My New Body
This weekend I was at a convention with a whole bunch of women with a whole bunch of body types. I had to stand in front of them and explain to them how I had come to love my body, and how I am able to see it in a different light now that I've housed a human baby. I am so passionate about the subject, so I figured I'd write a few thoughts down.
How many of you reading have a body?
Cue raise of hands by everyone.
How many of you are in love with every aspect of said body?
Hands immediately drop down to the floor as women mentally look themselves up and down and start a mental list of all of the things they dislike about their bodies.
My body and I haven't always been friends. It started in High School when I noticed that I was shaped differently than girls around me. It followed me through into college when I clung to food for comfort during lonely nights and anxiety ridden days. Then I discovered that I liked to work out and make fun new recipes in the kitchen during multiple rounds of the 21 Day Fix or Whole 30. Then I got married and decided that having a stick skinny body for the wedding day was pretty much the only important thing to me. Then life got hard and I resorted back to those old habits of using food for comfort. Then I had a realization that being hard on my body and on my soul was not benefiting me in any way and I sought out help to fix my mind. It wasn't until this last summer that I was finally on good terms with my body. I accepted it and it accepted me.
How many of you have carried a baby in your body?
For nearly ten weeks, I saw my body in a whole new light. I felt stunning and capable and I knew that I was housing another human. That made me realize how beautiful and incredible a woman's body is-- how beautiful my body was. The moment that I saw the positive pregnancy test, I stopped caring completely about the way I looked, and I began to care more about how I treated my body. For the first time, I couldn't have cared less that I had a few extra rolls than the girl next to me in spin class, or that my breasts were way bigger than my friends on campus. During those weeks my bumps and imperfections were no longer bumps and imperfections. In fact, I loved every single curve and lump that I discovered on my body. Because that meant that I had finally grown into the role that I had longed for. A mother.
I miscarried nine days ago, and the morning after I lost the baby, I looked in the mirror and only saw bumps and imperfections. My body didn't feel beautiful or miraculous or lovely any more.
Isn't that sad?
I carried a baby for ten weeks, and the second that I was no longer doing that, the imperfections that I was proud of became plain old imperfections. Again. I grew a human for ten, nearly eleven weeks, but now all I see when I look in the mirror or try to zip up my skinny jeans is the extra weight that I put on during that time... When I was housing our child.
Oh baby you should go and love yourself.
Man, my mind is all over the place. I'm still so sad and trying to grieve over the loss of our baby. I'm stressed to death that it'll take us another year to get pregnant and that I'll be having my first baby when others are having their second or third. I'm overwhelmed at the work I know it's going to take to get my body back. My old body back. I'm trying to love this new body that I have because I was pregnant. I'm trying to see my bumps and imperfections as proof that I can get pregnant on my own, without medical help, needles, and doctors bills. I'm trying to have faith that it'll happen for us, because right now I'm doubting. All the feels.
I think all I'm trying to say is: love the body that you are in. Be content where you are physically. Because there's a reason that you are there. Sometimes it's because you carried a human. Sometimes it's because you have unexplained health stressors. And other times it's just because you can't deal to get out of bed and go to the gym. I've been there before, girl. I get it. I feel like I'm all three now!
We are women. We are beautiful. We were meant to have curves and bumps and imperfections. We are all different. But we are all capable and lovely.