Marks of Life (Shi)

~Your Age: 25
~Number of pregnancies and births: 2 at time of writing this, currently now have three!
~The age of your children, or how far postpartum you are: at the time my boys were 2.5 and 1 month old. They are now almost 5, 2.5, and 7months

I wrote this back when you had a post about writing a letter to your body. I had sat down and let my feeling flow, and this is what I ended up with. I hadn’t posted this, since it was written only for me and was privet but found it recently and re-reading actually made me tear up. I am now a Mommy to three boys, and I love my body and all the marks of life it holds. I thought some might benefit from reading this :) I am a Mommy, and I look like one!

Dear Body,

Wow, this is a really great idea, something that almost anyone I know would likely tell me I DON’T need to do, that I am one of the “lucky few”, that having to even think of doing this is beyond ridiculous. But I am human, and no matter how perfect I may seem to someone else, we women are always able to see any and all flaws. Its funny that I make excuses for why others look worse, or that they look that way, but I never should have…I didn’t have too. I do try so hard, and I DO love you body, your beautiful, I love your shape, and you have done amazing things for me. Those two boys you nurtured are the most precious things in my life. Its funny that I KNOW I have a lot less marks than most people, and that I don’t have that extra skin, or extra fat, but every now and then thoughts will creep into my head about how I WOULDN’T have them if I’d only taken better care, exercised MORE (How the heck can a pregnant Mom of a toddler exercise MORE that 3 times a week!!) I SHOULDN’T have ate so much at the end in fear of not being able to Home Birth because my baby was small, I should have LOADED that oil on like I did the first time, how silly of me.

The worst part of all is that one single skinny, stretch mark free person can take all the pride I have put into my marks, and challenge it. I LOVE them, they are like an art to me, a scar to remember something amazing, and yet every now and then I can see one picture of one person, and my heart will sink…I WAS that person, I could STILL be that person. The stupid thing is I AM that beautiful Mom, I do have that great post babies body, I look amazing….but somehow I look in the mirror and compare it to society’s “perfect” that was staring at me in that picture.

Why did I put so so much pride after my first baby in the fact that I was tiny AND mark free???? How is that something to hold so much PRIDE in???? SO WHAT if the guys could look at me at the beach, and never know I had a baby….with MY body people can look at me at the beach and KNOW that I have babies…and I still look good!!! I have my man, and I have my babies, and I am NOT looking to attract more shallow men to stare at my sexy figure. I AM A MOMMY, I am striving to have my BABIES stare at me in awe!!! I want my husband and my kids to be attracted to ME, to my love, to my devotion, to my life. How is some random person thinking for a random moment that “wow, she didn’t get any stretch marks” some how a greater reward that my SON, and my HUSBAND running their hands over my life marks, and looking in awe at a map that shows the amazing road I have traveled, the amazing things I have done, the love that I shared when I shared my body with another human, a precious baby, to nourish them, and to give them LIFE, how could I NOT have wanted some outward sign to cherish these moments?

I have two wonderful, giggling, amazing boys, I have a husband who loves me and says to me that my marks “remind me of how much you sacrificed for our family”, he can look at my naked form, and remember each time that great big belly so full of life and love, and remember the moments I nourished our little ones in our womb. Why would I prefer that he be able to look at me for the remainder of my years and remember NOTHING of that time, or have no “motherly, womanly” features to admire, but rather to just see a hot wife, who didn’t change even while giving birth to two of his sons? He loves it, as do I, and when I question this, it actually hurts deep in my soul, like the greatest cheat I have even done to my own life.

I know that I love them, it is only the pictures of naked scar free, post baby bellies that makes me wince, and feel jealousy for a small amount of time. I can proudly walk the swimming pool with my two boys by my side, in my bikini with my marks for all to see, then suddenly a day later, I can see a picture, and wonder if maybe I am wrong, and I should buy a more covering suit, and hide these marks that some may think are a deep imperfection, and a flaw that occurred in my flesh. HOW MUCH MORE WRONG COULD THOSE THOUGHTS BE!!!!!?????? How much more right I was when I was proudly wearing my real, home made, beautiful tattoos. Women will mark with ink their tribute to their child on their bodies. They find it beautiful to permanently etch in a name with a cold, vibrating little knife. I HOLD MY BABIES TRIBUTE DEEP IN MY SKIN, beyond the surface layer, with nothing fake, phony, or cheap. I hold the map of their entry into existence. I hold a map of my journey from one child to desperation for another, and agony, and tears, and prayer after prayer. And then these little lines appeared, this little piece of “Baby art” was drawn about my belly, as that child I longed for, I prayed for, and I agonized for grew, and grew, and grew, as God fulfilled each one of his deep promises to me and as i lived in awe and unending gratefulness, and as he etched within my body, onto my womb which held these children, a sign that will never disappear, some marks that will be with me for the rest of my days, amazing, beautiful, pieces of my soul, shown right there, in that place where these miracles took place.

Would I ever go back and change a thing? You better believe….not a chance. They are as precious as the family they describe.

Februrary 24, 2008.

One thought on “Marks of Life (Shi)

  • Thursday, October 22, 2009 at 5:27 am

    Well said.. you have a beautiful and strong attitude, we are all so blessed in the miracle of our bodies and the amazing things they are capable of.

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