While being pregnant so many mothers would make negative comments about how my body was going to change and about all the awful things that happened to theirs post baby. Many would snarkily remark, “say good bye to that body” or, “your body will NEVER ever be the same”, “I got these saddlebags from my babies”, or “if you breastfeed say goodbye to those perky boobs”. I didn’t like those comments then and I don’t like them now. Not because I was being naive and imagined that those same things wouldn’t happen to me and not because my body didn’t actually do any of those things because it most certainly did.
My body changed so much during pregnancy. I knew it would change after but I wasn’t prepared for how much it actually did. I remember staring at myself the day after I gave birth. Staring at a belly that looked at least 6 months pregnant with the addition of wrinkly droopy skin hanging from it and I remember thinking….OK… This is OK. I can live with this. Even if my belly stays like this forever it is a very small price to pay for what I received in return. Now 2 years and a lot of hard work later and I’m technically back to my pre-pregnancy size but everything sits a little differently. My hips, my abs, breasts and thighs, it’s like Picasso got a hold of me and jumbled everything around. Styles and clothes that used to fit before or used to be flattering no longer are. It’s taken time to adjust and adapt to this new body but I can honestly say I love the body I have now more than the one I had before.
There is so much strength and beauty in this body. It continually amazes me in the beauty of it’s design and the miraculous things it has accomplished. It was strong and healthy enough to grow, nourish and carry a tiny human for 42 weeks. It was strong enough to endure a 32 hour labor without any form of pain medication. It’s been strong enough to continue feed and nourish a little boy. It’s the reason he transformed from a wrinkly, scrawny newborn into a deliciously chunky and full cheeked, healthy baby boy and then again into a long, lean, strong and oh so busy toddler. Even now as it continues to change every added line and every bit of softness, every curve, tells a story, a story of life, of strength, a story of growth but most of all a story of love
When I look at all of the physical changes in my body instead of seeing imperfections or something that needs to be hidden and ashamed of I see only strength and beauty. In the little pouch of skin around my lower navel I see the place my son called home for the first 9 months of his life. In my small, deflated and slightly lower breasts I see the source that nourished my son for 2.5 years and the bond that formed thru this connection. In the deep creases above my brow I see sleepless nights my forehead furrowed in worry for the little life I cherish more than my own. In the laugh lines around my mouth and crinkles around my eyes I see unspeakable joy and happiness, and a level of love unlike any other. In every wrinkle, every line, every crease I see our story and the depth of a mothers love. These lines will grow deeper and deeper as will our love. Our journey is tattooed all over my body, on display for all to see. I’ll wear these marks of motherhood with pride and cherish these little reminders of the most amazing miracle I’m so grateful to have had a very small part in. The miracle of truly selfless love, the miracle of life.