughters birth any less valid. This was not something I wanted or expected. It was very scary and upsetting, it was painful, and the recovery has been slow and difficult, but the umbilical cord was wrapped around her throat three times so it needed to happen so my baby could be born safe and healthy and I would do it again in a heartbeat for her. She is perfect, the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen, and this scar is a reminder that we did what was necessary for her sake and I am incredibly proud of that.