I don’t think my stomach will ever look the same. After housing four babes, and having one via cesarean section, I feel that there will forever be evidence that something big has been there. I have small, white stretch marks on each side of my waist. They look like someone drug an eraser across the skin there. And they rest atop two squishy parts that are otherwise known to present day onlookers as muffin top. My boobs, in between babies and breastfeeding, became once again non-existent. But after being drained as drinkers for two years, instead of being perky and a bit more pronounced, they are tiny little saggy sacks. And while I am nursing, they play disappearing act from morning to night. As they are plush and full at days beginning and empty tanks by the last feeding of the night.
I’ve also never been in love with my legs. Before the term “thigh-gap” ever even existed, I can remember wondering why not everyone’s thighs smooshed together when they sat down and thinking that such things did not seem to be in the cards for this German/Swede. And on many occasions, I’ve found myself wondering what exactly is happening on the back of them, the spot where, over time, more dimples have appeared. My face is starting to have visible signs that I have been making some of the same expressions for 32 years. And those lines are often accompanied by dark circles of an exhausted mama. And I have a horizontal scar across my lower abdomen that is a forever reminder of a day that I wouldn’t have wanted to go any other way.
My body is wholly imperfect.
But it is also remarkable.
All of the daily reminders are there because something miraculous took place. In fact, four miraculous lives took place. Inside my imperfect body. And if that isn’t remarkable, I don’t know what is. And though that doesn’t make me wake up in love with it every single day… and it doesn’t mean I don’t want to improve the physical shape I’m in… or that I put on a swimsuit every morning just to look in the mirror and stare at myself… it does mean that after having babies, after discovering that my body is remarkable, I am no longer forced into emotion by the appearance of my thighs. Or my stomach. Or my scar. Because I feel so lucky to have this body. For it was my personal route to motherhood.
And so, as my son crawls into my lap, and asks “was I in there?” as he rubs my squishy pouch, and rests his head on my forever changed chest, all I can do is smile, and say, “yes. yes you were. Isn’t that remarkable?”. And I think to myself… yes. Yes it is.