Original post here.
A few years ago, in 2009, I submitted a picture and piece about the liberation of my breasts. As a mom of three at the time I was trying hard to liberate myself from body hatred, while learning to love my changed body.
Now, two more kids later, for a total of five kids breastfed for 3+ years each, my breasts are still the love vessels they always have been. Whether my nipples are laying down looking tired or up and ready for the cold (or something else), they’ve supplied sustenance for life and they continue to hold the potential for pleasure. Although they look way different than before kids, they’re still part of me and my almost forty one year old sensual body.
Reclaiming my body after directly creating, birthing and nurturing five lives with it for fifteen years plus is an interesting process and I’m not always sure what to expect along the way. During one birth I injured my pelvic muscles, resulting in the need for physical therapy to repair and strengthen my sacred pelvic bowl. My belly is now squishy and soft, as I continue to gradually support and strengthen the muscle underneath. My skin is stretched and wrinkles when I pull in my tummy. My breast’s perky days are done, instead traded in for breasts which are soft and stretched, shifting into little puddles on my chest when I lay down. All of this fluctuates depending on the position of my body, levels of activity, rest, nutritional intake and hydration.
Overall, my body has changed and grown, changed some more and now that I’m complete with my child bearing I’m very grateful for all it has provided and continues to provide for me and my family. My body is my tree of life and more than anything, love is what it needs, and so love is what I am learning to give it – soft squishy breasts, stretch marked belly and all.