I am their Motherbear! (Motherbear)

3 giant baby bears + short torso = this crepey saggy skin! It just sort of hangs there after losing weight. But you know, some pretty wonderful people began life there so I can appreciate it for the sake of nostalgia. And for those of us who have our abs cut through a few times, i think we can forgive ourselves for not being what we used to be.

~Age: 33
~Number of pregnancies and births: 4 pregnancies. Miscarriage @16 wks, 3 healthy wild boys
~The age of your children, or how far postpartum you are: 9yrs, 4yrs, 3yrs
~3 C-sections. I still can’t feel my abs.


Mom of Two Boys and Four Angels (MommaPitbull)

In 2008, at 20 years old, I gave birth to my oldest, Eddie, and I became a mom via emergency c-section. After 38 hours of labor my firstborn got stuck while I was pushing, we were rushed into emergency surgery and he made his entrance five days after his due date at 4:03 am, 7 pounds, 14 ounces, 21 inches long. After having jaundice and a brief stay in the NICU, we got home and began our new life as a tiny family. Two years later I met the man who would become my husband, and our little family grew.

When we’d been together two years, we got two pink lines after a year of TTC and a diagnosis of PCOS, our first pregnancy! We were thrilled! But 8 weeks along we lost our precious miracle, the first of three miscarriages. Then our little girl, Lilly, was stillborn at 22 weeks gestation in August 2013. I almost gave up on the hope of other children all together.

Finally in September 2014 we got two pink lines again. I had a good feeling about this time, I even started having dreams about a baby boy. In December we learned my dreams were right, it was a boy we would be welcoming to our family! We chose the name Alexander, and waited impatiently for the weeks to pass til I was passed that magical 24 week viability – the point at which our son would hopefully be safe even if he arrived early.

The fates smiled on us and Alex arrived full term and healthy! 7 pounds, 2 ounces, 21 inches long, via repeat planned cesarean at 10:15 am on a beautiful May morning. His big brother came right to the hospital that afternoon and held his baby brother, declaring it the best day of his life! The four of us could not have been more in love.

Today Eddie is seven and a half, Alex is seven months old, I’m a month from my 28th birthday, and we are about to move into our first house.

~Age: 27
~Number of pregnancies and births: 6 pregnancies, 3 births – two live, one still, 3 miscarriages.
~The age of your children, or how far postpartum you are: 7 1/2 years and 7 months


My Story (Anonymous)

Age: 34
Number of children: 1
Pregnancies: 3
Age of child: 8 months

We started trying in January 2009. The global economy had melted down, Obama had just been inaugurated & I was 28. Seemed like a good time to try for a baby as we’d been together for 5 years!

Months passed. Every 29 days I’d wake up to my period. Finally, by August 2010 the doctor (our GP) FINALLY agreed to do testing (please note: Do not wait this long! A year of trying if under 35 or 6 months if over 35, then please get checked out). I’d tried running less, acupuncture, and the pink bible of fertility ‘Taking Charge of your Fertility’.

It turned out we were dealing with severe male factor. My husband had an undescended testicle at birth which turned into testicular cancer in 2005 – luckily it was caught early and was surgically removed with no radiation or chemotherapy.

To say he didn’t take it well is a bit of an understatement. I threw my hands up as he didn’t want to do fertility treatment, and I took a better job in a big city 7 hours away. After nearly 2 years apart, confirmation that IVF with ICSI – the process of finding the few good sperm and injecting them directly into the egg – was our only hope, I’d basically given up on the thought of having kids, but found a job locally and moved back.

Surprise! I was naturally pregnant! By accident! I had started gaining weight despite working out a lot and eating clean, and that was my tip off. We started getting excited and saw the local midwife as she was recommend. Unfortunately, she delayed the prenatal testing ultrasound (I had gone for the blood test), and we started telling people after 12 weeks. If I’d had the ultrasound I would have known the pregnancy wasn’t viable. At 15 weeks I started bleeding and it was confirmed it was a missed miscarriage, and the baby had stopped growing at 10 weeks. I was given misoprostol and laboured in the ER. It was heartbreaking. The fetus was a girl and had trisomy 22.

Now we wanted to have a baby and got a referral to the fertility clinic again. More tests in the spring of 2013 with an IVF start in the fall. We went for the seminar in August 2013 and surprise! Pregnant again!

But 4 days after the blood test at the clinic I started bleeding. A miscarriage at 6.5 weeks. Luckily the doctor thought it was weird considering there was no family history and everything looked good on my side, so she ordered the Repeated Pregnancy Loss testing.

I got 2 calls the next day after my blood was taken (12 vials), one from the specialist and the other from our family doctor. It turns out my feeling down, depression and weight issues that had cropped up in the last couple years were due to Hashimoto’s disease. It’s an autoimmune disease that attacks the thyroid and the most common cause of hypothyroidism in the West.

So I started on medication and started to feel better, lost weight. Unfortunately, between long term infertility, two miscarriages and thyroid disease my work and social life was suffering greatly. going from a great to poor performance review in one year. It’s hard to explain this in a professional setting.

I started the IVF medications in March 2014. It’s very expensive, stressful, and the side effects are crazy. I was monitored in a city 4 hours away at the satellite clinic, and had to travel to a bigger clinic 7 hours away for the IVF-ICSI. Waiting rooms at fertility clinics are silent places, despite everyone going through the same thing. The most support is made through online connections.

Everything looked great but despite having 15-20 large follicles during monitoring only 5 eggs were retrieved. I was heartbroken. We’d put nearly $10,000, 5 years and so much heartbreak. But they were good eggs and 4/5 went to day 5. We transferred one and it worked!

I’m sure at this point you’ve realized we have weird luck. There was a bleeding scare at 7 weeks due to the progesterone suppository. We chose the new NIPT testing due to the ease and accuracy – and decided we were okay with non fetal issues such as Down’s or Kleinfelters, but that I could not handle a fatal trisomy again. Everything came out fine, and we were told it was a girl. But at the 20 week ultrasound, it was noted the placenta was low and the umbilical cord had one artery instead of two.

So I was put on pelvic rest (and my small office shuttered down due to lack of work, this was a blessing in some ways, although not financially). I was running, swimming and lifting before the diagnosis and had to stop high impact and lifting more than 10 lbs. Oh, and no sex.

We’d been given the preemie speech due to both conditions, that she may not grow properly and need to come out early via c-section. The week before the scheduled c-section the placenta finally moved. I ended up overdue, and after 11 days over, 60 hours of labour and an emergency c-section due to DVT in my leg, we finally met our beautiful daughter. And she is so gorgeous, even as a newborn. And large.

I gained weight, lost muscle and my upper thighs and tummy have stretchmarks from the last few weeks of pregnancy (honestly by week 38, I thought I was in the clear for no stretch marks). My confidence in my body was at an all time low. It’s coming back now as I take my baby out in the stroller and hiking, and am back lifting, but it’s hard to accept at times, especially when it seems everyone else in town in back in shape so quickly with their tiny babies (lots of 6 lb newborns). But I can workout, see the dermatologist, etc. I know there are lots of women who would gladly take some weight and stretchies to have a baby in their arms, and I think about how lucky we are to finally have a beautiful baby after so much time and heartbreak.

Mom of Two (Katrina)

My name is Katrina, I am a 27 year old mother of two beautiful boys; ages 1 and 4. I have always struggled with body image, weight, what others think of me, and anxiety. I was considered “obese” before and after my first pregnancy. I was so embaressed to leave my house ( silly I know to care so much what others think). I started to exercise and eat healthier in an attempt to lose this “baby weight”. The scale was not changing at first but the funny thing was just knowing I was trying gave me more confidence. I accepted that I may not lose the weight, just knowing I was making healthy choices made me feel good, confident, sexy, and like I was setting a good example for my little guy. Within a year post cesarean I was still exercising daily and the weight was coming off slowly. 2 years later I hit my goal! I was soo excited and felt better than ever! Then I find out im pregnant with baby #2. I wanted more kids I really did, but my self consciousness came out again… “More stretch marks, more loose skin, more weight to lose” I am ashamed to admit these are worries that weighed on me way too heavily. One year after cesarean number 2 I am a bit heavier than I was, I have lots more stretch marks, loose skin, saggy breasts, etc… But you know what I am so full of love I don’t care. I still exercise regularly and eat healthy. In fact I am a fitness instructor for a stroller exercise group of moms. I am so proud of the women in my class and watching their confidence go up. You can feel good about yourself at any size, any shape, and any weight. The key to confidence is you. Mothers are beautiful ! Thank you for reading my story.


8 Months Postpartum (Emily)

Your Age: (19)
Number of pregnancies and births: (1 pregnancy, 1 birth)
The age of your children, or how far postpartum you are: (8 months)

I am now 8 months postpartum with my sweet baby boy. It was the summer after I graduated high school that I got pregnant. My parents were not to happy to say the least. My mom was always very cautious with me starting me on birth control at 15. I guess I was very lucky through high school but for some reason it did not work this time. I would not change what happened even if I could. I love my little boy and my parents love their grandson!

What I would like is to lose these last few pounds in my stomach and belly area. I try sit ups and crunches but it just does not seem to work. Does anyone have any advice? I had to have a C-Section and my doctor said my stomach muscles are just weak from that. I have had good luck putting lotion on my scar to reduce the look of that. Has anyone reduced the color of the scar completely or does mine look good? Also anything I can do for the stretch marks?

I have been reading stories on this site for a while now and thought it was time to contribute. It has definitely been helpful reading all of your stories and comments!

Come to Accept the New Me (Anonymous)

I was just 18 when I got unplanned pregnant with my first child. At the beginning of pregnancy I was a tiny 110lbs six pack belly girl, but by the end I was round everywhere at 175lbs.

I used cream because of my fear of stretch marks but it turned out I had an alergic reaction to the cream that made me wake up scratching my belly and it being fire red. Needless to say by the end of the pregnancy my belly was one giant fireball of stretch marks.

My legs also ended up with plenty of stretch marks due the swelling in the legs, funny thing is I never thought I would have to worry about my legs.

I nearly had any breast at the beginning of pregnancy with my a cup that nearly was filled in, by the end of pregnancy I had a c cup. Also much bigger and big red nasty stretch marks around my boobs. Now 8 years later the stretch marks on my boobs are still red.

Birth was no joke either. I was 41 weeks pregnant when I got induced, after 32 long ours I finally was able to push.

After 4 hours of pushing the doctors said I needed a emergency c-section but the doctor who was on call for that was an hour away. So I had to sit there on pain and fear for an hour till they put me on the operation table.

Once they started to cut I was freaking out yelling at them “I can feel it I can feel it” so they had to put me to sleep.

(Looking back I’m sure I didn’t feel anything, but during that moment it sure felt that way in my mind)

My baby girl was 2 hours old before I woke the first time and can somewhat remember it. I didn’t get to hear her first cry, hold her first or give her a kiss before so many others did.
Mather fact I was still so drugged up I have a hard time remembering holding her for the first time.

As that wasn’t enough I lost so much blood during the c-section that my body went into shock a day later and I needed a blood transfusion.

All of that lead to a very distant relationship to my daughter, it’s sad but true that I didn’t start building a relationship with her until she was 4. She is 8 now and we still have to work on our relationship ship. It saddens me that it’s so obvious that there was a big cap between us and that it left invisible scares for the both of us.

After I had her I didn’t ever wanted any kids anymore. I hated the idea of labor.
And my body was so ugly to me. I was a size 3 before I had her and a 13 after I had her. I was so depressed I didn’t loose any wight at all.

When she turned 3 me and her dad split up. He went to Korea for the army and I stayed back with a child I couldn’t even connect with, one day I had a brake down and I send her to my parents.

Looking back that’s the best thing I could have done for the both of us.
In that time I did stupid things but I also started to find myself. I learned that I can love myself again, I started to be more active and the weight went down.
I myself joined the army and became for the first time in my life independent.
I was able to take care of my child again, and so I did :)

7 years after I had her I married my husband and we had another daughter, and now we are expecting another one.
Yes I have issues with my wight but it’s not as bad as it used to be. It doesn’t stop me from loving myself like it it did before.
I have a new body but I am also a new person, I am a mom and I love everything that I brings with it. Including my body and mind!

Love yourself more one day at a time :)

Included a picture of my now pregnant belly with all the marks.

The difference between two and one- having a singleton after twins! (Lindsay)

My first pregnancy, with twins, was scary. At 18 weeks, doctors suspected the possibility of TTTS (Twin-to-twin Transfusion Syndrome). I was put on a strict bed rest, and was only able to leave the house for twice-weekly ultrasounds. Long story short, Baby A’s diastolic blood flow ended up reversing at 31 weeks which resulted in an emergency c-section, 2 and 3 lb babies, a 2 month NICU stay, multiple surgeries, and a roller coaster of emotions.

Despite the hardships we faced with preemies, my c-section experience was not bad. In fact, I thought it was relatively easy. Of course, the recovery was slow, but I certainly did not have a traumatic surgery experience. I had thought if I ever had another baby, that I would definitely opt for another section. But, when I became pregnant again with baby #3, the idea of a VBAC was something that I began to consider. This was likely the last time I would ever be pregnant- I would hate to regret not experiencing labor and delivery the “normal” way. So, I made the decision to attempt a VBAC.

This pregnancy was smooth. Oh, what a difference there was between a twin pregnancy and a singleton pregnancy! I felt great, exercised regularly and ate healthy. Baby measured perfect at every appointment and I easily made it full term. It was a dream pregnancy, really! I was worried about how labor might go- I had never felt a contraction with my twin pregnancy since they were delivered so prematurely. But, people told me I would “know” when it was time. And, boy, did I ever! I labored at home for a few hours and finally decided it was time to go in. When I got there, I was shocked to hear that I was fully dilated! It was time to break my water and push! That also meant there was no time for an epidural. Wait… what?! I had certainly planned on getting one! I immediately thought I couldn’t handle it and the thought of just opting for the c-section crossed my mind briefly. But the pain was so intense, I couldn’t even care. My husband, mom, sisters and mother-in-law were at my side. My doctor arrived shortly after, broke my water, and I began to push.

I wish I could tell you that the rest of the story was calm and relaxed; that I simply listened to my body and gently delivered a beautiful baby. But… that wasn’t quite the case! My experience was beautiful… but it wasn’t calm. There is really no way to describe it. It was the most intense thing I have ever gone through. I may have used some colorful language and called my doctor a liar when she told me I was doing good. I may have even begged to stop and go home a few times. But, an hour and a half of pushing later, our baby girl was born. The memory of the pain just a few short minutes before completely disappeared. I had done it. I not only achieved a VBAC, but I did it completely unmedicated and naturally. I didn’t even have so much of an IV. I gave birth to a healthy, beautiful, full-term baby. I was in love and in awe. I was proud and empowered. Giving birth is a truly amazing experience.

Today, my shape might not be what it once was. My stomach isn’t quite as flat, and traces of the deep stretch marks I once had still linger. But, I LOVE my shape. I love what my body was able to create, the pain it was able to endure, and the miracles it produced. While those miracles may have been what was responsible for stretching my body as far as it could go, it is also responsible for getting it to the shape it is now. Yes, I have three children. Yes, I have stretch marks. Yes, I exercise daily. Yes, health and fitness is a priority to me. And that is FOR my children, not BECAUSE of them. I don’t care what the number on the scale says- I just want to be here, healthy and active, running around the playground, coaching softball teams, playing tag, cuddling, carrying, and loving my babies for a long, long time to come!

~Age: 28
~Number of pregnancies and births: 2 pregnancies, 3 births
~The age of your children, or how far postpartum you are: 4 years old and 5 months old (5 months postpartum)

Young Mum of 2 (Anonymous)

Age 24
Children aged 2 & 4
Both c-section

I met my husband at 19, yes I was young but the way I see it is that way I get to spend even more of my life with him, I’m lucky. I fell pregnant within 5 months of being together and we were extremely happy.

My first pregnancy: I had plenty of problems during first pregnancy, lots of heavy bleeding and then found out when I was a week overdue that our daughter was breech. Luckily when I went into labour the drs rushed me in for an emergency c-section and she was born, a healthy 9lb baby!

The complications continued and when my scar didn’t heal properly I ended up with a hole in my tummy for over 11 weeks after the Birth. Now considering I had put on a mighty 4 stone during pregnancy this didn’t help as I couldn’t exercise to shift the weight. I ate poorly and I believe this is where my issues with my body really began.

I know I’m not alone when I say that looking at your body after having a baby is just horrific at first. I have stretch marks on nearly every part of my body. Excess skin on my tummy which I now live with everyday. And I’m not saying I would change it because obviously my children are the most important thing in my life. However it’s a daily battle looking in the mirror.

Going back to my pregnancies. After 18 months I fell pregnant again accidentally and it terrified me that my body would change yet again!

I managed to keep my weight gain down to 2 and a half stone this time and kept active and ate healthy.

All went well and I had another beautiful little girl, by emergency c section again.

This was when I really stepped it up a gear. Exercising so much that I had no energy. Hardly eating so that my weight plummeted.

I wasn’t happy with how my body now looked and nothing was helping. Exercise and lack of eating was making me even more miserable but when everyone says ‘wow you have lost all your baby weight so fast’ it was like a massive compliment every time and it spurred me on.

I was about 10lbs underweight and looked awful. I can say that now because I can see it but at the time I just fixated on getting my pre baby body back. I know now this is just impossible.

In the last 6 months I’ve tried to eat more and although I still exercise a lot I am aiming to be strong for my children. Both mentally and physically.

Everyday we are surrounded by images, slogans, articles, celebrities promoting ‘skinnyness’ and it’s just so damaging.

It was damaging for me and I just don’t want my daughters growing up thinking there is only one way to be beautiful and it’s by being skinny.

I still struggle everyday as I’m sure every mum does. I now try and look in the mirror and focus on something I like. It’s hard. And not everyday it works. But I do it.

I know I won’t be alone. I just hope that one day I will find a comfortability in my post baby body.


Mom of 3 (Kimberly)

Hi my name is Kimberly, 29 years old, I have 3 children ages 13, 10, and 5. I had my first daughter at the age of 16…..I was 107 pounds, small breasts, bigger backside. I had never had any issues with my body other than like a lot of girls I wished I had bigger boobs lol. The day I had my first child I weighed 157 so a 50 pound weight gain and on my 5’2 frame that’s a LOT! I got stretch marks everywhere! Boobs, stomach, hips, thighs, back of my legs, arms…..everywhere! I was mortified to say the least! Luckily I was married and my husband at the time made me feel beautiful even though I felt hideous. I had got back down to 125 when I decided to start the depo shot, HUGE mistake! I got back up to 160, and quit the shot, lost down to around 140 and got pregnant with my second daughter, gained 28 pounds with her, didn’t get any new stretch marks but some on my belly and hips extended. I breastfed her for 16 months so the bigger breasts also meant more sagging when I weaned her. I lost all the weight, but was still not back down to pre pregnancy weight. 5 years after that I got a surprise and got pregnant with my son….miserable pregnancy, but only gained 12 pounds….no new stretch marks!!! And oddly enough I can say this is when body image issues started to control my life. I breastfed him for 23 months, I was happy with my breasts at that time, but once he was weaned they seemed to sag more than ever, COMPLETELY deflated! I had 3 c sections so I have the dreaded apron. I had lost all of that weight and more when my marriage of 9 years started falling apart, I ate away my depression and got up to my all time high of 183. I decided I had to do something and started eating better and hitting the gym and got down to 145, I felt great as far as losing weight but the more I lost the more EVERYTHING sagged! My husband and I got divorced and I reconnected with my first love and we have now been married almost 2 years. I wish I could say that all of the sweet and loving things he tells me about my body just clicked and I could believe him, but it’s hard for me to even begin to think that my body is something desirable. It’s an ongoing struggle I still fight with every day. I’ve gotten down to 135 and hope to get down to 120 sometime soon. This site has helped tremendously and all of your ladies are beautiful! Thanks for reading!