Molly Dermody (30), Ella (10), Britton (7), and Huck (4)
Molly shares -
"I got pregnant for the first time when I was only 19 years old, and although I had some run-of-the-mill complaints about my body, I was pretty thin, wore a bikini and felt comfortable in my body. Through my first pregnancy I gained a lot of weight, my hips spread, my breast grew rapidly and I got stretch marks in places I didn't even know it was possible to get stretch marks. It was like my body had been taken oven, and that was even before the birth!
The experience of birthing and nursing a baby, and then doing it again and again once more, was very transformative and empowering for me. I felt proud of myself for growing, birthing and nourishing 3 babes. And yet, I had decided after that first child that my body was no longer beautiful or desirable because it would never be how it was when I was 19. I wept over the idea that I'd never wear a bikini again (it sounds so silly but it felt devastating at the time). It has been a ten year journey to reconcile those two intense feelings and learn to feel love for my body in its current shape.
Two years ago, after leaving an 8 year marriage in which I never felt that I was good enough, I came face to face with the body stuff. My life began to take new form and I lost a good amount of weight and entered into a world of experiencing intimacy with men who'd never seen my body like this- men who hadn't "signed up for it" like I felt my ex-husband had, being the impregnator and all. I found myself amazed that anyone would want to see my body or could possible find it attractive and I decided that I needed to fearlessly do the work myself, to stop telling myself I wasn't worthy or attractive. I decided to wear a two piece swimsuit last summer, stretch marks, flab and all. It was really comfortable! I felt great, and no one fell over in disgust at seeing my stomach! I decided to kick some more negative self image to the curb and do this too. I hope my children see these photos when they're older and marvel about their mother's young shape, her breasts that sagged from years of pregnancy and lactation, her stomach that grew and shrank a home to each of them, and all the curves they snuggled and kissed and wept on throughout their formative years.
You are young and you are worthy of love and you have the best and hardest years ahead of you but your strength with only grow and become solidified. Trust the process.