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My New Body (Ashleigh)

I have been cruel to my new body, berating it, resenting it, and comparing it to my “old” body. Which I yearn for every time my husband looks at me, every time I catch a glimpse of my own reflection. I tend to forget the level of contempt I held for my “old” body when it was the one I lived in. I want to change the way I view my body now, I want to appreciate the experiences which have shaped it and proudly proclaim adoration for it.

My hands which were once polished and smooth, filed and unblemished, are now chipped and calloused.But they still paint and caress, type, clap and sketch. They are just fuller now, full of laundry, dishes, tiny fingers, toys, blankies, binkies and graham crackers. At first glance, my hands are undistinguished, they don’t ooze of femininity, decorated and bejeweled, but my hands are important, they wipe and wash, they heal and cheer, they guide and protect. I love my new hands.

My arms are no longer slender and tan. They are plump and pale, frequently hidden by long sleeved shirts. But they have the power to fix things, to make everything better with an enveloping hug. They have the power to express love beyond compare, to ignite intimacy and create solidarity. I love my new arms.

My stomach is no longer flat or smooth. Its convex curves spill over my jeans, causing me constant frustration. But it is where my daughters grew, where I kept them safe until they were ready to enter the world. It is where they love to snuggle. The shallow pink ridges along the surface are a reminder of my greatest accomplishment. My stomach is soft to touch, a place my husband’s hand often sweeps across, a reminder of his love, a show of appreciation for the gifts my body given us. I love my new stomach.

My legs are no longer slender, they touch when I walk and are dimpled in places I wish were smooth. But my legs allow me to walk beside my husband, to run and play. My legs are strong, they allow me to lift both of my girls, to carry them, to jump with them, to chase them. I love my new legs.

My body is not perfect. It is no longer perky, or tan and or slender. But my body is strong, my body lives, my body gives life. I love my new body.

in Belly, Postpartum, Second Pregnancy, Submissions

18 comments… add one

  • Colleen Friday, April 29, 2011, 8:22 am

    So beautiful, thank you.

  • Caity Friday, April 29, 2011, 10:01 am

    What a fantastic poem! You are an inspiration! Thank you :-D

  • Kayla Friday, April 29, 2011, 11:57 am

    I love this. Made me cry. Thank you. I needed that. You are beautiful. :)

  • DL Friday, April 29, 2011, 12:52 pm

    I love this so much : )

  • angels mom Friday, April 29, 2011, 2:45 pm

    im just like u i have been sitting around obessing over my body not being able to get pass the fact that i feel it jiggle when i walk and when i go running at night trying fix this stomach that i feel is not acceptable i touch it just feel it jiggle while i run i check the mirror evryday ten twenty xs mayb more just to see if its guin down and sumtimes i try forget hhow looks and i touch ma stomach and feel the stretch marks and it feels wrinkley and i try get ma daughter to touch it though she is 8 mnths i wish she could tell me she loves it so i could feel better i try make my boyfriend touch it massage em its beccome a total obbesssion i want feel like me again i never want yo worry bout ppl callin me fat and asking me if im pregnant again or wen am i going loose the weight i want yo stop wearing sweat pants and big shirts and being scared get my hair done cause i dont feel worthy enoght sit next those girl my age i just had share i think your wonderful and brave and i wish i could see things your way

  • Christi Friday, April 29, 2011, 4:49 pm

    This made me cry, too. And it is so true- I didnt appreciate the body I once had until it was gone and I desired it’s return. What an incredible perspective to keep… Thank you.

  • Tiphanie Friday, April 29, 2011, 10:59 pm

    GREAT!!!! Thanks for sharing :)

  • momismyjob Saturday, April 30, 2011, 4:33 pm

    THANK YOU! I needed this! You made me cry, too, but in a good, healing way. :o)

  • Cherie Saturday, April 30, 2011, 9:38 pm

    Loved this! Eventhough I crave for my “old” body also, I have always had a strange love for my stretchmarks. I earned them. They are a constant reminder of my greatest accomplishment. Every time I look at them I smile because it makes me remember my pregnancies and the two beautiful daughters I received at the end of them.

  • sara Sunday, May 1, 2011, 1:01 pm

    Wow that was amazing, so true in everyway, this just makes me feel really grateful for what i have been given. we should be proud of our bodies, whatever shape stretch marks or not. thank u for sharing that.x

  • sara Sunday, May 1, 2011, 1:02 pm

    Oh by the way u have a lovely tummy an belly button!

  • amy Monday, May 2, 2011, 4:26 pm

    Thank you! your words are so inspirational! this is exactly what i needed!

  • Donna Monday, May 2, 2011, 7:25 pm

    Wow! I just stumbled onto this site from the Today article… I’d never heard of it, and yours was the first post I read. It’s just what I needed to read right now. Thank you for sharing a new perspective. I’m finally ready mentally & emotionally to work on getting healthy again, to be grateful for the gifts we didn’t think we could have. Here I go on this journey (I’ve made it a whole week now!), and this was a great place to start.
    Thanks for the healing tears!

  • Christy Wednesday, May 4, 2011, 7:51 am

    Thank you for your beautiful words and point of view. They brought tears of love to my eyes!

  • Karen Wednesday, May 4, 2011, 10:40 am

    That was simply beautiful!!

    Thank you!

  • Jessica Thursday, May 5, 2011, 4:18 pm

    Thank you for your sharing that. I think it was what I’ve needed to hear. Makes realize how much I’ve taken my my body for granted and helps me to appreciate it that much more.

  • Bud Kirkpatrick Saturday, May 7, 2011, 4:55 pm

    When you become a mother, the whole concept of beauty changes from the physical to the spiritual: the stretch marks, the loss of perfection of the breasts suddenly is no longer the measure of beauty, the inner glow, the commitment of motherhood is the definition of your beauty now!!

  • Jackie Tuesday, July 26, 2011, 9:11 am

    oh wow. exactly what ive been feeling lately- took the words out of my mouth! THANKS for this!!

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