Five Babies in Eight Years (Anonymous)

Age – 28
Pregnancies – 13
Births – 5
Children’s ages – 9, 6, 3, 2, 1
15 months postpartum

I had my first four babies in the hospital with varying degrees of intervention. I was fortunate to avoid a c-section, even though I begged for one when the contractions were right on top of each other and hard to deal with. In between my babies I had numerous miscarriages. In 2009 I got pregnant with my fifth baby, completely unexpectedly. I decided that since I couldn’t plan my pregnancy, I was going to plan my birth … so I hired a midwife and had a homebirth.

I had my son on October 27, 2009. He was 8 days overdue and weighed 10lb 6oz. He was born after a literally painless 30 minute labor. If I had known how much better homebirth would be, I wouldn’t have waited so long to have one!

I weighed 225 pounds when my son was born. I lost most of the weight quickly (after all, the majority of it was him!) But then I was stuck at 205 for a long time. I started exercising and changing my eating habits in June 2010 and have lost 30 pounds. I weigh 175 and am 5’4″ tall. I still need to lose 25 pounds to be a healthy weight, but I feel like a goddess where I’m at. Part of me would love to have a tummy tuck but at the same time I feel like the stretch marks are almost a badge of honor, proof of what my body has done.

This might seem silly but the only part of my body that really truly bugs me is my upper arms. I feel like they are inordinately large for my frame. But I am working on them, slowly but surely. Hopefully they will be toned and pretty for the summer …. but if not, there’s always next summer.

My entire story…hoping it will give somebody hope or simply put a smile on somebody’s face. (Anonymous)

~Age: 17, almost 18
~Number of pregnancies and births: 1 pregnancy, 1 incredible birth
~The age of your children, or how far postpartum you are: 23 weeks

I was 16 years old when I found out I was 2 weeks pregnant. My boyfriend, who was/still is my best friend, was 18 at the time and we were both mortified and at a loss for words when the fourth pregnancy test that I took read ” + “. I’d never thought that I would be “one of those girls” that I was always so quick to judge–I knew nothing about how much it takes to bring a life into this world. I told my mom the day after I found out and she told my dad that night…I’ll never forget the day after. It seems like I didn’t say anything to anybody that day besides saying the word ‘yes’ to my dad when he worked up the guts to ask me if I was scared. I immediately decided that I was going to give my child a fair shot at life and I started researching different ways to give birth. It only took a few days for me to decide on doing a completely natural home water birth, it was time to grow up and do what was best (in my opinion) for my baby. No ultrasounds, no drugs of any kind, just love, a peaceful environment and positive thinking.

Despite all of the remarks and rude comments that I got for wanting to give birth that way, I knew that it was what I wanted to do and I was determined to make everything go the way that I wanted it to. I decided very early on to eat an organic, protein rich, hearty and healthy diet for the months that followed. I got pregnant in mid July and I moved across the country that November with my family and boyfriend. A few months passed, and with his family pressuring him daily to move back by them and leave me, my boyfriend caved and moved 1,000 miles away from me and our unborn child. (We stayed together, though it was extremely difficult, and he’ll be moving back in with my family and I in the next few months.) As time went on I got more and more excited to go into labor and after about 7 months of positivity, support and spectacular chiropractic care, I was fearless. I knew exactly how labor was going to go and I knew what to expect as if I’d already done it all in a past life.

Exactly 1 week after my due date at 3:54 a.m. my contractions woke me. They were very subtle but I knew that day, April 16, 2010 was going to be the day that I would finally be face-to-face with the mysterious creature that was my child. Like I said, I had no ultrasounds or testing of any kind during my pregnancy so I was even more anxious about finding out if I was going to have a Dominic or an Ava. Contractions barely grew stronger over the following hours until I was in the grocery store 8 hours after they’d begun and I had to squat in the freezer section to breathe through my first ‘painful’ contraction. Things started moving along so I hurried home with my mom, a.k.a. my birth coach&birth partner, and called my midwife. I told her that I was starting to feel uncomfortable and I needed her around. As I was waiting for her to get to my house, my mom and I prepared the birthing tub and all of the things that would be needed for cleanup afterwards. My midwife got there 9 hours after contractions had started and things were really starting to move along. I went from squatting and holding the island in the kitchen to the handle of the back door, and finally to a pile of pillows in my bedroom as I moaned through my contractions. 10 hours into labor, my water broke and contractions were so unbelievably strong after that, they took my breath away. By the time my midwife checked my cervix, I was 8cm dilated and ready to climb into the birthing tub.

I squeezed my moms hands as I spiraled my hips in the warm water and ‘moo’d through my 90 second long contractions with only 30 seconds between them. Before I knew it I felt the undeniable urge to push that everybody always told me about, but it was nothing like I thought it was going to be. There was such an incredible life force moving through my body and as I screamed (not because of the pain but because the sound was literally being pushed out by my body) I felt my baby’s head starting to crown. One contraction later, it’s beautiful head had been born and the body was still kicking and squirming around inside of my body. I laughed as I felt my child’s beautiful dark brown hair under water and said “Baby! Stop kicking!!”. 3 powerful contractions and 10 minutes later, after 12 life changing hours of labor, my incredible child was fully submerged in the water. All 8lbs 11oz and 21inches of my beautiful child was gently unwrapped and able to unfold in the warm tub. I reached my hands down to pull my baby up to my chest and as I was still in shock, I asked “Is it a girl or a boy?!?!” My midwife simply said “Why don’t you reach down and feel?” And as soon as I did, I cried “She’s my Ava!”. With a huge sigh of relief I threw my head back and my proud mama (who is now also a proud grandma) splashed water on baby Ava’s back and cried with me. I got out of the tub and crawled in to my own warm bed with my new baby and latched her on to my breast for the first time.

I was completely healed in 2 1/2 weeks. No cuts, no drugs, no stitches, no doctors. Just love. My daughter is my world and I will always remember every detail of this story. I hope that another young mom reads this and realizes that regardless of what people say or do, you are perfectly capable of doing exactly what you want. Anything is possible if you work for it.

Don’t Call Me “Lucky” (Anonymous)

I am 10 months postpartum from my second daughter’s birth. She was a c-section after I had complications following a (successful) home birth with my first daughter. I am happy with my postpartum body but it frustrates me to no end that people assume that I just got lucky with my postpartum body, as if there are only two categories of moms – – lazy lucky ones that look good and lazy unlucky ones that don’t. I worked really, really hard following the c-section – I didn’t snap back like people assume! I got my doctor’s approval and was at the gym 6 days a week (30 minutes on the elliptical machine, he said it was okay because it was no impact) two weeks after my c-section. Åt 6 weeks, I got the okay to start running again. I gained 48 pounds with my last pregnancy and 50 with my first. I am happy to say that I have lost all the weight — and you can, too …. even if you aren’t one of the “lucky” ones that don’t have to make an effort :P I wasn’t!

The first pictures are me 2 days after my c-section, taken the day I got home. You can see the yellow glue still on my side from the spinal. The next pictures are 4 weeks postpartum, and the last picture is 8 months postpartum. I’ve made some more small improvements since the last picture but feel it’s representative enough to post!

~Your Age: 24
~Number of pregnancies and births: 6 pregnancies / 2 births – one vaginal / one c-sesction(4 miscarriages)
~The age of your children, or how far postpartum you are: 3 year old and 10 month old

Learning to Be Kind to Myself (Rebekah)

My age: 29
2 pregnancies, 1 miscarriage, 1 birth
10 months postpartum

First I want to say thank you to all the brave women who have posted their stories and photos here. You have helped me to heal.

I also want to say to any women out there who are struggling right now: Your thoughts are powerful. I have brought myself to some dark places with negative thoughts. But you can choose to be kind to

Here are some of the negative thoughts I have had (maybe you can relate):

I am ashamed of my body’s ugliness. I compare myself to other women who are more beautiful than me, who were lucky to have better genes. I grew up being told, as if I needed reminding, that I was not a “real
woman,” that I had scrawny legs, no hips, no butt. Pregnancy did not improve my body. I gained an embarrassing amount of weight and since having my baby I’ve worked hard to lose it all. But now I am covered in stretch marks and flab, and left with a belly more grotesque than I ever could have imagined. I had no idea all this would happen to me just from having a baby.

I gained more than 60 pounds in my pregnancy because I wasn’t careful. I was lazy. I over-ate. I was stupid and now I’m paying for it. My wrinkled belly is mushy, like an empty bag. Its texture is like a
wrinkled, doughy brain. It’s alien; it’s disgusting. It’s the belly of an old decrepit woman. My belly button was once cute; now it’s a deep, droopy hole. My breasts are pendulous—they hang down like tube
socks full of sand. They are asymmetrical, unattractive, saggy, and covered in blue veins. They’re not supposed to lie down on my stomach like this.

Why didn’t I appreciate the smooth belly and perky breasts when I still had them? Why couldn’t I have been one of the lucky ones who got to keep their youthful bodies? It is so unfair and I am so angry!

What the hell has happened to me? My body is disfigured, destroyed, no longer youthful, no longer sexy. I feel so sorry that I’m not desirable for my husband anymore, because he deserves better. I know he doesn’t feel the same passion for me anymore, and why would he?

I will need to hide my belly for the rest of my life now, under long shirts. I don’t want anyone to see me because I know I’m not normal. Nobody else I have ever seen in my life has a belly like this! It’s
not just a few little stretch marks—my skin hangs in big loose wrinkles—my skin is DESTROYED. Nothing I do short of surgery can fix it. As if the loose skin isn’t bad enough, my butt, hips, and thighs are covered in scars—stretch marks so deep they have left deep grooves in my once-smooth skin.

I would like to wear a bikini proudly but I’m afraid that people will stare and wonder what’s wrong with my belly, give me pitying looks, suggest a tummy tuck. Other women will secretly take pleasure in my
disfigurement because it places me below them. Men will look at me with interest until they get close enough to see the details, and then they will be horrified and turned off.

I look fine with clothes on, with a bra holding my breasts up where they’re supposed to be, with clothing covering all the wrinkles, and I feel like a walking lie. Other women compliment me on losing the baby
weight, and tell me they’re jealous of my figure. I accept the compliments and feel like a fake. I purposely project an air of confidence but it’s all fake, fake, fake. What would everyone think if they saw me naked? Any man who saw me naked would be disgusted. Why would any man, my husband included, choose to look at ME when there are so many perfect women to look at? I am a has-been, not even 30 yet and past my prime. I no longer matter and I am so ashamed, so depressed.

And HERE is me choosing to be kind to myself:

I am a BEAUTIFUL WOMAN! I am petite, but with a curvy and feminine shape. I am healthy, sexy, voluptuous, lush, long, limber, strong, soft, admired and even envied for my lovely body.

When I was pregnant my body did exactly what it needed to do, in its innate wisdom. I was a good mother from the start, and I took good care of my baby and myself while I was pregnant. I walked and did yoga. I spent so many hours reading and researching. I carefully planned my meals to make sure my baby got the nutrients he needed. I didn’t do anything wrong. I suffered through great discomfort with grace.

I celebrate my beautiful belly, my womb, and what it has done. I gave birth to my strong and healthy son, breech, at home, with a 7-hour labor, only 30 minutes of pushing and no tearing—that is a feat to be proud of! My body has everything it needs to bring new life into the world—to nurture a tiny cluster of cells and help it grow into a fetus, into a happy little boy, into a new PERSON in this world! That in itself is mind-boggling. I have given birth to a child. I have been a vessel for NEW LIFE. I am directly in tune with all the creative forces of the universe. My feminine abilities are pure, raw, and intense. I am creative energy in action! I am in awe of my womanhood and my body. I am so BLESSED to have been born female.

My belly is normal. There are many different types of postpartum bellies, and many other beautiful mothers have similar soft layers and networks of wrinkles. The skin of my belly is delicate, velvety and interesting. I am happy to bear the marks of motherhood (and such unique and fascinating marks at that!) The stretch marks on my thighs, butt, hips, breasts and belly are starting to fade to silver. They are gorgeous tiger stripes. The grooves of the deeper ones create a sexy texture on my thighs, like built-in fishnet stockings.
They’re cool!

My breasts are full and sensual with a pleasant weight to them. They make sweet, nutritious milk for my baby. He drank nothing but the milk from my breasts for 6 months and it made him grow big, strong and
healthy. At 10 months old, he still gets most of his nutrition from my milk, which keeps him happy and secure. My breasts are a source of delight, comfort and nourishment.

My husband is not bothered a bit by the changes to my body. He still finds me as irresistible as ever, and more importantly, I am the mother of his child. He now views me with a new kind of pride, love and respect. He sees me as a beacon of strength. I am his lady, his rock.

It is wonderful to be alive. It is wonderful to experience the gift of motherhood, and I am blown away with gratitude for my life and my family. I am capable of a love that transcends words. I am capable of far more than I realize. My body is beautiful, but my spirit is even more beautiful, and it shines through. I am beautiful!

I have been through a lot of changes, and feelings of loss and self-doubt are to be expected. They are a normal and healthy part of new motherhood. I am allowed to feel them in passing, but I will not let them rule me. I can choose a positive attitude.

I am only 10 months postpartum and the transformation my body has undergone, from small to gigantic to small again, is nothing short of incredible. My body, even now, is still changing. I must be patient and gentle with myself. I choose to respect my body and take good care of it. My many hours of hard work exercising and eating healthful foods are paying off. My healthy glow is apparent to all who see me. I choose to give myself and my body the same unconditional love and reverence I give to my beautiful son as I watch him grow.

And I may have to work up to it, but I KNOW in time I will have the courage and confidence within me to rock that bikini, in public, in the full light of day. Other people and their twisted cultural standards be damned!

Pictures 1-3 are my beautiful, pre-baby body. Picture 4 is my beautiful 37-week pregnant belly, full of life. 5-7 are my beautiful wrinkly belly, beautiful droopy breasts, and beautifully tiger-striped hip at 10 months postpartum. 8-10 are me rocking my bikini! (This is in the privacy of my back yard, in front of only my husband. I have yet to show my belly in public but I will get there!) And pictures 11-12 are my son, at 2 months and 7 months.

Positive Pregnancy (Marta)

Pregnancy #1
Weeks Pregnant- 30

I have been fascinated by pregnancy and mothers from a very young age. Before my husband and I began trying we had spent years educating ourselves on pregnancy and what we wanted for our first born. I’ve always been a naturalist at heart and so we have chosen a home birth, although in the end its not really in our hands, is it? Let go of expectations and control is what I remind myself. In the beginning of my pregnancy, I honestly had a hard time with the nausea and connecting with this tiny being inside of me. By my second trimester I was feeling much better but then struggled with all the mommies around me forcing their opinions and negativity on me. Some of my family and friends are a bit apprehensive about the whole home birth idea. But I think its just a matter of fearing what we don’t know. In the end, I know the worries come from a place of love. Through all the criticisms and scare tactics, my mantra has been “I am beautiful, I am strong, and I can make my own decisions.” Baby is listening and feeling and I want to make sure love and positive energy is surrounding it at all times because I know that everything affects everything. In my third trimester now, I’m in love with being pregnant and the way that my body looks. I have been vigilant in doing daily massage with oil, staying hydrated, eating nurturing food and finding my flow in yoga (30 weeks and still teaching 4 times a week). The most important thing, I think, is taking this time to slow down and take care of yourself-after all, growing a human is the most important endeavor you’ll ever take on. Take action to surround yourself by love and positive people, nurture your body and soul, follow your intuition and remember that this is your family- the choices for your new family are for you and your partner to make.

I’m not afraid to birth. I know that my body has all the tools it needs. But that doesn’t mean I’m being naive either. I know it will be the most intense experience of my life. The fact, though, that I’m bringing life into this world and that we can’t wait to meet the little one (the gender will be a surprise) that makes my belly wiggle like a bowl full of Jello overshadows any fear. To be continued…

Love + Light

New Found Respect (Skye)

25 years old
First pregnancy

I never knew how strong I could be until I became pregnant.. it is a journey unlike any other!
I started off so nieve and unsure of myself as a woman, I slowly started to listen to my body and follow my gut instincts.. I had all these pre-conditioned beliefs that had been built over the years about pregnancy and birth, but as my belly grew I discovered a deep inner strength and wisdom and from this I was able to have an amazing birth experience.

I had a beautiful, drug free water birth at home, I went into labour the previous evening and little Indi was born at 10.27am the next day weighing 6.2 lbs.. I am still blown away by it all! I never knew I could make noises like that!!! My midwife was wonderful, she just let me go with the flow of my body which I am so thankful for as I was then not expecting anything and I was just in the moment.. and in doing that I was able to let go of being self conscious and just really get into it!

I wish I could recapture the feeling I had when I brought Indi out of the water and held him.. that feeling of complete bliss and total love, I was totally amazed that he was actually there.. in my arms! for a while I thought he would never come out!

Giving birth has finally opened my eyes and given me a whole new perspective of my body, after coming through a battle with bulimia/anorexia that had engulfed my whole world for many years I am able to look at my body with a smile, I feel so proud of what it is capable of, truly impressive!!! I’m not worried about my hubby seeing my jiggly thighs, cellulite and now very stretched boobs, I feel like I’m beyond judgement, we are creators, life givers and deserve to be seen as nothing less than beautiful regardless of what marks were left behind..


#1- 9 days before giving birth
#2- little contraction, funny shaped belly!
#3- about 3hrs after giving birth
#4- happy little family
#5- a week or so later
#6- 12 weeks after birth

Updated here.

Update (Kerry)

Original entry here.

age: 18
1 pregnancy, 1 birth
1 month PP
I posted about a month ago. I was expecting my child on the 9th of April… Well he came! April 7th, at 10:50pm weighing 8lbs 4oz and measured 21.5″ long! We planned a home water birth. We barely had time to make the water part work because he came so fast, but it was just what we wanted, and more! In my earlier post I had shared my fears about my coming PP body and how this website was helping me get over them, not in the way that I wouldn’t look different, but that my body would be something to embrace instead of loath. I prepared myself for the worst, maybe if I hadn’t already been learning to embrace my body I would have still been upset and disappointed with my body. What I DIDN’T expect was to have the opposite reaction! Instead of just accepting my post baby body I actually love it! I have curves now, my belly and sides are still riddled with stretch marks, but they are barely visible, and my tummy skin is soft as can be. Im still about 30 pounds from my starting weight at 130something (I think, we dont own a scale) but I dont ever want to get that skinny again, this body is too enviable in my eyes! When I delivered my son, Levi, I was 196lbs, so to be down to 160 already is quite encouraging, but I have no problem if I platau here and dont loose anymore for months! Maybe I lost so much because I’m breastfeeding, but who knows.. Just wanted to share my utter joy with all the ladies on here!
1st: 3 hours before Levi was born
2nd: bringing our son into the world
3rd: 1 day pp
4th: 1 week pp
5th: 1 week pp
6th: 2 weeks pp
7th: 3 1/2 weeks pp
8th: 3 1/2 weeks pp
9th: my little treasure

Updated here and here.

Young Mama, 3 Babies, Ex-Stripper (Anonymous)

Ripe, Soft and fertile..

I was 57kg with 10c bust for seven years before pregnancy number 1 at age 23. (first two photos)

Danced till I was 12 weeks pregnant- then left because I was self conscious of my rounded tummy.

Put on 30kg rocketed to a 14ee bust and naturally birthed (No Drugs) Son 9pd. An alert energetic soul born after a 10 hour first labour.

I religiously oiled myself with jojoba daily and didn’t get a single stretchmark on my tummy, yet my milk engorged breasts were fanned with them.

Got back down to 64kg back stripping at 7 months post partum. (pink bikini photo)

Pregnancy number two had me rocket up to 95kg. a grand gain of 38kg over my original weight.

Yet I danced Until I was 20 weeks. I kept the weight down until then and had a wonderful 1950’s style outfit- corset/stockings/suspenders and no-one noticed!! I just made my hair bigger and lipstick redder!!! My final night I was dancing to raise the money for the liquor for my wedding.

I married the next week, my belly finally popped and we announced the pregnancy at the ceremony.

I was sad that I couldn’t have the dress of my dreams, nor a hens night…due to my pregnancy.

I was terribly self conscious and sad- I felt like I had to apologise as to why I was so heavy.

I couldn’t find clothes to fit, I even went up a shoe size to a size 10 (Aus) I was a size 18-20.

However, during the pregnancy I had an overall sense of calmness and ended up with a 5hr Labour.

naturally birthing unassisted my second son- 10pd. Born into water in our loungeroom. The most loving gentle soul I have ever met.

I didn’t lose any weight after the birth and was constantly being asked by strangers and friends I hadn’t seen in a while- “When” your baby due??” (Sometimes even when I was holding my newborn”

My answer was always cheerful- “I’ve HAD my baby! It just takes a while for my tummy to go back!”

But It never did. Breastfeeding, Physio, Gym, remedial massage, diets.. Nothing worked.. I still looked pregnant 16 weeks later, when indeed I did conceive and fill it with another baby..

Terrified of another enormous gain on top of the current weight- Under supervision- I hit the gym.

Best thing I ever did. I ended the pregnancy lighter than I started.

Another Natural Birth- 1HR 15MINS active labour 9pd 6oz baby girl.

So now, Im back to 84kg and have a realistic goal of a 14kg weight loss.

Two weeks after the birth I awoke to a spread of stretchmarks across my lower abdomen.

I laughed..after all the pregnancies- I couldn’t believe that the tiny tummy of my daughters had caused the marks!

I am now at peace with my body- and yes, I wore a bikini three weeks post partum in Bali. (last photo)

3 kids in- I earn’t my curves and know that in my old age I will look back on these days as the best years of my life.

Blessed with Youth, Ripe, soft and fertile..

Successful UBA5C (Stacy)

I am updating from my previous entry here

I am ecstatic to announce the arrival of our son. He arrived vaginally, at home, 10#5oz, 22 1/2 and perfectly healthy. I have had 5 previous csections and have yet to even process the immense healing that has come and will come from this. I love this website and wanted to come here to share my story and God’s glory with all those who are seeking a VBAC of one sort or another, women contemplating UC or UBAC as well as women dealing with body issues. I have that I already seem myself as the most beatuiful woman in the world now. Seriously, I am SOOOO greatful for what my body has done, through all of my pregnancies and labors and birth and surgery. I am overjoyed!

10# 5oz
22 1/2 inch
14 3/4 head

Question CPD

Updated here and here.