This is my third submission to SOAM. My first was 2.5 years after my first son was born by Cesarean. My second was 1 month after my successful home VBAC. Now my VBAC baby is about to turn 1 year old and my journey with this body continues.
I haven’t worn a bikini since before my first son was born. I definitely had the body for it then, but after my kids, not so much. I was just a little too flabby, a little too dimply, a little too saggy, to be “good enough” to show off. Even though I had a body that my other mom friends envied, I wore a tankini with a full skirt in the pool.
Now that I am about to celebrate the victory of my triumphant VBAC, I am reflecting on how amazing my body really is and what spectacular gifts it can give me, not only in the form of my children, but in raw power. Despite what doctors told me, despite what people said to me, I know my body is awesome. And when we took our first family vacation to the beach this summer, I finally felt comfortable enough to show it off.
And do you know what I saw? I noticed lots of other mommies, young ones, older ones, moms of all ages and shapes, in their bikinis too. Dimply thighs, flabby tummys, floppy boobs and all. We were all there to have fun and soak up the sun with our families, not to look perfect and be admired. I realized that once you become a mom, it’s OKAY to be less than perfect. The “mom body” is expected and accepted. It makes me a little sad to know that for women who are not yet or won’t be moms, the onus of looking like Barbie might never go away. But once your body has carried and birthed a child, the only people who demand it to look like it did before are ourselves. No one else cares. This realization was very freeing, and I thoroughly enjoyed my vacation.
Here is a photo of me and my VBAC baby, who will be one year old on August 14th. I am 26 years old. My first child will be 5 next month.