I will break the cycle. (KMG)

Age: 32
1 pregnancy, 1 birth
20 month old

I remember being a little girl of nine or ten, after my brother was born, and looking at my mother observing herself in the mirror. She had saggy breasts, a lot of stretchmarks, and a vertical c-section scar. She hated all three, blaming me for her stretchmarks and my brother for her scar and saggy breasts. She had me at seventeen and had my brother eight years later. Neither of us were planned, and I know that her self-image and failure to plan her pregnancies had a dramatic effect on the way I viewed becoming a mother. I met my husband when we were sixteen. I knew I’d marry him, and yet, I refused to have pre-marital sex. My decision wasn’t out of an adherence to religious beliefs but out of fear of getting pregnant. Even after being married, we “doubled up” on birth control methods and thought that we’d be that couple who works and travels instead of having children. My mother seemed to resent everything about ever having children, and I never wanted that for myself…or for a child.

As the years went on, my husband and I discussed wanting grandchilren one day, which of course…would not happen without one critical generation between us. We began to entertain the idea of having children, but at 28, I still wasn’t ready. Slight weight gain had already given me considerable stretchmarks, which terrified me. I was still stuck on not wanting to be like my mother, physically or emotionally. If I was going to have a child, it would be because I REALLY wanted one no matter the cost, inconvenience, risks to my appearance, etc. I continued to put it off.

Finally, at 30, I decided that it was time. I wanted a child more than I wanted any of the superficial things, and I felt fairly confident that I could do what it would take to reduce the physical side effects. I’m 5’2″ and was about 130lbs when I decided to plan my pregnancy. I went off of birth control, started working out, started eating differently, and lost about 15lbs. I felt ready and assumed that it would take a few tries before we would actually conceive because I suffered with Endometriosis for years. It turns out that like my mother, I am a “fertile Myrtle” because I got pregnant on the first try. I put weight on right away, and there was no stopping me. Getting pregnant at the start of the holidays, not getting any morning sickness (none.at.all), and it being too cold to go for walks outside is a good combination for packing on the pounds.

In month 7 or 8, I began to notice the stretchmarks. They started on my lower belly and gradually creeped up toward my belly button. I remember a night of hysterical crying and panic when they began climbing even further up my stomach. They were WORSE than my mother’s. They were up and down and side to side on my belly, they ran up and down on my upper thights, side to side on my butt, and up and down on my lower back. I had extreme joint pain, often waking up with fingers that I couldn’t move or a kneecap that had fallen out of place. I was 199lbs and a week past my due date when I walked into the hospital to be induced (after many weeks of begging/crying in my doctor’s office). I labored for 23 hours, and after an 3 attempts with the vaccuum, I was sent for an emergency c-section. My beautiful 9lb 8oz baby boy was born.

The recovery from a c-section was excrutiatingly painful, but once I was past the first few days, life began to get easier. I always feared that I would struggle with PPD, but I didn’t. I sometimes wonder if I struggled with depression during my pregnancy, but I can say that I have had a reason to find joy in every day since my son has been born. I often look at my body and feel disappointment, but it’s not the self-loathing that my mother had. I refuse to hate my body. I refuse to pass that burden to my son. I weigh 152lbs, down from the 199lbs at pre-birth. My stretch marks are so numerous and intertwined. They often remind me of the lines of tar on a road when they try to repair cracks in the pavement. My breasts are still somewhat full but definitely not perky, and my c-section scar hides under a roll of belly flab. I still look about 5 months pregnant because I am short waisted and retain the majority of my weight in my mid-section. I often get asked when I’m due. I’ve even had women reach out and touch my stomach, saying, “Awwww.” My son is almost 21 months old, so explaining my shape is getting a little more difficult as each month passes. Today was especially hard.

In front of 2 other people, a woman exclaimed, “Ohhhh, you’re pregnant!” She was clearly happy for me, so even though I was embarassed and hurt, I felt sorry for her. When I told her I wasn’t, things got worse:
Me: “No, I just never lost the weight from my pregnancy.”
Her: “Did you gain weight?”
Me: Hesitation
Her: “Or is something wrong? Are you bloated? You’re really not pregnant?”
Me: “No, I just didn’t lose the weight.”
Her: “I’m sorry. I don’t know what to say. I feel bad for asking.”
Me: Gave her and out and changed the subject.

Yes, in true “woman-fashion,” I didn’t want to make someone else feel bad for making me feel bad. I walked out to the car, where my husband waited, and sat quietly. When I felt like I could tell him what happened without crying, I did, and he was comforting. When we got home, I analyzed my profile in the mirror, agreeing that I look pregnant. I spoke about it to my husband and showed him my stomach as he fed my son dinner.


It’s too easy to repeat a cycle, isn’t it? I remember being a little girl, watching my mother analyze herself in the mirror, expressing her self-loathing. Tonight, I stood in front of my son in the dining room and analyzed/critcized my stomach. Thankfully, he’s too young to comprehend, and I didn’t blame my insecurities on having him. However, one day, he will be old enough to comprehend. He will put “cause and effect” together, even if I don’t come out and say things like, “You gave me these stretchmarks that I hate.” I can do better. I can be better.

Yes, I think I look 5 months pregnant, and yes, I have an infinite number of stretchmarks. BUT, I was able to plan my pregnancy with the support of my husband. I was able to conceive on the first try. I was able to avoid morning sickness. I was able to survive an emotional rollercoaster with the most supportive friends and co-workers. I was able to hold a healthy child after his birth. I was able to bend my fingers again and go jogging. I hate it when someone asks me if or assumes that I am pregnant. I.hate.it. But I will not hate my body. I will not hate my stretchmarks. I will not hate what has been the result of such an incredible blessing in my life.

When I see stories on this site with heading descriptors like, “3 Pregnancies, 2 Births,” I feel the weight of that. Nothing sits as heavy as that. No questions or incorrect assumptions weigh that much. No thick waistlines or countless stretchmarks can compare to the thought of my story saying, “1 Pregnancy, 0 Births.” When I see the stories of women who struggle with what pregnancy has done to their bodies, I feel relief. I’m not the only one. When I see the stories of women who feel empowered by the changes in their bodies, I feel inspired, hopeful. I feel camaraderie. Thank you to every one of you who shares your story. Each and every person has legitimate (and none too trivial) concerns that another mother may find comfort in. I have certainly found comfort in knowing that as mothers we can be both the strongest and the most vulnerable beings and that in either state, we are not alone. My story offers no answers or advice, and sadly it offers no pictures. I am grateful for this outlet and hope to take some pictures soon.

Mommy of 4 Boys (Carollee)

Hi, My name is Carollee and I’m from Cleveland, OH. I was 19, 5’4′ and weighed about 130lbs when I got pregnant with my oldest son, Anthony. I gained the least amount of weight with him (about 50lbs) and delivered a happy healthy boy in Jan 2001. I had a typical what you read about delivery. 12 hour labor, Epidural at 4cm, but I only pushed once! He weighed 7lbs 2 oz and was 21 inches long. Complete Perfection!

A year later I was down to 115lbs. After suffering through a Miscarriage in Jan 2002, I got pregnant with my 2nd son in March. I carried differently, but I got huge and delivered him in Dec 2002 at 41 weeks weighing in at 190lbs. He was my biggest baby. He weighed 8lbs. My labor was a total of 3 hours from the first time I had a contraction until he was here. I did not have time for an Epidural but they did give me nerve block to help with the pain, which it did not! That was the hardest labor for me and I almost didn’t want more kids after him because of it. The nurses came sneaking into my room the next morning. I guess I turned into a devil women and was very nasty to everyone in my room. They were happy to see I was really a nice person, lol!

During the next year I had some problems with my girlie parts. I was diagnosed with a condition called Adenomyosis. It’s similar to Endometriosis, but slightly different. I was told if I planned on more kids I needed to do it now because I would most likely need a full Hysterectomy within the next few years. We decided to go ahead and have one more. I had lost a ton of weight after I had my 2nd son and when I finally got pregnant with my 3rd son in Nov/2005 I only weighed 103lbs. When I delivered him in July I was topping the scales at almost 200lbs. I was all belly!!! I am surprised I did not topple over I was so big!! I had another very fast delivery with him. It was 4 hours from my first contraction and I didn’t have to push at all. I was able to get an epidural so my labor with him was painless and I was not the evil devil women I was before!! He was a healthy 8lb 2 oz bundle of joy.

I only stayed non pregnant for 9 months. A family vacation to Niagara Falls sent us home with an extra surprise. I was 125lbs when I got pregnant with my last little guy. I gained a ton of weight again and delivered him on January 9th weighing in at 199lbs. I had to be induced because I was 41 weeks and because of how fast my deliveries went. When they induced me they gave me an epidural right after. They had checked me after the epidural and I was 3 cm. The nurse walked around my bed to put my info in my chart and I told her I could feel him crowning. She said it was impossible. My water broke and she reached over and his head was right there! I was still in a Triage room. there was no heating bed, Doctor, anything. She called the nurses station while holding his head inside me with 2 fingers. My Dr was just getting there. She ran around the bed just in time to see Killian plop onto the bed! I had not been in the hospital for 2 hours total and he was here. He weighed 7lbs 8oz and was another perfect little boy.

My body has been on a roller coaster of weights. My stomach has been stretched out, my chest has been everywhere from a “C” cup pre-pregnancy to a “DD” after birth to settle down to completely deflated “A” cups. I always had a problem nursing because my chest would literally just deflate and I would have very little milk production. I have stretch marks, but they are proof that I carried these 4 boys inside me. They remind me of the little kicks, back flips, and jabs to the ribs.

1~ Me Pre Kids
2~ 7 Months prego with my oldest
3~My Oldest, Anthony
4~ 5 months prego with my 2nd
5~ My 2nd Boy, Garrett
6~ After my 2nd
7~ 39 weeks prego with my 3rd
8~ My 3rd baby boy, Dalton
9~ 38 weeks prego with my 4th
10~ My baby boy, Killian
11~ My Boys, Worth every every Stretch mark :)
12~ Me Today 4-24-2012

~Age: 31
~Number of pregnancies and births: 5 Pregnancies; 4 Births
~The age of your children, or how far postpartum you are: My boys are 11, 9, 5 & 4

Baby Fever is Real (Serenity)

Picture 1 is me and baby #1 at 1 month
Picture 2 is me and baby #2 at 6 months
Picture 3 is me and both boys baby #2 is 1 wk (not a great picture, but one I am proud of)
and finally Picture 4 is an old family picture.

Good morning.

I am a mother of 2 wonderful little boys (2 and 4) I haven been pregnant twice, but lost a twin in my 2nd pregnancy. My first pregnancy could not have gone better, along with my delivery, my body knows how to make big healthy babies. I had a few complications during my 2nd pregnancy, started with the miscarriage(Moderate blood loss), then early labour at 25 wks, had an aneurism burst on my placenta at 30 wks (low-moderate blood loss), and then I was pre-eclamptic from 32 wks until 6 weeks post partum. The worst part was the blood pressure, but was able to control it with medication, and have no issues now (24.5 mnths pp)

Despite any complications, I took it in stride, and loved my pregnancy, I was told just a couple weeks ago that I handle pregnancy very well with minimal complaining.

I have always wanted to be a mom, I’ve known that since I was a small child, I took on the mother role for my 3 siblings very young, and I always wanted 4 children, and wanted to be finished having kids by 26. ( I am now 24)

I was diagnosed with endometrioses at 15, my mother also had it, started having symptoms at 24, and needed a hysterectomy by 34. With the amount of scar tissue being removed yearly, my doctor wasnt sure what the likelihood of healthy pregnancies would be. Menstruation was becoming a terrible experience. Like I said my first pregnancy couldnt have been better!! Delivered a 8lb 8oz baby naturally with 6 bearable hrs of labour, and 2 pushes. He was born Nov 07, and my period didnt return until Sept 08, it was wonderful. The periods I was having were irregular, and not overly uncomfortable, and then we got pregnant again the end of Jan/beginning of Feb 09, Gave birth to a healthy baby boy Oct 09, and period came back about April 10, and the last 3 months have been devastatingly painful again.

At the beginning of our relationship I was very upfront with my husband in letting him know I wanted 4 kids, and want to start tomorrow (i am lucky I’m not still single) and here we are 5 yrs later, arguing about #3. He all of a sudden has no interest in anymore children, and I am in a very tough place to be in. I want another baby, and am having physical “symptoms” I have been on the pill since Jan 2011, and was completely “dried up” in Feb. I have recently started lactating (after increasing the dose of the pill) I get emotional at the announcement of a new pregnancy, I am becoming bitter toward women who complain their husbands want more, and they’re done, and that is not the person I am. My uterus aches (literally) at the thought of pregnancy. I am fearful the longer we wait not only is it going to be harder on my youngest, but the new baby will be left out alot, since the first 2 are almost exactly 24 month part, and have an amazing bond. I still have all my baby stuff, and have even started purchasing baby girl items (Yes I know this is Crazy, and I question myself about it, and yes my husband knows) I am not one of those women who would consider “tricking” my husband into having another baby, I dont want him to resent me, or the new baby, but I really feel my clock ticking, and dont want to lose the opportunity to have another baby, because I am not sure I could forgive my husband for that.

If anyone reading this physically cannot have a baby I truly pray my post doesn’t offend you, I do truly love and cherish the 2 beautiful children I have, and of course would be happy if thats all I was given. But I am literally aching for another baby. I have done my best to project that to my husband, and just not sure what else to do.

Thanks everyone for listening, I dont have alot of people in my life to talk to openly, I am always having to guard myself, and filter my words.

Tummy Struggles (Anonymous)

~Age: 27 years old
~Number of pregnancies and births: Two
~The age of your children, or how far postpartum you are: 3 and 2 years old, both born by c-section.

Every day I look in the mirror and feel a wee bit sad, I have a miss-shaped belly button, scaring in my belly button from any endometriosis surgeries.

My body tells a story. with all the paths leading different ways, spiralling all over my body.

Whilst I am grateful for my two beautiful children I feel sad about what it has done to my body, in fact so much I am putting off having another until my stomach is toned more.

I am not sure how toned I could make it though, there’s only so much going back right?

When I see other women’s bodies like my own I feel okay, but my own, I’m not so okay about.

I just wanted to share to show that no all bodies are made perfect, to those women out there struggling with it like I am!


I never thought I would get pregnant. I was told it would be unlikely as I had very bad endometriosis and womb cancer. My husband and I were so happy and felt so blessed when we got pregnant in August last year. Unfortunately I miscarried at 11 weeks. We decided to try again and were totally shocked when we got pregnant only two months later. I am now nearly 33 weeks pregnant and love my bump. I do have some stretchmarks on it and I do worry about how my body will look afterwards. Sometimes I get a bit depressed when I think I will probably have to work at getting in shape for the first time. But I know that my body has done something amazing. It made my baby, our little miracle. And my husband says he finds my body more beautiful than ever, because it is looking after and growing our baby. Below is my bump at 32 weeks