Body after Baby #2

Remember the days when I used to whine and complain about how my stomach wasn’t as flat as it used to be and how I had a couple stretch marks on one side? Yeah, I’d pretty much like to punch my old self right in that barely-marked stomach. Let’s be honest here. The damage that one child can do to your body is pretty much nothing compared to the damage done after subsequent children. My mom used to tell me that she was right back in a bikini after she had me (the first), but that my brother (the 2nd) did her in and then my sister (the 3rd) destroyed her. I can attest to the fact that this is so, so true.

Six months after giving birth to Brody, my fears of insane stretch marks have subsided a bit. {Oh and yes, I’m going to show you pictures. Because I like to keep it real. Just promise not to throw up much, okay?} This was my stomach towards the end of pregnancy with Brody, complete with angry and dark stretch marks on the left side (his preferred spot) of my stomach. It was a hot mess.

I was seriously sick about these things. I just knew they’d stay forever and ever and EVER. Yeah, not really. Some of the smaller ones have faded almost totally away, but the big boys are still there, just way less red and obvious looking. Mainly, they’re wrinkly looking. From far away, you almost can’t tell they’re there…. almost. From far away, actually, if you squint a LOT, my stomach is almost normal looking.

Then you look closer, and you see that the real culprit is the loose skin. Darn that skin!! And my poor, poor wrinkled belly button. It will never be the same. That’s what happens when you’re short and your belly is massive. That sucker popped out at week 12 with Brody and it looks as though it’s never going back to normal. So sad. I miss my old belly button so much.

The worst part is what happens when I bend. Are you ready for this?

YES I JUST SHOWED YOU THAT. YOU ARE WELCOME.

You could see the “I love Pink” logo from the top of my underwear in that picture. I cropped it out so I wouldn’t receive hate mail from Victoria’s Secret. Because that is pretty much the antithesis of an ad campaign for them! In addition to that, um, situation, I definitely have a pooch that isn’t going anywhere. Essentially, I look three months pregnant all the time, now. Four months if I eat a cheeseburger. I’ve come to terms with it. I’m pretty sure that if I actually exercised, it would go down a good bit, but that loose skin is probably going to plague me for all eternity. Thanks to breast feeding, I am down below pre-pregnancy weight by a couple of pounds, so it’s not a weight issue. It’s a body-after-children issue. I deal with it by not looking at it and always wearing a shirt.

One issue that I am actually dreading with the entirety of my being is how my boobs are going to look after weaning my bottomless pit of a second son. They were a sad, sad sight to see after nursing Knox for 13 months, and things can only go downhill (pun intended) from there. Time to buy stock in The Miracle Bra.

Luckily, my kids are super awesome, so any time I get aggravated with my body, I tell myself they’re worth it and that I can always have a tummy tuck and a boob job when I win the lottery. So, go ahead. Tell me- how did your body fare after you had kids? Or did this blog post serve as some very effective birth control for you if your stomach is still taut and flat?

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35 thoughts on “Body after Baby #2

  1. Courtney H.

    So glad to know I’m not the only one with that beautiful, saggy skin! Every morning i get up and pinch it in the mirror, wishing i could remember what i even looked like before kids! But, lord knows, they were worth it! And your stretch marks look fabulous by the way, mine are still horribly visible. Oh well…bikinis and cropped tops have never been my thing anyway :)

    Good luck with Brody’s surgery and know that you have lots of prayers going out to you and your family. What a wonderful discovery about the soy and Knox–here’s hoping to excellent progression!

    Reply
    1. Jessica Post author

      Courtney, I have HUGE stretchmarks on my sides from both boys that are still bright red! Who knows if they’ll ever fade. Even though I used to wear bikinis, I have to say, one-pieces are so much more fun because you can have a big lunch before you lay out and still don’t have to suck in! :)

      Reply
  2. Brittney

    I feel your pain girl! My doc put me on steroids the last 4 weeks of pregnancy + a 2 week overdue baby (who was 9.9lbs!) and my stomach is looking brutal! I’m glad to hear the stretch marks fade after awhile mine still look pretty bad. :(

    Reply
  3. Megan

    I am going to email you seperately about this because, well, the INTERNAL damage that my children have done to my body is not for the faint of heart.

    I, for one, think you look amazing!

    xoxo

    Reply
  4. Megan

    Mine is the same way now too, but getting better and better. The only thing that I don’t think mine will ever go “back to normal” is my belly button. I had it pierced and now the skin between the piercing hole and my actual button is so saggy! You look amazing though!!

    Reply
  5. Erin

    Oh sister! I feel ya! I remember thinking the same after our first little one, and the little pudge, but nothing compared to the amount of time it takes the second time around…..and still probably won’t ever look the same. Our little mommy battle…but agree all the love and snuggles the babes give make it worth it….and maybe a new wardrobe for momma too :)

    Reply
  6. Erin

    Ugh, I’m only four weeks out from my second, so hopefully there is still plenty time for improvement, but… I had a csection with my first and the skin overhang from it stretching this second time is uh, BAD. (At least I didn’t have to have a repeat section.)

    Reply
  7. Selina Rupers

    Thank you for posting this! I love that you are honest and real with us. :) This post is something I sure needed. I’ve been having a hard time lately with my body after 2 kids. I have the same wrinkly pooch of skin on my stomach that never goes away, and flops over my pants sometimes. :( But like you said, my kids are totally worth it. I just need to be reminded of that, and that I’m not the only one who looks like this!!

    Reply
    1. Jessica Post author

      Selina, things are just not the same after two! It is hard to look in the mirror sometimes and think of how we used to look, but what we have in return is so much better. I’d trade my two-pack of boys for a six-pack of abs any day of the week!

      Reply
  8. Julia

    Jessica – I love this! I wish more attention was paid to the REAL postpartum body, not the “I have a ton of money for nannies, trainers, and personal chefs” celebrity postpartum body. I think women being realistic with each other would go so far in helping a fellow mama feel less isolated & alone. This obviously includes the state of our bodies, but also our day-to-day struggles, joys, etc. (For what it’s worth – your stomach looks better 6 months pp than mine does 15 months pp! I suppose that would be the 70 lb weight gain and subsequent loss and what THAT did to my belly!) :)

    Reply
    1. Jessica Post author

      Julia, I totally agree! Anyone could look picture perfect if they had a personal trainer for six hours a day or a cosmetic surgeon on speed-dial! I don’t have anything against plastic surgery, but it’s hard when women who have literally everything money can buy at their disposal are held up as our gold standard of a post-partum woman. Us “normal” folk can’t exactly compete with that! We are what’s normal- not those celebrity chicks!

      Reply
  9. Amanda

    I think you look great, especially from your before Brody was born pic. My tummy was pretty bad after Brady and this time I am only gettng bigger, so I can imagine it will not be a pretty sight in the end. I had my belly button pierced years ago, so I know this will stretch out that scar even more! I have never had an extremely small stomach so I am ok with not being able to wear skinny minnie two piece bikinis! If you find us someone in the area that will will do Buy 1 Get 1 free tummy tucks, keep me in mind, and we will split it 50/50! :)

    Reply
  10. stephanie

    Can I first tell you how much I love you for putting this out there?! :) Thank you for keeping it real! Now that I’m trying to get fit again, I’ve noticed that a # on the scale does NOT equal how I fit in my old jeans! My pre- and post-baby body are just not ever going to be the same. Lol, part of why I’m still breastfeeding at 13 months is that I am TERRIFIED of what will happen to my poor boobs. I can only imagine what additional babies can do to a body because my first certainly did a number on me!

    Reply
  11. Kat

    1st time commenter, but thank you for this! I’m 7 weeks post-partum with my 2nd. I still have 25+lbs to lose. I breastfeed long term like you, but it takes almost a whole year for me to lose the weight, or atleast it did last time. :( It’s so hard to be patient especially when my clothes just don’t fit right. I’m blessed with good genes and no stretch marks, but I definitely have the belly sag going on.

    Reply
  12. Catherine

    You are so awesome for posting this. Major kudos to you for keeping it real. Bellies and boobs will NEVER be the same after babies. It’s a fact. I am positive I can improve my body by exercising again, but I’m not motivated at the moment. Subconsciously, I’m probably thinking why bust my butt getting my body back in shape when I’ll probably get pregnant with #2 (God willing) in the next two years. Lazy thinking I guess. Also? I took breastfeeding for granted in the weight loss department. I ate dessert after just about every meal and I was the skinniest I’d ever been. I packed all my pounds back on within about 2-3 months of weaning. boooo.

    Reply
  13. Laura

    Right there with you, except I’m not yet below prepregnancy weight. Unfortunately for me, my body hangs onto weight while I breastfeed. Boo for that. Even so, I’m pretty sure my stretch marks and saggy skin are likely to be around for a while. Oh well! I have the rest of my life to figure out how to firm up my belly. (We’re all done having kids.) Here’s my most recent “body after baby” post — http://payettestork.wordpress.com/2012/08/15/3-months-postpartum

    Reply
  14. Joy

    Thank you so much for this post!!! My stomach looked exactly like that. Exactly!! I would still wear my belly band from my pregnancies to make my stomach hold in tighter. Now I’m pregnant again and feeling (oddly) sexier than I have in a long time.

    I did read a fabulous book that helped my poor abs (not the skin, nothing has halped me there) called “Lose Your Mummy Tummy” . It’s all about pulling your ab muscles back together after baby. I had a split from my first baby and my doctor told me when she was a year old that he would never be able to tell I had one. The exercises in there helped so much.

    Reply
  15. Angela

    I am terrified to have a child. I have two stepsons and my husband and I are planning on having at least one child together eventually, but it literally scares the crap out of me! Not only the giving birth part, but the post baby body part. Thank you, however, for being honest about your body, children, and giving birth. That is what drew me into your blog in the first place! Either way, I think you are beautiful! And I agree, one pieces are fun, anyway!

    Reply
    1. Jessica Post author

      Angela, I promise that it’s worth it! I know it can be rather horrifying to see wrinkly post-baby tummies, but luckily, our kids are cuter than our stretch marks! And they make epidurals for a reason, so don’t be too scared about the birth part. :)

      And thank you, you’re very sweet!

      Reply
  16. Ashley

    Thanks So Much for this post!!!!! I have a 4 month old son and have been hating my stomach after this pregnancy. I am back to pre-pregnancy weight (110) but 110 pounds just does not look the same this go round with all that extra skin hanging on ;) Here’s to saggy bellies!! Our babies are well worth it, even if I never get in a bikini again!

    Reply
    1. Jessica Post author

      I know exactly what you mean! Everything just kind of shifts, doesn’t it? I weigh less but wear a larger size. It makes no sense!

      Reply
  17. aaryn

    Same situation here…hanging skin doesn’t go away, but can be less noticeable with more weight loss…the belly button never changes…I sense a tummy tuck in my future…

    Reply
  18. Erin D

    :P you beautiful heifer. my 2nd was born weeks before brody and i’m still 30 pounds over prepregnancy. nursing was a big fat bust, and unless i can find a minute to get my rear in gear i’ll never drop an ounce. it’s hard to say what’s worse, the belly pooch that makes all my clothes unwearable or the wretched second chin. both worth it, but only just…

    Reply
  19. Diana

    Honestly, for having two children, I think you look great! I have seen much worse on people who have only had one (and some who have never even been pregnant!) .

    My belly got pretty enormous with my son and at 4 months post partum I still look like I’m 3 months pregnant. I actually have had several customers at my job congratulate me or ask me when I’m due and I’ve had to tell them that I’m not pregnant, I just have a 4 month old. It’s embarrassing but it is what it is.

    I was fortunate not to get bad stretch marks during my pregnancy. I have some on my boobs that have faded almost completely, a few underneath my belly button that have faded and now just have that wrinkly look if you look closely at them, and some small, light pink ones on my sides. The stretch marks don’t bother me as much as my post partum boobs do, mainly because a year and half prior to getting pregnant, I had a breast augmentation and loved the way that they looked afterwards. Now, they don’t look bad, but they have lost some of their volume (I wasn’t breast feeding, but while pregnant I went up a full cup size and a half and now have gone back down a little) and it bums me out that they are not as “perfect” as I felt that they were before (and after spending $7k to get them that way, too, blah!). The belly pooch bothers me the most, though, because I had always had a nice, flat stomach before getting pregnant. I’m sure that I could get close to a flat tummy if I really pushed myself and worked out a lot, but right now, I just don’t have the time. I try to get on the elliptical at home when I’ve got a chance, but that rarely happens with an infant, as I’m sure you know!

    Reply
  20. Langley

    Glad to see I’m not alone! All my friends who have had kids didn’t get any stretch marks. Booo! If I knew what pregnancy would do to my body I would’ve warn a bikini 24-7! I’ve gotten used to
    My stretched out belly I guess. I read a saying about stretch marks that said something about it was the place that held you when my hands couldn’t. I cry everytime I read it!

    Reply
  21. Tegan

    Thank you so much for this Jess!! I have an almost 2 1/2 yr old and a 6 month old and things are definately different than they were the first time around. Im still about 2kg heavier than when i fell pregnant but everything is in a different place and things are squishy. There is actually less sensitivity across my stomach now too! What the??? I look at my wedding pictures and daydream of being even remotely that body comfortable and confident again. Thank goodness for the amazing blessings that going through pregnancy brings!!!

    Reply
  22. Katie

    OMG!!! I feel so much better. I was telling my husband last night that if I had a boob job and a tummy tuck I would look so much better. My first pregancy messed up my belly button but the second RUINED it! I think I may have to wear spanx or just not care. Right now I dont care. Thank you for sharing this!

    Reply
  23. Lisa

    Have you ever looked at “The Shape of a Mother” website? Might make you feel a bit better. Probably NSFW though.

    Reply

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