Self Portrait Lauren Thomas
Mom/40/no editing/part-time mermaid, full time mom of 4 kids
Self Portrait Lauren Thomas
Mom/40/no editing/part-time mermaid, full time mom of 4 kids
These are 10 to 12 days pp after number 6. Mothers come in all shapes and sizes!
After six babies:
# of pregnancies: 7 pregnancies, 5 live births.
Kids Ages: 8, 6, 4, 1.5, 4 months
My whole life I have been insecure about my body. I was emotionally abused as a child by one parent and the other parent basically turned the other way and told me to be quiet. This left me feeling unloved for many years. I felt unloved at home, not liked by peers because I had such low self esteem that I was awkward around other people. I wouldn’t look people in the eye, I had no social skills (we lived in the country with no neighbors) so going to school was so awkward and I was super self conscious about my body. I was always a bit chubbier than the rest of my peers, eating became my comfort since I had no one to really talk to and befriend. In high school I went about and thought having sex with a guy would get them to love me WRONG so wrong. I had many sexual encounters and never a serious relationship (partially my fault due to fear of intimacy) I so badly wanted an intimate relationship but wouldn’t open up. At 16 I met my first 5 kids dad. I got pregnant three times at age 17. The first two pregnancies I lost due to miscarriage. The third pregnancy I carried until I delivered my beautiful baby girl. I got pregnant again at 19 had my second daughter and again at 21 and had my first son. Needless to say their father like myself was immature and not ready for a real relationship or kids. He cheated many times, couldn’t hold a job and basically told me how lucky I was that he stuck around cause no one else would want me. He told his friends in front of me that I needed a boob job, tummy tuck, and butt implants many times….I was humiliated like that at least three times that I remember. Eventually I broke it off in 2016 at the age of 24 going on 25. An old high school crush contacted me shortly after and we began speaking.
We began dating in April 2016 and I found out I was pregnant in May. He asked me to marry him and I agreed. Once again I lacked judgement and before I knew it I was in a physically abusive and verbally abusive marriage. I had our son in January 2017. In August 2017 he confessed to cheating on me many times. I was and still am heartbroken. In September I found out I was pregnant yet again. I tried to make things work, talk about why what was lacking what I wasn’t providing but he refused and continued seeing one of his side chicks. I filed for divorce and we got divorced January 2018. I had our second son in May 2018. Although we have remained together on and off until presently. He has shown signs of maturing in some areas and takes anger management while I go to counseling. He promises he will never cheat again but I don’t believe it…just kind of waiting and trying my hardest so if he does again I will be able to walk away with my head held high knowing I tried and gave it my all. Anyways I thought my body was bad back in high school lol nah it’s so different now. I must have horrible genetics because I have stretch marks all over my tummy, my thighs, butt, arms. My tummy also has a horrible flap of fat and loose skin. The other night my ex was going through pictures I had sent him because he asked and stopped one and commented how it was not flattering because of “that”. He couldn’t even say my tummy but I knew what he meant. Anyways he is right it isn’t a pretty sight and I pray that if him and I don’t work someday I may find a man who can get past it. In the mean time I have 19 pounds to drop till I am at my goal weight and will try to bring my body fat percentage down and gain some lean muscle by eating correctly and working out. Wish me luck, I have come to some sort of terms with my body and I love my kids so I would do it all over again. Ps sorry that my photos are nude from the waist down I just used the pics I had sent my ex. I believe I was/am about 4 months postpartum in them. Sorry about the nudity.
That was my message. I have an update.
At 30 years old I’ve had another little one. I’m 18 months post partum with my 5th child. My hypothyroid is now under control with natural herbs and diet. I learned to love my body along the way and corrected my diastasis recti. What helped me get fit was learning to love who I was first. State of mind is everything and when you can’t see beauty in your body after creating life. It can reek havoc on you mentally, emotionally and physically. Once I learned to love everything about my body even though it was considered “perfect” I started getting healthier in every way. Most importantly emotionally and mentally. Physically was just a bonus to learning to love myself.
Previous post here.
~Number of pregnancies and births: 5p/4b
~The age of your children, or how far postpartum you are: 8, 6, 5, 3
My youngest turned 3 this week. The last time I submitted to SOAM she was a month old and my world had been rocked. I want to thank everyone for their kind words at that time. They meant very much to me.
On our first trip to the cancer hospital we were told my husband had on average 24 months to live. He died 24 months later, 5 days before his 35th birthday. I have been an only parent (on paper) for almost a year now. The cancer itself was nothing like in the movies – there were trips to the hospital and ambulances and a deathbed, but I had cried most of my tears the first 6 months after his diagnosis. That is when I had to come to terms with the fact that my life would be different than I’d thought. I have so many friends now going through divorces and marriages and infertility…. I don’t know that many people’s lives go according to plan.
For the two years he lived, I coped. I was caring for the kids and my husband, and I had nothing left to give myself. I enrolled in a program to get my teaching degree, which I continue to work on part-time. I felt like I had no time for health or for fitness, so I just existed. I don’t know that I was depressed, I never went to the doctor…. I was on autopilot and going through the motions until something got better. And as horrible as it may sound, things got better after my husband died. I was able to think about me again. However, I didn’t come to that realization until January of 2017 when I went to put on some pajama pants that had always fit and found they were much too tight. In February I joined a gym, and I continue to go every day. The kids go to child-minding and I get some me time.
I started just by taking classes at the gym; I was able to hide myself in a corner until I gained some confidence. In July I did my first Spartan (obstacle course) race with some friends and I finally had a training goal; this mother wants to be able to pull herself over an 8 ft high plywood wall. It’s not a typical goal, but it’s mine. I’m gaining muscle all over my body. I am in the best emotional and mental and physical health of my life. After surviving my husband’s illness, I know that I am strong on the inside. Now I am working to make my outside reflect that.
I love myself, and I am unstoppable.
The pictures I’m including are me in April 2017 and me in October 2017 and are the result of proper nutrition and exercise. I’m also including a picture of my belly when I do a plank because that’s also how I look.
Original post here.
A few years ago, in 2009, I submitted a picture and piece about the liberation of my breasts. As a mom of three at the time I was trying hard to liberate myself from body hatred, while learning to love my changed body.
Now, two more kids later, for a total of five kids breastfed for 3+ years each, my breasts are still the love vessels they always have been. Whether my nipples are laying down looking tired or up and ready for the cold (or something else), they’ve supplied sustenance for life and they continue to hold the potential for pleasure. Although they look way different than before kids, they’re still part of me and my almost forty one year old sensual body.
Reclaiming my body after directly creating, birthing and nurturing five lives with it for fifteen years plus is an interesting process and I’m not always sure what to expect along the way. During one birth I injured my pelvic muscles, resulting in the need for physical therapy to repair and strengthen my sacred pelvic bowl. My belly is now squishy and soft, as I continue to gradually support and strengthen the muscle underneath. My skin is stretched and wrinkles when I pull in my tummy. My breast’s perky days are done, instead traded in for breasts which are soft and stretched, shifting into little puddles on my chest when I lay down. All of this fluctuates depending on the position of my body, levels of activity, rest, nutritional intake and hydration.
Overall, my body has changed and grown, changed some more and now that I’m complete with my child bearing I’m very grateful for all it has provided and continues to provide for me and my family. My body is my tree of life and more than anything, love is what it needs, and so love is what I am learning to give it – soft squishy breasts, stretch marked belly and all.
I had my first son at 19 years old. I was very tiny only weighing 95 lbs before him and 145 when I had him!! I got huge in my belly!! I lived with my parents and my then boyfriend moved in. I then got married to my bf and we had a baby about every year to two year! I wanted it that way and I wanted to be a young Mom! I was adopted so I always feared maybe I wouldn’t be able to have kids either. That wasn’t the case obviously! I decided to get my tubes tied after my last #6. All 6 kids were 8 pounds and something ounces. My stomach stretched over and over and didn’t get much rest in between! I was either nursing and pregnant for 10 years straight!! My youngest is a little handful and we actually had my husbands cousins babies for a while so I’m glad I didn’t have anymore of my own!
After my 6th baby I noticed I had a lot of skin and also fat to lose. I started lifting weights and doing cardio when she was almost a year old. She’s now 2 1/2 and I still am improving my body and self. Working out has helped me with energy, self esteem, and is my me time. I know many women may think They can’t go to the gym but anyone can! Before children I was literally 95 pounds! After children I was around 125 but lots and lots of fluffiness and cellulite! I still have cellulite as you see in my recent pic but it’s helping! I had zero muscles especially in my stomach And had diastasis recti and still do actually!!! Now I’m not sure how much I weigh because I’m not worrried about weight! When I do weigh myself at the ymca because I don’t own a scales I’m anywhere from 132-138 I fluctuate a lot!
Keeping up with kids is hard and being out of shape can make it even harder! Doing something for yourself is not only good for you but good for your kids too!! Showing your children an active healthy lifestyle will help them stay in shape and want to be healthy too! We do have pizza and McDonald’s on occasion and my kids do love their Xbox! But, I feel like as long as we stay busy and I buy a lot of fruit and vegetables that they will have a good balance.
This isn’t meant to shame out of shape moms but hopefully inspire you! There are so many people who are stronger than me but I try my hardest, I swear, I pant, and I feel like I can keep up with my 6 kids, most of the time unless they all going in different directions….
Number of pregnancies: 4
Number of births: 3
Ages of children: 4 years, 19 months, 8 weeks
I had my first child at 27 years old. It was the most traumatic event of my life due to scary complications and a 3rd degree tear/episiotomy. I suffered post partum depression and thought I’d never feel human again.
After 2 years I was finally ready to try to conceive again and ended up having a missed miscarriage at 8 weeks that required a D&C. Again, complications, trauma, depression followed.
After having my second child I developed a 10cm dermoid cyst on my ovary that needed to be surgically removed. So at 5 months post partum I underwent another surgery. I also suffered severe post partum anxiety this time and ended up in the hospital due to a panic attack that was thought to be a heart attack.
At 8 months post partum I learned I was pregnant again and was dreading the back to back pregnancies.
Now, here I am 8 weeks after having baby #3 (our last!!!!) and all I’m hoping for is no more surgeries, no more babies, no more depression and anxiety. The toll that babies take is not only on our bodies- but our minds too.
Hi, I have 4 girls. A 6 year old, 5 year old, 3 year old and 6 month old. I am 24. I have recently lost 50 pounds, I have been trying to tone up but now I am starting to accept maybe this is how my body is now after 4 girls. Some days I love my body, other days I despise it. Having 4 girls, i am trying to look at my body more positive, for them. In the end, we made humans and our body is just the proof of that. We are all beautiful and we have to remember that for ourselves and for our children.
Number of pregnancies/births: 4/3
How far postpartum: Kids are 5,3,2
I’ve posted to this site 2 or 3 times now, and I am choosing to do so again because once again I have a new perspective. I felt for a long time, until recently actually that my self worth was based on my body. Not just the way I look naked, but also with clothes on. I felt that if clothes didn’t fit properly or if I had to go up a size then my life experiences were not as fun. They weren’t as fun because I was distracted with myself. I used to look at pictures during my last pregnancy and say “oh god, I was so big”. I look back now and look at how big I was smiling or how my other 2 girls kissed my belly. I felt that stretch marks and extra weight was something to be ashamed of, something to hide from the person who has seen my body in the most intimate ways. I’ve said in the past that my husband had viewed porn a lot and yes it did bother me, partly because I felt betrayed but mostly because I was jealous of the way he was attracted to those women. I have a new outlook on that, among other reasons he was viewing porn so often because I wasn’t showing him what he needed/wanted to see. My husband has told me many times that I am beautiful, pretty, sexy and whatever else you could say to give a compliment. I didn’t believe that until I was able to see the beauty myself. Somewhere along the lines I realized that stretch marks are not ugly, extra weight can be lost or not because I like my new curves. I do not look like a model by any means but I am happier than I ever have been and more comfortable with my body than I ever have been. I wanted a tattoo on my stomach to cover stretch marks but I didn’t go through with it because I wanted to look at them a little longer, I panicked when I knew they would no longer be visible. My body is forever changed in that way and that is because I chose to have children. I want to be able to look down when I’m in my 50’s and remember my days being pregnant and my daughters’ births into this world. I have stretch marks like crazy on my breasts and that really used to bother me but now I just look at them as memories. I breastfed each daughter for 1 year and those marks remind me of the long nights cuddled up with the girls next to me or that I was the only one that had that bond with them. When I was 16 I got pregnant and was forced into an abortion and I was left with one tiny stretchmark on the left breast in the middle of my cleavage and I would be so sad if I couldn’t see that mark anymore. I am grateful to my body for producing such beautiful children and supporting me all along the way of the many changes. I find myself beautiful now because I am used to the new me and I have adjusted and I wouldn’t think less of anyone else for looking the way I do. Love yourself first and foremost and everything else will fall into place.