I’d like to introduce you to an old friend of mine, the unappreciated pre-baby body. The poor pre-baby body didn’t know how awesome it was. Breasts too small, stomach not flat enough, bum too big, nanna arms, dimply thighs... the unappreciated pre-baby body had most of these on the complaint list. Nothing was ever good enough; the grass was always greener elsewhere. How many pre-baby bodies could honestly look in the mirror and be in awe of the capabilities of a woman? I know I underestimated my pre-baby body, and I’m ashamed to say I took it for granted.
Three pregnancies later, 17, 15 and 20 kilograms gained and lost, three beautiful, healthy and happy children and a resulting substantial shift in perspective. My breasts have relocated, packed up and moved you could say. Though once quite sizable, they now require a smaller bra and somewhat resemble deflated balloons. My mid section now suffers from what I like to refer to as “the biggest loser effect”, where the once smooth skin now looks as though it is too big for my body. Add to this some new stretchmarks, a c-section scar and the permanently split rectus abdominis muscle and you have yourself one mid section that will never again see the light of day. I once thought that one piece swimsuits were for toddlers and seniors but I now view them as a girl’s best friend.
Make no mistake though, although (a large) part of me wishes I shared Miranda Kerr’s ability to magically morph into perfect post-baby shape; I still look in the mirror and smile. My scarred stomach brings fond memories of the lives that grew inside of me and the sacred moments we shared – the kicks and the hiccups. I am in absolute awe of the remarkable ability of my uterus, to make these perfect little humans. My c-section scar is a reminder of my journey; the fateful steps I had to take to become the person I am today, a person with a renewed faith in my body and a deeper understanding and appreciation of birth. My deflated breasts have phenomenal life giving power. These two breasts nourished my children, how amazing are they that with the simple act of bringing my child to my breast I could provide everything they needed to grow strong and healthy.
So when I think back to my old friend, the pre-baby body, I laugh at the frivolity of its concerns and complaints. If only I knew then what I know now. Never again will I take this body for granted, for I am so incredibly lucky and so grateful to have received the gift of fertility. Although my skin may not fit as well as it used to, I feel more beautiful than ever – a beauty that emanates from my core, encouraged by the love I feel for my children and the knowledge that I made them... what an achievement.