After I had Henry, the first time I got up in the hospital to walk, I knew this body was different now. And as weeks went on and I healed, I still noticed that this body isn't the one I knew before. All my bones and joints felt different. My hips felt literally stretched out. I even walked differently! It took so long to get use to the one I had before (Yes, "skinny girls" wish they had different bodies too. We all want what we don't have! I wanted those curves, girl!), and now I had to get to know this one too.
Most women have scars and stretch marks after birth. But some how they are still "shameful". People are terrified they will get them, and are mortified when they show up. BUT IT'S NORMAL!
I read this article http://weseekjoy.blogspot.com/2013/12/babies-ruin-bodies.html?m=1 and WOW. I began to see my body differently. I hated my post birth body. My stretch marks are mostly on my breasts, and one in particular. They aren't pretty. The marks on my left breast cover the sides and all underneath and will peek through if I wear anything low cut. There go the days of bikinis on the beach! I know I am blessed in the weight department. All the weight I gained was the baby and as soon as he was out, so was the weight. Cool I suppose. Everyone comments on it. "You don't look like you had a baby!" But I do underneath what you can't see. I bear the marks of a baby who lived inside of me. I have a small section on my side that has stretch marks from where I kept him safe and warm inside my body which doesn't bother me at all, and the majority of the scars on my breasts after he came into this world as I fed him with this body that God made.
A couple of months after my baby was born, and I was still down every time I looked at my body, I asked my husband to take pictures of my stretch marks as a way for me to heal and process them. And it was healing for me. I didn't just want to take pictures of the scars, but I wanted to take pictures of them with my baby next to them, as a reminder of the breathe taking creation they came from.
So why do I feel like I need to share these publicly? I could just have them for myself for my own personal healing. But I guess I just want others to know it's okay. My body is perfect. Your body is perfect. I want to be another voice to eradicate the media's ideal of a perfect body. All bodies are beautiful. Especially when I think that these particular scars are directly tied to the birth and life of my son.
You may have more or less scars than I do. You may have a lot more. But this is my story. No one is more or less fortunate in their post birth bodies. They just are. And they are beautiful because they carried LIFE.
Look, I don't LIKE them. But they are mine. These scars are a part of my story. They will stay with me. They remind me of the journey we took as a family, growing and preparing for this baby to join us. They tell me I am strong. They tell me I am patient. They tell me I am loving. They tell me I am mom.
I wrote the above post 2 years ago. I have written many versions of it but I wasn't quite ready to share it. But I am now. And when I look at these pictures 2 years later and see that gorgeous start of a smile on my sons face, the scars fade away. And just as a reassurance to some, all those scars faded away. You can still feel them, but you can't see them anymore. The ones on my side are special to me as they are so close to where I carried my child. When my hand accidentally brushes up against them I am reminded of those days when I pondered if I could ever love him as much outside the womb as I did inside. Well of course I love him more outside but it's still a very special thing, those months with your baby so very close, just you and them, growing together. Our bodies are weird. And strong. And precious. And bad-A. Be kind to that body. Learn to love that body. It is yours. It is not perfect. But it IS perfect.