A Message Update (Anonymous)

A Message for All Moms

That was my message. I have an update.

At 30 years old I’ve had another little one. I’m 18 months post partum with my 5th child. My hypothyroid is now under control with natural herbs and diet. I learned to love my body along the way and corrected my diastasis recti. What helped me get fit was learning to love who I was first. State of mind is everything and when you can’t see beauty in your body after creating life. It can reek havoc on you mentally, emotionally and physically. Once I learned to love everything about my body even though it was considered “perfect” I started getting healthier in every way. Most importantly emotionally and mentally. Physically was just a bonus to learning to love myself.


A Message for All Moms (Anonymous)

Age: 28?
Number of pregnancies and births: 4?
The age of your children, or how far postpartum you are: 9, 5, 3, 9 months?


I’d first like to say, I am 9 months post partum with my 4th pregnancy. I carried a friends baby for her this time as she couldn’t. So I only have 3 children that I take care of not 4. I got pregnant when I was 18 and my body seemed to bounce back pretty well. I assume this is because I was very young when I had her. I then had my other 2 children at 22 and 24 and gained some extra weight (10lb) I couldn’t get rid of. I thought I was done having babies after that but at 27, my friend was having such a struggle getting pregnant so I did something crazy and offered my body as the baby carrier for her child. I wouldn’t take it back for anything but it really did a number on my body this time plus an extra 20lbs on top of that ten. I am now 30 some pounds overweight. I discovered a month ago that I have diastasis recti. I’m sure a lot of moms are familiar with this term but for those that aren’t its when your tummy muscles are open instead of closed like normal. So my organs are pretty much left hanging out without the muscles to hold them back causing a mommy tummy that’s pretty obvious. I was hopeful when I learned I could correct this without surgery. I’m in the process right now of correcting it and have made some great improvements in just a month with exercises alone.

Unfortunately, I have also discovered that I have hypothyroidism, which has made it almost impossible to lose any of the baby weight I have gained over the past ten years of baby making. My initial goal was to lose 30lbs after this pregnancy but I can’t even lose one. Literally. I’m really struggling with this and praying I will figure it out. My goals aren’t unrealistic and I’m not trying to look perfect either but it’s really discouraging when you can’t even lose 1lb and you do everything right. I eat very healthy and over the past 9 months, I have worked out until I can’t work out anymore. I’ve worked my butt off for nothing it seems. I’m not scared to watch what I eat or to work out so that I can lose weight either. It’s been very hard to deal with not just physically but emotionally and mentally too. I use to have my good and bad days with my self esteem because of how my body looks and how society says beauty should look. One important thing I’ve learned from it all and that I’d like to share with women who are struggling with self esteem or body issues after having a baby is this:

I don’t have the cute body anymore. Most people would look at me and say my body isn’t very attractive. I have stretch marks. I have a mommy tummy and my thighs don’t have that perfect little gap between them that so many women nowadays are after. (I probably never will either lol) I carry extra weight practically everywhere and have some interestingly shaped boobs now that I’ve had 4 children. Society would say my body is far from beautiful but……. it has done something more beautiful than I could ever make it look. It’s made life and I am so proud of that. Not every woman gets the privilege to carry their children and make something as beautiful as your body did.


Updated here.

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.

Postpartum Depression or Hypothyroidism? (Anonymous)

~Age: 32
~Number of pregnancies and births: 1
~The age of your children, or how far postpartum you are: 18 months


It’s been 18 months since I gave birth. It was a wonderful experience. I was surrounded by family, love, and affection after I came home with my dear daughter. My husband was supportive and woke up during the night every two hours to help me feed the baby. My daughter was healthy and thriving. But something was not right with me….

After the endorphins from a drug-free labor wore off and the joy of sharing the new baby with family waned, I started to feel exhausted – really really really exhausted. It felt like a chore to wake up and get out of bed and take care of my daughter. I felt guilty for not being ecstatic over the fact that I get to stay at home and raise my daughter. I felt guilty that I couldn’t enjoy every single smile and coo and aah that my daughter made. I felt isolated and depressed and angry. My energy levels were so low that I was literally dragging my feet….I felt as if I was walking through Jell-O. All I wanted to do was sleep….I was so numb, emotionally, and intellectually.

During my 6-week post-partum appointment, my OB/GYN diagnosed me with depression and encouraged me to go on antidepressants. Because I was breastfeeding and due to side effects related with some antidepressants, I was reluctant to take the antidepressants. I am a scientist by profession, so I did research on post-partum depression and anti-depressants and their side effects. While reading scientific articles, I came across one that linked post-partum depression to low thyroid function (hypothyroidism). I remembered that a blood test done in my last trimester had shown my thyroid function to be low, but it hadn’t raised any major red flags. So, before I agreed to go on antidepressants, I asked my doctor to do a blood test and check my thyroid function. I had other symptoms of hypothyroidism (constipation, dry skin, loss of appetite, gaining weight, joint and muscle aches and pains, bald patch on my scalp, carpal tunnel in my left hand, and sensitivity to cold). The blood test showed my thyroid function to be low (normal levels of TSH are 1-2 and mine were 4-5). The diagnosis was post-partum thyroiditis and post-partum depression was a symptom of the underlying hypothyroidism. I was prescribed a low dose synthetic thyroid hormone (which is safe for breastfeeding and pregnant women) that I have to take every day for the rest of my life.

I have routine blood tests every few months to check my thyroid function and make sure my hormone dosage is correct. Since I began the hormone replacement therapy, almost a year and a half ago, all of my physical symptoms have disappeared. I no longer have unexplained joint and muscle pain; I feel emotionally balanced; my brain fog has lifted; my hair, nails and skin are healthy; and I have lost all of my pregnancy weight. Most importantly, I feel that I have all the energy to chase around a toddler, exercise, clean the house, do the laundry, cook dinner, and be a loving companion to my husband.

Very often, we get confused by medical terms and take the doctors’ advice as the ultimate word. I want to share my experience so that women who read my story can be empowered to ask questions and become partners in their own health. You know your body and self better than anyone – take an active role in your well-being. For me, researching family history and seeking a second opinion from an endocrinologist specializing in thyroid function has been an immense learning experience. I believe that being an advocate of my own health and partnering with my doctor to delve deeper than the superficial symptoms has helped me achieve my life back. I hope I can help others who might have similar symptoms and experience after giving birth.

Postpartum Hair Loss (Samantha)

~Age: 22
~Number of pregnancies and births: one
~The age of your children, or how far postpartum you are: 13 months

I spent most of my childhood battling alopecia. I went to some of the top doctors, including Johns Hopkins, and they still couldn’t figure out a reason for my hair loss. By the time I hit puberty, my hair had all come back in. It was extremely frizzy, dry, and wispy and nothing I did was able to fix it. I faced so much ridicule and low self esteem from my battles.

When I got pregnant, my hair came in so beautifully…my eyebrows became noticable, and I was basking in it all. I felt so beautiful for once with my thick, perfect shiny hair. I guess I should have known it wouldn’t last though. About 3 months post partum, my hair started falling out. I figured it was the normal shedding that I had read about and didn’t think anything of it. Months and months went by and I was still shedding like crazy. At 11 months post partum…I went to the mirror and overnight I had grown a large baldspot at the top of my head. I panicked and spent the whole night sobbing…feeling so ugly…crying about how my body was doing this again after years of being fine. Crying about the loss of my “beauty”…and I spent the night looking at wigs.

I ended up going to the doctor for it the next day. Turned out, I had developed post-partum thyroidis…and it had turned into hypothyroid. Being left untreated, my hair was falling out from it. Now I am on the medication for life and my hair has stopped falling out…but two months later the bald spot still remains. My husband says he sees growth…I don’t see anything but bald, bald, bald. I have resorted to doing a comb over every day. I don’t know if it will grown in one day…or if this is for life. I do know one thing…the pregnancy did this to me. And despite how depressed I may feel about my appearance right now, my son brings me daily joy and the little stinker has enough hair for the two of us. The way he looks at me…he doesn’t see my bald spot…and even if he did, he would still find me beautiful.

PCOS and Me (Brittany)

Previous entry here.

age: 21

Well this is the second time I have posted on here. I have not tried to get pregnant or anything yet. I am trying to work on myself first, to give my babies the best place to grow. I was so inspired by all the comments I received that i thought i should post again and give a little more detail about what happened to me and what more i found out. I met a guy at my high school when i was 16 almost 17 and he was 18 i believe. He was just some guy that paid attention to me. I was a stupid teenager. He tried telling me things like he would treat me like a queen and buy me anything I wanted…well all he really wanted was one thing. He took me and my friend to one of his friends apartment. Being naive i took two shots thinking it wouldn’t be anything and next thing i know i can barely read the time on the clock and i’m in a room with him over me. I only remember bits and pieces after that and my life hasn’t been the same since. As for the whole want to be unattractive with weight, it doesn’t matter even though im still the same size i still get looked at in that way. I also found out i have hashimotos disease and hypothyroidism. My endocrinologist said that my hashimotos is probably what caused the pcos and hypothyroidism. Im on meds and im trying to exercise and eat healthy. I am also engaged. Im very happy he tells me all the time what a beautiful person i am. i just want you all to know that even though negative things can affect our way in negative ways they can also bring amazingly good things with them. I feel so very lucky to have gone through everything i have because if i wouldn’t have i wouldn’t be the person i am today and i love her.


This is Your Fault (Anonymous)

I am 22 years old and I have been pregnant once. I have one child,a 16month old son.

The day I found out for sure I was pregnant was one of the hardest days of my life. I was in a bad relationship with a man who was a lot older than me. We had moved in together 3 months before and my life was one big bundle of stress from that point on. I was a full time student that worked full time to support my ex’s drinking and gambling habits and pay our rent. All I could think was my god this is my fault, I am bringing another life into this world with that despicable man. We tried to make it work after I told him I was pregnant but, he started becoming physically abusive. That was the straw that broke the camel’s back. I moved home and focused on my health and well being, and tried not to let him affect my pregnancy any more than he had. I finished another semester of school and had one semester left until my degree was complete. My pregnancy was pretty uneventful except at the end of my 2nd trimested I began having almost disfiguring stretch marks. I cocoa buttered and used mederma and bio oil and every product I could think of, but nothing stopped the deep purple welts that were coming up all over my body. I then started to gain a ridiculous amount of weight and was experiencing awful constipation. During an appointment with my obstetrician who obviously felt no sympathy for me I began to cry , and expressed feelings of hopelessness about my body, I said how will I ever fix this? She said “This is your fault” she then went on to say if I would be more careful about what I ate maybe I wouldn’t have gotten so heavy. I knew it was coming, I was going to hear those words someday. In the beginning I didn’t realize what a blessing my pregnancy was. It’s been about a year and a half since that appointment, and my life has changed so drastically since then. My labor was an incredible, 43 hours long, with pitocin running the entire time. I did most of it with no pain relief, the last 3 hours I gave in and asked for en epideural because I was scared that they were going to send me in for a cesarean if he wasn’t born soon. 12:19 am I pushed my son out and I will never forget that first moment they sat him on my belly and he just looked up at me. I kissed his little head and I have been madly in love with him ever since. I just graduated from college and I’m studying to take my state boards. I have lost 45 of the 69 pounds (yay for breastfeeding) I’ve gained, but there is one thing I haven’t lost and thats my stretch marks. When my son was about 6 months old I went to my GP for a sinus infection and she asked how long I had been hypothyroid for, I asked her to please repeat the question. My doctor referred me to an excellent endocrinologist who has been incredible. I have been taking Synthroid for almost a year now and I feel like a new women.Sometimes I wonder what my obstetrician would think if I told her I gained that weight because my thyroid was bearly functioning. I look down at my tummy, breasts and thighs in the shower every morning and think oh lord I have some work to do. However I comfort myself by looking at my perfect little boy and my diploma (which is hanging over the mantle) and I think to myself, This is your fault. It is my fault and caused by all of my hard work and sleepless nights that I have my incredbly smart vibrant child and my college degree which will ensure a bright future for us. Remember ladies no matter how bleak the outlook is now, wait a little while things can and do change with an exceptional amount of hardwork.

Struggling to accept this new body and dealing w/ hypothyroidism (Anonymous)

Age: 29
Number of pregnancies: 2
Number of births: 1
Age of baby: 18 months

My story is a very familiar one. My baby was born 18 months ago via C-section due to “maternal exhaustion.” I was pushing for going on 3 hours when, after hours of nothing to eat or sleeping, I just couldn’t anymore. My scar has healed nicely but my beautiful son has given me this horrific belly pouch and back fat that I never had pre preg. I also developed hypothyroid after having him. I was breastfeeding and eating normally and just kept gaining weight. It is so frustrating and heartbreaking. I am a size 16 now and I was a size 12 pre preg so in reality, I don’t have much to go. Still trying to get my medication adjusted to the correct dosage. Discovering this website has been such a huge support for me. I know I am not alone in this struggle to accept my new body. I have a lot of people around me asking about my weight loss, how come I haven’t lost any, and do I plan on losing weight. I desperately want to but I have realized feeling healthy is the most important. I am starting a new gym regimen next week. If I maintain my current weight, I suppose I will be happy because it means I haven’t gained.

SOAM has given me such a sense of empowerment. Having my son is the greatest thing I have ever done in my life. Having the scar, belly pouch, and droopy breasts are a small price to pay for such a blessing. And my husband has been amazingly supportive and doesn’t seem to mind these new changes.

The photos were taken today.

Plus-Sized, Proud and a mommy to a monkey! (Monkey’s Mommy)

Let me start of by saying I am very proud of who I am. I don’t let the numbers on the scale dictate my happiness. With that being said, here is my story. I am 24 years old and i am a plus sized mommy. I have been plus size since 4th grade and so I really don’t know or remember life any other way.
I got pregnant May of 2008 at 308lbs. I had recently become engaged to my now husband and we had planned a July 2009 wedding. Little did we know we would become pregnant and push up our wedding to September 2008. Our child wasn’t planned, but was 100% wanted. Since we weren’t planning this pregnancy, we were unsure of when she was conceived. We ended up having a Due Date Scan to find out that our child was due January 27th, 2009.
I was over joyed with the fact that I had this life growing inside me. I couldn’t wait for the 1st kicks and I counted down the months until we knew the sex (a girl that we found out 3 days before our wedding, and kept it a secret until our wedding reception where I announced it to all our family and friends). I had a normal pregnancy. No Gestational Diabetes, and only a high blood pressure issue from 36 to 38 weeks that corrected itself. My due date came and went. I stayed at 1cm until I was induced.
My induction went very smoothly and my daughter entered the world on February 4th, 2009 at 8:10 pm via a vaginal, medicated birth. She weighed in at 8lbs 9.4 oz and scored a 9 out of 10 on both her apgar scores. I ended up weighing 326lbs right before delivery. Once home I weighed myself and I was down to 311lbs.
At 4 months postpartum I was diagnosed with PPT (Postpartum Thyroiditis) I have to now take medication for my thyroid. Other than that, I have had no issues with myself. My current weight is 290lbs and I am 7 months PP. I have been working on trying to be healthier, not so much with weight on my mind. I am happy with my body, my husband has never know, seen me any other way and he loves all my curves.
For all the women out there who feel like they would be happier a size or three smaller I say, be proud of who you are, not what your BMI is or your weight is. Love you for you!

~Your Age: I am 24 years old
~Number of pregnancies and births: 1 pregnancy resulting in 1 birth

~The age of your children, or how far postpartum you are: Mya, my daughter is 7 months old and i am 7 months PP

37 Weeks Pregnant (Anonymous)

Well this is me so far, I am 37 weeks pregnant and I am soo excited to be having my baby boy soon!! I Have gained 25 pounds already i guess i am all belly because my belly is HUGE lol! So far ive not gotten any stretch marks but its genetic in my family to get them and i know they will be coming in the next week or two its very depressing i have also have VERY low self esteem and im so afraid im going to suffer from baby blues very bad!! I probably wont “bounce back” i have a feeling ill have trouble losing weight due to a thyroid problem its hard to main tain my weight or even lose it which is why i suffered from an eating disorder for 3 years but thank god my husband rescused me from myself, or atleast helped a great deal in the end i was the only one who could help myself.. when i get stretch marks im going to have to look at them in a differnt light, i read someone on here say your son is only young once and you have the rest of your life to worry about your body… which made me smile i wish i knew who said that she was very smart and very true!! I have been 1 cm dilated for 2 weeks now im wondering when im going to have him.. i really hope i dont go to 40 weeks.. i know he would be absolutley fine and developed now he is “full term” and if i had him now i know i wouldnt suffer from self esteem problems hearly as bad as i will if i go 3 more weeks or even over due date cause everyone says they wake up the next morning and have stretch marks.. i just wish i could hold him now and look at him.. :) im getting so anxious!!

im including my pregnanct pics so far one at 6 months, 7 months, 8 months 8 1/2 months 9 months and 2 this morning at 37 weeks( all in order)