Mother of Twins, I feel so Alone (Linzy)

Hi…i am a mother of twins. Boy girl…love your site. I am a combat veteran and have severe ptsd but along with battle scars are my almost year old twin scars and im seriously trying to gain perspective on this whole body image thing…i love my children but hate myself im freaking out. I started visiting your site when i found out i was pregnant…it really keeps me in check on some days where i feel alone and afraid of my thoughts and feelings esp on being a mother.

I dont have pics before but here im 11 months pp.

My name is Linzy and im 27

Had 1 abortion 2 miscarriages.
All prior to the twins.

Favorite Pair of Jeans (Rachel S.)

Reposted by request, originally posted at The Swanson Life

I miss those favorite pair of jeans.

You know the ones you put on and they feel just right. Comfortable, sexy, and accentuates your figure perfectly. Those sweet little favorites of mine have been hanging in the back of my closet, quietly awaiting the day when I can put them on again. My sad little favorite pair of jeans… still hanging… since 3 years ago.

Add to that my favorite little jackets that fit too snugly in my arms now. The tight fitted shirts that now accentuate too much of my hanging post pregnancy belly—making me look like I’m 4-5 months pregnant again. Oh and my sparkly necklaces and bracelets that I have to avoid for fear of my twin toddlers or 5 month old baby girl yanking them off my neck and wrists, strangling me in the process.

My favorites now are my black maternity leggings or stretchy yoga pants that hide the extra girth I’ve gained down under. I love flowy lose-fitted tops that hide my squishy ill-formed belly and makes it easier to nurse that sweet baby girl of mine. And to hide those sausage arms of mine I’ve resorted to ¾ sleeve cover-ups or tops that drape ever so loosely off the shoulder.

But oh how I love these sweet babies of mine.


And I would never trade these post-pregnancy issues of mine if it meant not having my sweet twin boys and happy baby girl. But man were those pregnancies ROUGH on me—in many ways—but specifically physically. Having a twin pregnancy, and then polyhydramnios with BOTH pregnancies, you can imagine how far my stomach had to stretch. Actually you don’t even have to imagine…check out these pictures!

39 weeks single pregnancy polyhydramnios


35 weeks with twins and polyhydramnios



With these pregnancies of mine came lots of permanent changes to my body, which I’m starting to force myself to be OK with. I’m learning I’m not alone in this, that there are many women out there experiencing the same changes to their bodies after pregnancy that just won’t go away with diet and exercise. Some things that are simply not reversible. Even with the ever increasingly popular plastic surgeries that women are getting, it still may not do everything you want it to do.

And so, we need to learn to love ourselves again; our new body, our new scars, new marks and new figure—which may be our new image now. We will never be our 20 year old bodies again. Our bodies are meant to grow, reach its peak, and then meant to start the process of breaking down. I’m not saying to “let go” of yourself and give up working out and eating healthy to get back into shape again. But I think we need to be realistic of ourselves.

Maybe you are one of the lucky ones where your pregnancies were easy and your body is the same as it was before you started having babies. And maybe you look even BETTER than you did before you had kids, which is totally awesome!

BUT to those who feel like me and are struggling to gain your sense of self-esteem and beauty again when you look at your naked body in the mirror, or try on your old clothes that don’t fit or look cute on you anymore due to the toil of pregnancies—I’m speaking to you.

You’re not alone.

I’m trying to remember that my beauty is not simply on the outside. There is an inner beauty to each of us that is more important to develop and nurture than what we see on the outside. Something that won’t cripple with age but merely becomes more beautiful over time if we continue to cultivate it.

I want to be that older woman with a sparkle still in her eyes, smile lines around her face from years of laughter, strong wrinkly hands that show the hard work of motherhood—and exude a joy that surpasses any of life’s circumstances. This doesn’t happen by chance, but is a choice I have to make and continue to make daily. To love myself. And not in a narcissistic way. But love the person God has created me to be:

A mommy of twins and a baby girl—all under 2—gaining patience and strength through mothering that I never knew I had.

A woman struggling with depression but learning through Gods word and his teachings how to gain control over it instead of it controlling me.

A wife who serves her husband with thankfulness instead of discontentment with the stresses of life.

A friend who encourages and uplifts others to reach their full potential in life instead of breaking
them down by gossiping to others about their issues.

I want to be the kind of woman that exudes love to others, and in order to do that I need to begin to love myself again. I can do this best by remembering Gods love for me, that he loves me no matter what—the good and the bad. No matter how unlovable I think I am. This applies to all of you as well.

A quote from Mother Teresa, a woman with some of the greatest inner beauty, bestowing so much love to all she came in contact with, setting an amazing example, I believe for all women to follow said this…

“Let us always meet each other with a smile, for the smile is the beginning of love.”

I will keep working on my inner beauty since that is more important than what I see on the outside. However, I will still be working towards trying to fit in my favorite pair of jeans again…

Samuel 16:7 “The LORD does not look at the things [woman] looks at. [Woman] looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.”

The difference between two and one- having a singleton after twins! (Lindsay)

My first pregnancy, with twins, was scary. At 18 weeks, doctors suspected the possibility of TTTS (Twin-to-twin Transfusion Syndrome). I was put on a strict bed rest, and was only able to leave the house for twice-weekly ultrasounds. Long story short, Baby A’s diastolic blood flow ended up reversing at 31 weeks which resulted in an emergency c-section, 2 and 3 lb babies, a 2 month NICU stay, multiple surgeries, and a roller coaster of emotions.

Despite the hardships we faced with preemies, my c-section experience was not bad. In fact, I thought it was relatively easy. Of course, the recovery was slow, but I certainly did not have a traumatic surgery experience. I had thought if I ever had another baby, that I would definitely opt for another section. But, when I became pregnant again with baby #3, the idea of a VBAC was something that I began to consider. This was likely the last time I would ever be pregnant- I would hate to regret not experiencing labor and delivery the “normal” way. So, I made the decision to attempt a VBAC.

This pregnancy was smooth. Oh, what a difference there was between a twin pregnancy and a singleton pregnancy! I felt great, exercised regularly and ate healthy. Baby measured perfect at every appointment and I easily made it full term. It was a dream pregnancy, really! I was worried about how labor might go- I had never felt a contraction with my twin pregnancy since they were delivered so prematurely. But, people told me I would “know” when it was time. And, boy, did I ever! I labored at home for a few hours and finally decided it was time to go in. When I got there, I was shocked to hear that I was fully dilated! It was time to break my water and push! That also meant there was no time for an epidural. Wait… what?! I had certainly planned on getting one! I immediately thought I couldn’t handle it and the thought of just opting for the c-section crossed my mind briefly. But the pain was so intense, I couldn’t even care. My husband, mom, sisters and mother-in-law were at my side. My doctor arrived shortly after, broke my water, and I began to push.

I wish I could tell you that the rest of the story was calm and relaxed; that I simply listened to my body and gently delivered a beautiful baby. But… that wasn’t quite the case! My experience was beautiful… but it wasn’t calm. There is really no way to describe it. It was the most intense thing I have ever gone through. I may have used some colorful language and called my doctor a liar when she told me I was doing good. I may have even begged to stop and go home a few times. But, an hour and a half of pushing later, our baby girl was born. The memory of the pain just a few short minutes before completely disappeared. I had done it. I not only achieved a VBAC, but I did it completely unmedicated and naturally. I didn’t even have so much of an IV. I gave birth to a healthy, beautiful, full-term baby. I was in love and in awe. I was proud and empowered. Giving birth is a truly amazing experience.

Today, my shape might not be what it once was. My stomach isn’t quite as flat, and traces of the deep stretch marks I once had still linger. But, I LOVE my shape. I love what my body was able to create, the pain it was able to endure, and the miracles it produced. While those miracles may have been what was responsible for stretching my body as far as it could go, it is also responsible for getting it to the shape it is now. Yes, I have three children. Yes, I have stretch marks. Yes, I exercise daily. Yes, health and fitness is a priority to me. And that is FOR my children, not BECAUSE of them. I don’t care what the number on the scale says- I just want to be here, healthy and active, running around the playground, coaching softball teams, playing tag, cuddling, carrying, and loving my babies for a long, long time to come!

~Age: 28
~Number of pregnancies and births: 2 pregnancies, 3 births
~The age of your children, or how far postpartum you are: 4 years old and 5 months old (5 months postpartum)

I was a body builder. (Anonymous)

Where to start. Well, 18 months ago I found out I was pregnant, and two short months later I found out I was carrying fraternal twin girls. I grew them for 8 months and two weeks, and when they were born they became a bigger part of my life then I could have ever imagined. They are my heart, and life without them just wouldn’t be complete. Fast forward several months through weight loss, post partum depression, weight gain and I am constantly battling my body and how to accept it’s new form. I was never thin before, but I was not overweight. I dressed femininely in skirts and dresses that created the illusion of a waist on my straight figure. I have the opposite of a waist, now. My hips got a couple inches wider, my waist got wider than that even and now I look like I’ve wrapped a sack of potatoes around my midsection. I do not know who this body belongs to, but it certainly isn’t mine!

When I was pregnant my old roommates told me I was a body builder! I felt so empowered by the end of my pregnancy, this was the biggest thing I have ever done in my life. I bore life. Two beautiful, perfect life’s. So why do I beat myself up? I feel lazy, and my eating habits are horrible ranging from not eating to binging on junk. How do new moms find the balance? I feel like I’m a great mom to my girls, but I don’t even come close to giving myself the same care and attention that I deserve or need.

Before the girls were born, I was obsessed with bouncing back to my pre pregnancy shape and size. The girls came via scheduled cesarean, so I had plenty of time to mentally prepare and have no major issues with my scar or even stretch marks. I read that nursing would make the weight melt off, and then for multiple reasons was unable to nurse. I envy the lucky women who bounced right back.

So here I am, wishing I could be a size 12 again one day and knowing damn well how I felt when I was a size 12. It’s funny how our perceptions of reality change. Size 12 was huge! Now what I wouldn’t give to look like I did when I was three months pregnant. I keep telling myself that after the first year it will get better, but I have to face the fact that body image has been a life long battle for me. I hope a day comes where this statement will no longer be true…

I believe I was about 12 weeks pregnant [in the first picture], so a pretty decent idea of how my body looked before.

Probably at around 34 weeks [in the second picture]. I got much bigger doing most of my growing in the third trimester, when I got all my stretch marks.

Sad. Now my bra size is 40DDD and I look like a nice lumpy pillow. I took this almost 9 months PP. I’m depressed now.

How do I do this? I look like me , but it’s more like someone else ate me and now we’re one weird human. I just want to feel comfortable in my own skin, and I have absolutely no clue where to start…

Twin Mom (Anonymous)

25 years old
First and only pregnancy
Fraternal twin boys born at 38 weeks via csection 5 lbs 1 oz and 5 lbs 12 oz

I wanted to share my “story”. I am just a real mom. I didn’t let myself go when I got pregnant and I tried to do “all the right things” for the most part. I am not a clean eater or extreme athlete. I highly respect the women who are dedicated enough to live that lifestyle and I hope someday I can be that dedicated! If I had been then I probably would look better postpartum twins than I do. Oh well, can’t change it now! :) For the most part I think genetics, in my case, did just get the best of me. I look almost identical to my mom after her kiddos. I see photos of women who had twins and look perfect with not a stretch mark or pinch of extra skin and it can be quite discouraging that that is not what I look like. I just want to share with other “moms to be” my “story” and how things turned out for me.

Pre-pregnancy weight 118 lbs. 5’6″ size 34D boobs. Active. Runner. Always had a pretty good body even when I didn’t work out or “try”. In the before pictures I was in the best shape of my life. I had done 3 months of the program “Brazil Butt Lift” and ran 4-5 miles 4-5 days a week.

I continued to run for the first few months of my pregnancy. I watched what I ate most of the time, but if I wanted to eat something I ate it. I gained 43 lbs when I walked back for my csection. I drank a lot of water!! I used cocoa butter and bio-oil religiously. It did not prevent my stretch marks. They look almost identical to my mothers.

I have diastasis recti. I went to physical therapy for it and it helped dramatically but I still struggle with it. It has not completely closed and at this point I don’t believe it will. I wish I was able to work out more than I have been able to. It is very hard for me to find the time, but that is not excuse. Of course I was upset with some aspects of my postpartum body, but overall I don’t think that I look too bad. My husband tells me all the time that he is more attracted to me than ever. I believe him because he wants me more now than ever. :) I frequently have people tell me that I look Amazing for having twins and they envy me. Of course, they don’t see me naked. I look pretty good in clothing! Ha! :) I am most happy that I didn’t develop an obvious tummy in clothing and my boobs are still there. (although not the same, slightly smaller and saggy) Again, my husband still loves them. He does say they are more “squishy” now than before, when they were firm.

I breastfed my twins until they were a year old. I was back in my pre-pregnancy jeans and that at 3 months postpartum but everything wasn’t back to “normal” until around 9 months pp. When I neared the point to wean the boys I was starting to waist away and only weighed about 117 lbs. After I had them weaned I gained back some weight and now I am sitting around 125 lbs. Not too far from my pre-pregnancy weight of 118 lbs. I wear all my old clothes. My csection scar is amazingly tiny and barely there. Looks much better than my stretch marks. The stretch marks didn’t really start until around 30 weeks.

In the white bikini- Pre-pregnancy 118 lbs 5’6″
In the pink dress- 1 1/2 years postpartum 125 lbs
In the black bra and blue yoga pants- 1 1/2 years postpartum 125 lbs
In the underwear and black sports bra- 16 months postpartum
In the blue tank top side view- 9 months postpartum
Walking back for my csection in the blue striped shirt (38 weeks twin baby bump)
With my little babies- going home at 5 days postpartum

Mother of Three (Amerie)

2 pregnancies; 3 children; 3 months PP

I have lived 27 years. I have 3 beautiful children, a 3 year old boy and 12 week old identical twin daughters. I have an adoring, sexy husband whom I love. We have a healthy and whole relationship that makes me proud and happy.

I grew up with severe body issues. I was born with cleft lip and palate. I also had 2 open heart surgeries for a congenital heart defect by the time I was only a year old. I’m no stranger to body insecurity. I am used to being self-conscious and hyper-aware of my scars. After having my son and gaining 51 lbs on my 5 ft. frame during my first pregnancy, I thought my body was destroyed. It took me a full year to lose the weight and another year to get fit and in shape. 3 months after that? I was pregnant again. I went into this pregnancy a little disheartened, thinking that I had just got my body back and it was about the be put through the ringer again. Surprise! I was pregnant with twins! Total and complete shocker. The pregnancy was incredibly hard on my body and my mental faculties. I was put on bed rest at 24 weeks, hospitalized with the flu and pneumonia at 30 weeks, diagnosed with Obstetric Cholestasis at 31 weeks, and finally delivered with an emergency c-section at 35 weeks, 5 days. My body was a wreck. My girls were both in the NICU. *I* was a wreck. Thankfully, they had no issues bar learning to eat on their own, so they were out within a couple weeks.

Obviously, I want my son to treat women well, to hold them in such high esteem and regard and to never make a single one feel shamed for their bodies. But it wasn’t until I had my own daughters that I realized that *I* was going to be responsible for something. Something huge. I will show my baby girls what it means to be a woman. What it means to be self-confident and what it means to really love yourself and the skin you’re in. Or I will show them how to tear themselves and other women down. I will give them the tools to cry while looking at their bodies in the mirror and wishing that what they saw was different. It was all left up to me, completely my choice. I made it without hesitation. My daughters will have a Mother that is strong and capable, one that has embraced herself, ALL of herself. I will teach them how to stand tall and to mean it; and I will speak to them of the absolute importance of uplifting others.

First? I had to begin to walk the walk, so to speak. I have been working towards just that. Clean eating. Healthy living. Working out. Being active. Being better for my children and our family. For myself. I still have a ways to go, as I am only 3 months PP. I also have a 3 inch diastasis recti separation that I’m not sure what to do about at this point. But I’m not really worried about it. I am embracing myself, all of myself. And it feels good. :)

Pictures L-R: 2 months PP and then 3 months PP (before/after with one month of extremely hard workouts and dieting). My beautiful girls. My precious little boy.

Obsessed with how I should have done better (Anonymous)

I fell in love and moved away with my military husband at 18. We had our 1st baby (a 10 lb-er) when I was 26- I was away from all of my family and friends and gained 70 lbs. I didn’t know anything about eating, stretch marks, etc. I thought it meant eating for 2 (or 3!) and just doing whatever I wanted. Then, the baby came and my body was covered with saggy, stretch marked skin. Then, 2 years later, the twins came. I took much better care of myself but still gained 45 lbs and carried them to 38 weeks (7.5 lbs & 6.5 lbs). What was saggy breasts and belly became saggy EVERYTHING (thighs, butt) and body acne. :( I struggled with post partum depression after both pregnancies (pretty severely) and a husband who was deploying regularly, dealing with his own extremely stressful life, and not knowing WHAT to do with his formerly beautiful wife. When the twins were 18 months old I had a “mommy makeover” even though I should have waited until I was done losing weight. (Background- I had a 3 inch muscle separation in my stomach, it hung past my crotch, and my boobs…oh my gosh my boobs) Now my twins are 5 and my oldest is 7 and even though I work out regularly & eat well I believe I still look terrible. I’m now obsessing over getting implants and scar revisions and laser skin treatments. I know how “Real Housewives” bull-crappy that sounds, but it’s how I feel. The crazy part is, when I look at all of the other women on this site, I truly believe they look beautiful and can’t believe how hard they are on themselves (except for the ones who look perfect, inexplicably :)). I’m making great strides in all areas of my life but this one. I’m enjoying my children so much now and becoming more and more happy with life but my husband is obviously unhappy with my body. Thanks for reading- I know how self involved this sounds- I’m really trying to get over this and this is the 1st step- I’ve been thinking about submitting here for ages and can’t believe I actually took PHOTOS.

Age: 34 Pregnancies/births: 2/3 Children’s ages: 7,5, & 5

Welcoming Our Twins (Anonymous)

Age: 34
Pregnancies/births: 1/2
Age of children: 8 months

I found out I was carrying twins when I had a scan at 6 weeks because of some pain and bleeding. Turns out it was my uterus stretching quickly because there were two of them in there! Even at that early stage they located two heartbeats, although the babies were like tiny kidney beans on screen. The ultrasound tech had been called in at short notice because it was a Sunday in the ER (my health anxiety got the better of me), and I’m not saying anything either way but he kind of smelled like whisky. Anyway it was a really fun session once I stopped laughing hysterically and shaking (“what do you mean there’s TWO EGG SACS?!!”), he took a load of pictures for me and explained what everything was and I was sent home to break the news to my husband. He actually laughed as well which was something of a relief.

One of the nicest things about being newly pregnant with twins was that I didn’t have to wait very long until I started to show. One of the other nicest things was that I first felt a tiny kick at 15 weeks; I was so excited! I found it difficult that I didn’t feel confident to exercise, as I’m usually pretty active. I didn’t want to ride my bike or rock climb; I know that some women continue to do both until quite late in pregnancy but I was too worried about having an accident. I love to hike and continued to do that until I got pretty big.

I ate a LOT in the first trimester as I’d read that gaining 25lb by 25weeks was a good way to ensure that your babies would get a great start on their weight gain. Subsequently I got a great start on my own weight gain! I started at 130lb which I felt was slightly overweight for me (but probably isn’t – I was constantly working on losing that “last five pounds”). By the time the twins arrived I was over 200lb, I stopped weighing myself about 10 days before they got here because it was mildly terrifying. So, I gained 70+ lb, partly because I was diagnosed with preeclampsia and hospitalized at 35 weeks. The preeclampsia made me retain a lot of fluid and added to my weight gain.

I wasn’t severely preeclamptic and my blood pressure never got too high (no medication), but I had a horrible case of PUPPS rash (aka Satan incarnate) and it was the hottest summer since about 1411 and the hospital didn’t have air con. I spent most of my days stark naked, standing in my bay on the prenatal ward with the curtain drawn round and my arms held out at my sides (I couldn’t bear any of my own skin to touch myself, that’s how itchy the PUPPS was), scaring the staff when they popped their heads around the curtain. Seriously most of them had never heard of PUPPS, I felt like some sort of teaching aid.

The hospital wanted to induce me which I was dead set against as I was scared it wouldn’t work properly and I’d end up with a c-section, or it’d work too well and the contractions would be too intense and I’d end up with an epidural and then with a c-section (did I mention the health anxiety?). As it turned out my waters broke at 2am when I was 36 weeks, and our girls were born naturally 17 hours later. My husband and my mum were amazing. Labour was more painful than I hoped but nowhere near as painful as I feared. I’d wanted a water birth at home with no pain relief and giving birth in theater while hooked up to a continuous fetal monitor wasn’t exactly the plan but considering the circumstances it was the safest and best outcome possible. No drugs apart from beta blockers to lower my blood pressure, and a vaginal delivery, which I had very much wanted.

I’ve struggled since the birth with my body image. I’m still 20lb overweight and the skin on my belly will never be the same. My breasts have dropped (they went up to a G cup so it’s not surprising!), but I remind myself how lucky I am to have been able to beast feed my girls. I never really liked my boobs that much but I did love my flat, smooth stomach and I do get sad when I look at it now. I’m 5’ 6” and I carried the girls straight out in front, and the skin was stretched beyond repair. It’s wrinkly and crepey and I have a diastasis so my belly sticks out and I still look pregnant. My stretch marks are very fine and pale and hardly noticeable, which I’m grateful for. I wasn’t prepared for the extent of the changes to my body and have found it hard to deal with – my husband tells me that he still finds me attractive but it’s difficult for me to see how he can.

The hardest thing for me to cope with has been the multiple prolapses I suffered since the birth. I have a cystocele and a rectocele (my bladder and rectum both bulge into my vagina); luckily I don’t have problems with incontinence but I do feel uncomfortable most days. It’s been difficult for me to return to exercise. I love to climb, hike, cycle and backpack, and I worry that I won’t be able to do those things in the future. The backpacking is especially hard to think of losing. My husband and I have done many long trips of two or three weeks duration during which we walked for 15-20 miles a day up mountains while wearing 25lb backpacks – right now I can’t imagine a time when my pelvic floor will be able to take that kind of strain, and it kills me. I cry about the prolapse often. I wish that people talked about this issue more because I wasn’t even really aware that it could happen to me until it did and it was a horrible shock. I know that I need to be patient for a while longer as a lot of healing happens in the first year after birth and I don’t yet know what the final outcome will be, but it’s hard and I get scared.

My girls are beautiful, healthy and I love seeing them change every day. I couldn’t have imagined how much I would love them (and I imagined that I would love them a lot!). As I said I wish that prolapse was more widely discussed as I feel that I would have done a few things differently if I’d known that it affects up to 50% of women. I would give anything for the changes to my body to be merely cosmetic and external. I am hoping against hope that if I continue to lose weight and do my kegels religiously then I might eventually be fairly symptom free, although I know that prolapse is lifelong. I am very much hoping to avoid surgery.

The first picture is my stomach at about 6 weeks pregnant, second is me at 8 months post partum. Third is a close up of my stomach post partum, and fourth is a side view. Fifth and sixth are our gorgeous girls :)