Gaining Self Confidance (Monique)

age 21, pregnancies 2, births 2, 2 yrs and PP 5 months

When I got pregnant with my first child I was engaged to a man who was great. Supportive, loving, caring, everything you’d want in a man. About 6 months before our wedding date I stopped taking birth control thinking that it would take about a year to actually get pregnant (I was on the depo), and presumably after the wedding. I ended up getting pregnant a mere month after the shot was set to expire. It was a shock, but I was so excited… for a while. After I got pregnant the man I knew completely changed. He became physically and verbally abusive. He threw me down stairs, broke his hand on my face, made me watch porn and tell me how much better the girls looked/were in bed compared to me. I was so blessed that my baby boy came out gorgeous and healthy even though he was born at 34 weeks.Afterwards my body bounced back immediately. I lost all the weight easily, got no stretch marks, but it wasn’t good enough for him. He constantly put me down and made me feel just horrible about myself. I finally got the courage to leave not for me, but for my son and I met the man who is now my husband. He always tells me how beautiful I am, supports me and cheers me on in everything I do and treats my son as his own. I got pregnant very early in our relationship (on birth control and pulling out) so it was a huge shock. I wasn’t very happy in the beginning, I was terrified about what the baby was going to do to my body. I was afraid he would leave me because my body was going to change so dramatically only months after meeting me. I was afraid I wasn’t going to get so lucky this time around, that added to still healing from low self esteem from my prior relationship I was miserable for the first 6 months of my pregnancy. Once I felt her kick it was all over, but I still did whatever I possibly could to look good after I had her. I worked out until I gave birth, I slathered myself in cocoa butter and bio-oil, ate well, ended up gaining a little less than 20 pounds and used a belly binder PP, I started pelvic thrusts 3 days PP, cut calories and started back at the gym the day I was released for exercise. It sounds a little intense but I was determined. Everyone told me I looked great for just having a baby, but I didn’t believe it. Though I got back to my normal weight, everything shifted and sits differently. My tummy is rounder no matter how many crunches I do, my hips are wider, my boobs are a little saggier. I was miserable and though I loved my princess I hated my body. No matter how I “good” everyone said I looked I couldn’t stop putting myself down. I finally realized I needed to work more on my self esteem and less on my body. I started looking at myself in the mirror every morning and finding one thing I like about my body. Doing this I began to appreciate my body that much more and gained self confidence which I’ve never had. I also realized that before I wanted the same body I had when I was 16, why in the world would I want that??? Becoming a mother has made me a woman in so many ways, so why shouldn’t my body reflect that? A woman’s body has curves, it’s rounder and softer, it has blemishes, it’s imperfect and that much more beautiful because all of this means it gave life. Now I don’t want a girls body, I want the body of a woman, the body of a mother.

First and second pic – 36 weeks pregnant, third pic – 5 months PP, fourth pic – me, my son and daughter after bringing her home

Healing Scars (Brandi)

Brandi, 25, 2 pregnancies, 2 births, 3yo and 2mo

In 2005 I got married. It was a whirlwind romance and being 18 I was certain I was in love. He was kind, affectionate, everything you expect to find in your prince charming. We met in Febuary and were married in December. Less than 6 months later everything started going south. Before I knew it I was trapped in an abusive relationship. Every day was an onslaught of your ugly, your fat, your lazy, your stupid, and a neverending string of name calling. And when he would drink (3+ nights a week) it would get worse, turning physical on more than one occassion. I tried to leave but was brainwashed to think I couldn’t make it without him and that nobody else would want me. I was damaged goods. Four years later, when I did get the nerve to leave, weeks before I was going to skip town, I found out I was pregnant. The entire SIX months of pregnancy I was still under a gunfire of mental and verbal abuse. “Your lucky your pregnant or you would be going down the stairs”…not to mention the constant accuasions that the baby wasn’t his. During the pregnancy I got ONE stretchmark. On my tummy, to the right of my belly button. I cherished it. It was a constant reminder of my little one and the challenges we had to overcome. He was 12 weeks early, weighed 2lbs and was 15in long. 11 weeks in the NICU later he finaly came home. Best Christmas Eve of my life. My start weight was about 140 and at delivery I weighed 180. 6mo post partum and I still hadn’t lost the baby weight which was just fuel to the “fat lazy bitch” fire. 9mo pp an opportunity arose and I was finaly able to free myself (and our son) from his hold.

Just over a year ago, I met someone new. He is amazing. Good with my son, good to me, and all around good guy. And he doesn’t drink. At. All. 4mo into the relationship, I got pregnant. Wasn’t really an accident, but not planned either. I was terrified. After all the drama with my first being early, not losing the weight from him and topping it off with losing my job I didn’t know what would happen. But he has stuck thru. In September I gave birth 3 weeks early to a beautiful 9lb 2oz baby boy. I went from 180 to over 200lbs. My body has suffered horribly. I have stretchmarks on my breasts, my arms, my legs, and from belly button to butt crack on both sides. I feel horrible. I know it isn’t true but I can’t shake the thought that if I was unattractive (according to my ex) before, I can’t imagine how aweful I must look now. I’ve already lost the baby weight, but the skin is still there. My boyfriend tells me every day how beautiful I am, how he is still attracted to me, how smart I am…everything every woman wants to hear. But it just bounces off. I know it will never be the same as it was when I was 18 or even when I was 24. I’m slowly accepting my new body, and having a super supportive partner is helping. But is it a long process. I’m looking forward to the day when I can look at myself after a shower and say “I look good”


Age: 29
# of pregnancies: 3
Age of children: 10, 6, 4

There are a few things I have learned these past 10 years about motherhood:
#1. Creating life is the one experience that brings us the closest to God yet can make a women feel the most disconnected from herself.
#2. Things don’t always go the way we hope or plan.
#3. What bothers you at 20 will change when your 25.
#4. There is attraction in flaws and beauty from ashes, intrigue in scars.

I have 3 wonderful children, my 1st pregnancy 10 years ago was EASY! I was 18 going on 19 and felt great, my birth went quick and smooth, it was a vaginal birth, 7 hours of labor and done, lost the weight fast and absolutely no signs on my body (other than being bustier) that I had given birth… I have always been a scrawny girl, small hips and breasts and super thin waist. After my 1st I went back to exactly that. My 2nd pregnancy was tougher, it was 4 years later… I had my little girl 9 weeks early by csection and felt like a failure! Not only did I feel like I let her down for having her early, but I had to have her cut out surgically- needless to say my birth plan went out the window…this pregnancy I got some stretch marks on my hips and breasts and one on my right abdomen… But again I bounced back quick, the marks faded, you couldn’t even hardly see my c/s scar… Then came #3, he was not planned, but perfect! And he was such a great pregnancy, I went to term without any intervention, 2nd c section… I did not breast feed my 3rd, gained the most with him… Took me about a year to get down to my goal weight, but I managed to hang onto bigger breasts :) which was a plus, I have some loose skin on my abdomen, my abs are no longer “defined”, I have a small hernia in my belly button, previous stretch marks etched a little deeper, my nipples are more oval than circles, I have a “Lip” above my c/s scar which I HATE but it won’t go away no matter what I try, I am still petite but I have some curvier breasts and hips (which I happen to like and my husband says my curves drive him crazy)… Some days I feel super confident and sexy and others I feel insecure and wish I could change some things… But no matter what, those three little people were worth it… Every line, every soft spot, every dimple, every sag connects to a place in my heart :) each day I love myself more and more, I am in better shape than before I ever had kids, I eat healthy, workout 5 days a week and love how my body feels womanly :) bring on my 30s I am ready!!

5 Weeks PP, Almost There – Update (Anonymous)

Previous entry here.

Ahhh where can I begin? Its been 16 weeks since I welcomed my beautiful baby boy into the world. I feel very happy about the place I’m at. So far since my last update I lost more weight and I’m back into my pre pregnancy jeans once again. My tummy is completely flat and I’m starting to get my abs defination back. My breast went down so I’m back to pre pregnancy. I still feel empty at times like I failed my baby. In the first update I forgot to mention that my son was born at 28 weeks weighing two pounds two ounces. I was hurt and very embrassed. I feel sad and angry that women who are heavy pregnant complain about the marks and the weight. I would have been happy to have a mommy tummy atleast I would have known that I wouldn’t have failed my baby. I pray everyday and ask god to show mercy on my son and he has. I never realize how stupid and selfish I was by not enjoying every minute that my son was inside of me. I didn’t have a tradition babyshower with a big belly I didn’t have a happy birth where I left the hospital with my son in my hands I had to see my baby have blood transfusions and Iv lines all through his arms and feet. I had to wait six weeks just to hold my son for the first time. I had to get a phone call from my sons doctor saying that my son has stop breathing and they had to bag him. Its so many things that I didn’t do or get to do that I’m most hurt about. I didn’t get a chance to even see my son when he was born or even get to touch him. Im still very emotional about the whole ordeal and I’m in tears as I write this. I had to wait three months just to finally bring my baby home a week before his due date. Premature babies go through so much but my son is healthy and happy. He has no brain bleeds IVH which is so s common with babies born his age he’s not on any medications or on any breathing machines which is very common with babies born at his age. I proud to see he’s such a greedy fat baby and love his milk he poops a lot and is perfect in everyway. So far he has no lasting effects of being born prematurely which I’m so very thankful for. The doctors don’t know why I had PROM (pre mature rapture of the membranes) but with my next child I will be seen by a high risk doctor and I’m very hopeful that I won’t have another preemie. My sons birth gave me a complete understanding of what love is and how to have compassion for other people. This ordeal brought me and my sons father even more closer as a family and we now live together and talking about marriage. He tells me I’m sexy and cause me his little sexy girl :) Life couldn’t be any better I’m working and going to school to become a nurse. I want to show another family the same compassion that my sons nurses should us. I want to work in the NICU with preemies. I’m learning to love my body at times I hate it and get so angry when people say oh u don’t even look like u had a baby. What I would give. This update is for all of the moms who hate there post baby bodies be so thankful that your body grew your babies and protected them because mines didn’t. Sometimes I wish I would be on the other end of the stick and complain about my post baby body. I didn’t get to breastfeed only pump but after six weeks my milked dried up so now my son is formula fed I’m hurting with another thing my body failed. I will have another baby and I will enjoy every moment of pregnancy. My pregnancy body was so beautiful I was nice and ripe sometimes I still touch my belly wishing I still could be pregnant. I included my pictures. The first picture is of my belly a week before I had my son. The next picture is of how my breast look now and the third picture is of my tummy now and the fourth picture is me now and the last picture is of my beautiful baby boy :) who I love so very much. When I get down I just think of all of the mommies who will never leave the hospital with their babies and i feel grateful that I have a healthy and happy beautiful baby who I kiss all day everyday.

I Hate My Stomach (Emma)

I never liked my body before I got pregnant at 18, but after going through a very rough pregnancy, I wish I had appreciated it more when I could. My pregnancy was unplanned, and I spent much of it wondering if I was making the right decision. It was also rough on me physically – I was out of shape to begin with and I put on a lot of weight very quickly. Because I have type 1 diabetes, my baby grew larger than average, and as a result I was measuring full-term at about 27 weeks. I literally could only walk for a few minutes at a time, and was in almost constant pain – so much so that when I went into spontaneous labor at nearly 33 weeks, all I felt was relief that I was done being pregnant. When Zoey was born she weighed 7 lbs 10 oz. Even though she looked like a full-term baby, internally she was still 7 weeks early. She stayed in the NICU for 3 weeks and came home with no complications, thank god.

Before pregnancy I weighed 160 lbs (at 5’2″ I was already overweight). When I delivered, I was 218. I managed to lose most of the weight fairly quickly, but my clothes still didn’t fit. Almost 7 months after giving birth, I’m down to 150 lbs (with a goal of 130), but I still can’t button most of my jeans. I still look like I’m pregnant. I keep my gut constantly sucked in. My love handles are humongous. Even my back is fatter than before. My breasts… oh, my breasts. Zoey struggled to nurse, so I’ve been pumping so I can still give her my milk. But now my once full, high breasts droooop halfway down my stomach. I don’t even care about the stretch marks. I just miss having smooth, unwrinkled skin. I miss having a decent shape.

My baby girl will be 7 months old in a few weeks, and I’m still in awe of her. I can’t believe how amazing and perfect she is. But I wish I could love myself, too.

Pic 1 is me at 27 weeks
Pic 2 is me about 1 month postpartum
Pic 3 is me 6.5 months postpartum
Pic 4 is me 6.5 months postpartum
Pic 5 is Zoey, the day she was born
Pic 6 is Zoey today

~Age: 19
~Number of pregnancies and births: 1
~The age of your children, or how far postpartum you are: 7 months

Mother of 4….soon to be 5! (Amy)

I am a young mother of many. I am currently pregnant with my 5th child, though this is my 6th pregnancy. My oldest child is only 6 years old, so in the last roughly 7 years my body has been through a lot. However, my body makes me so proud, because I have 4 beautiful children to show for it. I am currently 5 months pregnant with my 4th son. My pregnancies are always very easy, though I did have two preemies. I have always enjoyed being pregnant, I think it is the most beautiful thing a woman can do and I count myself lucky to have been able to experience it, as I know there are many women out there who never have the chance.

– I am including 3 pictures from my last pregnancy (not the current one) 1) me at 5 weeks pregnant 2) me at 38 weeks pregnant (days before delivery of my 9 lber) and 3) me 1.5 weeks post partum after my 4th child is born, a boy 9 lbs 3 oz.

-I am currently 29 years old and will be when I deliver baby #5
– I have had 6 pregnancies, 4 live births, 2 full term, 2 premature, 1 miscarriage, 1 still baking
– My children are 6, 4.5, 3.5, and 1 year old. I am 5 months pregnant now.

Mom to 10 month old twins (Ariel)

I have been engaged to my fiance for 2 years when we moved out of the dorms and into our first apartment together, less than a month later I was pregnant, about a month later I found out ‘it’ was ‘them.’ I found out I was pregnant with twins at an abortion clinic. I wanted a baby but not at that point in my life, not when I was at the end of my teaching program, not before I was married….NOT NOW…is all I kept saying. When I was laying on the table in the clinic and the lady looked at me and said ‘I detect multiples.’ I cried, for the first time I cried because I knew they were here for a reason. There was no history of twins in my family, I wasn’t doing IVF, and I was only 20! Nothing says that I should have had twins. I felt like it was a miracle.

Anyway, I was happy about my pregnancy and told my parents and family when I was 9 weeks pregnant. We found out at 21 weeks that we were having a boy and a girl! We were super excited. It took forever to figure out their names but we finally chose them: Delilah AnnMarie and Leon Jason Paul and we were thrilled! I was going to school full time while my fiance was working full time.. At 31 weeks along I went to my OB for my appointment and he said ‘you are too complicated for the local hospital, so here are all your records, go find another doctor.’ I didn’t get names to other doctors but it didn’t matter because the next night at midnight while I was getting in the shower my water broke. My fiance drove me to the ER and they sent me by ambulance to a wonderful hospital over an hour away. I stayed there for 5 days while they tested me and tested me. I was borderline gestational diabetic and severe pre-eclampsia. At 9am the doctor said ‘there is no way she is leaving. We’re keeping her here until 34 weeks and then we’re taking the babies.’ At 5pm, the same doctor walked in and said ‘we’re having the babies in the morning.’ I was FREAKING out…to say the least.

My sweet baby girl was born at 8:04am and her little, yet bigger, brother was born 2 minutes later. Delilah weighed 3lb and Leon was 3lb 3oz. I saw them for 2 seconds and then they were ran down the hall to the NICU and they lived there for 48 days. They came home a week before their due date. During that time I was recovering from my c-section. It was brutal!

Concerning my weight and body image: I have never thought I looked good. I hated my body. A week before my twins were born I weighted 299lb…that is my highest weight. I don’t know how much, if anything, that I have lost, but since the beginning of the year I have set the goal for myself to love my body and to get to a healthy weight. I know I have a lot of work to do but I feel so much better since I’ve been eating better. I have been eating little to no junk food, no carbonated drinks, eating whole grains, and low fat, low sugar foods.

I’ve included pictures of me in the hospital, pictures of my belly when I was pregnant (all those pictures I keep off facebook) and a picture of me breastfeeding my son (to show how huge my boobs were) and a picture of me last week trying to get a picture of the 3 of us. That one is the hardest for me to look at, because I look so wide. Anyway, I think this site is amazing and will help me love my body.

Your Age: 21
Number of pregnancies and births: 1 pregnancy and 2 births
The age of your children, or how far postpartum you are: 10 month old twins

New Mommy to 10 day old twins!!!! (Katie)

I started reading this website when I first started getting stretch marks about 30 weeks into my pregnancy with my boy/girl twin pregnancy. I felt AWFUL about them. It consumed me so much I couldn’t even be excited about the pregnancy because every morning I woke up with more and more lines across my belly. I spent hour researching ways to get rid of them.

The day I gave birth to my babies changed my life forever. The second I saw that first little screaming face being lifted over the c section curtain I forgot about every stress in the world. My two little ones are my life now. My body will be scarred forever because of this pregnancy, but I would take any amount of body scarring to equal them being here and healthy. It’s not about me now, or having a good body. It’s about being healthy so that I can give nutrition to my babies and live a long life to always be there for them.

I attached some pictures of my belly at 10 days postpartum. I am still hoping the stretch marks fade – not gonna lie! But if they don’t it really doesn’t make a difference to me. My body is beautiful for the sole reason that it produced and nurishes the most beautiful and perfect babies in the world.

I hope that if anyone reads this while pregnant and stressed about your body changing to know that it’s all worth it. And you will know that the day your little one(s) come!

Also — I have lost a lot of the weight already due to breastfeeding (I gained 45lbs!! Down 35 so far). I would highly recommend it. Not only does your body go back to normal quicker (it burns cals and shrinks your uterus), but it’s so great nutritionally and for bonding.

There is also a pic of my little baby boy and my little baby girl! They were born at 34 wks 5 dys and he was 5’8lbs and she was 4’8lbs. Probably going to be leaving the NICU and going home with me before Xmas!!!! I love them so much I can’t wait!

~Your Age: 22
~Number of pregnancies and births: 1 pregnancy 2 births
~The age of your children, or how far postpartum you are: 10 days post partum

It’s not easy the third time around, when your 38 years old! (Anonymous)

When I found out I was pregnant in May of 2008 I was thrilled! I was 37 years old, and by husband was 49. We both have children from previous marriages. I had a 15 year old son, and a 12 year old son, and my stepson was 9 years old.

We had just celebrated our 5 year anniversary in Las Vegas, and…Well, what happens in Vegas didnt stay there! We were not using any form of birth control, and hadnt for 5 1/2 years. We initially had wanted to try to have a baby, but after 3 years of it not happening, we assumed it wouldnt. I thought it was for the best anyway, because I have VERY difficult pregnancies, and felt it was a blessing I had been able to carry my two sons as long as I had. Both of my boys were born early, at 31, and 33 weeks. They were 4lbs 3 oz, and 4 lbs12 oz at birth.

I have what is called a dildelphys uterus, wich actually means I have two completely seperate uterus, and they are each half the size of a normal uterus, making me go into labor early. The first time I went into labor it was at 29 weeks, and I was in the hospital till my son was born 2 weeks later. With my second pregnancy I started having contractions once at 23 weeks, and then badly at 26 weeks, and had to be on bedrest and on a home monitor & trebutaline pump till 33 weeks, going in and out of the hospital several times for short stays, till they just couldnt stop the labor any longer.

Early on with this pregnancy I found out that this baby was in the “left” uterus, when both of my boys had been in the “right” uterus. This was bad, because the doctors beleive that with each pregnancy the uterus stretches a little more, and since this one was brand new, we didnt know if maybe it was smaller & I wouldnt be able to carry as long. Everything was unknown all over again.

I could tell early on, at about 16 weeks that things were going to be tough, because that is when I started noticing contractions. I was constantly drinking tons of water & laying down till it seemed things would settle down. My doctor was more optomistic then I, and I think he and my husband ( not having gone through this with me before) all thought I was over reacting or imagining things.

I found out in September 09 I was having a girl, and was THRILLED. it was the answer to my prayers! I had been told during my first pregnancy that my son was a girl ( Oops! YES…ultra sound techs make mistakes, and I had THREE ultra sounds in late pregnancy & no one caught the error!) so I had been so shocked when I had a boy, I had thought for years I would only have my two sons. I was also happy it was a girl because they always say girls do better when born prematurely, and I needed all the help we could get!

I only got to be overjoyed for a few weeks before the contractions kicked in pretty badly. At a routine exam at 21 weeks I told the doctor after an uneventful visit that before I left I wanted to hook up to their monitor & check for contractions because I kept feeling an odd tightening sensation in my abdomen . He allowed me to do so, and seemed like he was just doing it to give me peace of mind. After 15 minutes of monitoring & insane contractions showing, he looked pale & sent me immedialty to the hospital, where I was given shots of trebutaline and after about 8 hours was allowed to go home. The next day I got my trebutaline pump & home monitor again. I was on total bedrest from 21 weeks, and only allowed up for doctors visits, to shower & use the bathroom. It was tough going through that, but thankfully since my other kids were older they were somewhat able to help out, and we all managed ok. At 26 weeks I started bleeding quite badly & rushed to the hospital, to stay for 2 weeks while they tried to figure out what was going on. They guessed it was placenta abruption, though there were no signs of an abruption on the ultra sounds. I was so scared going back home that something terrible would happen & I woiuldnt get to the hospital on time, and after that I was not ever tempted to get up again or do anything but lay around. Needless to say, 2 1/2 months of inactivity turned my once nice muscle to mush, and I gained 40 pounds during my pregnancy, much of it at the end because I was just laying around eating non-stop. I wanted to make my baby big & strong & ate tons of everything healthy, and quite a bit of some not so healthy stuff!

The day I turned 33 weeks I was celebrating because the next day would be the longest I had ever carried a pregnancy. When I went to the bathroom there was the teeniest amount of spotting, and I couldnt believe it could happen to the day it had before! My husband took me to the hospital to be monitored, but I wasnt having many contractions, so after a few hours they were ready to send me home. Suddenly my daughters heart took a dive, and several nurses rushed in & gave me oxygen. They thought maybe she had just been on the cord, but said I should spend the night so they could continue to monitor the baby to make sure it didnt happen again.

It was the longest day and night ever! My babies heart continued to slow to 50 beats a minute several times, causing chaos with the nurses making me roll back & forth & get up on my hands and knees trying to move the baby off of the cord. They made me use a bedpan because every time I got up to use the restroom when I came back & hooked up her heart beat was dropping. I had to be on oxygen all night. At midnight they came in & explained that if it happened one more time they were going to do a crash c-section & told me how they would put a tube down my throat to put me out & that the baby would be out within 2 minutes. I was so scared! My husband had gone home to the other kids, and the nurses promised if they took me to surgery they would call him immedialty.

Strangely enough once they said “if it happens one more time” I had no other issues. That is, till 8:00 am. My husband had just gotten there & was with me when it started. They didnt rush me to surgery like I expected, but rather called my doctor & kept trying to figure out what to do. It happend about 4 more times before the “big one”. The last time the babies heart didnt come back up, and about 7 nurses ran into the room. They were ripping my clothes off & putting a new gown on me, and tossing me from one gurney to another, and before I knew what was happening I was whisked down the hall. Thankfully they didnt have to put me out, so I was awake & aware the moment my daughter was born via c-section at 12:00 on 12-16-2008. She was beautiful & cried like a regular newborn at birth. She was 4 pounds 7 ounces, and so healthy all she needed was a few puffs of oxygen at birth. She was never placed in an incubator, and was in my room with me the last 2 days of my 4 day stay in the hospital. EVERYONE said she had to be more then 33 weeks along, but me and my doctor knew better, because he had done ultasounds at 5, 6 & 8 weeks, and said there is no way she was further along. He also said he had never seen a baby so premature do this well immedialty. She came home 5 days after she was born, and did not need an apnea monitor. It was amazing.

So….That’s the long story…it makes me so happy just thinking about it. What doesnt make me happy is the battle I have had since trying to loose that 40 pounds I put on!
I am 5’10 so I didnt look huge pregnant, and did not get any stretch marks. That is the positive. The negative is that my skin, being 38 years old is stretched out pretty bady & not returning to normal! It has taken so much longer to loose the weight this time too. I work out like a mad women, and do bootcamp classes 2 times a week, plus tons of cardio, and worked out for 3 1/2 months with a trainer as well. Sometimes at 3-4 months post partum I would get up at 2:30 an, feed the baby, put her back to bed & go to Golds gym & work out from 3:30 am to 5:00, then come home & go back to bed!

I couldnt stand the way I looked, and the feel of my skin sagging on my belly was awful. It didnt feel like I was inside my own body, but somebody elses nasty
stretched out fat body. It was tuff! I am still not sure why or how I went to the gym like that in the middle of the night! It all seemed like I was dreaming while I did it. Once I got down to 8 pounds to my prepregancy weight it was easier to live with myself, and I stopped THAT insanity…though I still work out 4-5 days a week.

I am 11 months post partum now, and still have 4 pounds to loose. The loose skin is still pretty bad on my abdomen, but I guess I can live with it. I went to a surgeon who told me he would suggest a tummy tuck, not just lipo, because of all of the extra skin I have. I have to believe that I am still slowly returning to normal, and a hip to hip scar would be so much more horrible then my c-section scar! I don’t mind it, because It reminds me of the moment my daughter was born.

So….I am 38 years old,
Mom of 3..ages 16, 14 & 11 months.
5′ 10 and 134 lbs.

I know it was all worth it, and certainly don’t mind working hard to “get my body back”, but I see now that what I was doing so soon after the birth of my baby was obsesive.

I just want to be happy with my daughter & not be so focused on something as shallow as what my belly will look like in a bikini…or trying to keep up with the other 20 somethings I know who have all bounced back faster & more easily.

The pictures I attached are of me at 30 weeks, before pregnancy, 32 weeks, and now, 11 months pp.

Mother of two miracles (Mikayla)

AGE: 20
NUMBER OF BIRTHS: 2 both vaginal, 1 with no pain meds.

Wow, where to start. First of all I love this site. I feel like I am the only mother who got stretch marks or who is not in her pre pregnancy clothes a few months after birth. I hate that society expect that. I WAS 128 lbs pre pregnancy, and a size 6. Now I am 170 a size 12 or 14 at 5’6.

I got pregnant with my son Dec. 2006. I was a senior in high school and not at all ready to be a mom. I knew that I could do it. My boyfriend and I had been together three years already (since we were 15) and I knew it was a little soon, but we were going to be excellent parents. It was funny I thought I had the flu and after a few weeks realized hey you haven’t had a period for awhile. I took a pregnancy test one of my closest friends bought at work. When I came out of the bathroom laughing saying I was pregnant no one believed me. I went straight to my boyfriend’s house after work, he was asleep. I turned on the light and told him to look at the test. He was scared ,mad but he eventually came around and said, we were having a boy he just knew.

My grandmother died April 4, 2007 unexpectedly it was very hard, she was very special to me and we had a very close relationship, she was definitely routing for me, and always believed in me. I know she never got to meet my lil man, but in a way I believe she did

I graduated high school June 7, 2007 with a honors diploma, and at about 7 ½ months pregnant – barely showing. Life was going good and baby Noah was growing perfectly inside me. I had the epitome of perfect pregnancy.

I thought I was having contractions on July 25, 2007. I went to the Dr. who sent me to the hospital because I was contracting regularly and was 2 centimeters dilated. They gave me a shot at the hospital and some antibiotics in case I did deliver. The contractions stopped and I stayed the night to be monitored. I went home the next afternoon, with some pills to take 3 times a day till I was full term.

They didn’t work I was back at the hospital at 10 p.m. I was far enough along to just let it take its course. I gave birth to Noah at 35 weeks and 1 day. He didn’t need any help breathing. He was 6 lbs. 4 oz and perfect. It was amazing. I felt so happy and so blessed. The next day the Dr.s told me they thought he had hydrocephalus (meaning water head literally) and needed to run some test. Noah had a cyst develop causing the spinal fluid to build up in his head making it larger and larger. They sent us to a bigger hospital 2 hrs away. Noah got surgery at 4 days old. They placed a shunt on his left side of his head right behind his ear. His cyst drained and we spent 2 weeks up there getting him to eat properly. With a premature baby especially one who undergoes surgery that can be a battle. But, he caught on and on the day we left the hospital he weigh a whopping 5 lb 9 oz.

I started college online in Sept. through my local community college. I have always wanted to be a nurse and that is what I am working toward. I am currently still in school and almost ready to apply to the program yay!

Everything was going smooth and life was good till Dec. 8, 2007when my sister at age 27 passed away very tragically. It is and was the most horrible experience of my life. It is has been 1 ½ and it is still hard. I cry at least 2x a week. But, some days are better than others.

On Dec 21, 2007 I found out I was pregnant again, my son was only 4 months. I was scared, but my boyfriend had a good job, I figured I could take a year off school and we would be okay. I did know I better say bye to my body though. With Noah my body looked good, almost went right back down to same size. But, I would never let my fears of losing my body keep me from bringing life into this world. It was much sooner than expected; my due date was my grandmother who passed birthday August 23, 2008. Crazy huh?

My pregnancy went by so fast probably because I was so busy with my baby boy. At the end of June my mom took me, Noah and my nephew to Arizona. We had a blast, lounging by the pool and just getting away. My boyfriend just stayed behind and watched the house and dogs.

When we got home I was really sick, I think from the plane I caught a cold. Right when I was getting over it about 6 days after we returned home, I knew I was going into labor, 2 months early. My mom took me to the hospital so my boyfriend could take care of Noah till we knew what was going on. They said I was 3 cm dilated. They gave me steroids, hooked my up to a monitor, gave me a shot to stop the contractions which didn’t work the way it did with Noah. They were still coming.

When I was checked at 12 p.m I was not dilating anymore and the contractions got lighter. I tried to sleep, visited with my mom, boyfriend and son. They decided to head home for the night around 6pm. They figured I had a couple of days.

At 7pm when a new nurse came in I told her how uncomfortable I was and I couldn’t possibly feel like this for days. She checked me and said I was 9 cm and my water was about to break.

I replied, “so should I call my boyfriend and mom?”

Lol my mom and boyfriend made the 20 min. drive in about 10. The doctor broke my water about 7:30 and I got to 10 cm by 8pm. I pushed for about 2 hrs and my daughter Gracelynne was born at 4lbs 14oz. She was very healthy but due to her prematurity at 32 weeks gestation she spent 8 days in the nicu needing to learn how to eat.

So that is basically everything haha. But, now I struggle with all the weight gain after the two back to back pregnancies. It took a toll on my body, sometimes I cry when I look in the mirror. Then I feel so guilty for caring what my body looks like when it gave me my two beautiful children. I am slowly losing weight. I cut out regular pop, and trying to only drink 1 diet a day…the stretch marks are fading and someday I hope to smile when I see my body, but for now I take it 1 day at a time.

1st picture is me about 9 months pregnant with my son, 2nd photoe my beautiful bay boy right before his 1st surgery 3rd photo is my big ol belly with my daughter, I was about 8 1/2 months there. 4th is my little girl. 5th and 6th are my body currently and the last one are my miracles now :)