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The Shape of One Year

July 5, 2007

Exactly one year ago today, I took a photo of my baby and myself while my daughter napped. I opened up a new blog and passed the link around to some friends. I hoped beyond hope that a few moms might see it, I waited tensely for a day or so, hoping someone would join in and begging my own friends to participate. And then it happened. Word spread faster than I could have dreamed – like wildfire! Moms sent in their pictures, thoughts, stories to share with all of us. It was clear that mothers were desperate for this kind of relief – to know they were normal. I was brought to tears by the response and the relief I felt worldwide from all the women who responded.

I’ve been touched by this site in ways I never dreamed. I knew I would feel relief and I imagined I might redefine my definition of “beauty”, but I never expected to be changed this much. I never dreamed the lessons I would learn from all my sisters in motherhood here.

I learned that not only do some mothers wear their marks with pride, but others dream to be given the chance to grow their own.

While I knew not all babies survived, never have I been intimately aware of the story of a mother who has lost her child. There have been many such stories shared here, some where mothers were left with no marks (and thus no physical memory) of their journey through nine months, others were left with bitter reminders. A couple of mothers have continued to share their updates here as their families grow again.

I have been rather starstruck by a few of the moms who have posted here, the creator of Hathor, for instance. I remember one day, many months ago now, the whole internet was in a tizzy over one mother who was birthing her triplets at home – we were all following her story at the mothering.com forums. I didn’t know her at the time, but she posted here a few months later and shared her story with us.

A great diversity of moms have shared their stories, and I am ever-grateful to have so many different kinds of women represented here. Women of all sizes, women whose bodies were forever changed because of health complications they had no control over – and were lucky to survive, women whose physical changes are not possible to hide from the world. Women whose bodies have been changed drastically, and those who have virtually no physical reminders.

I’ve been witness to some pretty cool links on the internet like this one, showing the growth of a belly in just 20 seconds. I’ve seen some amazing photography from our Flickr group. I’ve read some touching thoughts on the subject. I’ve seen the effects of complications.

On a few occasions, this site has been featured in the media. I’m still in shock that less than a month after it’s birth, The Guardian, in London, did a story. And, more recently (and our first US recognition), our story on CBS3.com.

All in all, it’s been an amazing year. Stunning, inspiring, touching, tearful, lovely,magical. I feel like a difference has been made in the world – even if just a tiny one. But even a tiny difference can snowball into a revolution if we work hard enough at it. In this upcoming year and the years to come, I fully intend to feed that snowball. I’ve got some really amazing ideas for where to go with this website and plan to start work on them ASAP.

So thank you all, each and every one of you. I may be here putting the stories up daily (OK, almost daily), but without YOU there would be no stories. And without YOU, there would be no one to read the stories or to pass on the link. Without YOU, there would be no one to grow this revolution in favor of real bodies. Bless you all, and pass it on!

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6 Responses to “The Shape of One Year”

  1. Trenton Says:
    July 5th, 2007 at 10:38 pm

    Happy Anniversary!

    Definitely looking forward to the future!

    Thank you so much, Bonnie for this blog and your efforts. Thank you to your family for letting you do this and supporting you.

    Many thanks and blessings,

    Trenton

  2. Diva Says:
    July 6th, 2007 at 4:01 am

    You HAVE made a difference, Bonnie!!! This site is so wonderful, you have really done an amazing thing!!! I hope you never shut it down!! And one day, soon-ish, I might even get the courage up to contribute myself!!! :)

  3. Katharine Says:
    July 6th, 2007 at 5:38 am

    Happy anniversary, you wonderful blog, you! And Bonnie, thank you for birthing and nurturing it. My husband and sons like looking at all the photos with me, which makes them remember my breastfeeding and my lovely stretch marks.

  4. Stephanie Says:
    July 6th, 2007 at 7:17 am

    A whole year, and congratulations! Thank you, as well. Posting on your site has given me something very solid back, something i can feel welling and growing in my heart — a confidence and a love for myself I guess. As a young mom, I often feel so much self-doubt. I never thought that addressing that doubt would be as easy as taking a picture of my belly. I feel so beautiful and am reminded, thanks to you and your wonderful idea, of the potential I possess.

  5. Lindsay Says:
    July 6th, 2007 at 8:44 am

    Thank you so much for having the courage to create this site. It has been a godsend for my self esteem. No one ever tells you about the after effects of children on your body and mind! Now I know I am not alone but am amongst most of womankind throughout the world in my journey of motherhood. I check your site almost daily and am thankful for it. I can’t wait to get pregnant again and post some pictures with all my stretchmarks in all my glory to show the world.
    Thank you from a 24 yr old mommy of two girls..

  6. Shelly Says:
    July 6th, 2007 at 4:25 pm

    I am able to accept my body a little better because of this site. Thank you for bringing this to everyone’s attention!

    Happy Anniversary

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