After I gave birth to Lola, my body went right back to the way it was before I was pregnant. Shockingly, I didn’t have to work extra hard at getting rid of the baby fat–it just sort of went away. I considered myself lucky and never thought twice about it. As many of you know, Sebastian came out enormous for my 5’3″ body. He was 10 1/2 lbs which would explain why I felt so huge throughout my entire pregnancy. I was naive to think my body would quickly slim up like it had after Lola. I quickly realized Sebastian’s presence in my body would leave a permanent reminder that I once housed a child. The stretch marks, the flabby belly and the inability to yet fit in my pre-pregnancy clothes had me down for a while. It saddens me that I was unable to accept my new body with open arms and with graceful ease. Instead I cringed every time I looked in the mirror and I felt defeated every time I would try to put on a pair of pre-pregnancy jeans. My husband told me I was beautiful, but unless you feel it yourself, those words don’t have much meaning.
But then an article began surfacing on the web. It was about a photographer who was taking pictures of partially clothed women who had given birth. It was an ode to the beauty of a mother’s body and the new shape it takes. The goal of the project was to help women feel good about these vessels (our bodies) that are able to create human beings. Rather than feeling shameful about the aftermath of pregnancy, we should feel proud. We should feel beautiful. I admired the photos and I went back to my own mirror. I examined my naked body–the stretched lines on the sides of my widened hips, the tiny spider veins in my legs, the extra bit of fat in my stomach, my engorged breasts and the dark circles under my eyes. It’s all evidence (or badges of honor as my mama put it) that I created two of the most beautiful human beings I have ever set my eyes on. They are all indicators my body was able to produce and sustain life.
A women’s body is a remarkable vessel and rather than feeling embarrassed about my body, I’m going to embrace the gift I was given–the ability to have my children. Sure I’ll continue to go to the gym to shed some of the excess weight (if for no other reason than to get out of my maternity clothes), but I’m not going to continue to hide behind baggy clothes and I’m certainly not going to feel ashamed because I can’t shop in the junior section anymore.
I’m a woman.
I created two souls.
And I’m still beautiful.
So cheers to me.
I may be even more incognito from the blog as my mom is here visiting, Lola is finishing up school tomorrow and I’m trying to enjoy time with my family before I go back to work next month. You can follow Say Hola Lola on Facebook for updates on our happenings.
I’ll leave you with a few pictures from the last week…