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Sunday, January 23, 2011

postpartum body Blues

The birth of my son is by far the most miraculous and amazing experience of my life, but preceding the most wonderful experience of my life, was also the most shameful reality. The first time I decided to look at my naked body following the birth of my son was a truly traumatizing experience, though I have been told numerous times, by endless people that it is natural to feel that way and to feel so ashamed, embarrassed, and down-right ugly. This isn’t one of those sappy, feel-good articles with a happy ending…this is a real description of the emotional rollercoaster my physical appearance has taken on me these past 9 months. My son brings infinite joy to my life each minute of every day, and although I have not felt depressed in any way because of motherhood, all of the contrary, I have felt nearly suicidal due to my twisted body image. I knew stretch marks, cellulite, loose skin, and blotches were all to be expected, but hell who am I lying to? I never expected it to happen to me. Particularly, because my mother had 4 children and doesn’t have a single stretch mark on her body and my grandmother, get ready for this, had 10 and has immaculate, YES immaculate, evenly toned GORGEOUS skin! So, why me? I was the girl that wore string bikinis to the beach, and tight little short shirts.. My breasts, GOD!! MY BREASTS!!! (I am not saying that in a good way) were never perky, flash-worthy tatas, but they were ok. NOW, HOLLY BANANAS! Lets just say that they have decided to head south like a flock of geese facing an impending winter. Anyway, the day I decided to take a good hard look at myself in the mirror, I was about 5 wks. Post partum, I looked and looked, thinking  that I was looking at some 60 year old grandma’s body, I got stretch marks in places that I never thought stretch marks were even possible. Yes! RIGHT THERE were your thinking!! And, oh how I cried… It took me 3 months to even bring myself to have sex with my husband (fully clothed too, and all lights out!) I wouldn’t let him touch me, unless absolutely necessary.  lets just say, I am sure he is traumatized now too.  I felt so bad for him that 1 day I decided to put something sexy on (about 18 weeks post partum) and was so humiliated at the sight of myself in pink lace with ruffles on that I sobbed for about 1 hour in the privacy of my bedroom floor. My husband finally got concerned I was taking forever, went in and comforted me, he reassured me that every little line was beautiful to him because it reminds him of the sacrifice I made to bring our gorgeous (and yes, he is gorgeous) son into the world. I appreciate his good intentions, BUT WHATEVER!!!! Who is he trying to fool?! Then you hear the story of how it takes 9 months to put weight on and that it will take about 9 months to get it off… ITS BEEN 9 MONTHS!!! Lol... I have come to terms with my stomach and whenever I am miserable about my appearance, I just remind myself of those women that would give up their right arm to have a shot at mommy-hood, stretch marks and all,  and for that I am thankful! It is difficult to go from a size 5/6 to a size 12 in such a short period of time, to find that you cant lift your arms to reach something on the top shelf at a supermarket because you are too embarrassed someone might get a glimpse of your torn stomach, to look down at your chest and see deflated balloons in place of breasts, and above all to find yourself in a complete physical rut. You want to do something about it, you have the energy and the desire, but you lack the courage, because at the end of the day…no amount of gym or diet will change the stretched, scarred skin, and the sad breasts.   

So, I have stopped complaining and started to be thankful for all of the good things I have. I decided to exercise in my home because it might not take away stretch marks, but it will give me a longer life so I can take care of my son. Most importantly, I decided to pray, because it stirs my heart away from vanity and helps me focus on me and the important things. Though, I didn’t find the magical cure for looking like poo, I have begun to accept me as I am. THIS BODY is MAGICAL! It can procreate and give life, and nourish and hold my son and take care of him. So, Ill hold on to that….if nothing else, ill resort to plastic surgery! Lol.. 


  1. your post is so raw... you know you are beautiful regardless of size or sag... like you said... you've done the one thing you've most desired ... giving life to a little human being... many women dream of it but there is nobody better fit then you...

    Remember you have control ... you can take the baton and you can lead the way in your own life and your own goals... you have a lovely family to support you and friends who love you!

  2. Oh my just spoke my words....I gave birth to two of my girls in the past two consecutive years....and I am very happy to be a mother but at the same time my appearance, my body, I am still unable to accept it. I cannot face the mirror without my clothes on. I wish i get the courage to accept myself in this changed manner.

    I do not know who you are but by reading you postpartum body blues and viewing few of your projects, I can say that you are a wonderful writer and a very very creative human being. I wish you the very best in your life.