A Body After Baby

"...Right now I am making a human. Even as I type these words a baby is kicking my insides around. But also, this human is making me. This human is telling my body to change to become the kind of mother that will be most beneficial to this being. I am changing emotionally, yes, but physically too. My body is being molded into a different shape so that I can be the best possible caretaker for this child. And that doesn't end after pregnancy. My body will continue to change as I am a mother to this child.

...And when there are two new bodies to behold in a couple months, allow for all the time in the world for their discovery. There is no "getting my body back."

Exploration over manipulation. Forever."


I don't want my body back, and I hope I never will. How could I want to go back to the same body that had never held my babies tiny bodies against my chest for the first time? The body that never experienced nursing a child in the silence of the night, or how it feels to play "Frozen" with an overly dramatic, overly dressed, toddler?

Everything is new this time around. Things hang differently, namely my stomach. Sort of like a balloon that was blown up a little too full, left that way for 41 weeks, and then deflated. It accomplished it's task and now it is resting. It looks tired. Stretch marks appeared around the third trimester, and new ones were popping up till the very end. And there are two things full of leaking milk on me that can clearly be classified as sagging. Shirts don't fit right. Everything feels... new.

The odd thing is I have absolutely nothing but love for this body. No hate when I look in the mirror. No self loathing when I see how my clothes fit. No sinking feeling when I see those Victoria's Secret commercials. I refuse to feel guilt or shame for something as unimportant as a number on a scale or marks across my stomach.

 It's been a long time coming I guess. An article here, a blog post there. An unexpected empowering comment, having a daughter, encouraging Hypnobabies affirmations, and a hundred other little things scattered along the way. And suddenly I look around and realize what an amazing blessing my body is, how much respect it deserves, and how great it feels to actually mean that. It feels empowering to look at my stretch marks and smile knowing they are proof that my son is alive. They helped get him here, so why spend all my energy trying to find ways to cover them up?

One day this body will start to fall apart, little by little, and before I know it the time will come to return it back to the original maker. I want to be able to stand before Him with nothing but gratitude and love for what I was given. I want to know that I set an example of love and respect for my children and their own bodies, and of all that they are capable. And I want to be able to say that, even when the world told me to feel differently, I too chose "exploration over manipulation, forever."


Jessie said...

Wow. This was beautiful and perfect. I'm happy you love your body just the way it is! I'm still in that learning phase... little by little I'm recognizing what an incredible blessing my body is and all that things that it can do! I think I'll continue to do those push-ups and sit-ups as it is important to me to be strong, but that love for my new mommy body, it's been a journey. :) Thanks for sharing!

Rebecca A said...

Love it. It is definitely something that I needed to hear today! Thank you!

Lizzie - The Dancing Toad Blog said...

Oh man, I loved this post. You are so awesome. I needed this today, and everyday. Such a good reminder.

Brissa said...

TRUE STORY. i wrote a long, thoughtful comment when you first posted this but my stupid windows phone didn't post it. anyway, i've been meaning to tell you how wonderful and perfect this post was. dani, everything you said i needed to hear. i love this. and you. i'm comin for ya, provo!

Tan + Es said...

Lovely. A perfect reminder for the difficult days (or months)!