A Letter to my Body (Collaborative)

Over at BlogHer, they have this interesting new collaborative project where women write letters to their bodies. I encourage you to check it out and join in! (And if you do, please post the link to your letter in the comments below, as I’d like to read them!) You can even win a trip to BlogHer 08 if that’s your thing.

Here’s mine. It’s a little more personal than I’ve gotten in such a public forum, and so I feel a tad naked, but that’s what this is all about, isn’t it?

Dear Body,

You are strong. You have grown and birthed two healthy and amazing people. You have fed them and nourished them for going on six years now, collectively. You give me energy to run after them, take them places. Your arms cuddle them, hold them. Your lips kiss boo-boos, give zerberts on bellies, and tell them how loved they are.

You treat me well, too. Your legs have carried me miles, your eyes guide me, your heart beats steadily, and your lungs nourish me with fresh air (or as much of that as is available near the city).

Yet, I don’t always return the favor. Why? Why is it so hard to keep treating you well? I do a good job on a regular basis, keeping healthy foods at home and avoiding toxic ones. But the days are long and busy and all too often I find myself too tired to cook you a healthy dinner. And finding time to exercise is difficult. Well, no, lets be honest. Finding the will to exercise is far more difficult than finding time.

It’s time to love you for what you are, to love you for what you look like, even. I am fat. And that does not make me less of a person or a woman, although that is the idea I have deep in my mind. It is not a judgment call on who I am as a person. It does not represent my personality in any way. I am fat and that is morally OK. I am trying to see the beauty in it. (Lately, as I look in the mirror before we leave the house, I hear a voice in my head telling me I look fat – I smile and remind myself inwardly that it’s only because I am! It’s a funny way to learn to love oneself, but it’s not a negative thing at all. Acceptance is the beginning of love, in this case.) And I will be honest: it’s a long road, and I’m really only beginning the journey. Bear with me as I learn not to hate you anymore.

I was prepared for your stretch marks, your breasts were never perky to begin with… I’ll admit, though, that all that extra skin threw me for a loop. It is not a body image that is worshiped, or even respected, here in our current culture. But it is a body image that should be revered as Goddesses past. For without it, the human race would cease.

I choose to see your stretch marks not as battle wounds, because pregnancy was not a battle, but instead, as badges of courage, strength, wisdom, love, nurturing, the fullness of life. And they are beautiful because of what they represent. Each scar on you, Body, tells a bit of my story. The one on your forehead shows where I fell and got stitches when I was two. The one on your wrist shows where I had a ganglian cyst removed nearly ten years ago. The ones on your thighs show where I grew into a woman. The ones on your belly (and calves! and arms! and sides!) show where my babies grew so quickly and healthy. Body, you are a book, and this is your story. Who I am I to deny who we are?

Many blessings,

Give Thanks

Today is Thanksgiving Day here in the US and I want to take this opportunity to ask you all – here in my country and those of you everywhere else – to leave a comment and share the things you are thankful for.

Personally, I am thankful that this website has been able to touch so many women (men & children!) all over the world. I feel blessed to be a part of this.

Have a great day to all of you!

I wish I had known..

So here it is, a collaborative list of what we all wish we had known before becoming pregnant. Once again, I find us a very diverse group and this list reflects that (often by directly contradicting itself). I love it – touching, funny, painful and uplifting all at once. Read on for the full list of 141 points (somewhat edited, narrowed down and duplicate thoughts cut out). I plan a more rambly post later today but first I have to go and be very busy. Have a great day!

1. Every one told me morning sickness always stops. That was such a lie. Sometimes it doesn’t.

2. Labor feels like nothing else. Not like cramps, not like pooing, more like your body just opening. Cramps my ass.

3. That I would love this little man more than anything else in the world, nothing else will ever matter more.

4. How my life would never be the same again, in both good and bad ways.

5. That everyone would have an opinion and/or be the expert on how I should raise my son.

Read more

I wish I had known… (Morning Sickness)

When sorting out all the submissions sent in for the collaborative “I wish I had known…” list, I came across this one sent in by one woman. And, well, it kind of stands on it’s own. Enjoy!

1) Vomit will come out your nose

2) Eating Mexican food and then “not feeling well” on the way home may result in said Mexican food being thrown up out the window all over the side of the car

3) Vomit created from Mexican food can strip the gloss coat off of a 2003 Ford Expedition

4) Sitting in the back of a 2003 Ford Expedition while on the way to Costco after drinking a large iced white chocolate mocha will make you sick

5) Being in public in the Costco parking lot will not cause said throwing up to cease and desist

6) Being at work will not stop morning sickness

7) Nothing will stop morning sickness

8) Being at work and throwing up in the paper bags that are used to hold sanitary napkins is not a good idea

9) The bags that hold sanitary napkins in bathrooms will not hold very much vomit and said bag will burst all over your pants, underwear and the bathroom floor

10) The industrial toilets in public or work restrooms will hold a LOT of vomit-y toilet paper

11) Thankfully, Ryan does not get sick when thrown up on in the shower

12) Ryan also (thankfully) does not get sick if throwing up in the same room as him

13) Chunky vomit can be pushed down the shower grate with toes

14) Having a nozzle attachment on the shower head does help hose down the shower after throw up session

15) Most vomit also will go down most sinks – though sometimes it does require help

16) There are certain things that taste as good the second time as the first. These include cantaloupe and Gatorade.

17) There are some things that do not taste good the second time around – these include everything but cantaloupe and Gatorade

18) Milk products will curdle the stomach

19) There are some general rules to follow when throwing up in a toilet, the primary and most important to remember is that you should not be standing when throwing up into a “bowl” of water – it will splash you with things you don’t want to be splashed with.

20) You can absolutely pee your pants when throwing up.

21) There may be a time that you have to choose whether to throw up on yourself or pee yourself.