I hate my stomach. Thanks to bad genes and chocolate chip cookies I have always had more curves than straights. I have always been the Bridget Jones and never the lithe one. My tops never button in the middle without double sided tape or alterations. Did I mention I am also top heavy.
I enjoy being pregnant. I love the feeling of my baby swishing and swirling around in my belly. Know what else? I love how round and smooth my belly gets. Damn the consequences. I love how during pregnancy I can wear cute maternity outfits impossible when my stomach is without child. The fashion options are definitely far greater than when I am losing weight after the birth of my children.
My self esteem goes from good to goddess in nine months. I celebrate the firmness of my breasts filled with milk. I constantly touch the full round belly and wear tight shirts to show it off. I can see the stretch marks lurking. The old ones white and the new ones creeping up pink and foreboding. I know that my time of glorious pride cannot continue forever.
It is true. For awhile, after the baby is born I languish in the delight of my baby’s smell, touch and taste. I feel like a momma bear licking the fur of her new born. I stretch out next to him (all of mine have been boys) and listen to him nurse. I touch his toes, his cheeks and the straight hairs my boys lose before they turn two. I am lost in the magic and I forget the world.
When the hospital doors open to me and I step back into my maternity clothes I wince. Oh, crap. I don’t want to wear these anymore. A few weeks after that and I am pathetically hopping on the scale. My husband stands in the door way and asks, “Why do you do this to yourself?” He has seen this behavior three times now and I have no explanation. How do you explain to a man who has just watch you give birth to his child that you don’t feel pretty. You may as well try to convince him that the sky is pink.
I waft in and out of love with my body. I enjoy the golden brown hue of my skin. My eyes are dark brown except around the very edges where they have a tinge of blue. Just enough to make purple a great eye shadow color…in case you wanted to know. My fingers are long and slender. They were built for the piano lessons I discarded time and time again. I am physically strong and healthy. My legs are long for such a short body and the two tattoos I have never regretted still bring me joy in their decoration.
My stomach is not flat. It is scarred with roads of stretch marks three times over. My breasts are not as firm but with a great bra they are still beautiful. My body is a conduit through which three boys, eventually men, have been created, formed and finally sent out into the world. They still sit in my lap, play with my hair, give me wet willy’s and high fives after gymnastic practices. They are not gone completely from my body even yet.
The flabby, stretchy skin over my stomach and the loose, velvety skin on the sides of my breasts are not fatal flaws. They are the place left by three boys for another brother (or sister, but I am not holdin’ my breath). They are the beloved body of a valued wife. They are reminders to me that I was once a goddess and should I choose, I can be again. Pregnant or not.
This post is participating in the Body Image Carnival being hosted by Melodie at Breastfeeding Moms Unite! and MamanADroit who will be posting articles on themes pertaining to body image all week! Make sure you check out their blogs everyday between April 12-18 for links to other participants’ posts as well as product reviews, a giveaway, and some links to research, information and resources pertaining to body image.