Boy #4 (Shannon)

Previous post here.
Age – 29
Pregnancies – 5
Births – 3
PP – 9, 6, 2

Hello again everyone! For those not familiar with me, I have given birth to 3 boys so far. Connor would be 9 this month, he passed away when he was 19 months old. Liam is 6, and Emerson will be 2 this month. Right before I got pregnant with Emerson, I lost a baby when I was 7 weeks pregnant. I am now 22 weeks pregnant with my 4th and last baby, another boy! We are naming him Gavin Michael :) I would not call myself a person that likes to be pregnant. In fact, I hate being pregnant! I feel sick the whole time, I feel tired, and I get huge. I started this pregnancy weighing 150 lbs (at only 5’2′), since I had not lost all of my weight from Emerson. After I had Emerson, I did not have motivation to work out, so I didn’t. I very much regret that now! I am 22 weeks and I am up to 166 already. I ended my pregnancy with Liam and Emerson at around 180. After this baby I am planning to get into great shape again, and then get a tummy tuck. I know that I should embrace my loose skin, and I always said that I would not get a tummy tuck (especially after Connor passed away), but I have changed my mind. I just want to feel good in clothes again. Something I was worried about was losing my stretch marks…but since they go far above my belly button, I will keep a lot of them :) I will keep you all posted!

Pictures are Connor age 15 months, Liam age 6, Emerson age 22 months, Gavin, and me at 22 weeks :)

I Feel Okay With It (Anonymous)

Age: 24
Pregnancies: 2 (currently pregnant with #2)
Births: 1
Age of Children: 2 1/2 years

I am 24 and currently 29 weeks pregnant with my second child. I started my first pregnancy overweight by about 20lbs. My first pregnancy was an emotional roller coaster of cervical shortening at 21wks, preterm labor at 23 1/2 weeks, a Christmastime hospital stay for an entire week (including Christmas), strict bed rest at home until 37 weeks and weekly self injected progesterone hormone shots, and 60lbs of weight gain. In the end it was all worth it of course because I was able to carry my beautiful perfect son almost to 40 weeks! He was born just 3 days shy of his “due date”. And then the next roller coaster began… despite all the healthy looking fetal echocardiograms, he was diagnosed with a congenital heart defect called Pulmonary Stenosis (the same one I have) and a pretty severe tongue tie. Breastfeeding was a challenge right from the start and despite asking multiple times a day, every day for the three days were in the hospital after he was born to see a Lactation Consultant, we never saw one. I didn’t get to see one until he was 5 days old and the woman I saw was so rude and abrasive I was afraid to go back when I still needed help with breastfeeding. When my son lost even more weight than is normal after birth, I finally went back to the office and saw another LC. She was AMAZING. The only issue was my son was getting so tired while trying to nurse that he would fall asleep after only getting about 1/2 an ounce of milk. This was due to his tongue tie as well as his heart condition. Then we began the long journey of pumping and using a nipple shield to help him latch more efficiently and feeding him from a bottle when he was too tired to nurse at the breast. We also started the process of trying to get his tongue tie clipped by a doctor. Insurance said it wasn’t medically necessary… it took his doctor showing them his weight loss & heart defect paperwork for them to approve it. He finally got it fixed at almost 2 months old. That was a horrible day in itself, but I felt like we would really turn a corner in the road to successful breastfeeding after that. I was so wrong. My son already had nipple confusion and would no longer nurse at my breast, even with the silicone nipple shield. I began to HATE breastfeeding. At one point in time I remember almost screaming at my son to just f***ing eat. Not one of my finer moments. I was crying every time we sat down to nurse, and I was beginning to even resent my poor sweet perfect son because he couldn’t eat “right”, and I began to hate myself for feeling this way as well as hating my body for failing me. It was at that point that I set up an appointment with the same LC again to try any last options we hadn’t already exhausted. Again she was amazing. She told me it was okay to stop breastfeeding. It was okay to stop because my son needed ME more than he needed MY MILK. She also suggested I talk to my OB provider about possible PPD treatment. So I stopped breastfeeding. Gave back the hospital grade pump I had been renting from the hospital, shoved the boppy in the closet, and threw away those damn nipple shields. We had almost no trouble with formula, thank goodness. I began to enjoy my son and spending every day with him. He was simply amazing. At 2 1/2 years old he still is. He never ceases to amaze me and his smiles, hugs and laughter are all I need to turn a bad day around. I am as I previously mentioned currently pregnant with my 2nd child, a little girl, due in December. This pregnancy is similar to my first, I have the cervical shortening (although not as severe) and am still at risk for preterm labor. I had JUST lost all the weight I started my 1st pregnancy with about 2 months before finding out I was pregnant…and now I am gaining it all back again. I had a bought of preterm labor at 28 weeks and was in the hospital for 3 days. Thankfully it did not cause any major cervical changes and I do not have to be on bed rest or any hormone shots. I am gaining the weight a little slower this time, desperately trying to keep it under control and to the 25lb maximum my provider says is “okay” for an “obese” woman. I see my pregnant belly in the mirror and sometimes I hate it. I feel fat. It’s squishy and flubby feeling at the bottom. My thighs touch and rub together 24/7. My boobs have stretch marks, sag, and are nowhere near where they were before I was ever pregnant. But then my son pats my belly and says “bee-bee shh-sssyyy” (baby sissy) and smiles and laughs and everything is okay. I feel okay with it all when I see how my son loves me and when I feel my daughter kicking. They are worth every ounce of extra weight, and every single stretch mark all over my body.

My Rainbow Baby and VBA2C! (Shannon)

Most recent post here.
# of pregnancies and births: 4/3
How far pp: 7 years, 4.5 years, 2.5 weeks
Age: 27

As you all know (since I post here frequently!), I lost my 3rd pregnancy. I have had quite the bumpy road as far as my babies go. Connor passed away 5 years and 5 months ago (his 7th birthday was on September 24th), I had my 2nd only a year later, lost my 3rd, and just gave birth to my 4th baby on 9/19, Emerson James! It was a successful VBA2C :) You can read my other posts if you have never read any of my stories.

Here is my birth story written by my husband:

Sunday Night:
We dropped Liam off at Megan and Steve’s house so he could play with Canyon. We left there at a little after 6PM. There was traffic because of a baseball game, so we did a little detour near northeasten. All told we pulled in at 715, right on the dot.

We were admitted to the maternity floor and had a really nice nurse (who had recently graduated from UMass). The next few hours was a combination of doctors (most notably the one with the purple hair clip) to convince you that the best way to induce was to do “the balloon” followed by some Pitosin. You were concerned that, should the induction not take, you would then be coerced into doing a C-section. During the course of this, you were inspected and determined to be 1cm dilated. Also, Purple Hair Clip stripped your membranes. The doctor’s seemed a little confused as they thought you were here for an induction and yet you didn’t want the induction at the same time. In the end, partially due to PHC’s 30% success rate estimate, you decided to talk it over with Dr McElrath, your primary OB/GYN. He wasn’t available at the time, so we decided to get a hotel in hopes that we could meet with him the next morning.

Upon leaving the hospital we checked out the Howard Johnson near Fenway, but there was a game that night so it was very loud (and probably booked anyway). I looked around and decided to stay at the Best Western at 1650 Commonwealth ave. We got into the room at midnight (just as breaking bad was picking up where we left off). We watched the rest of breaking bad, then went to sleep.

We woke up and, after a few phone calls, settled on meeting with Dr McElrath at 1245. In the meantime we went to Whole Foods and got some breakfast in the form of delicious sandwiches. We met with McElrath and you were just as indecisive as last night. Fortunately McElrath made the decision for you, telling you that your best chance was to wait until you go into labor naturally. We decided to go home and wait. Before we left, we had one of what would turn out to be many meals at the Mission.

We got home, where your mom was watching Liam and Molly. The rest of the night was uneventful. We got to tuck Liam in, which was nice.

You starting feeling contractions around 3AM. You timed them for a while and then woke me up and we left around 6AM. Traffic was pretty bad so I cut through Woburn and back out onto 93. That saved us a little bit of time, but it still took about 1.5 hours.

Once there the doctors inspected you (and you were still 1cm dilated). After a few hours they inspected you again, and not much had changed. They said to go walk around for a while to see if that got things going. So we went to lunch at the Mission again and then met Jenny at the park on Mission Hill right off of Birgham Circle. There you did some sort of exercises to try to change Emerson’s position in your belly. I read a book. It was nice.

After the park we went to get something to eat at the Mission again (I had left my credit card there… surprise), this time Jenny joined us. The bartender gave us a free drink on account of your ripeness, which was cool of him.

We then went back to the hospital, and they inspected you… still not much progress (you might have been a little bit more effaced and softer, but nothing huge). After some chatting they decided to keep you overnight to see how things went. They decided this partially because you were having strong contractions.

Unfortunately, the contractions died down by the morning. You might have been 1.5cm dilated, and slightly more effaced, but progress was slow. Instead of inducing we decided to stay the (new) course of letting your body do what it wants to do. We were discharged, had lunch at the Mission, and went home. We got home around 3PM.

Liam was down on the Cape, so it was just us. We got some La Caretta and then hung out for a bit while you took bath (right before which some of your mucus plug came out). Afterwards you said it would be great to get a hotel with a hot tub. We called around and settled on the Crowne Plaza Nashua. We got there at about 630PM. You immediately got in the hot tub (which was concerningly high off the ground… funny to watch your ripe self climb into it). You were overly aggressive with the bubbles and we (mostly I) had to scoop them out and put them in the standup shower. Afterwards, I joined you in the tub (which had jets that shot out at ~100MPH). Shortly afterwards you noticed something in the bubbles. You weren’t sure what it was but we narrowed it down to three possibilities:
You pooped
You lost the rest of your mucus plug
Your water broke
You called the doctor and they said not to be concerned and that it was likely the rest of your mucus plug.

Thursday (midnight)

I should note that at this point your contractions are getting more intense. So we get back in the tub (actually just you for a while… I was chilling in a robe) as your contractions began to become more intense and more frequent. Later I jointed you in the tub and starting timing your contractions. They had been about 3-5 minutes apart for about an hour and a half when we decided to leave. We left the hotel room at 1:20AM.

The trip down to Brigham was an interesting one. I wasn’t sure if we were going to have enough gas, but I didn’t tell you at the time because you were having what appeared to be very painful contractions. Fortunately the gas was enough (barely) and the roads were wide open on account of the time, so we successfully arrived at Brigham at 2:05.

At admitting there was another pregnant woman when we arrived, and another one came in shortly after us. We all went up to the 5th floor of the CWN building (Center for Women and Newborns?). You were the last of the 3 to be brought to a room.

Once in the room, you were inspected and found to be about 4cm dilated at 80% effaced. Finally, we knew this was it and we were not leaving without Emerson coming out. In order to ease your pain and hopefully get you some rest, they gave you an epidural (something you were very excited about). During the epidural the anesthesiologist accidentally touched a wrong nerve, sending your right leg shaking. He said “What was that?” which, at the time, was discomforting. Afterwards we realized he was asking which leg it was (so he knew what it was he had touched). The rest of the anesthesia went off without a hitch and you tried to get some rest. The time was now around 5AM.

You got some rest over the next few hours, so not much happened. The nurse would periodically come in and check Emerson’s vital signs. Throughout the entire ordeal Emerson’s heart rate looked great, so again, nothing notable went on here.
Somewhere in midmorning you were determined to be about 6cm dilated. At this point I called Connie and Jenny to tell them they could come. They arrived late-morning and, after some chatting, you had them wait out in the waiting room until the time was right.
A little bit after noon you were inspected again and it was found that there was “just a lip” remaining. At this point the nurse got you getting ready to push. The next few hours was a slow progression with (what I presume to be) the usual milestones. Once it became clear that the head popping out was imminent, I was sent to fetch Connie and Jennny. They came in and watched. Your Mom prayed in the corner while I held your legs to “help” you push.

It’s worth noting that you pushed like a champ. Uncomfortable, but still cracking jokes. It was funny when they used a mirror to show you what was going on… you thought it was neat, but said you didn’t want to look in the mirror any more. As the head was out they asked if you wanted to touch it. You did, and you must’ve thought it was icky (kind of was), because you then wiped your hand on your gown.

Then you popped out the baby at 4:18PM. They put him on your chest right away, which you keep telling me was awesome (I love you baby… and I get it).
About 15-20 minutes post-partum Emerson latched on for breast-feeding. Maybe it had something to do with the skin-to-skin, but in any case, he was quite boss-like about it.

Attached photos are me 36 weeks pregnant with Emerson and my 3 boys on Connor’s birthday (Connor is on Emerson’s onsie!)

Wrecked (Anonymous)


I have enjoyed and found support in reading many of these entries for quite some time and finally felt like I should share my story.

I have two beautiful children, a son who is now 5 and a 17 month old baby girl.
With my first pregnancy it was quite a shock. I was 24 and had only been married 4 months. I was on the pill when I got pregnant and was shocked and upset when I found out. I did not feel ready in any way. We were newly married, I was finishing school, we hasn’t even gone on a honeymoon yet! I cried for weeks. Finally I was beginning to accept it when we found out something was wrong-he had a condition called gastrochesis, a rare condition where the abdomen doesn’t close so all his intestines, stomach etc were outside his body. Anyways to make a long story short it was a rough pregnancy and a very rough beginning to life and parenthood. He was in the hospital for months, surgeries etc.

Body wise though, I didn’t gain much weight, did not get stretch marks and bounced back immediately. Due to stress I lost additional weigh and was skinnier then ever.

When I got pregnant with my daughter it was a different experience. We were trying to conceive this time and the pregnancy went smoothly. I gained a ton of weight-got close to 200 pounds at delivery and she was 8.14, a big healthy baby! I got stretch marks on my breasts and a few on my hips. I still have at least 10-15 pounds that won’t come off. I hate my love handles. I love my kids more then anything but it depresses me to look in the mirror and I don’t see my flat toned stomach or perky boobs anymore. Then the other day at work I ran into the seamstress who did alterations on my wedding dress. She said ” wow kids sure wrecked your body. You used to be so skinny!” I cried all night over that comment, I’ve never felt so hurt.

I want to feel sexy and beautiful again, sometimes I still do, but I guess it’s going to take time to accept myself.

-anonymous, aged 31


Special Needs (Susi)

Previous post here.

When I was pregnant with my son, the worst thing that happened was I had an a-hole for a doctor. When I was pregnant with my daughter, it was a totally different experience. Almost from the moment I found out I was pregnant, there were problems.

At our first ultrasound, everything seemed okay, except I was farther along than I thought. We had our next ultrasound at 22 weeks, and we were so excited to find out it was a girl. We chatted happily about her until the end of the ultrasound, when the tech said she wanted to go get a doctor. Immediately our hearts started racing. What was wrong? We were told to wait in the waiting room for the results.

Our midwife called us back to tell us that our baby had echogenic kidneys. It could be a marker for Down Syndrome or many other diseases. We would have to go see a neonatologist.

We saw the neonatologist once a month for the duration of the pregnancy. We had so many ultrasounds—I think we ended up having 9 ultrasounds all in all. The small bonus of getting to see our daughter was offset by the tremendous worry and sadness that she might be seriously ill. Finally, by the seventh month, her kidneys were fine, but at that time she turned and was transverse (sideways) breech. She remained transverse breech for the duration of the pregnancy. She would flip around all the time, but I could always feel her head on one side or the other, never in the bottom where it belonged.

I tried everything I could think of to get her in the right position. I tried moving her with my hands, talking to her, even doing acupuncture, but nothing worked. Reluctantly, my midwife and I agreed that we would schedule a version (where the doctor turns the baby in utero) and a c-section for the same day, and if the version didn’t work, they would do the c-section. I was terrified of the surgery and hated the idea of an unnatural birth. The day came, and the version didn’t work. Well actually, it did work—the baby turned, but she turned right back as soon as the doctor took his hands off. They tried turning her and breaking my water to pull her into the birth canal. It didn’t work—my water wouldn’t break because there wasn’t any pressure on the amniotic sac. It was SO painful. My wonderful midwife gave us one more chance—she said we could try a natural birth with someone holding the baby in position, but she didn’t think it would work and we’d end up having a c-section anyway. We finally agreed that it seemed pointless to prolong it any more and prepped for the surgery.

The surgery itself went well, no problems. My beautiful baby daughter, Grace Elizabeth, was born at 10:30 a.m. She was breathing very loudly, and I asked if she needed oxygen. The nurses agreed that she did and rushed her to the NICU. Although her pulse oxygen level went up within a couple hours, my daughter’s breathing was still very loud, like a honking sound. The doctors examined her every time they saw her, and eventually decided she had tracheomalacia – a malformation of the trachea that she would grow out of.

She continued to grow, but never learned how to roll over on her own, so at her 6-month well baby visit I asked her pediatrician about it. She agreed that there was a delay and referred us to a physical therapist. Gracie learned to roll over quickly after we started PT, then we worked on sitting up, then crawling. She reached all those milestones a little late but still within the realm of normal. Walking was a different story—we are still working on teaching her to walk, and I don’t know if she will ever walk on her own.

There has never been a time when Gracie was healthy. We’ve been through so much with her. We discovered that she doesn’t feel pain in her hands and feet, and feels less pain than normal everywhere else (that’s why she can’t walk—she can’t feel her feet). She got RSV at 8 months and has had several serious respiratory infections since then (she barely survived some of them). She is prone to infection (it’s related to not feeling pain) and got gangrene. She spent a week in the hospital for that – she ended up losing the tip of her right index finger. And, most recently, we just found out that she has a degenerative eye disease that will probably cause her to lose her sight by the time she’s a teenager. After a year of testing, we’re still not sure what the overarching medical condition is (I think it’s an HSAN, possibly type 2 or maybe type 1). Anyone out there on the internet have any ideas?

I started writing this post because I felt really bad about having to have a c-section with her. I wanted to have a natural birth and her birth was as far from natural as possible. I constantly wondered if I had done everything I could to avoid the c-section—should we have tried holding her in the birth canal? Should I have gone to a different person for acupuncture? What if I had done things differently? Over time, though, I grew to believe that she would never have survived a vaginal birth—even if we could have managed to hold her in place to come down the birth canal, I think her trachea would have collapsed from the tracheomalacia. Still, it’s hard to not feel guilty.

We have been through so much with our little angel Grace, but we wouldn’t give her up for anything. She is a light and a love. She is the world’s best snuggler. She is silly, sweet, smart, and sassy. We are not out of the woods with her but we love her so much and will enjoy her as long as we can.

My Battle With Guilt (Anonymous)

I met my boyfriend in high school, freshman year. We were officially a couple a little over three years ago. I think we may have used a condom for the first couple months and gradually I started to let him not wear one, being stupid, young, and in love. Well miraculously, it took me years to get pregnant (wasn’t trying) and I was a couple months before turning 18. My mom was already okay with our relationship considering we were together for so long, and finally took it seriously, basically letting us live together for the last couple years. So, she wasn’t so in shock when I got pregnant around 18.

I suffered a terrible amount of guilt and was considering abortion. I knew the fact that my diet was complete shit, that I was smoking marijuana, cigarettes, getting wasted all the time wasn’t good for the baby. I had heard that women start cleansing their bodies in preparation to getting pregnant, and was very scared. I was having pelvic pains, so after the doctor confirmed I was pregnant, I was taken in for an ultrasound. I found I was 8 weeks pregnant. The heart was already beating, and instantly I knew I never could have an abortion. Hearing her heart beat was the more beautiful music I had ever heard in my life.

So here I am, 39 weeks and ready to pop any day. But, about 18 weeks in I come in for a routine ultrasound, and they had discovered a mass somewhere in her abdomen. Never in my life was I so frightened. I come to find out after trips to UCLA, that this was a CCAM/Pulmonary Sequestration. It is a rare mass that occurs in the lung, and in her case was so large it was pushing her heart completely to the right side. They had advised me to “terminate” the pregnancy. I knew there was no way in hell I would. I remember sitting in the office listening to these doctors tell me in detail about her mass, during the fetal heart echos, and 2hr long ultrasounds, and all I could think was why? Here I am 18 years old, changing my whole life around, becoming a mother so young, dealing with this shocking news I was responsible for another life and NOW I’m hearing not only is there complications, but a very rare one, that is known very little of.

Around 23 weeks I moved to a different state. My boyfriend came with, and I continued care with a new OB in one of the best hospitals in the US, because of the insurance my stepdad was able to give my daughter great care and a fighting chance. Although, when I had come up here I knew they had little hope for my daughter. Long story short, I was told she will me immediately taken from birth to the NICU for her care, and that there was a chance she can come out not even being able to breathe. And that even if she was healthier than ever, she still needed to be transferred to the NICU to run tests, and determine when her surgeries will be. (surgery is necessary, it’s not an if it’s when)

So, with all this on my mind, I have a tremendous amount of guilt. I feel that what I did before I was pregnant, and when I was pregnant but didn’t know I was, the things I was doing somehow caused this to happen to her. I was told it wasn’t, that it is genetic, but I am scared it was my fault. On top of this, I’m 18 years old, 239 lbs, and looking my absolute worst.

I gained weight previous to the pregnancy. I blew up in about 2 years, going from 145 to 190. After being pregnant I shot up to 239 lbs. I am 5’7, went from 36DD to 40E, and I have stretch marks all over my body. From my sides, my hips, one or two on my butt, and all the way up my belly. I hate my body. I feel miserable. I wear the same black long sleeve maternity shirt every other day, the other day is a dark grey long sleeve maternity shirt, and sweat pants. I used to dye my hair consistently because I hated my natural hair color, I used to do mystic tanning because I am naturally pale, I used to wear fake nails, etc. All which I cannot do anymore and it actually does bother me. And I feel terrible for worrying about such stupid and vain things while I should be focusing on what’s happening with my daughter and be thankful that she has made it this far. I’m constantly comparing myself obsessively to other 18 year olds, perfect slim bodies, belly pierced, no stretch marks, perky breasts, able to show it off comfortably any time they want. I’m jealous. And obsessive. And it’s on my mind constantly. I love my daughter with my whole heart, she has become my whole world, and I haven’t even met her yet. But I hate my body. And I am so scared I will never lose the weight, nor the stretch marks, and that my body will never be the same. And I knew this is wrong.

– First Pregnancy 18 years old
– Photos taken at 38 wks

3rd Pregnancy Ending in Miscarriage (Shannon)

My last post.
Age: 26
Number of pregnancies: 2 carried to term, 1 miscarriage at 7 weeks
PP: 6 years, 3.5 years, miscarriage yesterday at 7 weeks
Image: about 5 weeks pregnant with 3rd baby that I just lost

I have posted here many times before. This was my third pregnancy, and I was so very excited. I found out when I was only 4 weeks along! Although my other 2 pregnancies were very welcome, this one was hoped for. With my first son I was only 19, not married, and terrified to tell my parents (it did not take long to get happy though!). My first son was born with a very rare syndrome and he passed away when he was only 19 months old. It was/is the most difficult thing I have ever experienced. I think of him and miss him every single day (it has been 4.5 years since he passed). I got pregnant with my second son only 3 months after Connor had passed away, so it was very difficult (again, it did not take long to get happy, and I knew it was what Connor wanted for his Father and I). This pregnancy, my third, was planned. I was so excited when I found out (I even jumped up and down). I am married, I did not JUST lose my son (not that I don’t miss him…just that it isn’t as fresh as it was when I got pregnant with my second), and this was planned. I will be graduating in the beginning of May from nursing school, and my due date was supposed to be June 6th, so the timing was perfect. I had planned it all out…I would get quite a few months home with the baby while applying for nursing jobs…it was perfect timing. Yesterday I went to the bathroom and saw some blood clots. I told my husband we had to go to the hospital. We brought Liam (our second child) to the sitter, and off we went. They did blood work and an ultrasound which basically confirmed that I was in fact pregnant, but no longer am. I was crushed, crying uncontrollably. When we got home from the hospital I was in extreme pain, felt like actual contractions. This morning I woke up, went to the bathroom, and passed my placenta. This is just horrible. I already loved that baby. I know it is different than losing my Connor, but to me, I just lost another baby. Although was only 7 weeks pregnant, it was my baby and I loved him/her.

My insecurity about my body turns me into The Hulk (Katrina)

Age: 25
Pregnancies: 2
Births: 2; 1 Ceasarean/ 1 VBAC
2 daughters; almost 3 years old and 9 months
9 months PP

Hi Everyone! I’m new to SOAM. I only discovered the site 2 days ago, and I was already hooked. Reading all of your stories has been an inspiration and a newfound comfort for me to post my own story, here it is…

I’ll start by going back to when my husband and I first met. I was 18 years old, and struggling with money as a college student. At the time I was actually in a same sex relationship, and the only reason I mention that is because if it wasn’t for her having a friend that had a friend that worked at a certain job, I would’ve never met my husband. Its very ironic, I know. Basically, I was looking for easy fast money, and yes, it is what you are all thinking… the friend of a friend was a dancer at a strip club, the club my husband was a manager at. So, I took up the friend’s offer of trying her line of work and became an exotic dancer. When I first started the job I never really noticed my husband. I worked at the club for maybe 6-9 months, and left because I felt like I was better than that. I still continued to be in the same sex relationship for another 2 years, and remained very close to the dancer friend that got me the job. It wasn’t until I was 20 that I went back to the club to get my job back because again I was in need of fast money. It was during that time that my husband and I caught each others attention, and started hanging out. We dated for about a month before my 21st birthday, and during that time he told me he would dream about me, so I was literally the girl of his dreams, and I had surgery on my breasts and he came to take care of me, only weeks after we went on our first date. I think that’s when we knew we were meant for each other. Before I got my boobs done I was a DD, but they were very saggy. I got a lift and implants because I wanted to be my normal size.

Three weeks after my surgery we celebrated my 21st birthday in Vegas, he paid for the room, bought me a dress, and paid for everything, inlcuding the cost of my two friends and his two cousins. After Vegas I felt changed. I was still working at the club, and I started getting that feeling of being better than that again. I would go to work and just sit there, not wanting to talk to any customers, because I didn’t want to make him mad. After a few weeks, I quit.

Ok, so lets fast forward a little bit. We had been together for almost a year, but we were having a lot of problems. He had trust issues because of my previous relationship with the same sex, and my history of having flings with random guys. We were on the verge of breaking up. He confessed to me that he had sex with one of the dancers at the club, a dancer I probably knew, but never found out exactly who it was. It was weeks after that when I found out I was pregnant. Surprisingly he was very excited, and even shouted it out to the whole club. He came over to my parents house to tell them the news, and my mom wasn’t happy at all. She was eating dinner at the table and when we told her she pushed her plate away and said she lost her appetite. After an hour or so of talking, we decided to get married instead of just moving in together right away. So, we got married the day before my 22nd birthday.

I was 14 weeks pregnant when I started feeling really sick, so I made an appointment to see my dr. They couldn’t find the baby’s heartbeat, so they sent me to radiology to have an ultrasound. The dr then told me that the baby’s bowels were formed outside of the body, the defect is called gastroschsis. I didn’t really understand at first, and when I called my husband I was just hysterical. I started seeing a specislaist for high risk pregnancies. We ended up having an amniosentisis, so we got to find out the sex of the baby. I was happy to know it was a girl! At 36 weeks, I was scheduled for a c-section because the specialist said her intestines were very dialted, and if she were to stay in longer she would get an infection. On September 23, 2009 at 8:06am, I gave birth to a 5lbs 9oz baby girl, who we named Kamryn Presley. Since I wasn’t able to go to the NICU to see her the first day, my husband would come and update me on her condition. When she was delivered she swallowed her meconium, so she had a bunch of her poop her in her lungs. I was horrified, because with her defect, plus that, her life was in danger. She was on 100% oxygen, and the docters didn’t think she would make it. She spent 6 months in the hospital, having gone through 4 different surgeries to fix her bowel movements. She came home the weekend of my 23rd birthday, it was the best birthday gift I ever recieved. She’s now 2 1/2, she’ll be 3 in September. She’s been fed by a feeding tube since she’s come home 2 years ago, but she’s slowly starting to eat different things by mouth. We’re hoping she’ll have the feeding tube removed within a year or so. She goes through 4 different therapies throughout the week, but she’s developing very well.

In Novmeber 2010, we found out that we were pregnant again. Also once again, my mom had a negative additude about it. She told me we should have waited until Kamryn was completely better. I just ignored her. We decided to have a lot of screening tests done to make sure this baby was going to be born healthy without any birth defects or medical problems. When I was about 8 months I started having false labor pains, so bad that I went to labor and delivery. The dr. said I was contracting but I wasn’t dialted at all. I spent another whole month very large and pregnant. Finally, in the very early morning on August 24th, I decided it was finally time. I was in labor for about 8 hours, but the pushing took only about 2 hours. I delivered my beautiful, hefty, but healthy baby girl through a successful VBAC at 11:27am. We named her Peyten Abigail, and she weighed in at 8lbs 10oz.

Before my first pregancy I was 5’4 and 125lbs. I gained about 60lbs with Kamryn, so I was about 185 when I had Kamryn. I got down to 154, then I found out I was pregnant again. I gained about 40lbs with Peyten. I was 192lbs when she was born. Now, at 9 months PP, I’m 159. Also, I went from being a DD before and after having surgery on my breasts to being a 34 G today. I would still like to lose another 20lbs. It really does bother me that I can’t lose the weight. I even bought the Zumba DVDS. We ended up going to Vegas for my 25th birthday which was this past March. I did Zumba religously for a whole month before Vegas. I was doing it for about an hour a day, 4 to 5 times a week, and I never saw any results or lost any weight. It made me upset and sad because before I got the DVDS I would watch the infomercials and there was women in their 40s and 50s losing 15 lbs after 10 days. It really ruins my mood because I look in the mirror and I just see a slob. My emotions take over me to the point where I find myself yelling at the girls, mostly Kamryn for every little thing. I know she’s at the age where she wants to get into everything, but she doesn’t deserve to be scolded for little things like touching my phone or playing in my bathroom everyday. I feel like a horrible mother when I yell at her every 5 minutes. My husband works at night most days, and I find myself texting him and letting my anger out on him too. I blame it on my self image. I believe that if I was back in shape, and felt better about myself, I would be a nicer person. I don’t want my kids to grow up thinking I’m a scary person because I yell all the time. I’m horrified to think that when they’re teenagers they’ll tell me that they hate me…

But, enough of the sadness and depression. I’m glad to have found this site because it makes me feel so much better about myself. I would still like to lose the weight, and i’m sure i’ll have blow ups about the way I look time and again, but at least I know i’m not the only one out there that feels that way. I’m also happy that I have two beautiful girls. I guess I can say it was worth the toll on my body, because I wouldn’t change the fact that they’re in my life.

I hope you enjoyed reading my story. God bless all of the mothers out there!

Pregnancies shouldn’t be this difficult. (Shelby)

Are you ready for this?

Okay, so I was a Virgin until I met the father of my children, I was 18, he was 21.. We wore condoms religiously until it broke one time and after i didnt get pregnant we really didnt worry. So, a year goes by and we just thought maybe one of us was reproductively broken in a way of words. BOY WERE WE WRONG! I got pregnant with our son, whose now 20 months old close to our 2 year anniversary, it seems nice except, the father wanted to just be wasted and not be there for me thru my pregnancy. I lost 19lbs the first trimester from the horrible constant all hours of the day vomiting. He never really was connected with me like I wanted him to be. I can count on one hand how many times he whillingly touched my stomach to feel our son kick and it tore me apart inside. 2 months after I had our son my boyfriend was apparently talking to other women bc I ended up having an episotomy from hell, cut all the way to the side of my poor butt hole, couldnt sit for a month and i was mad b/c I put my body thru hell, I feel like I ruined myself for a man who just wanted to use me for his own pleasure and giving him children and not bothering about how i felt about it all. I was 19 when i got pregnant and 20 when I had our son. Well once we could have sex again things seemed to change as horrible as it sounds, but we ended up breaking up after he tried to mount a supposeable friend on new years.. I gained 40 lbs after i left him and moved back to my home town, well I missed the bastard and we got back together after me taking care of our son by myself for over 6 months.. when my son was 10 months old we conceived our daughter again dispite my constant urges to wear condoms, he would literally rip them off while we were having sex. So i was very depressed when I conceived my dauther, then we found out she had a dialated ventricle in her brain, it was HELL going to the specialist 2 hours from home, and on top of everything he left me when i was pregnant b/c he is a meth addict.. he came around me and my son when he was on it, he hung out with this girl i used to be friends with and she taught him how to shoot up, I caught her in our bed, him in the kitchen going to get a spoon to OD himself, If i hadnt have walked in the house to catch them b/c he wasnt answering his phone after our son was hurt, he wouldnt me here. well none the less i called the cops on him. he went to jail sobered up got bailed out, moved in with his mom. relapsed when he moved back and i was the one AGAIN to find the needles in the garbage, I went thru going to the specialist on my own, living out of boxes sleeping on a couch with my son at my mothers house, being used by the man I devoted my entire life and body to, worrying what possible std i couldve contracted weither it be hepatitis or herpes b/c of the girl we has shooting up with is the town WHORE… I wanted to literally die, to not give birth to my daughter b/c she didnt deserve to live in a world like this.. well I struggled and struggled and didnt eat for days at an end b/c of everything that was going on.

thankfully I made it thru everything, had my daughter, tore slightly, my vagina is not the same, my stretch marks from my first pregnancy only grew a little on the top, but now my skin sags im terrified to lose weight b/c i dont want to sag further. The father of my children came clean with everything he was doing, deleted all the druggies out of his life, removed all the paraphenalia from the house, is waiting to be charged with a possible felony, was there for hte birth of our daughter, IM BEYOND HAPPY HE WORE CONDOMS WHEN HE SLEPT WITH OTHER WOMEN and didnt give me anything. im struggling with my body image and the constant horror of everything thath append, the feeling of betrayl, NO PREGNANT WOMEN SHOULD HAVE TO SUFFER LIKE I DID.. There is sooo much more to my story, I deal with overwhelming Panic attacks and Flashbacks of walking in on him and her and the look he gave me and all the lies he told me for nearly 9 months, the persistant presence of other women he was interacting with and making me feel like i was there to give him children, to do what he wanted and that he deserved to have his pie and eat it too along with some cake on the side, thinking about it disgusts me.. We are going to go to counseling, but everything thats happened.. its all too much to bare..

Im 6ft tall, before my son I was 190 average, after my son i ballooned (or atleast i felt that way) to over 240, size 36 pant, none of my pre pregnancy pants fit. My daughter I was 220 pregnant (massive weight loss due to major depression) After I had her I lost over 30 lbs from delivery alone, now Im back up to 220 post pregnancy, I do not love myself, Im horrible depressed, If it werent for my children id honestly be 6ft under.. I dont know how to be happy anymore, I cry every night before bed and the boyfriend is to the point where he doesnt want to talk about it bc he has a bad heart (genetic & drug induced) he has been having mini heart attacks @ only 25 and sometimes i wonder if it would just be better to let him find someone else to make him and happy and my children me and my stretch mark riddled body just go make another life & me be a single mother because I will NEVER let another man get close to me to hurt me like he has.

Ill include some pictures taken the day before I had my daughter, I had cried the whole day & my neighbor lady took them and insisted I smile…

~Age: 22
~Number of pregnancies and births: 2 Pregnancies, 2 births
~The age of your children, or how far postpartum you are: 20 Months boy, 6 weeks girl PP 6 weeks

Mom of 3 (Amanda W)

I am a Mom of three wonderful children. 2 girls and a boy. i was 20 years old when i conceived my first, and she was born weighing in at 9lbs, 20.5 inches. i grew several cup sizes, and gained about 40 pounds, which i havent lost yet. shes 10 now. my middle child is 4, she was 7lbs 14 oz, born at 38 weeks, and a ball of fire. my little boy is now 10weeks, and was 10lbs 4 oz 21 inches at birth. he was born with an imperforate anus (his rectum and anus didnt connect) his was a mild case, and he is mending well, although he scared the crap out of us (pun intended LOL) when he was born. my last 2 were c-sections, my first was a vaginal delivery.

i am 31
3 pregnancies
10 weeks postpartum of number 3, 10yr old, 4 yr old