Appreciation, Body Acceptance, Body Appreciation, Body Image, Body Love, Body Shape, Body Size, Eating Disorder, Emotions, Encouragement, Faith, Feelings, Friends, God, Gratitude, Hope, Joy, Love, Postpartum Body, Pregnancy, Recovery, Social Media, Uncategorized, Weight

The Great Awakening

Awakening:
a recognition, realization, or coming into awareness of something

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Earlier this week I had a “great awakening” regarding my body and recovery.  While I have experienced many  “awakenings” over the last year this one hit me right between the eyes.   The same eyes that still search for anything that could be used as a mirror (a full-length window, for example) to look at my body and see if it has changed; if it has puffed out or slimmed down.  Despite the knowledge my meal plan hasn’t changed, my clothes still fit the same, I’m not over exercising, and I am completely devoted to recovery.  Therefore, I know my body has not changed but my brain sure is trying to change how I view myself.

My friends are getting pregnant, nursing babies, and adding to their families.  So. Many. Pregnant/Second-Time-Mom. Friends.  Such is the nature of life when you’re nearing 30, your friends are married, and most of you already have at least one child.  While I was lamenting to a friend about how I sometimes get a twinge of jealousy when a friend tells me she is pregnant, posts photos of an adorable baby bump, or shouts to the world she has a new baby, I don’t think I could handle being pregnant ever again.  (Recalling memories of late night feedings, sleepless nights, bottles, puke, etc. also help me remember why I don’t want to do the infant thing again.)  I digress, we were talking about my friend’s adorable, beach-ball-perfect, make-you-want-to-get-pregnant baby bump.  I certainly didn’t have that when I was pregnant.  I often wonder if I got pregnant while in sustained recovery would it be any different? I sighed and told my friend it probably wouldn’t be different because I don’t have a lengthy torso.  Well, I’m just plain not lengthy in any regard (I stand a whole 5’4.25″) so a baby doesn’t have anywhere to grow but out…way out.

This was me, 7 months pregnant, the day before my grad school hooding ceremony…

Pregnancy Photo

Recalling a conversation I had when I was pregnant, I realized I showed so quickly and carried my daughter the way I did because she was squished in my short torso.  My friend with the adorable beach ball belly is much taller and her baby has more room to grow before protruding outwardly.  My body, my skin, stretched to accommodate the growing little life in the best way it could…and that is the great awakening.

A saying often stated in various articles, books, and by professionals, “each person and each pregnancy is different.”  My pregnancy and body are no exception to that saying.  So my belly sags and I have more stretch marks than I would like but that is my reality of pregnancy and my post-baby body.  That doesn’t make my body any less beautiful or less worthy of love and respect from myself or anyone else.  God allowed me to grow a human, to become a mother, and that is far more important than having a “perfect” body or one free from all signs of carrying my child.  My body looks exactly how God planned it for me at this stage in life.  My torso isn’t long and glamorous.  I didn’t carry my daughter in a way that would make the paparazzi chase after me…and that is okay.

Instead of having a body others would covet…
I carried a healthy baby for 40.5 weeks.
My body has been a battlefield of my own creation and it has carried one of God’s divine creations.
My body is mine; designed just for me and provided the perfect home to my daughter when she needed it.

So, I have some serious stretch marks, a scar from a c-section, and some saggy skin.  Oh well.  My body is still a beast and still worthy of my love, care, and respect.

With Body Love,
Lane

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