Previous entry here.
~Number of pregnancies and births: 2
~The age of your children, or how far postpartum you are: 2 year old and 4 months old
Sometimes I feel like I am the only one who has a changed body from pregnancy. I thought that because I was young when I had my children that I would look just like I did before I became pregnant very soon after. I saw pictures of a friend on vacation 6 weeks after having her son wearing a string bikini and looking like she had walked right out of an airbrushed magazine. Shortly after, another friend had a baby. I went to visit her ten days after she had given birth and she told me she weighed 15 lbs less than before she got pregnant. She looked amazing. I thought that going back to picture perfect meant success, and that if that did not happen that something was wrong with me. I thought that it meant that I was somehow acceptable and worthy if I looked as great as some people do. I based my self worth on the expectations I held for myself that were so unrealistic. I know some girls are very lucky and can go through pregnancy and birth with their bodies untouched but that is not true for most. I guess the way I have come to think of it now is that you have got to be happy with what you have and not feel less because you do not look like someone else. This body is the only body I will have and the sooner I can learn to love it, the sooner I can truly enjoy the blessings in my life. If I am looking down at the flaws I see, how can I look outwards and enjoy those around me? I am still on this journey to love myself but in my heart I know that it is worth it to counter what the media is saying to me so I can feel like I am whole and I am worthy, but most of all for my daughters who are looking at me through innocent eyes. They see me looking in the mirror pinching my sides, they see me rubbing my fingers along the imprints on my skin from stretching, they see me scrutinizing myself and they hear the ugly words I use to put down the body that gave them life and wrapped around their tiny bodies to keep them safe. They don’t see a body wrecked as I often do, they see their mother, their protector, the arms that hold them when they are scared, the breasts that nourish them and give them comfort. Their tiny fingers trace the marks on my belly as I tell them about the day I first knew they were going to be, how the tears choked me as I held my unmarked belly overwhelmed by the amazing miracle that was happening. I watched as the months went by in both pregnancies and changed my body and grew my babies well. I remember the quiet moments after their births when we could not believe that they were here, they were real. The marks on my body were proof that I was not dreaming. The marks remind me of the amazing miracles that started so small that no one knew but their father and I until they grew big enough to make their presence known. They tell a story of the kind of love that cannot be explained, it’s the kind of love that is written on a mothers heart like braille. The love of a mother for her child is a bond that cannot be broken, it is a love that is unchanging, it is both fierce and gentle. It is the kind of love that fuses two souls for eternity. The physical act of sharing your body with a precious angel is not something to take lightly, it is one of the greatest of human experiences. So these marks I often scrutinize are not making me less worthy or less whole, in fact, I feel more whole now, I have been so blessed to experience a love I never knew possible.