i’ve been visiting this site for nearly two years now and, since the beginning, i’ve wanted to submit my story. i am a 30 year old mother to two sons, aged 3 and 18 months. we are currently expecting our third baby, through international adoption. my husband and i were married in june of 2004, and two months later we found out that we were pregnant with our first child. i was, on my wedding day, *thinner* than i’d ever been since high school, weighing about 135 pounds at 5’7″. very quickly, in pregnancy, (many thanks to emotional eating coupled with milkshakes, and peanut butter m&ms) i gained nearly 80 pounds. somehow, i thought that all of my pregnancy weight would just “melt away.” my lowest weight between baby number 1 and baby number 2 was 152 pounds. now, a year and a half after the birth of our second child, i weigh about 13 more pounds than i did the day we were married, when i was at my *thinnest.* today, i am stronger than ever before. in may, i completed my first half marathon (something i NEVER could have done when i weighed 135 pounds.) i’ve run over 500 miles in the past year. i’m currently training for another 13.1 mile race, and i’m working towards a 200 mile, 10 person relay. while i don’t absolutely love the body that i see in the mirror every single day (especially not its stretch marked tummy or “pancake-y” breasts) i stand in awe of what it has accomplished; my body carried two strong, healthy baby boys to 41 weeks and 2 days (each!), it endured two natural childbirths (the first one totaling about 20 hours, with nearly 4 hours of drug free pushing!), it’s nourished and sustained and comforted and carried and protected two amazing little boys who are in love with every single inch of their mama. and, it’s being loved now, by my husband, like it’s thinner self never would have dreamed possible. (my body truly is a wonderland.) as i wait, now, for my third child to come home to us, i realize that there is so much more to the shape of a mother than her outstretched stomach, her rippled thighs, her c-section scar or her wrangled belly button. what’s more important are the marks left, the changes made, inside of her. while i may not be showing, my heart is fully expecting.