My Story (Anonymous)

Age: 34
Number of children: 1
Pregnancies: 3
Age of child: 8 months

We started trying in January 2009. The global economy had melted down, Obama had just been inaugurated & I was 28. Seemed like a good time to try for a baby as we’d been together for 5 years!

Months passed. Every 29 days I’d wake up to my period. Finally, by August 2010 the doctor (our GP) FINALLY agreed to do testing (please note: Do not wait this long! A year of trying if under 35 or 6 months if over 35, then please get checked out). I’d tried running less, acupuncture, and the pink bible of fertility ‘Taking Charge of your Fertility’.

It turned out we were dealing with severe male factor. My husband had an undescended testicle at birth which turned into testicular cancer in 2005 – luckily it was caught early and was surgically removed with no radiation or chemotherapy.

To say he didn’t take it well is a bit of an understatement. I threw my hands up as he didn’t want to do fertility treatment, and I took a better job in a big city 7 hours away. After nearly 2 years apart, confirmation that IVF with ICSI – the process of finding the few good sperm and injecting them directly into the egg – was our only hope, I’d basically given up on the thought of having kids, but found a job locally and moved back.

Surprise! I was naturally pregnant! By accident! I had started gaining weight despite working out a lot and eating clean, and that was my tip off. We started getting excited and saw the local midwife as she was recommend. Unfortunately, she delayed the prenatal testing ultrasound (I had gone for the blood test), and we started telling people after 12 weeks. If I’d had the ultrasound I would have known the pregnancy wasn’t viable. At 15 weeks I started bleeding and it was confirmed it was a missed miscarriage, and the baby had stopped growing at 10 weeks. I was given misoprostol and laboured in the ER. It was heartbreaking. The fetus was a girl and had trisomy 22.

Now we wanted to have a baby and got a referral to the fertility clinic again. More tests in the spring of 2013 with an IVF start in the fall. We went for the seminar in August 2013 and surprise! Pregnant again!

But 4 days after the blood test at the clinic I started bleeding. A miscarriage at 6.5 weeks. Luckily the doctor thought it was weird considering there was no family history and everything looked good on my side, so she ordered the Repeated Pregnancy Loss testing.

I got 2 calls the next day after my blood was taken (12 vials), one from the specialist and the other from our family doctor. It turns out my feeling down, depression and weight issues that had cropped up in the last couple years were due to Hashimoto’s disease. It’s an autoimmune disease that attacks the thyroid and the most common cause of hypothyroidism in the West.

So I started on medication and started to feel better, lost weight. Unfortunately, between long term infertility, two miscarriages and thyroid disease my work and social life was suffering greatly. going from a great to poor performance review in one year. It’s hard to explain this in a professional setting.

I started the IVF medications in March 2014. It’s very expensive, stressful, and the side effects are crazy. I was monitored in a city 4 hours away at the satellite clinic, and had to travel to a bigger clinic 7 hours away for the IVF-ICSI. Waiting rooms at fertility clinics are silent places, despite everyone going through the same thing. The most support is made through online connections.

Everything looked great but despite having 15-20 large follicles during monitoring only 5 eggs were retrieved. I was heartbroken. We’d put nearly $10,000, 5 years and so much heartbreak. But they were good eggs and 4/5 went to day 5. We transferred one and it worked!

I’m sure at this point you’ve realized we have weird luck. There was a bleeding scare at 7 weeks due to the progesterone suppository. We chose the new NIPT testing due to the ease and accuracy – and decided we were okay with non fetal issues such as Down’s or Kleinfelters, but that I could not handle a fatal trisomy again. Everything came out fine, and we were told it was a girl. But at the 20 week ultrasound, it was noted the placenta was low and the umbilical cord had one artery instead of two.

So I was put on pelvic rest (and my small office shuttered down due to lack of work, this was a blessing in some ways, although not financially). I was running, swimming and lifting before the diagnosis and had to stop high impact and lifting more than 10 lbs. Oh, and no sex.

We’d been given the preemie speech due to both conditions, that she may not grow properly and need to come out early via c-section. The week before the scheduled c-section the placenta finally moved. I ended up overdue, and after 11 days over, 60 hours of labour and an emergency c-section due to DVT in my leg, we finally met our beautiful daughter. And she is so gorgeous, even as a newborn. And large.

I gained weight, lost muscle and my upper thighs and tummy have stretchmarks from the last few weeks of pregnancy (honestly by week 38, I thought I was in the clear for no stretch marks). My confidence in my body was at an all time low. It’s coming back now as I take my baby out in the stroller and hiking, and am back lifting, but it’s hard to accept at times, especially when it seems everyone else in town in back in shape so quickly with their tiny babies (lots of 6 lb newborns). But I can workout, see the dermatologist, etc. I know there are lots of women who would gladly take some weight and stretchies to have a baby in their arms, and I think about how lucky we are to finally have a beautiful baby after so much time and heartbreak.

Learning to love my body again one day at a time. (Rachel)

Hi there,

I am going to start at the beginning. Well I had always wanted to be a mother I had my first baby at the age of 22. I didn’t plan it and it took me and my partner of three years by surprise.

I had a beautiful boy 11 years ago weighing 9lb 9oz. It was an induced labour and i ended up with a 3rd degree tear into my bottom and over 50 stitches. Times were hard. It would seem that the healing process was more than I could bear and I suffered with post natal depression for 2 years afterwards.

I was too scared to try again for another baby for 7 years because I kept having flash backs to my first labour.

We had a lot of love to give and after 3 years trying to conceive and and operation to help with fertility we were blessed to have a beautiful 9lb 2oz girl.

We decided to try again for another baby and 6 months ago we had a boy 8lb 11oz.

I have always had low confidence my belly in particular has upset me over the years. It hangs especially if I am on all fours or over the top of clothes. I have been working out 3 times a week for the past 3 months to try and lose weight but I know that loose skin is forever a part of my journey and the journey many of us take to become a mother.

I think being a Mother is one of the most unselfish things a person can do. I am learning that my body is an amazing thing. It nourished and grew three beautiful babies. It is the only body I have and as I look around I see more and more people like me.

In some ways we are all warriors. We are braver than I knew possible and have all earned our stretch marks loose skin and wobbly bits. For every time you dont like your stretched belly there would be someone else who would give anything to be a parent regardless of how they look, someone who wishes they could be a mother as well.

I would have never dreamed of showing my tummy or lifting my shirt in public but if this helps just one other person with their journey to self acceptance then it was all worth it. It is ok to not like what you see in the mirror at times we all feel like that but dont lose sight of the person you are on the inside. Youre a mother and probably a damn good one be proud!

My photo is 6 months post partum after baby #3 x


A hole in my heart so big it could swallow an ocean. (Autumn)


My wife and I got married two years ago after a whirlwind courtship. I knew when I met her, that I wanted a family with her. So after 8 months of blissful matrimony, We chose a sperm donor and went to the fertility doctor. I had been tracking my ovulation date for a few months and boy, were we surprised that I got pregnant on the first try! We were so excited, that we went ahead and told everyone. 5 weeks later, my HCG dropped off and there was only a blighted ovum. I was okay, so we tried again. Same thing. Third times the charm? Not so much. I had a miscarriage at 14 weeks, and had to have a d&C. The clots I started passing were huge, then came the fever. I had retained some products and was sick. After a long while(and a LOT of medication), I quietly slipped into a deep depression. My 13 year old cat, whom I loved more than life, also was very sick and rapidly declining. I kept taking the oxycodone my neurologist prescribed. Then, we thought we would try to inseminate me one more time. That same month, my body stopped responding and my period vanished. I found out that the pain medication is making me infertile. My cat died, my marriage is suffering, I have zero sex drive and it seems that every day, there is someone new on facebook announcing their pregnancies. Its killing me. If I stop the medicine, I might regain my cycle, but I will be in severe pain. My wife is supportive, but I need more hope. Has anyone gone through this neverending darkness? When will the light return?

When is Enough Enough? (Kasey)

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

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

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

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

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

Struggling With the Changes (Anonymous)

I found this website in a moment of weakness I was having with myself over issues with my body and I decided that since reading everyone’s stories and seeing their pictures that I couldn’t resist posting my own photos/story to maybe help someone else. I am 20 and actually planned a pregnancy (with my boyfriend of 5 years) due to the worry of infertility with age from issues with my reproductive organs. Anyways, I was very excited. I weighed 159 pounds (the most of my whole life) when I found out I was pregnant. I didn’t have a single stretch mark until I was 8 months and 2 weeks pregnant and then it seemed I got one with every breath I took. I was ALL belly which I thought was a good thing. My pregnancy was very rough on me, I lost over 20 pounds within the first 5 months from being so sick, then I finally gained some weight and kept gaining. I got pre-eclampsia at 38 weeks and was put in the hospital. I never progressed even with early labor and being induced therefore I had to have a cesarean (which I so DESPERATELY did not want!) It was very hard on me, it traumatized me but I had my baby, whom I love with all of my heart. My child never breastfed correctly so I pumped for four months and my milk literally dried up over night (yet another unexpected disappointment.) Anyways, I weighed 172 pounds the day I had my child, then while pumping I got down to 139, and now I am back up to 160! I don’t understand! I got on Nuvaring and it seems to be the best birth control of my life (the others gave me clots, gain weight, etc.) I’m not sure if the ring, stress, or negative body image is making me gain weight but I need help. I am struggling so much with my body image. I feel 6 months pregnant. My legs and arms need toning of course, but my breasts seem deflated and my belly just seems like a large (LARGE) unattractive lump that hangs over my jeans! I am sure that the way I look at myself doesn’t exactly turn my boyfriend on – which causes issues also. I just feel like I’ve never been satisfied with my body even when I weighed 100 pounds and I’ve never had a flat stomach but I am young. I want to be able to take my child swimming (which means me in a bikini – not happening.) I am not crazy about the stretch marks but I at least try to feel okay knowing that I got them from carrying my amazing child – yet the flabby jiggling belly is just wrecking me. I am just ashamed.

The first picture is 37 weeks pregnant.
The second picture is frontal stretch marks 8 months PP.
The third picture is my belly from the side, also 8 months PP.

It’s the Journey (Anonymous)

“It’s the journey” is what I tell myself.

I’m 27 years old and feel so…old. I have a four year old and a 15 month old and have been breastfeeding for a total of four years now. When I was a young girl, middle school age, I remember women telling me (lots of women) to enjoy ‘what I have’ now while I have it. I recall them telling me I’ll never know how good I’ve got it until it’s gone. At the time I thought these were the stories of crazy “old” women who were likely blind because, I was fat. My belly was rounded out and my hips were curved and I was teased with the name ‘torpedo tits.’

Sure, I could still feel sexy (given the guy I was with found me sex-worthy).

Secretly, I’ll admit, if I was home alone and looking into the mirror I felt fucking HOT. I loved my curves and my fleshy bits.

Two children later and I feel soft. Stretched. Saggy. Old.

My first pregnancy at 22 was amazing. I never felt so confident, so sexy, so attractive. My belly was adorable and adorned with only a few light stretch marks and I only gained 25 pounds. My home birth with that baby was amazing and left me feeling in awe of my postpartum body and all of its wonders.

This was a short- lived feeling.

My partner and I were not prepared for the life of an unmarried, postpartum, needing to grow up some more couple. However, we were dedicated and smoothed our lives and our routines and did our much needed growing up. Then we decided to try for number two.

It took sixteen months to conceive our second child compared to a month to conceive the first. This secondary infertility was hard on our psyches and eventually we decided to give up ‘trying’ and started to plan a wedding instead. I was pregnant a week later.

This time, I gained 50 pounds and a highway of stretch marks, deep purple and red on my belly, thighs, and hips. My breasts ballooned as did the rest of me. The pulling forward weight of pregnancy seemed to bring out my Great Grandma Helen Hump on my neck. This birth was hard, baby presented with a nuchal hand and I was in much more pain than I had anticipated based on my first birth experience. I felt disappointed and let down with my body after this birth (despite it doing what it needed to in the end, delivering a healthy baby at home in under 6 hours).

15 months postpartum I have my good days and many bad. I have two amazing daughters that I want to be an equally amazing role model for.

I don’t shave. Razors are CRAZY expensive and it’s completely unnecessary. If my body was born and made this way then THIS is a woman’s body- bushy hair and all. I am worthy of love, respect, and dignity just as I am, without painting, plucking, and tweaking.

This is what I’m trying to teach my girls. Ah, there’s the rub. I am also teaching myself. I don’t feel this way and yet this is what I am trying to teach by living the example. I never ever verbalize that I feel fat and gross most days. I try hard to be naturally confident and therefore beautiful but I don’t feel sexy to my partner and I don’t feel comfortable in my own skin or hair or clothes.

We’ve resumed wedding plans. I knew I didn’t feel good but it wasn’t until shopping for a wedding dress that I realized how BIG I’ve gotten. At 22 when I got pregnant with my preschooler I weighed 135 pounds. Two children and 5 years later I’m a soft, apple shaped 172. My breast are huge and pendulous, my nipples like the erasers at the end of those giant pencils (my loving partner pointed this out),my arms are fleshy, my belly skin sags down onto itself, my thighs rub so much they chafe in the heat of the summer.

It’s hard to be an example physically and not be quite “there” yet mentally.

But I’m trying, I’m learning.

I’ll keep telling myself, ‘it’s the journey.’

The Rewards of Patience (Amanda)

My husband and I have been together for almost nine years, and married for nearly seven. Having children was one of the first things that we talked about when we first met. I naively assumed that it would be easy, being that both sides of my family are very prolific. How wrong I was.

Our first loss occurred in March of 2004. I wasn’t even sure that I was pregnant. I just knew that I was ten days late (my cycle is like clockwork) and I started bleeding. A visit to the doctor confirmed that I had been about six weeks pregnant.

The second loss occurred nearly a year to the date later. I was late, took a test, got a positive, and started bleeding the next day.

The third loss happened in July of 2005, just four months after the second one. I carried this pregnancy for four days beyond my missed period.

The fourth loss…I got a positive, after trying one time, in September of 2008. Even though I cringed every time I went to the bathroom, expecting blood, there was none. Everything was going great. I heard the heartbeat and saw the baby in several ultrasounds, and I’d never felt better. I was growing and glowing. Then on December 11 (the day after my birthday), we went for our sixteen week checkup. They put the doppler on my belly, and we were excited to hear our baby’s heartbeat. There was nothing but silence in the room. They decided to take me to ultrasound to see what they could find out. As soon as they put the probe on my belly, I knew. I looked at the screen and my baby was there, but so still. I looked at the doctor and said, “My baby’s dead, right?” She apologized and told me that yes, it looked like the baby had quit growing at twelve weeks. I didn’t understand. I couldn’t keep a pregnancy before that…now this one kept going for a month after it should have. They called it a missed miscarriage. I had a D & C the following morning.

Loss number five was the following July. Once again, positive test, and then the bleeding started the next day.

Now the tests started in earnest. Nobody could find anything wrong. The good news was that I could get pregnant, and quite easily at that. We just had to find out how to keep me pregnant. My regular endocrinologist sent me to a reproductive endocrinologist, and they diagnosed me with a luteal phase defect…a progesterone deficiency. That’s IT? Don’t get me wrong, I was happy that the condition was treatable, but seriously, that’s something that should have been caught YEARS previous. Anyway, I was prescribed progesterone suppositories, to be used for the fourteen days following ovulation, and until twelve weeks if I fell pregnant. The low progesterone was making my uterine lining incompetent, and that’s why the fertilized eggs weren’t “sticking,” so to speak. I started the suppositories in November of 2009, and those were supposed to bulk up the uterine lining, making it nice and nutritious for a fertilized egg to stick to. I took an ovulation predictor on March 23, and it was positive. We hoped for the best. All the while, we were in the process of buying our first house. Now, I’m the kind of person who may as well have bought stock in pregnancy tests and ovulation predictors, and I can’t stand to have them laying around, unused. On April 7, we closed on our house. On April 8, I noticed that I had an unused digital test. It was only a day before my period was due, and I hadn’t had any symptoms or anything, but I thought what the heck. Usually, when I’d take a pregnancy test, I’d sit on the floor, hyperventilating and shaking, waiting for the lines to show up or waiting for the word “pregnant” to show up. This time, though, I took my time, finished going to the bathroom, zipped up, and glanced casually at the test sitting on the bathroom counter. There it was…a big fat PREGNANT. Ultrasounds to confirm a gestational sac and, ten days later, a heartbeat, all confirmed that things were fantastic.

I started wearing maternity jeans at seven weeks. I really did start to show that fast. I had many people ask me if I was carrying multiples, and I can’t say that the thought didn’t cross my mind. Our twenty week anatomy scan came and went, with the tech and the doctors remarking how perfect our baby was and how everything was measuring right on schedule. They gave me a due date of December 17…one week after my birthday. And every day, I grew bigger and bigger. Seriously. I was huge. Enormous. I gained 52 pounds, probably because the baby had me eating hot fudge caramel sundaes and drinking gallons of milk every night. (I hate milk, by the way.) Around thirty weeks, I was so big that I was already having trouble breathing. And walking. And getting out of the bath tub. And shaving…everywhere. But my roly poly little baby was kicking and punching away, all day, every day. And all night. I never got morning sickness (though everybody who was around me in the first few months of pregnancy got it for me…including my grandmother, who hadn’t thrown up in fifteen years. My father and my husband were sick, too. It’s called couvade. I thought it was hilarious.) I had no heartburn, no glucose troubles, nothing. As a matter of fact, it was like pregnancy fixed everything for me. I had bad acne before I got pregnant. It completely went away. I had terrible anxiety. During pregnancy, it was gone. And I was the opposite of constipated, which was awesome, because I had always been a once-a-weeker, if I was lucky.

Months went on and I grew and grew. I was afraid, like any pregnant woman, of the body changes that could and would happen. It made me feel ungrateful and horrible, though, when I thought about wearing a two-piece this coming summer, and wondered if I would be able to. I mean, we had struggled with having a baby for the better part of six years. What kind of jerk was I, worrying about what the baby was doing to my body? I should have been focusing on what I was doing to the baby’s body, and that was being its support system, the reason my baby was alive. So I did. But I won’t lie…every day, I asked my husband if I had gotten any stretchmarks on my belly yet. I was sure that it was only a matter of time. After all, someone can’t grow as huge as I did and not have a few battle scars. But I never got any at all, except two on my breasts (which turned into two hundred when I started nursing). I chalk that up to good genetics. Neither my mother nor either of my grandmothers got them on their bellies, so I guess I’m just stretchy.

We planned on a completely natural birth, attended by midwives, but I ended up having to be induced because they suspected he was big and I was a week overdue. I progressed quickly, with no epidural, but when they broke my water and found meconium, the contractions became unbearable and they advised me to get the epidural so they could speed things along. I got to ten centimeters in nine hours, but the baby wouldn’t drop down. The doctor said that she could crank up the pitocin all night, but he probably wasn’t going to get through my skinny little pelvis, so we decided on a C-section just to have it over with. It was Christmas Eve, anyway.

Once I was in surgery and the baby was coming out, I heard cries of “Oh my god, how beautiful!” and “It’s a boy!” They started trying to guess how much he weighed. I heard somebody say “Nine pounds six ounces,” and I laughed out loud. There was no way a baby that big just came out of my body. But the scale told a much more horrifying and impressive number…ten pounds and twelve ounces. Really?? No way!!! That was more of a shock than anything else in this entire experience. As the doctor was stitching me up, she said, “Well, your belly is gone now.”

I’m now 15 weeks and 4 days postpartum. These pictures were taken when I was 10 weeks and 5 days postpartum. The pregnancy photos are of my belly at 39w5d (black sweatpants) and 40w6d (teal tanktop, looking way past rough). I’ve also included a picture of my (not so) little guy, who is everything I’ve ever dreamed of and more. The white background is him at two weeks, there is one of him nursing, and the other is him at 9 weeks. The one in the paisley tank top is me before I got pregnant, and I’ve included a recent one of both of us, taken on March 31.

Believe it or not, I like my scar. You’d think that since it’s a reminder of how botched our birth plan ended up being, that it would signal failure to me. Actually, I think the opposite. I got to experience contractions and hard natural labor, contractions with an epidural, and a surgical birth. I got to experience a little bit of everything in Julian’s birth. My mother isn’t here anymore, but I have a scar just like she did. I came into the world through her belly, and it’s sort of appropriate, I suppose, that her grandson came into the world the day after her birthday (he was born on Christmas Eve, she on the 23rd, the day I was induced) via the same route that her daughter did. I refuse to look at my scar as a sign of failure on my part to not birth my son the way I had planned. He was huge! I don’t think he would have come out vaginally if I had stayed in labor for a week, and certainly not without me needing a few hundred stitches. I’m glad it happened the way it did. I weighed 142 when I got pregnant, and when I delivered, I was close to 200, and probably over it by the time they pumped me full of fluids. I’m back down to 155 now, but honestly, I don’t care if I don’t lose another pound. The weight that has come off (other than nearly twenty pounds of baby, placenta, water, and all that stuff) came off because of the breastfeeding, I think, because I haven’t done anything. It’s too cold to go running, and I don’t want to leave this perfect little creature anyway. It seems like pregnancy has redistributed my extra weight into sexy places that I never had it before. I’ve always had skinny hips, no butt, and no waist. I was always kind of straight up and down. Now I’m curvy. None of my pre-pregnancy clothes fit me yet. My thighs are a little meatier and I still have some extra skin. I don’t have any stretch marks, but my skin certainly stretched, and my pants won’t button over it even if I can manage to get them past my newly acquired thunder thighs. Yeah, as the weather gets warmer, more of the weight will probably drop off, but I’m happy the way I am. My body, this body that I thought would NEVER carry a baby to term, went above and beyond this time. I grew him on the inside and I continue to nourish him on the outside. It turns out that I was pretty good at this baby growing business, after all.

I think that we focus too much on the physical “shape” of a mother. What about the ways in which we transform emotionally? What is our “shape” once the empty areas have been filled in with the senses of accomplishment and pride and unfathomable, bottomless love that come along with having a child? Where there was a dull and aching void, now there is the warm fulfillment of wishes granted, of dreams brought to life. If our bodies have been changed, we should see those changes not only as humble sacrifices, but the same way as we view our emotional experience…to love someone more than you love yourself, your emotions have to go through a tremendous amount of expansion or stretching. Just as our bodies twisted out of the American society’s “ideal” shape, so did our lives, in ways more complicated, hard, and beautiful than I could ever have imagined. And if you’re truly honest with yourself, at the end of the day, what would you rather have? I’ll take the physical reminders that I grew a life inside me every single time as opposed to the emptiness and the sense that something was lacking that filled me before I had my son.

Age 28
6 pregnancies, one birth
15 weeks 4 days pp today, 10 weeks 5 days in the pictures

I have a website with chronological pictures of my belly here.

25 Year Old Mom of 2 (Emma)

Being pregnant is one of the most beautiful experiences a woman can ever experience. I never felt more feminine as I did when I was pregnant and expecting. and, nurturing my child after-wards by breastfeeding, I’m curvier than I was pre-pregnancy (with both) – I had a home birth with my second, and it was one of the most wonderful experiences i’ve ever had in my life! I can’t wait to do it again.

I also wanted to include, that there was a huge age gap between my children due to struggling with infertility for years before finally conceiving our second baby.

~Age: 25
~Number of pregnancies and births: 2
~The age of your children, or how far postpartum you are: almost 7 years, and 11 weeks at time of entry.

Photos are between 4 days and 8 weeks postpartum.

My Kids Are What Matters (HayleyK)

I struggled for 5 years to get pregnant in the first place. After two surgeries and 3 rounds of fertility treatments (all the while dealing with my husband’s deployment to Iraq), we got pregnant with our first born. The pregnancy was easy, the birth hard. But we had our miracle. Then miraculously we got blessed with another child one year later. Hard pregnancy, easy birth, but some post-partum issues. Now, we are all healthy, and though I may not be much to look at anymore, my kids love me, and so does my hubby. For that, I am beyond happy!

Your Age: 31
Number of pregnancies and births: 2 pregnancies and 2 births.
The age of your children, or how far postpartum you are: 2 and 1 (15 months post-partum).