Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Lost Bodies

Bodies. We all have one. We are often taught that our bodies are temples and to take care of them. I mean, after all you only get one! Our bodies can do some incredible things, and when you really stop and think about every system and process we are capable of, and how it all works it can be really mind-blowing. Pregnancy in particular is fascinating. The ability for a whole new life to form, grow, and be birthed. Honestly, I think it's incredible. I mean, not that turning a taco into poop isn't totally impressive too, it is- but of all the bodily functions I do find reproduction to be one of the more impressive and intriguing.
Thanks to my browsing history, many of the ads and articles that come up on my laptop are baby and postpartum related... well, that and Great Dane. I'm often times put off by how many of those are related to "getting your body back after pregnancy." Now, I know I am probably being a little nit picky on wording here but... what the heck does that even mean anyway? I mean, do people actually LOSE their bodies when they become pregnant and then have to go out and search for them to get them back? Does this actually happen? NO!
In fact- pregnancy made me more aware of my body than ever before. No way was I misplacing it. Not even a limb or two. No doubt pregnancy changed my body. I have stretch marks I didn't have before. (Don't worry, they just blend in with the roadmap of the ones that were there already. Thank you non-elastic skin type!) My belly which once grew my sweet boy is now squishy like Jell-O. Like, seriously squishy. I'm totally rocking what in the cat world is known as a spay sway. My boobs aren't quite what they used to be. In fact, first thing in the morning I have awesome boobs and feel like maybe I don't want that boob job after all. But, as the day goes on they deflate and sport the rock-in-a-sock look. My c-section scar which is bigger than most due to the emergency nature of my surgery will always be there. But you know what? These are signs, physical reminders, of the life my body created.
We as a society put so much value in pretty bodies we neglect to recognize the pure beauty in a body that has created life- one that has gone through the most divine transformation a human body can possibly go through. My postpartum body isn't what most consider pretty. It's not what you see on a tabloid. But it's mine. And I am learning to love it.
My body has been through many chapters of life. It's been abused by alcohol and drugs. It's been marked by ink. I was that teenager that never actually was overweight but thought I was fat anyway. I've been 258 lbs. I've been 107lbs (my low last year- it was NOT pretty, or intentional. That's what having a baby in NICU does...) I now reside at a healthy weight for my body, but battle a very sensitive digestive system. I have skin so sensitive that shaving my legs means being covered in painful red spots. So guess what? Sometimes, I go WEEKS without doing it. Being body positive is something I've always struggled with. No matter what I've looked like I've been able to find something wrong with myself- something worth hating. Until now. Now, through all those imperfections and "uglies" I see a body that did something UH MA ZING. I see these bodies all around me. And I see women hating themselves, constantly commenting on the baby weight, the wide hips, the bigger clothing.
I guess my point is... to all the mamas out there who somehow lost their bodies while incubating an entire human being, I hope you are able to find them. And when you do, relish in the beautiful changes. (And then freaking put a GPS locator on that thing. Never again should you be running around without a body.) And then pat yourself on the back because you made a freaking PERSON. And that's really damn impressive. 

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