(I really intended to do this earlier – I mean there are parts of the United States where it is not even Monday anymore – but last week got so very busy and I am only now beginning to catch up!)
Strangely, I am now thankful for the “baby pouch” that hangs in the vicinity of what used to be my stomach. I was tearfully and harshly judging my hanging stretchmarked skin one day when my husband asked me what was wrong. I held my stomach in my hands and said, ” I hate this thing… Look!” “Its awful!”
My husband hugged me and put his hand on my stomach, I wanted to scream “For goodness sake don’t touch it!” but he just kissed me and said, “I love the baby pouch, you just need to remember it is where you carried our boys when they were tiny little babies, I think you’re beautiful.” How did he get so darn insightful? Of course, there are times I wish it wasn’t there, but not so often anymore. I realize it is part of being a woman, more importantly being a mother and for that I thankful.
I am constantly learning and re-learning to love my body. It has endured much change over the last ten years. About a year and a half ago, I gave birth to healthy boy/girl twins at 38 weeks, 1 day. I am 5’ 2” and the babies’ weight totaled more than 12 lbs. While I had not escaped stretch marks entirely after the birth of my son 5 years prior, I had lost all my baby weight plus another 10 lbs. My body was by no means perfect, but was no worse the wear. After the twins were born, and my weight started to go down, I was left with an excess of very saggy, very accordion-like skin on my stomach. There are days that I look in the mirror in near-horror. I take a deep breath, close my eyes, and realize that I traded my stomach for two healthy, full-term babies. I know that I have been beyond blessed with these little lives and that the trade-off was well worth it. There are many out there who would trade places with me (and my body) in a heart beat. I know I have much to give thanks for: body, babies, and more.
I will be sharing thoughts from our readers during the week about the things we struggle to be thankful for. If you’d like to participate, e-mail me your thoughts to firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll post this sometime this week.