Reality Blog: The Shape of a Mother

“One day I sat in a restaurant in Anaheim, California eating breakfast, when a woman passed by my table with her infant carrier in tow. As she lifted it up to fit between the tables, her shirt raised and I saw that, although she was at a healthy weight and her body was fit, she had that same extra skin hanging around her belly that I do.”

That quote is from the introduction to The Shape of a Mother Blog (NSFW) where moms “share images of our bodies during and after pregnancy so we can see what real women look like.” It is Not Safe for Work due to nudity. The NSFW designation is the blogger’s own; I’m not making a political statement about women’s bodies.

A don’t-miss area of the blog is the reader submissions section. Unfortunately, it’s ginormous with the full text and photos of every blog entry on a single page—it takes forever to load.

What can I say as a dad? Before my first child, I had no clue about such things as stretch marks. I’ve tried to convince my wife to have them tattooed into lightning bolts, but she remains unconvinced. I’m hoping to one day find a photo example of that type of tattoo, but every “stretch marks and tattoos” website seems focused on how stretch marks affect pre-existing tattoos. Oh well.

I discovered The Shape of a Mother while looking for an amazing time lapse photo collage of a triplet belly that has been floating around web social networks for a year or more. Each time it resurfaces, the hosting web server has its bandwidth maxed out before I can write about it. This version is hopefully reliable.

Twenty one photos of a mother's belly as it grows to accommodate triplets, followed by wrinkled flabby skin after birth, plus a photo of the three happy babies.

That’s a sneak peek. View the blog post and the full-size image.


8 Responses to “Reality Blog: The Shape of a Mother”

  1. thordora says:

    I will never, ever complain about mine ever again.

    I submitted my own pictures long ago when the site first started. It was very freeing and cathartic, and seeing other women who looked like me reminded me that it’s not just my belly that bears memories of pregnancy-it’s nearly every woman.

    January 17th, 2008 at 3:38 am

  2. Tracie says:

    What a relief to finally see the reality of a woman’s body after birth! It is such a downer to constantly hear how such and such celebrity lost their baby weight 10 weeks after birth, or how they complain that their bodies aren’t the same when they’ve just given birth. We should celebrate all mother’s bodies and worry about nourishing and loving our children instead of how quickly we are allowed to start exercising after birth! I have sag in places that I never had it before, but I have two beautiful and healthy children and so my body is really my badge of honor!

    January 17th, 2008 at 2:15 pm

  3. CallMeKelly says:

    You really Rock for posting this! I immediately had to share the link with all my friends… I think this can have a huge impact, especially for people who have body issues (read almost all of current American society) and a great way to normalize the beauty that each mother has.

    Thank you for the link!

    January 18th, 2008 at 2:32 am

  4. Will says:

    I believe it worth noting to your readers, that this website has been known to take images off of flickr and repost them without the permission of the individual(s) that may have taken that photo. I know this because a couple of shots I’d taken of my wife while she was pregnant were posted on their without my permission. To this day they are still on their despite the fact that I asked them to be removed.

    January 22nd, 2008 at 9:09 pm

  5. mk says:

    re: stretch marks…i don’t think you can tattoo on scar tissue.

    thank you for the site link -very cool!

    January 23rd, 2008 at 11:28 am

  6. Ica says:

    Wow this is amazing to see how far along someone could carry triplets. I was pregnant with triplets but only made it to 24 weeks in my pregnancy before I had an emergency C-section to deliver. Unfortunately 2 of my babies didn’t make it. They were just too tiny but they are watching over their little brother from above. Anyways, despite how bad my body seem to be after the pregnancy, I didn’t really mind. All I could remember is when I held 3 beautiful little lives inside of me. And that is the best feeling in the world.

    December 18th, 2009 at 10:03 am

  7. Yuni says:

    Wow, Im so glad you didnt blow up, Your babies are beautiful.. My belly looked like your at the 38 weeks my son was born when you were 20 weeks

    June 17th, 2010 at 1:44 pm

  8. Sarah says:

    I remember finding this site when I was just 8 weeks pregnant with triplets… I have used this as a reference for my own pregnancy… Now, 5 months post partum, I look pretty much exactly like this picture! Ugh! So frusterating to be 25 and know I will NEVER be in a bikini again… HOWEVER, I DO have three wonderful peas and I would go through it ALL OVER AGAIN and let my belly get 10 times worse for them!

    July 24th, 2010 at 2:18 am