Pregnancies/Births: 2/1 (girl, 18 mos)
I anguish over my loose skin and stretch marks. I have not gotten to a place of comfort or acceptance of my body, much less a place of pride over the story my ravaged body tells. I don’t understand how my husband can love such damaged goods, or how he could ever want to be intimate with me.
Something important occurred to me today though. My husband happens to have a ravaged body as well. At 22 years old and with a congenital heart defect, he has had 2 open heart surgeries and 2 angioplasties. He has a long, wide “zipper” scar on his chest. Another huge scar on his back. 2 more on his side from chest tubes. Both sides of his groin from the angioplasties. Many stretch marks from periods of weight fluctuation from medications.
And would it surprise any of you if I said I find him sexy? That I desire him? That when I see his scars, I see strength and a survival? Of course it wouldn’t. If anything, his scars make me love him a little more. And even if your partners don’t have scars such as these, everyone has something they don’t like about themselves, something that chips away at their self confidence. But we love our partners just the same, whether they are physically different from what is widely considered to be the ideal, yes?
Anyway, my husband sees the same in me that I see in him. He sees beauty in every mark on my body. Every one of them. Stretch marks are not a sign of weakness or failure. They’re a testament to the resilience of our bodies and the pure love it takes to physically grow and harbor another human being for almost a year. A mother’s body is so amazing, it is almost not even fully comprehensible to me. My husband knows that, and it makes me the most beautiful woman in the world to him.
So why do I still beat myself up do much? Why do I find myself so disgusting? Why do we all have so much trouble accepting and loving ourselves when we readily accept and love our partners, family, friends, even total strangers (like on this website)? I guess it just takes time, or life experience. I don’t know. I’m only 23, I don’t exactly have years of wisdom to shape my ideas and opinions. I just hope that we all find peace with our bodies, sooner rather than later. I think the women on this site are incredible and brave for posting. And I hope my ramblings help somebody out there feel better today :)
Photo #1 is at 5 mos pregnant, #2 is my Adalia :)