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Transformation (Erron)

August 18, 2009

Age: 31
Number of pregnancies: Seven pregnancies, two successful
The age of my children: 2 aged 4, 1 aged 2, and 1 on the way

When expecting our first baby I remember going to my 20 week ultrasound in my regular pants. I couldn’t wait to start looking pregnant. After two years of trying, and waiting, we were finally on our way to having a baby light our house with his or her own brand of sunshine and happiness. I delighted in my pregnancy, I consciously thought out my meals, so they were balanced, I took my vitamins, exercised lightly, and, all in all, had the perfect pregnancy. At the end of my pregnancy I had gained 25 lbs and didn’t have a single stretch mark. I should have been the world’s happiest woman, except I wasn’t. Our Kate died just before she was born; our delivery room was silent when she arrived.

A week after she was born my body made that amazing Hollywood like change that would have left one guessing whether I was ever actually pregnant. I was so sad. I had absolutely nothing to show for my pregnancy. People would later tell me “Don’t tell people that you made out so well, other women will hate you with jealousy” Who ever thought it would be me jealous of those who’s pregnancies left their bodies transformed? I longed for one stretch mark to prove she had actually existed, just one tiny one. My tummy only showed signs of the baby within for a few days. The comments that, at least, I looked great at the funeral where a slap in the face, really is that what you chose to say, did I really look great?

The truth is we’re all made up of different genetic material. I went on to have twins and another singleton, and amazingly enough I still have no stretch marks. I ate no special diet and slathered no expensive creams on my belly. My body springs back quite quickly, with no miracle exercise regime. I’m lucky, I guess. Nursing three babies exclusively (yep you can nurse twins and never have to supplement, women you are equipped and powerful) have left my, never were A cups, in somewhat dismal shape. My hips have always been a bit on the largish side leaving my upper body super out of proportion. I don’t love the way I look, but it’s how I’ve been remolded.

Some of us will go to accept, and eventually love our bodies, others will not, opting instead to change the outside to better live in their skins. Instead of either group working to make the other one feel bad, or less valuable. Let’s open our eyes to the bigger transformation, the one that takes no physical form, the metamorphosis we make from women to mothers. I love watching my friends embark on the journey of pregnancy and motherhood. I fascinate at the changes these women are able to make within their character to make way for a new being. This is our biggest change, and it is our most remarkable undertaking. No matter who we are on the outside, we all want the same thing for our children, room to grow, happiness, and love. How we provide that, is as diverse as our physical appearance.

I know now that no mark would make Katie more remembered, she lives within me, my husband, and my children. I have grown as a mother in many challenging ways starting with stillbirth, then having a son who works harder than most to overcome Autism, and it’s many challenges to him and to our family, also by having two other little girls who are seeking to find their roles and carve out their spots in our family, and by the three other early losses all at varying times in my life. Pregnant again, I wonder, if there is any room left for me to grow, but I know the growth of a mother is ever expandable. I wear my stretch marks on my heart, you can’t see them with your eyes, but ask me to show them to you, and I will share the stories that have changed my shape in seemingly impossible ways.

Embrace yourself as a mother, whether able to stand naked in front of a mirror boldly and love yourself, or as a woman who feels more comfortable undressing with the curtains tightly closed with the lights off, and do not forget to embrace other mothers whether they share your sense of self or not.

081809-erron-1
Holding Katie’s hand

081809-erron-2
Twin Tummy

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35 Responses to “Transformation (Erron)”

  1. Shannon Says:
    August 18th, 2009 at 9:31 am

    My son passed away when he was 19 months…it is the most difficult thing a parent will ever go through. Our babies are up in Heaven, happy and playing…we will be with them again some day. I love your twin belly!

  2. AW Says:
    August 18th, 2009 at 11:01 am

    beautifully written

  3. cait Says:
    August 18th, 2009 at 2:00 pm

    What a truly amazing story. So inspiring.. Kate is lucky to have such a lovely mother and she was much too special for this world god decided he wanted her with him.

  4. susy Says:
    August 18th, 2009 at 2:36 pm

    Hun, This brought tears to my eyes. You are such a strong woman.

  5. hillary Says:
    August 18th, 2009 at 5:44 pm

    I read somewhere that once you carry a child, you retain some fetal cells in your blood. Katie is with you always, a permanent record that she existed, written in your blood.

  6. ASCH Says:
    August 18th, 2009 at 6:30 pm

    I don’t know what to say. Happy for you to have all these wonderful kids.

  7. nico Says:
    August 18th, 2009 at 9:37 pm

    thank you so much for sharing.

  8. Lauren Says:
    August 19th, 2009 at 11:34 am

    Wow this brought tears to my eyes. Thanks so much for sharing.

    Take Care,
    Lauren

  9. Melissa Says:
    August 19th, 2009 at 8:37 pm

    I have read most of the posts on this site, and I am in awe of the strength of the women who post here. But none have touched me as much as this entry. It spoke to a part of me that I’ve been pushing away for the last 3 weeks. I had a miscarriage at 8 weeks and have been refusing to deal with it emotionally. Thank you for showing me that even though there is no physical evidence that my child existed, I can still celebrate the life I carried for such a short time.

  10. Terese Says:
    August 19th, 2009 at 9:19 pm

    This made me cry. You are inspiring and honest. It has helped me like myself abit more at my lowest point today… and be grateful for what I have. Thanks.

  11. Robyn Says:
    August 20th, 2009 at 1:46 pm

    As I lie here nursing my daughter to sleep, and sharing in the stories of other mothers over her shoulder, you beautiful writing brought brought tears rolling down my cheeks. I love the image of a stretch marked heart. Thank you for sharing your Katie. You remind me to be greatful for and treasure every single moment of my girl’s life.

    Warmest thoughts to to you and your family and your little one on the way. Robyn

  12. Anna Says:
    August 20th, 2009 at 4:33 pm

    Your story made me cry, thank you for sharing your wonderful attitude and beautiful pictures

  13. jenni Says:
    August 21st, 2009 at 7:06 pm

    this is the most well written, and one of the more touching posts i have come across on this site. i cried. you are an incredable woman and i pray i can be as strong for my daughter as you are for your children.
    god bless.

  14. shannon Says:
    August 21st, 2009 at 9:21 pm

    I have tears running down my face as I feel what is only a slight amount of the pain that you have endured. Thank you for sharing…

  15. Cynthia Says:
    August 21st, 2009 at 11:12 pm

    I´ve been a reader of this site for a long time, but this is the first time I write, I have a 5 month old boy and I can´t imagine my life without him, this brought tears to my eyes, God bless you and stay strong.

  16. Elizabeth Says:
    August 22nd, 2009 at 12:08 pm

    I am so very sorry for your loss. Words cannot go far enough to say how badly I feel for you. Congrats on your other babies. Your twin belly is very beautiful.

  17. Kathy Says:
    August 22nd, 2009 at 10:05 pm

    You are truly a remarkable woman, an incredible mother, and a beautiful person.

  18. Sarah Says:
    August 23rd, 2009 at 12:53 am

    I’m so very sorry for your loss. Words cannot express it. You have a beautiful pregnant twin tummy! You are blessed. To be a mom for a moment or even for living babies… it’s all a blessing. Every moment.

  19. Katie Says:
    August 23rd, 2009 at 10:08 am

    Thank you so much for sharing. Your words have touched me deeply and left me in tears.

  20. Ange Says:
    August 28th, 2009 at 10:29 am

    My, you are remarkable! what precious words you have shared. I shed a tear just reading them. It touches home.
    Thank you

  21. Nichole Says:
    August 28th, 2009 at 5:01 pm

    I’m so sorry for your loss. This brought tears to my eyes. I can’t even begin to imagine how hard that was. You are a very strong woman.

  22. Carolyn Says:
    September 2nd, 2009 at 6:05 pm

    A stretch marked heart. That’s beautiful.

  23. shanen Says:
    September 18th, 2009 at 5:51 pm

    as I sit here ready ur entry and crying my son gets up on my lap to kiss me and won’t stop. u r very right and I love what u wrote. I’m so sorry for ur loses but u have gained so much more.

  24. Tinia Says:
    September 27th, 2009 at 1:14 pm

    This is such a lovely story.
    The photo with your daughter’s hand is lovely. I am a photographer for NILMDTS, and they send professional photographers for no charge to do photos for moms with still born or very premature babies, and having done this types of photos, I can tell you, they are the most touching type I’ve ever done, and the mothers and babies stick with me always!

    Your story is the most poignent I’ve read on here.

    Your twin belly is also one of the prettiest pregnant bellies I’ve seen!

  25. Ashley Says:
    September 30th, 2009 at 4:13 pm

    You know I came to this website because I was feeling sorry for myself. My tummy is loose and I have strech marks. I never expected to find a story that would make me apprieciate what I have and be so grateful for all the hell I went through with my pregnancy. I have my daughter she is almost 6 months old now. I know everyone has thanked you for sharing your story but I will never again allow myself to feel badly about my body. You have made me realize that my body is just a gift that my daughter has given me. Thank you for your story it has trly changed my heart. I hope that it will do the same for other girls who are thinking so selfishly and not remembering what each mark on our belly is for! Thank You again.

  26. In Memory of all the lost little monkeys « Adventures in Monkey Land Says:
    October 15th, 2009 at 5:51 pm

    [...] the Anderson family who lost their darling little Katie in 2005.  Erron recently posted a blog at The Shape of A Mother and once you’ve read it, you will understand why I am sitting in a chair, with Mason in my [...]

  27. Cori Says:
    October 15th, 2009 at 7:52 pm

    Oh Erron, I have tears rolling down my face! You are such a great mommy and I feel so blessed to know you.

    You have been in my thoughts and prayers all day today.

    ((hugs!))

  28. Samantha Says:
    October 15th, 2009 at 9:44 pm

    Thank you for sharing your beautiful journey. I too have has a few losses, although very early on in my pg, a loss is still a loss no matter how far along you are! I LOVE the picture of you holding little Katie’s hand, and love the beautiful twin belly picture!

  29. brittany Says:
    November 5th, 2009 at 1:33 pm

    i really shouldn`t have read this story before needing to go out. make up everywhere. being pre33 weeks pregnant i can`t imagine going this far and losig her or my son:(

  30. lilian Says:
    November 12th, 2009 at 8:09 pm

    I’m crying as I write this response. Thank you for sharing your story with everyone who reads it. Very inspiring. Your a very strong woman. This has made me less vain about my post pregnancy body. I used to have a stretch mark free body with perky B cup breasts…after 3 children I’m embossed with marks of motherhood. I just hope I feel this way the next time I look in the mirror. God bless!

  31. dora Says:
    November 22nd, 2009 at 8:00 pm

    The picture of you holding your daughters hand was so touching! Thank you for sharing and your honesty. This is what I needed to remind me how more grateful i need to be for all that I have including my beautiful daughter and my droopy belly. I am finally, after five months accepting the new me.

  32. beckie Says:
    February 4th, 2010 at 9:50 pm

    Thank you for writing this. I can’t tell you how much that last paragraph touched me. I’m crying. I am a Mother and a Doula and suffered an early loss about 6 weeks ago. Within a week of my loss I attended two beautiful births. That last paragraph is a perfect explanation as to why I attended those births when everyone told me I shouldn’t. Thank you.

  33. Anna Says:
    September 30th, 2010 at 3:47 pm

    Thank you for sharing, I could never imagine that a loving heart of mother can be so strong. I had one early loss and I have one wonderful son (9 months now), and I always was sure that if anything happen to him I would die, or end with endless depression. And you – you lived through that pain, and your love just increased. What you wrote about embracing other people, other mothers with love is one of the most inspiring things I read in years. It’s no need to tell I was crying.
    I really hope that you and your Katie will meet in heaven, and I will pray for strenth for you and love and health for your family. Thank you.

  34. Anti-that-kind-of-parentite « From The Inside Looking In Says:
    November 9th, 2010 at 10:43 pm

    [...] things are going to get less separated, in fact I believe it will likely become more so. I wrote an article for The Shape of a Mother that asked moms to embrace each other as moms, instead of stacking [...]

  35. Jen Banks Says:
    October 26th, 2012 at 3:20 pm

    Wow! I am actually speechless right now. Just tears and the overwhelming urge to hug myself and my kids. Wish I had the words…

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