Having a baby changed how I look at my body.

Most women complain about how thin they were before kids. Their bodies were right and tight, and they had no problem showing it off. All their confidence was attached to the skinny them. Then there’s me. I’ve been skinny all my life–not bag of bones skinny– a healthy thin. I was never a fan of it. My mom had a big butt and my other family members had huge boobs and hips. My body obviously didn’t get that memo.

Me (age 23), weeks before getting pregnant

I longed to be curvy, even more so once I became an adult. I had no use for a girl-ish frame, I wanted to look like a woman. I couldn’t, for the life of me, gain weight. I had small breast and my butt had changed into something I hated by the time I was seventeen. I was so insecure about my body. People told me all the time “You’re so skinny.” and I cringed. Why in a family of big boobs and booties was I the one flat chested and lacking anything remotely close to hips?

Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t wake up everyday loathing my body. Some days I looked in the mirror and felt like the boom.com. It was the times where I wore jeans that were too snug or a shirt that not even a push-up bra could save. Those were the days I hated; when the outfit looked great in my head but not on my me. It ruined my whole mood and I’d want to stay home. My body was working against me, it seemed.

It didn’t help that after high school girls, that were so much thinner than I was, had all of a sudden developed the body that I wanted. Poor me–or so I thought–still looked the same. I spent the last years of my legal-teens days dressing like a “working girl” and I’m embarrassed to say I did it for the attention. My shorts were too short and my shirts were just a mess. I wanted guys to notice me but I didn’t want them. I just wanted their eyes to follow my trail, even though I would be pissed if I got a catcall or a “Hey baby. Come over here.” I was confusing myself and putting out a certain image, all because I felt bad about the way I looked. It didn’t solve anything; really all it did was create more problems.

By the time I was in college, I was looking for butt enhancement pills and ways to plump my butt up naturally with herbs and exercise. All were flops. I was not accepting myself at all. I liked my body but I didn’t love it. In underwear though, was the only time I really thought “Damn you look good.” I would buy only lace see-through undies and anything sexy. It wasn’t for guys. It was for me. I had total confidence when I wore underwear. That’s when I could kind of see little hips and my bras made my breast look bigger than they were. My body was my favorite thing to look at then.

Now, this followed me until I got pregnant.  I spent almost an entire decade hating my body. I thought “Finally I’m going to gain weight. All women gain weight while pregnant.” I didn’t care about stretch marks, I already had some on my butt and knees. I wasn’t worried about shedding baby weight; I wanted to keep it! I had no idea that my 5’9 frame and fast metabolism would still haunt me during pregnancy. I gained about 20lbs start to finish. Went from 138lbs to 156lbs on average. My butt got even smaller. I had gained  absolutely nothing on my arms or leggs, in fact my pants were falling off! I hated it. My one chance to pack on the pounds and I felt like I was losing them.

1 month and 1day before I gave birth
My belly didn’t grow much bigger than this. Please ignore my crazy hair. Lol

All that changed when my 6lbs baby girl was born. She was perfect! My skinny ole’ body made a miracle! I had a mushy belly that she lived in for nine months and my tiny boobs were feeding her. I was sore, cramping, and bleeding but all I could think was “I made this. I did this!” I saw my body in all it’s postpartum glory as something so beautiful and amazing. If I didn’t have my daughter, my self image probably would’ve been the same. I would’ve seen flaws everywhere. My body is beautiful and if it was good enough to carry life, it was good enough point blank. I have an even flatter butt than I started with and my breast are two different sizes, thanks to breastfeeding. Do I care…NO! I’m grateful for becoming a mother because having a baby changed how I look at my body.

Me(25), 10 months postpartum. Skinny but confident in myself. I’m proud of this body now!

8 thoughts on “Having a baby changed how I look at my body.

  1. This got me all teary!!!! I love this post so much!!!!! You are gorgeous and I love your hair!
    Ps I enjoyed my breastfeeding boobs!!!
    Something about having a child and being a mother seems like we are now allowed to honor our bodies because our bodies rock!

    1. Thank you! Yeah, breastfeeding boobs are awesome. Realizing that your body is capable of something so amazing makes you appreciate it. No matter how they look, our bodies are our own and we should celebrate them. It took a lot for me to be completely comfortable in mine and it feels so good.

      1. I thought it was a miracle. The idea that my body could produce food for my child, just blew me away! She had her kidney removed when she was 4 months old and the doctor said thank heavens I was breastfeeding her because it was so much easier on her kidney and her surgery. I have had to learn to love my body and accept it and it has been a process. I am in a new phase of acceptance because my muscle disease is rapidly atrophying for some reason and so my legs are very strange looking. I just keep walking through acceptance. I think what I have had to do is UNDO every negative everyone else ever put into my mind about my self image so that I could really realize that I do love myself.

        1. Awwwz. Wow for your baby to go through that at such an age. God created a our bodies just right. For breastfeeding to have such a big hand in how her body reacted is amazing!
          I don’t think I ever tried to undo the negative things people have said about me. I just voided it, like a bad check, and threw it in the trash bin of my mind. That too, for me, was a process because it came from family A LOT. Even though I don’t believe they meant ill, it still was hurtful and made me feel like my body is less than. Once we can handle that pain and overcome it in a healthy way, the process to do it doesn’t make. I honestly think that a positive body image is something that should be thought in school. I think that would make a world of difference.

          1. I agree!!! They should start this positive body image in school. I started teaching my daughter very young and still talk to her about body image.
            The void check is a great way to put it!

          2. Thank you. And yes they should. I read a post the other day where a six year old complained to her mom about her stomatch because another child said she looked “pregnant.” School is where so much body image problems are created so why not teach it there? Maybe one day.

          3. They teach them about sex but not about abuse. School is the perfect place to teach them how to write a check, change the oil in the car, cook food, and positive body image. It is a place where they could learn real life skills and positive self image and instead they waste their time on standardized testing. They cut PE everyday, they cut ART everyday. I remember when we had music and pe and art every day and it taught me enough to get a college degree yet they cut these out now and our kids are going crazy sitting still in a chair for 8 hours which isn’t age appropriate anyway!!!!!yeah. I could go on and on…..

          4. I so agree! It’s insanity. They need to be taught about abuse but instead it’s all hush hush. Back in elementary school we had ladies come in and teach us about sex, abuse, personal hygiene, and stuff like that. It kind of scared me but it was good to know! Growing up art, p.e, and music were our electives. We had them everyday too. The school system just needs to get up to date with reality and not force feed those so- called “real world” subjects.

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