When I got pg with my first baby I weighed 108 pounds and was a former long distance runner. I was proud of my body. I gained an unbelieveable 65 pounds. After I started pumping milk for my baby (she never learned to latch right) I went from an A to a D cup. In the next nine months after her birth I lost all but 4 of those pounds, and all of the breast tissue, and they looked like deflated balloons for awhile. But my skin was still young, I had some major tummy stretch marks but I still had a flat tummy, and that’s all that matters under clothes, right?
Enter the 30’s and baby number two. I only gained about 45 with her, but I was on bedrest and not active at all. Those abs that separated with first baby separated even more with the second. My skin is not as young. More stretch marks. Okay so I did get some hips with baby #2, at least a wee bit of a hint of hips. And a butt. Never had that before. Now at 2.5 years beyond the birth of baby #2 I am only 12 pounds heavier now than I was before I had any kids at all. But my body is oh so different. My arms are fatter, my butt is bigger, and my hips have expanded. I cannot even begin to fit into the same size 6 shorts. I look back at old photos of myself and wonder who that was, and if she appreciated her thin-ness as much as I appreciate the priveledge of becoming a mother.
I am not ashamed of my body. I am, on most days, secure with it now. If I can find clothes that flatter me, I’m happy. I have stretch marks. I have flabby skin. If I lose another 12 pounds and become thin as a stick again, I will still have flabby skin. Some of us get the great skin and some don’t. Oh well.
Quite frankly, I’m damned proud of those stretch marks. I earned them. I think they are, in their own way, beautiful. When I’m 80 years old I will still be able to trace my finger on my tummy and know exactly where my babies curled up within me. Time will never take that privilege away from me.
Here are some photos: