That little box is the reason I started this blog. And this is my story.
Negative body image: a distorted perception. Everything about my body image in 2011 was distorted.
I was due January 1, 2011 with my first baby. I was convinced I would deliver my baby, hold him in my arms, nurse him immediately after delivery, rejoice in the fact that I delivered my baby, and fall in love with that little life. Only one of those things happened.
I immediately fell in love with my son, Elijah. If you are a mom, then you can’t help but believe in love at first sight.
But something happened with my delivery. Before E was even conceived, I knew in my heart that I did not want a ceserean delivery. I wanted to accomplish something only a woman’s body can do, birth a baby, as naturally as possible. But in those final two weeks, I gained 20 lbs of water weight top of the healthy 30 lbs I had gained throughout the pregnancy. My blood pressure was high and protein in my urine confirmed pre-eclampsia. As a result, I was induced. I was hooked up to monitors and not allowed to get out of bed. I was scared. And desperate to do anything that would allow me to avoid a C-section. After 24 hours of labor, lots of blood pressure medications, endless bags of Pitocin and 3 failed epidurals, it was deemed medically necessary to have a C-section. I broke down. I cried my heart out to my husband and my parents. But my pleas were met from the medical staff with “we really don’t have any other choice. You are at too high of a risk.”
My son was born in the OR, and my husband and I rejoiced as tears streamed down our eyes when we heard his first cry. It was amazing!
But shortly after delivery, I became nauseous, after my husband left with Eli for the nursery. I received medication that knocked me out cold. Other than those brief moments in the OR, I didn’t see much of E, until the drugs wore off 12 hours later.
When I finally came to, I faced the reality that my body had failed me. I know some women prefer a c-section, and that’s okay for them. But it is not what I wanted. So many people told me “what’s important is that you have a healthy baby.” And yes, I whole-heartedly agree that that is what is most important. And if I had to choose between healthy baby or a natural delivery, I would definitely choose a healthy baby! But I was still devastated. I was still sad. I was still mad. My heart was heavy and I was mourning. I was mourning that my body was incapable of something that meant so much to me.
And so began the spiral of distorted perception of 2011. We arrived home with E as tired new parents. As a nursery nurse, I had and still have a passion for breastfeeding. Again, my body failed me. I could barely make 1 oz at each feeding in the beginning and had to supplement with formula. With much dedication and lots of time on the phone with a lactation consultant, I was able to increase my supply and breastfeed for 5 months. At that point, I was on the last resort to increase milk supply, a drug called Reglan. It made me moody, and it made me depressed. I had to make a choice: be depressed and be able to breastfeed while on the Reglan, or go off the Reglan (which would result in being unable to breastfeed,) but hopefully get me out of the depression I was in.
As I pondered that choice, I kept asking myself “why is my body failing me again?”
I finally and miraculously came to the conclusion that postpartum depression sucks! And I went off the Reglan and the depression slowly, slowly began to lift away. But I was still mourning the C-section and my inability to breastfeed for a full year as I had planned. I began to hate my body and everything about it. I hated that it was incapable of a natural delivery. I hated that it was incapable of being able to breastfeed. And this led to me hating the way my body looked and how I felt in it. Postpartum depression had been replaced with just flat out “i hate myself” depression…
I was ashamed of my body and extremely self-conscious about it. I was convinced every part of me was ugly. I would look in the mirror and tell myself “You are ugly. It’s never going to get better. Nothing about you is pretty.” Harsh words. But I said them to myself, and worse yet, I believed them.
And that is what negative body image does to you. It convinces you that you must reach this unattainable standard of perfection. I love this quote in a book that I just adore called Body Clutter:
Perfectionism is everywhere; see it for what it really is: a standard that is unattainable by anyone and a disease of unhappiness. –Flylady
Perfection is a disease of unhappiness. And I was beyond unhappy. I was depressed. I put my self- worth into what I looked like on the outside. What I saw in the mirror was not at all what others saw. What I saw in the mirror was what Satan wanted me to see. And I believed him.
After nearly 8 months of living in self- loathing, I was crying out to my husband one night, when the Lord used him to help me begin to win this spiritual battle. My husband said to me :
“I love your body. It is what brought our son into this world. You mean the world to me and you mean the world to your son.”
My heart broke. What was I doing? I was letting Satan win, and how sad my heavenly Father must have been as He watched His child make these choices. I was so consumed by this negative body image and self-doubt that I was letting my marriage suffer; I was not enjoying being a new mother; and most of all, I was letting my relationship with Christ suffer. The Lord tugged on my heart and said “If your husband loves you this much, how much more do I, your Father in Heaven, love you?”
That is when I surrendered to Him and asked for Him to help me. That is when I began to escape the prison of self-doubt, and I began to replace hateful words about myself and my body with prayer and affirmations. That is when I realized that my battle was less about the physical aspect, but it was more emotional, and it was very,very spiritual. That is when I started my blog: to keep me accountable, to write because I find it therapeutic, and to hopefully help others find hope in Him.
Christ longs for us to feel valued. He delights in our beauty. In fact, he sees our beauty as a reflection of His beauty. Beauty to Him is not one dimensional as the world sees it, but multi-dimensional. It encompasses body, soul, spirit, mind and emotions.
The Lord does not look at the things man looks at.
Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.
1 Samuel 16:7
It doesn’t matter what size jeans you wear or what number you see on the scale. It is your character that matters. It is your character that people will remember you for. The Lord looks at the heart.
I am so thankful that my eyes were finally opened. I see that living healthy is not just eating healthy and exercising. It is emotional, and it is extremely spiritual. I am happy to say I have overcome negative body image, but only with the help of Christ. I admit sometimes it is still a struggle. And when thoughts of self-doubt or negative self- talk enter my mind, I immediately go to Him with it.
I finally see my body as it truly is and I accept it. I had a baby, and I now wear that C-section scar and those “tiger stripes” proudly. I appreciate that I have a body capable of exercise, and I understand that it is a process and a lifestyle change to live healthy. I know I am fearfully and wonderfully made, and I believe that! I finally feel comfortable and confident in my body. And it is all thanks to Him!
We are our own worst enemy when perfectionism is our foundation and not love.
Perfection is defined as a belief that a state of completeness and flawlessness can, and should be attained.
There is only One that is complete and flawless.
He is perfection, and, my friends, with Him as your foundation, you can learn to love your body as He does.
You are His wonderful creation, and He delights in you!
I promise you, if you struggle with body image, that He can and WILL get you through it. You just have to let Him.
If you are looking for encouragement in this area, I strongly encourage you to join me on facebook, twitter and consider signing up for posts in your email and the weekly newsletter (found in the right sidebar). This is why I started this blog. Because of this story. And that is why I write. I pray God uses my words to bless others. That is the sole purpose of this blog. If you are looking for encouragement in the areas of healthy living, maintaining a positive body image, faith, parenting and marriage, then please join me on this journey! I pray you are encouraged and that God blesses you abundantly!!
Jenna Fisk says
HI Stephanie, thankyou for linking up to Wake Me Up Wednesday, and for sharing your story! It is encouraging to read about someone else’s journey.
Jenna Fisk recently posted…Freedom From Perfection – Wake Me Up Wednesday Linky, Installment 1
Thank you for taking the time to read it!
Hi Stephanie, thanks so much for sharing your story and for linking up at Wake Me Up Wednesday 🙂
Christine (iDreamofClean) says
This is such a beautiful story of hope. Thanks so much for sharing! I can relate in so many ways but it is truly incredible that you desire to minister to others through this blog.
Christine (iDreamofClean) recently posted…Preserve Children’s 3D Artwork with the ScanSnap SV600 (plus Giveaway!)
Thank you soooo much for your kind words!!! That was a tough one to write, but a story that I feel needs shared!
Brook Cummings says
I came across you blog via Pinterest and started reading through it. Thank you so much for sharing your story. As I read it, it felt like my story after my first daughter was born. I didn’t have pre-e but my body failed to dilate and I had to have a C-section. I felt like a complete failure and then I had issues with breastfeeding. I too used Reglan and it made my depression even worse. In the end, my husband and I decided to formula feed but it took me a few years to accept what happened and be at peace. Thank you for opening up and sharing your experiences.
My sweet friend, you are not alone. My heart hurts for you that you had to go through that. I know how bad my heart ached during that time of my life and I just hate knowing that you went through it. I still struggle from time to time. I don’t know that we ever actually “get over it.” But we do choose to have a different attitude about it and to trust in God and allow Him to help us through it. Thankful that you have peace!
Nothing about any of my deliveries went they way I wanted them to! Sometimes you just have to go with
Michelle recently posted…Truth Can Be Stranger than Fiction
Yep, sometimes you have to roll with it.
but for the record, sometimes I rolled unhappily!
Writing can be cathartic. Thanks for sharing your STORY! There’s no greater love than a mother’s love.
Thank you for the encouragement!!
Meagan Paullin says
I love you. I had eating disorders for years as a teen and young adult. I had depression off an on, and it also ran rampant through my family.
When I was pregnant, I was so scared that I’d have some type of depression…. But oddly enough, I was the weird exception. When Abby was born, she changed me in more than the normal ways. She fixed my depression… It’s been three years. And that dark cloud, that used to follow along behind me, waiting for a chance to pounce and rain – it’s never been back.
I applaud you for telling your story. Not enough people know that these types of feelings even exist. And hugs and everything to you for being so brave 🙂
Meagan Paullin recently posted…Bloggertunities: Over 20 New Opps, Tips, and Resources
I am so sorry you had to deal with that. It is such a hard, hard, hard place to be. I came dangerously close to choosing to be anorexic, so I fully understand why some women make that choice. It’s the not the right choice, but I understand why they do, because I nearly did it myself.
I am so glad that your daughter has changed the way you view yourself! And it is so good for her to have a mama that loves herself. It will teach her to love herself, her body and who she is as a woman one day. So awesome that she has a mom like you!
It can get depressing… I have 3 and I feel like my body has been ravaged with 3 normal births and the after effects of stretch marks and excess fat. I try not to think about it. I’m lucky I have a husband that hasn’t made me feel like I’m ugly. I once read that our marks are evidence of our survival and our toughness. I prefer to think of it that way.
You earned those tiger stripes, girl!! You have 3 beautiful children and your body performed a miracle! It grew humans and brought 3 whole new people into the world! Embrace that!
Thanks for open your heart and shared with us your story. God is amazin!!
Mary recently posted…Walmart: Galletas Van’s The Perfect 10- $1.48
He sure is!!
Toia B. says
I’m blown away by your courage to share your story! I suffered from acne really bad from my preteen years on into adulthood… I felt, as stated in your opening graphic, that only other people were attractive. I would be told I was pretty but the repeated breakouts on my face were telling me a different story. For a few years, I covered up with makeup. It took my husband (then boyfriend) to tell me how much MORE beautiful I was without it before I was able to finally face the world without my insecurities. I’m so happy you’re in a better place and are comfortable in the skin you’re in!
Toia B. recently posted…Hair Tip Tuesday: Scalp Massages to Promote Healthy Hair Growth
Thank you for your encouragement! I am so thankful that you too have found a happiness in your own body! For so many women, it’s hard to love our bodies because we hold our standards to the standards of this world, which is unreal! Thankful you have learned to love your body. It’s a much better state of mind to be in, right!? 😉
Makeovers & Motherhood says
Thank you for sharing your story, Stephanie! I so appreciate hearing other women who speak from the heart and that do so to share their testimony and God’s greatness!
Body image is very relate-able for me. I have come to realize that I am a bored eater, use food as a reason for social gatherings, and have very little willpower. It feels like a constant battle. I just lost 19 pounds a couple months ago and was receiving so many positive comments on how great I looked. I felt better physically, I looked better, and it lifted me emotionally. However, I let Satan’s lies of “a little won’t hurt… you deserve it… you could still lose more weight so what does it matter… you can’t get rid of your belly no matter how hard you try” creep in. You are so right that body image is just as much of a spiritual battle as one with food. I am trying to learn that living healthy is not just about the image that I would like to achieve, but a God-honoring lifestyle and includes taking care of myself, eating healthy & with proper portions, staying active, and staying positive through knowing what God says about me. Thanks so much for sharing.
Makeovers & Motherhood recently posted…waiting for the bus
You got it right my friend. It is all about a God-honoring lifestyle, and letting those lies that we tell ourselves be replaced with prayers and praises to our God!
Tracy @ Using Time Wisely says
Bless your heart! Thanks for sharing your story. I, too, have only had c-sections – 3 to be exact. I bounced back after my first one, but I had toxemia with my middle child. I still cannot wear my wedding band, and it’s been 6 years. Though it bothers me, I do not let it define who I am. I have been on a health journey for the past 2 years. My weight has gone up and down, and I’m still experimenting trying to find how to work around my pancreas issues from getting mono in grad school which reared its head after I had my middle child. I struggled and still do periodically with my weight, pudgy fingers, and overall look. But, this is life, and I’m making progress. You are not alone in your struggles. Appreciate your post!
Tracy @ Using Time Wisely recently posted…Moe’s Southwest Grill: Free Queso Day – September 19, 2013
I wish you many blessings as you continue on your health journey!
Kimberly H. Smith says
Stephanie, I can relate so much to what you were going through. I looked forward to delivering my son the traditional way too. But he wouldn’t come out naturally. So I had to do a C-section. It seemed like forever before I could actually hold my son. My arms were held outwards while they stitched me back up. I feel asleep a few times. Later I learned it took so long because the doctor cut my bladder accidentally. Breastfeeding was uncomfortable for me and I think my son knew that because he didn’t take to it. I could never produce enough milk even with a double electric pump. I was embarrassed and disappointed. My son is 6 years old now, but I still struggle with not losing all of that weight. He is healthy and happy so I celebrate in that. Your post is very inspirational. So glad that you shared this. God is good. Visiting from Commentathon.
Kimberly H. Smith recently posted…Awesome Kid-Friendly Tablet Accessories Giveaway With Free eBook
Oh goodness! How scary! Glad you are okay! I feel ya. It hurts when our body doesn’t cooperate. I honestly felt like a part of “being a woman” was taken away from me. But I am so glad to have overcome it because even that hurt can’t overpower how much I love being a mom!
My story is different than yours, but the pain is very similar. My body “failed me” by not being able to get pregnant a second time. My first pregnancy was “perfect”. I remember saying many times during that period of my life that I just hated my body. It took me a long time to accept that this is God’s will for us and be okay with it. We have a biological son and nearly 7 years after he was born, we were able to adopt out second son as a newborn. God has blessed us even in those hard times. I still don’t know why I haven’t had more babies–the doctors never could give me a reason for our infertility even though we did some fertility treatments. Anyways, thanks for sharing your story–I’m sure there are MANY others who need to know that God loves them in the midst of their pain and struggling. Great post!
Stephanie recently posted…Reasons a non-knitter should NOT take up knitting
Don’t God’s plans just amaze you? He had those two children chosen for you!
Your husband is a gem and totally spot on. Your body was used to care for and develop your little one. Girls tend to have poor body image because I think from an early age we pick up on the fact that pretty is equal to love and acceptance. When we miss this mark or are told by peers, parents, and others that we are ugly or imperfect in this area we start believing it and thus the battle begins.
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It is amazing what the female body can do, and it’s so sad that we as women (myself included) focus more on how we think other people see us, when we should be finding joy that, yes, our bodies changed, but we made a human!! I do agree that this starts at a young age, and as moms, we need to teach our children to have a positive body image.
I think accepting our bodies once we become mothers is just plain hard no matter how our birth stories played out. However, more important than the ways we feel our bodies betray us, is all the ways we succeed by being their for our children and spouses. Thank you for your honesty. 🙂
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Liss Lovejoy says
Having a spouse that is supportive is great and I am glad that you are finding peace through writing this blog. You are reaching more people than you know and thank you for writing such a personal post.
Liss Lovejoy recently posted…Andrea Buginsky Releases New Book
Thank you so much for the encouragement!
So true. To me being healthy is eating nutritious, delicious foods, moving my body regularly, having strong and happy relationships and feeling spiritually fulfilled. All four areas are important to feel truly healthy, and as a Certified Health Coach, I work with my clients to find balance in all areas of their life. Kudos to you for realizing that you are a beautiful woman with a beautiful child!
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I think alot of people focus soley on the physical when it involves so much more than that. Thank you for the encouragement! I really appreciate it!
What sweet words you share. I understand the feeling of failure due to an unplanned C-section! Over time and by God’s grace, I have grown to love my surgery scar because it reminds me of the privilege of motherhood. Blessings to you and those you minister to along the way!
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That is how I look at my scar now too! It took me time to embrace it, but it really is an amazing privilege to be a mom!
Thank you for sharing your story. I know it will be an inspiration to so many women who have suffered from this. I’m so glad you were able to overcome this!
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I hope so! 🙂
What a beautifully written, honest post!
Writing is very therapeutic and I love how starting this blog has helped you with your personal journey. I enjoyed reading and learning from your post.
By the way, I had no clue until reading your post that epidurals can fail. You learn something new every day.
Yona recently posted…I Fear for the Future of Our Food…
All I have to say is writing is much cheaper than therapy! HAHAHA!
Mel Caldicott says
Thanks so much for sharing so honestly and so vulnerably. So many of us struggle with our desires for everything to be perfect and how things can turn out so differently. It’s easy to turn our disappointment into guilt and our mourning into bitterness and regret. Yet, God teaches us about grace and beauty – I praise God that His perspective is free to all of us. Beautiful post!
Thanks for sharing at Essential Fridays.
Mel from Essential Thing Devotions
Mel Caldicott recently posted…It’s a Love Story
It really is to easy to let all that disappointment turn into something that is hurtful to ourselves. I have learned so much about God’s grace in this experience, because it truly is His grace that got me through this!
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I’ve been thinking about having kids, but I’m so afraid because I’ve suffered from depression for the most of my adult life. I’m very dependant on other people’s opinion regarding my body image, so it helped me the most to surround myself with positive people. I had been telling myself that I was ugly for all my life (since being a little girl). But now I have more positive friends and a caring boyfriend who often tell me how beautiful I am. I couldn’t accept it at first, but those words eventually became a part of me and now I see that I’m not ugly at all! I can’t believe how much my perception has changed. 🙂 Good luck!
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Accept it! And love yourself! That is soooo important! And when you do have children, you need to shine that through to them! So glad your perception has changed!
Absolutely beautiful. Thank you for opening your heart and sharing your story. It matters.
I have a different battle with my body. Sure, I’d like to be thinner, but that’s small to me. I have chronic fatigue and a chronic headache. I am often angry at my body and at war with myself because I get so frustrated about my limitations. I have so many things I want to do, but so many days I just can’t get out of bed. I’m learning to value the things I can do and the things I’ve learned from my illnesses, but I still get upset sometimes. Thanks for the reminder about what matters.
I’m so glad everything worked out and you and your son are healthy.
misssrobin recently posted…He Got a Job — Why Am I Not Happy?
I am so sorry you are in pain!! I had chronic headaches as well and I went to a chiropractor and massage therapist, and girl, it has helped so much! Have you considered doing that? I pray God’s healing for you!
Crystal @ WisdomSeekingMommy.com says
This post hit very close to home – though I must say I’ve “moved on” from it in many ways, by the grace of God. I too was unable to breastfeed for the full year that I had planned – and I caused my daughter to be technically failing to thrive as she was still under her birthweight at 1 month. My doctors assured me she was fine as she was happy and content, but then we discovered she was only get half an oz a feeding! I was devasted as I was doing all I could to keep my supply up! We started supplementing and she did fine – I continued until she was 4 months old – weighing her after each feeding to monitor how much she ate – one day a whole 10.9 oz! I felt like such a failure – like my body had failed me. I was relieved to discover in many ways though that I have IGT – insufficient glandular tissue – through a rabbit trail I followed on Facebook. I cried and cried as I read story after story of women who like me couldn’t produce much milk – even as they tried every method known. It was sad – and helped me come to terms in some ways though too. I’ve read a lot and studied a lot about health and nutrition, and through it I’ve discovered that sin has really taken it’s toll on our bodies! I’m very thankful though that God chose to both us both with beautiful children!!! Thanks for sharing!
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Oh girl. I was with you! My little boy lost 20% of his birth weight because I wasn’t making enough and I had no idea until he became dehydrated! I felt like a terrible mother!! I exhausted every resource to breastfeed and was on the phone with a lactation consultant so much! I feel for you because it really does hurt when you rely on your body to do what it is suppose to do as a mother, and then it doesn’t work. I’m thankful that God has blesses us both with amazing children and that He has delivered us through that pain! Our God is an Awesome God!!
Isn’t it great that God looks at the inside, not the outside. I’m glad you have found peace and realize your husband loves WHO you are…
Self love is the best gift you can give yourself. It’s great that you’ve found this and you can be a great example to child. I think negative self thinking is starting very young in children and it’s sad. The best way to break the cycle is not only to love your child, but also to love yourself.
It is so sad! I still find myself saying negative things from time to time in front of my husband, but I work so hard to not say anything in front of my child. I really want to instill a love for self and others, and Christ in my children. Negative thinking is starting younger and as parents, we can help put a stop to it in our own children.
As important as a healthy baby is, it isn’t the only important thing. I feel like the idea that a healthy baby is the most important thing discounts the mother and her well-being. It is impossible to separate mother and child, especially a newborn baby. When mother suffers the child experiences it as well. You went through a traumatic experience. Yes, you did what was necessary for your child, but you need to nurture yourself as well. Here’s to finding peace and strength.
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I completely agree. I felt like I missed my son’s first year while I was going through the postpartum depression. Sure, I tended to his needs, but the joy that I should have felt was stolen due to my body image issues and depression. I am so thankful that God delivered me and has used my experience to help others!
Modern Gypsy says
That’s a very brave post! I’ve struggled with body image for a very long time. But no matter what I tried, the wright refused to budge. The reason – I was approaching excercise as a punishment for eating, and food as something sinful. Slowly, I worked around the negativity, took a more positive approach to my body image, and slowly and surely, eatig right and doing some form of exercise whenever I can has helped me start shedding the weight.
Modern Gypsy recently posted…Why book editors should NOT be a dying breed
Been there, my friend. That is hard!! I totally felt that way too. I pray you continue down the path to a positive body image!
I love this post and found it very uplifting. It’s hard to overcome negative body image and I’m sure everyone has struggled with it at some point in their lives. My friend once sent me a picture that said: Do you think God ever gets sad and wonders, “What do you mean you don’t love yourself? I worked so hard on you.” I think about that phrase often when I start to think negatively about myself and that usually puts things in perspective for me.
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I absolutely love love love that quote! It just tugged at my heart!!! WOW!
I really liked your post. It is so much easier to be forgiving of others than it is of ourselves. Good post. Perfection is really for the birds!
Jamie recently posted…My so called Crazy Life
I wrote a post on forgiving ourselves and how important it is. I didn’t realize it, but you really do have to forgive yourself to move on from a burden like that! It’s the perfection infection!! Christ is the cure!
I’m so sorry you had this experience. Post-partum depression is so tough, and it is wonderful to hear of the growth and peace you’ve accomplished.
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Thank you! I really have come a long way, but it’s only by God’s grace!
Lindsey Whitney says
Thanks for sharing this story. I do think how our birth goes matters so much. People downplay it because “a healthy baby” is all that matters, but that’s not really true. It really affects your sense of self, as you clearly experienced. I’m glad that you are able to work through some of these body issues. I know I’m still trying to work off the baby weight and am getting discouraged. I know I just need to buckle down and DO something about it, but time seems to be in short supply around here!
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It really does play a huge role in our emotional well-being after baby gets here. Anytime you get discouraged, pray!! Stop those moments of “stinkin’ thinkin’ and replace it with prayer! God can and will deliver you from feeling that way!
Bill Gelwick says
My wife’s story is freakishly similar. Rather than having to deliver early though, our daughter was a week late. And instead of an emergency C-section, she hemorrhaged after delivery losing about 1/3 of her blood supply. Nausea, drugs that knocked her out, then coming home to an inability to lactate then throwing her back out all added compounded her postpartum depression. Over the nest few years, with other health issues, It’s been a tough row to hoe. Had it not been for God and the support system he placed around us, I don’t know how we would have handled it all. There are still struggles, as there always are, but as long as we know He has our back, it’s all manageable.
Bill Gelwick recently posted…Volume 3 is HERE!
Oh how scary!!! I’m glad she is okay! Postpartum depression sucks. It just flat out sucks. It’s hard on her and its hard on the husband too. I pray that yall will continue to go to the Lord with it all and that He will bless your you!
I’ve been through this also and it wasn’t until the last few months that I’ve become comfortable in my own skin. I gained weight after an accident and I just felt fat and unattractive.
I am so glad you have gotten to the place where you feel comfortable. I pray that you will continue down that path! I totally recommend a book called Body Clutter. I wrote a series on it and the book is amazing!!
Very brave post to write and share with the world! I admire you for your strong will and hope that things start to improve 🙂
Kate recently posted…Memories Series: The Plan
Thank you so much!!!
Angela Bickford says
Girl… I love this story and the reason you write. Truly inspiring! I am going to follow you in every way possible… we are a lot alike and I’d love to connect further. Here’s why:
1. I am an advocate of ‘Blogging Your Truth’. I have a free printable right now on my site (I’m not going to place links because I don’t like doing that on people’s blog, but you know how to find me…) and I often speak on this topic.
2. I just did a post about self-image issues myself, from a totally different perspective. I love yours though, and I can relate. Thank you for sharing!
3. God definitely uses the strangest things to teach us the lessons we need to learn, doesn’t he. I want to share this with you – and I haven’t shared it with the blogging world before now, but it’s so powerful… When I lost my first-born triplet son after 49 days of life (from prematurity), I asked God why he took him – did he not think I could handle 3 at once? Was I not good enough to be a mom of triplets? It took awhile, but what I now realize is that God took him, not because he didn’t think I could handle it, but because he KNEW I COULD. He knew I would use the loss for his glory, that I would end up blogging about it, writing books, etc. Isn’t God amazing?!
4. There’s a ton more, but I don’t want to clog the comment feed. 😉
Hope to connect further soon – so glad I found this blog!!!
Angela Bickford recently posted…I’ve Earned This Cupcake (And Other Lies I Tell Myself)
Thank you so much!!
I am so sorry you lost one of your little one. I can’t imagine and my heart hurts for you. But what a testimony you have of God delivering you and carrying you through that experience, and using it for His glory. God is amazing!!!
I too felt my body failed me, not by my c-section, as I nearly passed out watching the birthing video and knew there was no way that was going to happen, but by my inability four years later to get pregnant. It was hard not understanding how my body could betray me like that. All the fertility drugs in the world couldn’t change the fact that at 39, I was going through early menopause. I have no idea why, and neither do the doctors, but it worked out fine. God led us down the path to adoption and in 2001 we adopted our daughter from Russia. Even though I loved her from the beginning, and knew she was meant to be ours, I had a hard time forgiving myself for this failure. It takes a lot of love, from yourself and everyone.
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It’s amazing how God can make everything work out to His perfect plan in the end! He had that little one planned for you. How awesome is that! I pray you have found perfect peace in your story. You are so right; it does take love, especially from yourself, to be able to move on from feeling like our bodies betrayed us. But God made something beautiful out of it! You are a mommy to a little girl who God had planned for you from the beginning. How cool is that!?
Such an amazingly powerful story, Stephanie! THANK YOU for being willing to share such a painful and personal story. Many of us have had a similar experience. I know that I have (induced labor, c-section, difficulty producing enough breast milk), yet we feel like we would be seen as “ungrateful” to verbalize how impactful these challenges can be on our psyche. You are blessed with a wonderful and supportive husband, and your faith has gotten you through. I pray that your post inspires many others!!!
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Exactly! I hate being seen as “ungrateful” but that experience really does impact us emotionally. Thank you so much for the encouragement!
Julie @ Growing Days says
I understand how frustrated you were that your expectations weren’t met when you had your child. It seems that it should be such a perfect, happy time–that your birth plan is in place, and that’s how it will be, right? Our first two children completely easy pregnancies and natural births, as planned. But then…there’s #3! We tease him about what a troublemaker he was! After two perfect pregnancies and deliveries, I never expected there to be any difference with a third child. However, at 31 weeks, I started bleeding. Badly. I was admitted to the hospital, where I stayed for more than a week, getting pumped full of drugs to help with the baby’s lung development. And then, i was sent home on bed rest. Bed rest? Me? With a 14-year-old and a 4 -year-old, plus elderly parents nearby who needed help, how could I manage bed rest? I was so, so distraught–but determined to have a healthy baby. My husband was a super hero, managing everything and everyone during this crazy time. And then, at 35 weeks–I started bleeding again. Back to the hospital, where I thought they’d make me remain until closer to my due date. But no–just after my husband had left to take the other children home, the doctor decided that it was time to have a baby. Back came my husband after dropping off the kids, walking in just as I was getting an epidural–and walking right out again–HA! I refused the epidural, because I wanted a natural birth like the others. My doctor, though, a no-nonsense guy informed me that there was a good likelihood that I would need a c-section, due to the issues with the baby, and if I did not have an epidural, they would have to sedate me and I’d miss his birth. That was argument enough for me! Yes, I was disappointed with how things happened, but the end result was a beautiful, perfect baby boy. Even though he was early, he only needed a week in the hospital to master his sucking reflex. Was it a perfect experience? No. Did my body fail me? Well, yes and no. All ended well, which was what mattered. Do i look at my body and see perfection? HA! Still, with all of it’s flaws, it’s pretty amazing to think what it accomplished–three amazing, wonderful kids!
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Girl, you inspire me!!! You are exactly right. It wasn’t a perfect experience, but it did result in a perfect baby. My little guy is now 2 1/2 and a fiesty, full of life, perfect gift from God! And you are right, our bodies did accomplish something amazing! After all, we did grow little humans! 😉
Angel Burch says
Very brave post. I have suffered with body dysmorphia for years. When I was thin I thought I was fat, when I gained weight I thought I could loose it quickly and failed – and got depressed when I had to go on steroids that made me gain even more weight. I too had to realize, I was ‘fearfully and wonderfully made’ and that only my faith in God could help me overcome because I had no faith in myself.
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It amazes me how He can deliver us!!! What an awesome God! Thankful He delivered us both!
I went through these same struggles when my son was born. Thank for the reminder that God is faithful to see us through all of our struggles, and that God looks at our hearts not our bodies!
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He is always faithful!!!
Emily Hendrix says
Definitely needed to hear this today. It’s so frustrating to have lost so much weight after baby number 2 and still feel unhappy with the way I look. We took an awesome vacation last week but all I can see in our photos is how heavy I am. I really need to learn that it’s not about calories, or exercise or the number on the scale but letting God transform the way I see myself. Right now, it’s not good. And it’s frustrating.
I know it is frustrating, and it hurts. The best advice I can give you is anytime you begin to think negative thoughts about your body: pray. Pray pray pray! Ask God to help you transform the way you look at yourself. Post affirmations where you will see them. Post bible verses where you will see them. Listen to uplifting christian songs. Fill your thoughts with Christ every time you think something negative. He can deliver you from that! Praying for you friend!