Tuesday, February 21, 2012

A Shape

We gave Noah a bath the other night (we call it "tubby time") and I was astonished to realize how much he's already grown. He has this cute basketball belly and chub...I about cried from the cuteness and just stared at him with love as he basked in the glory of the warm water. Later that night as I was getting changed, I spotted myself in the mirror and sighed. My body just looks so different than it used to. I have an extra 20 pounds on me right now. My stomach muscles are totally blown out that when I don't suck it in I look 5 months pregnant. My boobs have become saggy beings; compared to how they used to look. And worst of all, I have stretch marks all over my belly. I had them before, but not this bad. I have a genetic predisposition to them...but I DID put stretch mark lotion all over during my pregnancy (to no avail!). They surround my belly button in a sort of spider web-ish pattern. In truth, it makes my belly look like it's hairy. The total effect? My belly looks like the hairy pot belly of an old man. sigh.
I slumped off to bed and stared out in the darkness. This body of mine has been through a lot. It seems like yesterday I was 21 and fit. My body was slim and tight and I totally took it for granted.

I wish I'd enjoyed it more.

As I lay there on my back, I placed my hand on my squishy soft belly. I felt a slight disdain, but I also felt something different...a sense of pride and love. My body has given me my precious children and I am so grateful.

How could I feel anything but good about my body?

I thought back to Noah's tubby time and how I looked at his sweet little body with such love and joy. I thought about my own mother and how she must have felt the same way when she looked at me in the tubby all those years ago. She probably still looks at me in that same light? I would NEVER want Noah to look at himself and think he's anything less than perfect no matter what. I realized right then that I need to look at myself with love and joy the same way my Mom does. The same way I look at Noah.
It's funny how the lessons from motherhood open our eyes to so many things we'd never considered before. I appreciate my body and love it for what it is. (But I don't have to like the stretch marks!)
Is there anything YOU see in a different way now that you're a mother or mother to be?

6 comments :

Lynn said...

HI there! You probably dont remember me but just over a year ago I wrote to you asking how you coped with the loss adfter your miscarriages and found the strength to move on...you wrote back a long detailed email which i was NOT expecting. The fact that you took such gret care to respond to me touched me more than your ever know. Well, we did go on to have another child after we lost our son. Today is her first birthday!!! Crazy...Im an emotional wreck of course :)Your post struck me today as I also am still struggling with post baby body issues. Two pregnancies in 13 months didnt do me any favors :)But you are so right. I would NEVER want my daughter examining every dimple and pucker of her thighs like I do! Something that has struck me now that I am a mother to a girl is thiking about all those bad relationships I was in. I hope my daughter NEVER lets a man disrepect her. I hope shes strong and respects herself enough to know how she should be treated.
Anyway, just wanted to take a moment and say hello. Im so glad that Noah is fitting into life so seamlessly. I hope your body and mind are staying in a good place. I love reading your blog and cant wait to watch Noah and Paige grow up together! XOXO Lynn

Megan said...

Hi Lynn!
I remember you! I'm so glad things worked out in your favor! Congratulations, how exciting! Happy Birthday to your little one! I'm so glad my message touched you in some way. That makes me so happy.
I agree, I think back to my bad relationships (mostly just one really bad one) and hope Paige never allows a boy to talk down to and abuse her. I'm figuring that I'll talk to her about it before she starts dating so that she will get the message. The thought of anyone even saying one thing mean to her makes my blood boil already! LOL

alicia said...

I agree about the body stuff, I al proud of my marks and dents and scars from birthing my children, because THEY gave them to me :) And they made me a better person!

Valery said...

Just starting the rollercoaster of body image issues with pregnancy/birth. I am trying to wrap my head around being okay with the flabby-not-yet-round belly of 18 weeks. It's completely foreign to me to NOT try to "suck in" all the time or to dress to "hide" it. I also am struggling since this flabby feeling would usually trigger me watching what I eat and amping up my workout to try and get "back on track." It's a completely different mindset to remember it's for a greater good and not to fight it. And, even if it doesn't look like a Hollywood movie belly, it's still okay! :)

Anonymous said...

I don't think I have a single stretch mark and I started to restrict calories/exercise straight away after I got green light from a doctor (not easy to find time especially since I work by telecommuting, but my husband helps me in evenings), so although I am not in my 20's, my body is slowly coming back to what it used to be (now 8 weeks post-partum). I think exercise is great not only for body but also mind, so do not give up on your figure just yet !!!
As for the things that stayed, it is my linea nigra, which my husband does not like, but I love it - it is like a tattoo that says 'I am a mom!'. It is great, I think! I think the same can be said about stretch marks! They should fade with time, so do not worry about that also.
Another thing that I was really worried about before I gave birth was tearing, which I expected to happen. (and it did happen, but not too extensive)... when I saw my little boy I forgot all about it and now I do not care about it at all, although for sure birth changed my 'private parts' for good in some way, and this was something important to me. Well, now it does not matter to me so much!
Marie

Lor said...

I am lucky not to have stretchmarks after my two pregrancies and I have lost all the weight, but in terms of what happened to my breast (which used to be ok and which I just want to hide, now), I sometime resent it. Of course I would not go back in time if I could, and I am very happy and proud of my daughters, but I still regret my body the way it was before. But it's ok, I guess, it's a bit like ageing, isn't it?

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