It all seems so petty (Kim)

Previous post here.

I had c-sections with my first two births (please see my previous posts). I wasn’t thrilled with the birth experiences, but I had living babies because of them. My 3rd child was born via successful vba2c. It was amazing to hold her right after she was born. My body was stretched a bit more, but still bounced back nicely. We bought a treadmill and I ran and ran and ran and got in to the best shape I’d been in in years. I was actually lighter than I’d been before I got pregnant with our first child. June 2013 I got pregnant for the fourth time. Something felt off the entire time – the baby didn’t bounce around like I was used to. At my 12 week dating ultrasound I left with a picture and something not sitting quite right in my brain – I STILL don’t know what was wrong, but something was. When I went in for my 18 week doctor appointment on September 13, 2013 there was no heartbeat. The baby had passed days before. I had a D&C at the abortion clinic because there was less waiting than at the hospital. I got back on the treadmill and ran and ran and ran until I was smaller than I’d been when I got pregnant so all evidence of that baby was gone. Except the heartache. And then I ate. And I gained back all the weight I’d lost after my 3rd child was born. It wasn’t much – only about 20lbs, but I was right back where I was when we’d started trying to conceive #4. And then I got pregnant with our 4th child. I was terrified. I distanced myself from her during the pregnancy. I didn’t want my heart broken again – how much grief can one person withstand? I’d joined some late loss groups after my loss and knew that nothing was certain. The moment that baby was born healthy, screaming, via another successful vba2c, my world was complete. My husband at my side – I was whole. We took a picture of our 4 babies in a chair together and felt whole. I had plans. To run. And run. And ignore the loose skin and the sagging boobs and to be in the best shape of my life so I could be healthy with my Ironman (triathlon) husband. And wear a bikini. But it still hasn’t gotten to that point. Baby is 4 weeks old now. 2 weeks ago my 33 year old husband had a major gut pain and went to the emergency room at the hospital. 2 weeks ago we found out my husband has stage 4 colon cancer. 2 weeks ago my husband had a giant tumor removed from his colon and gained a colostomy bag. 2 weeks of happiness, of pure bliss, was all this mother was allowed.

Right now the shape of this mother is broken. Scared. TERRIFIED. We have 4 kids 5 and under. I’m fortunate I don’t suffer from post partum depression because I’m enough of a mess. I don’t look in the mirror. What’s the point? My husband now poops in a bag. If he can deal with that, what’s a well used belly in comparison?! In one of my earlier posts I think I said something about worrying about our body shape being a first world problem. And it is. There are so, so many worse things to worry about, to have happen.

Love yourself the way you are ladies. You’re beautiful, you’re healthy, you’re alive.

~Age: 35
~Number of pregnancies and births: 5p/4b
~The age of your children, or how far postpartum you are: 5, 3, 2, 1 month

Update here.

10lb Stays Behind With Each Child (BUTTERFLY6925)

I am 31 years old and about 8 weeks pregnant with my 6th pregnancy. I have 4 living children, ages 12,10,9, and recently starting over with 6 months.

In 2006, I gave birth to a still born baby girl who we called Avyn Abigail

We have 3 living boys and only 1 girl. Daddy is determined to have a second girl.

I had been fortunate to regain my pre baby body after the first 3 children and even was able to win a bikini contest against 50 women in 2011.

However, after each child I retained exactly 10 lbs with each birth.

I started at 18 years old and was 110 lbs and today I am 160 lbs and newly pregnant with my 6th , hopeful that I do not come out of this one at 170 lbs!

I am that girl in your story!

After each birth, I am able to conveniently shrink back down to my original size and fit back into my pre pregnancy clothes ( size 5 ) , but each time, they fit a little differently and I tend to carry the weight somewhere new each time! LOL

Daddy has agreed to a vasectomy after this one! Whoo hoo!

It is not easy being a mommy to 4 while daddy is on an oil rig 8 hours away AND also in the Army reserves.

I am happy that he finally understands this and has exhausted his need to have another girl.
Lord willing, he will get his girl on this round…I guess we will see!

Pregnancy Loss (Anonymous)

It happened around two years ago and it was my first and only pregnancy. During this time I was finally living together with just my boyfriend (now Fiancé!) for a few months after moving from one share house to another. Once we received the keys we were ecstatic! Finally living our first own home. We had a discussion in which we decided if I fell pregnant it was meant to be if I didn’t -we tried. I stopped taking my contraceptive and boom, two months later we conceived what I believe to this day to be a girl (my partner thinks otherwise). I was thrilled to say the least I’ve always wanted to be a mother and it felt right.

I was happy and the day I found out I told my boss. Don’t get me wrong I know you are supposed to wait till three months but due to constraints of where I work I made sure I wasn’t going to do any activities that may risk the chance of my baby’s survival by telling her. The response I got “You are kidding me right? Go do “insert job here” I cant look at you right now” don’t get me wrong I love my boss and she meant it in the nicest way, she was just frustrated because I was the fourth person to fall pregnant in my workplace within 4 months- mine was two weeks after someone else! All four people that she now had to put on light duties! She later came to me and said Congratulations I’m very happy for you and hugged me.

At my work there was constant talk of pregnancies from all four of us and it was hilarious to watch all the males squirm over half of the conversions being “baby talk”. Each one of us was just as excited as the other. We loved talking about how far along we were and what ours looked like compared to how far the other one’s had developed. Each of us went for our first scans one after the other booking a day off to go ‘see’ what our bubba’s looked like. I waited until I could get the scan done outside of my body, just over 8.5 weeks, because I didn’t like the idea of something going into my body -it just freaked me out a little. When that day came I was so excited. I booked a time for when my partner could come with me and off we went. I had drunk too much water and was bursting to use the toilet much to my discretion I wasn’t allowed to use until after my scan. I jiggled and twitched and even asked how long they would be only because of how badly I needed to go!

Finally! I’m being seen and they push on my stomach and say I have drunken too much water and I have to let some out I was like wait what? once I go I wont be able to stop. They told me I had to stop! I came back and they tried again. She said it wasn’t enough! while thinking “thank goodness” i was a little frustrated at the same time -all I wanted was to see our baby! When I came back I was finally able to see the screen in which shows that little ‘bean’ that was supposed to sprout into our special baby they tried to find a heartbeat to which there was none. I went into shock as they told me to go straight to the doctors and gave me a letter. the doctor then sent me to the hospital to which I waited hours and hours to be seen. Once they saw me they prescribed me an anti-d needle and said I’m sorry there is nothing we can do and it was up to my body to reject what was now known to them as a dead foetus. to me it was still my baby -heartbeat or not. wait two weeks they said and it should happen. Nothing did so i made an appointment with the anti-natal clinic who sent me for a scan again to tell me the same thing again my baby had no heartbeat. I was then booked in for a D&C. The whole two weeks is still a blur while waiting for my miscarriage to “come”. I don’t remember much until the day I had to get time off of work. Having to tell a co worker instead of my boss -who was very busy at the time, that i needed particular days off next week as I was getting my child removed. Needless to say everyone at work found out before the boss did. I didn”t want to be the ‘new’ subject at work I was grieving at the loss of my unborn child and the gossip did not make it any easier.

The week of the procedure I also had to attend a wedding where toddlers walked down the isle and every family member that knew what happened was saying I’m sorry. At the time it did not make me feel any better but worse. Less than a month later I confessed to my father what had happened with the support of one of my friends beside me (I was visiting him over the other side of the country for his 60th). He didn’t take it well and said it was my “one chance to stuff up and I used it” Gee thanks. Nice to know I have his support. He then told his partner and who said well it’s only yr first serious relationship so its probably a good thing. I was upset and offended by what they both said. It has branded in my mind since then. I understand that my father was looking out for me at the time in his own way but it still pains me to this day. He has a very set order of the way things should go. Dating minimum of 2-4 yrs before moving in together from 4 yrs its marriage /buy a house then get a pet the next year if you can handle that and you are older than 25 then sure go ahead and make grand babies for me. The conversation put me off telling my mother that I had been pregnant and to this day she still doesn’t know.

Since then I haven’t really exercised or done anything except working and spending as much time as I can with my partner. (shift worker has it’s complications when there is never a set roster.) needless to say I’ve kept the babyweight (plus gaining a few more kgs) on and have no self esteem. I understand that these things happen it is all apart of pregnancy but I was so crushed and I am not as motivated as I once was. I don’t feel as sexy as I felt I once was and No matter how many compliments my loving man gives me I feel as they are not completely true.

Until I wrote this I didn’t realise I needed to talk it through.

Thank you for taking the time to read my story.


Hi there, I’m a long time follower of this site and I do hope my submission is accepted. I’ve struggled so much with myself after (and during) pregnancy, but I’ve finally got the guts up to give this a shot.

I’m 26 years old, living in Australia. I get a lot of grief from others about being too young (excuse me?) and unmarried (not their business!) when I had my baby. She was a surprise – I have PCOS and have been told since I was a teen I wouldn’t have kids. Ha! I had a miscarriage a few month before I fell pregnant with my my baby girl, which was difficult.

Anyway, she’s 4 months old now, and she’s perfect. I feel like the failure. I had to have her by section (hooray breech babies!) and breast feeding failed because I got ill after the surgery (complications). I’m 155cm tall, and I was 47kg before I was pregnant. I was 66kg at delivery. I’m now 55kg and I feel gross. I look at myself and my hideous scar and just cry. I hate getting dressed because I don’t think anything looks good on me anymore. I was banned from exercise due to the surgical complications, so I’ve just been trying to eat healthily but it doesn’t quite cut it. And no amount of healthy eating or exercise can get rid of the scar from the section. My partner doesn’t listen when I try to talk to him about how I’m feeling, he just says things like ‘you knew things would be different, stop worrying about it, it doesn’t matter…’ But it does matter. It’s so hard to get confidence back, and when your partner (who is supposed to love and adore the baby AND you) pretty much ignores you and shows not much interest, it’s super hard.

Anyway, I attach my photos to try and be brave.

My body was ruined and I’m left with nothing. (Anonymous)

I have a child and yet I have never heard her cry. Pregnancy dosnt mean new life to me, I lost all happieness and innocence that I ever had. I’m 23 years old, weigh 143 pounds and have an angel instead of a child… I was happy with my prebaby body, 120 pounds, 5’2″, adequate chest, perky butt and a flat tummy. I was thrilled to be pregnant but the entire pregnancy I fought with the scale. I knew being pregnant I would gain weight but that still didn’t make it easier to watch the numbers climb every week. I remember the first time none of my clothes fit. We had dinner plans with friends and I literally destroyed my closet looking for something presentable to wear. I ended up crying on the floor and canceling my plans. It sucked. The rest of the pregnancy I wore my husbands shirts and sweatpants. And then the first stretch mark showed up and I slathered on every kind of coco butter and lotions I could find. Then the next day another popped up. And another. And another….no matter what I did I could not control the dark purple vertical infection that was taking over my breasts, tummy and sides. I made peace with myself at about 8 months that it all was going to happen wether I liked it or not. That when I had the baby I would breast feed, go on walks with the baby sleeping in the stroller, that I would exercise and I would loose the weight in no time. Then I went into labor. We had our bags packed and car seat in the car ready to go a month before hand. All that was left to do was spot clean her room to be sure it was absolutely perfect. One could say it was fit for an angel. Then the supposed to be best day of my life turned into the worst. At 41 weeks my baby lost her life, the doctors could not find her heartbeat. So in the end not only did my body become something I hate to look at, but something I hate to be in. It betrayed me. Women are meant to make babies, but my baby was killed by my own body. To go home still swollen and with a body of a new mother but empty handed is the worst feeling ever. It has been just over a year since I planned my babies funeral and although I still hate my body for killing my baby girl, I can’t help but embrace my mommy body. It’s my physical proof that I am a mother. That my baby DID exist. And each mark is because she grew, she kicked, she wiggled and turned. It was her only home, how can I hate it entirely?

Ugly? Not to me! (Anonymous)

Having see others’ grossed out reaction to their own and others’ stretched out bellies while I was growing up, had me feeling like it was gross, ugly, shameful, etc. Just make sure to cover it up and tuck it in really well into your control top pantyhose, and make sure you forever and ever work on losing that last few pounds, lamenting all the extra skin you now have, etc, etc.

Then came my turn to have a baby, after 4 years of barrenness, aching to have a child to hold and love. Before I was 12 weeks along, I had stretch marks forming. By the time I hit my third trimester, my belly looked like a giant cat had clawed my stomach, as I had 4 huge ragged red lines on either side of my belly button running from level with my belly button down to the waistline of my panties. (I still wish I’d taken pictures of that stage!) By the time my son was born, my belly was covered with stretch marks, from 2 inches under my bust all the way down. After my son was born, I was looking at my reflection, and my first thought was, “Now I have an ugly belly”, but you know what? I don’t! It’s not perfect, but it wasn’t perfect before. The ugly is all in how you think about it. My body will never be the body it was before I had kids, but I have my kids now. I now have a droopy belly button; a little “apron” of extra skin from stretching so far, (over 13 inches gained around my waist during my last pregnancy!) so fast, so many times in such little time (3 fullterm pregnancies in 4 years); my belly will never again be smooth skin; BUT, I have 3 adorable little ones that are growing, learning, and surprising me daily with the things they know and do. No “perfect” body could replace my kiddos! I wouldn’t trade them for anything, not even my prebaby body!

The three non pregnant photos are current. The three hugely pregnant photos are the day before each of my three kids was born.

Age: 27
Pregnancies and births: 5 pregnancies, 2 early miscarriages, and 3 live births
Children’s ages: 3 1/2, 2, infant, 15 weeks postpartum

When is Enough Enough? (Kasey)

Hello, my name is Kasey and I am 42 years old. I have one precious daughter from my first marriage in her very early 20’s. I am seeking some impartial, independent and heartfelt advice because I find myself in a place of confusion and heartache. I got remarried 18 months ago to the love of my life who is 5 years younger than me. It feels like I have spent the last 2 years of my life trapped in a web of grief, trauma, longing and fear. It started when I fell pregnant to my now husband naturally and most unexpectedly 5 months before my 40th birthday. I was devastated to hear no heartbeat at my 10 week scan which I attended alone. A missed miscarriage. My dear friend had her first IVF embryo implanted the day after I learnt of my sad news. I could barely be around her for months afterward because I felt so envious that it almost destroyed our friendship and she could not empathize with how I was feeling. After 6 months of intensive counseling, I was advised to start IVF immediately due to my age and irregular cycles. I did my first IVF cycle in June 2012. I only had 2 follicles grow after intense hormone therapy and the day of the egg retrieval revealed there were no egg in either follicle….another little piece of me died that day. Fast forward to November 2012 and I am ready to start my 2nd IVF cycle however I am now advised that I cannot because my blood work revealed my Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH) is too high and I will likely be a very poor responder. I was advised to take a break, focus on my upcoming wedding and perhaps try again in the new year.

Fast forward to June 2013 and I have a new fertility specialist. During this 6 month break, my husband and I convince ourselves that our chances of having a baby with my eggs is virtually nil and the grief and trauma of the previous year weighs heavily on me. We make a life changing decision to go the donor egg route. It is a long process with intense counseling sessions for all parties involved and a cooling off period of 3 months to protect the donor if she changes her mind. Throughout this process, I am advised to keep trying IVF to see if I produce any eggs. After 4 back-to-back cycles of stimulation, all of which were cancelled part way through due to inadequate or abnormally high hormone levels, I was still eggless, suffered a large cyst and 12 days of severe dysfunctional uterine bleeding which required me to be hospitalized. I was exhausted and all my hope had vanished by this stage. Here is the thing….and please find it within yourself not to judge me and if you feel you are not capable of this, I respectfully ask you to refrain from commenting…my donor is my daughter from my first marriage. She produced 15 beautiful eggs and every single one of them fertilized and were frozen on Day 3. At the end of 2013, four weeks after my brief hospital stay, I was implanted with one perfect embryo that had been grown to a day 5 blastocyst. I truly believed that a miracle would occur and that god had answered my constant prayers. Words cannot describe the selflessness and generosity of what my daughter had endured and gone through for us. Two weeks later the joy we felt from a positive pregnancy test was indescribable…it felt like the grief of the past 2 years just glided off my shoulders.

Over the next 4 weeks, I endured bi-weekly blood tests and a rising sense of dread and debilitating fear that something was wrong because the pregnancy hormone HCG was rising slowly and not doubling as it should. I was finally diagnosed with an ectopic pregnancy in one of my tubes. Ironically, the same dear friend I mentioned above was pregnant with her 2nd baby…we would have been due a week apart. Needless to say I was absolutely crushed at my news. I felt like I had been betrayed by god and to this day I have not been able to pray, my faith just disappeared in my grief and pain. It has taken me 6 months to recover both physically and emotionally. During this period I asked for space to grieve and heal from my dear friend because I could not face the reality of her pregnancy and my loss once again. She ended our 10 year friendship over the telephone.

Two weeks ago I started estrogen hormone therapy again to prepare my uterus for another embryo implantation. After 11 days of treatment, 4 of which were spent with dysfunctional uterine bleeding again, the cycle was cancelled due to my progesterone being abnormally high. I was told to cease the oral estrogen and wait until the beginning of my next cycle upon which I will have blood tests on day 2 to see if my hormones are baseline before starting anything. Just another disappointment to endure.

Today I wanted to freely express my story and how I am feeling to anybody who is willing to offer any advice or thoughts for me because I am tired of burdening my family and friends with my grief. I am so full of fear. I don’t know if I should even try again? Perhaps I am being punished…maybe I will never carry another baby to full term. I am terrified of another failure. Perhaps god has a different plan for me, no matter how much I long for a baby it may never happen. Not sure how to accept that possibility. Thank you for reading.

Worth it All (Ashley)

~Age: 30
~Number of pregnancies and births: 8 pregnancies- 6 births, 2 miscarriages
~The age of your children, or how far postpartum you are: 8,6,5,4,3,2

I don’t even know where to start! I have been coming to this site for so many years…looking through photos and comments, getting the reassurance that I so desperately needed about my body. I am 30 years old and my husband and I have been married for 10 years. After we had been married for 2 years, we had our first child- then had 5 more in the next 5 years lol. I did have 2 miscarriages in the mix, but having a child every year for 6 years really made my body go through so many changes. I gained a lot of weight with each pregnancy…I am 5’4″ and weighed 127 on my wedding day, and 135 before we started having kids… and got up to 200 pounds with most of the pregnancies. I would get into the 140’s between pregnancies only to go right back up! But after my last baby was born 2 years ago, I just worked as hard as I could and now weigh 130, sometimes a few pounds less and sometimes a few pounds more.

I did not know that my last pregnancy would be my last…I wanted more kids. But I got sick. I am disabled now and cannot have anymore. I go to the doctor every 3 weeks, am on a lot of medication, and cannot exercise or work out like I used to. For a year and a half I chronicled my journey as a mom with an illness in my blog. Reading what I have gone through and what I am going through really gives me an amazing perspective about what is really important in life. This new body is hard to adjust to…however, I am SICK and TIRED of caring about my flubby stomach and the extra pounds!! I am fighting to live and enjoy my family, and yet here I am whining because I THINK I look fat!! And maybe I do look fat, but who the heck cares?? Come on now, lol. Seriously, I just need to keep giving myself a good talking-to…because I am an amazing woman! I love my husband, I am a heck of a mom, and I fight hard to live a good life! I have the most beautiful children on earth who tell me a thousand times a day how much they love me. I always let my 5 year old daughter watch me get dressed- and whether I believe it or not I always talk about how beautiful my body and my stomach are. I have some work to do mentally, but while I work on it I am going to make sure my daughter learns that she should complement her body and be proud of every single part of it regardless of how it changes. I AM SO MUCH MORE THEN MY APPEARANCE…and SO ARE YOU.

My husband is the most amazing man I have EVER known. Every single day he tells me how much he loves me, how grateful he is to be married to me, how sexy he thinks I am. He also quit his full time job last year to stay home and take care of me and the kids. I AM A LUCKY WOMAN. He always gets mad when I fuss about my appearance- he cannot believe that I would not like what I see in the mirror. And I understand what he is saying, because so many times I read posts where women hate their bodies- but when I look at them I’m like, “but you look amazing!!” Strange, isn’t it?? Ladies, you are amazing because of who you are- and your body is amazing because it is YOU. Love yourself. Love your body. Love the insanely incredible thing it has done. Complement yourself at least 10 times a day. We are worth so much more then we give ourselves credit.

#1- Me last year
#2- Me last year
#3- Right after my all natural, drug free birth of my last baby- I felt AWESOME after this!
#4- Carrying my 1 year old on my back while apple picking with my kids
#5- Last month when I cut 16″ of my hair off!!
#6- A few weeks ago in Florida with my hubby- ALONE!! I am actually a little heavier there because I ate a lot while we were there lol
#7- I am modest and did not feel comfortable posting a full body shot with no clothes, however I did want you to see my tummy. Pictures can be misleading and clothes can make you look a certain way, which is fine, but this is what my stomach looks like 2 years after having 6 babies. It is wrinkly, thick, and rolls out over my pants lol.
#8- This is me before having any kids.
#9- This is me, my husband, and our 6 kids- taken this past April

Fourth Pregnancy (Anonymous)


I’m a 25 year old, 5 foot 4, 10 stone 11 pounds mom of 3 beautiful children. I had 4 pregnancies, 1 miscarriage. They are 5, 2 and six months old. They were all delivered vaginally. First two children were bottle fed and third is breastfed.

Breastfeeding is making it really hard to loose weight as my body is holding onto the fat as a store my doctor and nutritionist thinks! but I will continue to breastfeed until I return to work as I feel it’s the best nutrition for my baby.

I now hate my body. I recently found out that my fiancé was masterbating to online porn. This is due to a lack of sexual intercourse as I suffered from a prolapse during pregnancy, haemorrhaged 12 days post delivery and had a d&c due to retained placenta. I was also diagnosed with benign tumours in my womb after this ordeal too. So It made me feel super unsexy! Which lead to a sex famine of four times in 9 months!!!! I was devastated that he felt he had to do that and now I’m making more of an effort to have sexual intercourse.

I was a size 6/8 before children and now a 10/12 with droopy boobs and big arms and thighs! Were getting married next July and I really need to get in shape for myself, if not anyone else.

Time Has Healed Me (Anonymous)

Previous post here.

Age: 29
4 pregnancies, 2 births
Children’s ages: 3 1/2 and 2 years old

I first posted to this site a year and a half ago. At the time I had a 6 month old baby and was struggling with what two pregnancies, in 18 months, had done to my body, as well as the hormonal throws of being postpartum. I was on my way to losing weight and getting back in shape.

However, shortly after I posted, I fell pregnant with what would have been our 3rd child in less than 3 years. The stress of the unplanned pregnancy, the extreme symptoms that came along with it and the financial strain of our growing family threw our life into a bleak and painful tailspin. My husband had to take time off work to take care of our children because my blood pressure was so low that I was bed bound from 6 weeks. We feared for how our family would continue to function. My husband turned against me under the pressure and our marriage began to break down.

In a devastatingly fortunate turn of events my symptoms started to fade just when he needed to head back to work. I wasn’t shocked when a routine ultrasound at 12 weeks showed the fetus had no heartbeat and had stopped growing at 10.5 weeks. Due to my immobility, in the 12 weeks I was pregnant, I gained 20 pounds. I also almost lost my marriage and decimated our finances. I was beside myself with grief, sadness and regret but I knew that wallowing in those feelings would do me no good. After all, we had two children relying on us, so we had no choice but to set out on a mission to put our lives back together.

A year and a half later, I can say that we have done that and more. We have been to the precipice and came back hand in hand. We know how to fight for our marriage and giving up is not an option. Through dedication and hard work, my husband got a new job with much more flexibility and better pay. I have lost 40 pounds and am feeling great!

I do yoga 2-3 times a week, eat in moderation, drink lots of water and make sure to get my fruits and veggies. I feel great about my body and my mind. I am a more patient, thoughtful mother since choosing to take care of myself and love myself.

If you look back at my previous post, there is a 20+ pound difference between then and now. But you can see my body is totally different due to gaining muscle tone from the yoga. I have stretch marks and lose skin, I except this about myself while working to improve the things I can. Time, patience and dedication will heal your body. It will heal your whole LIFE! Never give up on yourself, keep fighting to be the person you want to be and live the life you want to live. You are worth it and you can do it.