I walked in and saw them. In every shape and color imaginable, they stood and I stared and longed. Then, I looked down and saw a bump peeking through my shirt.

In an instant I was reminded that though I wanted to wear one of those cute suits, I’d be giving birth in June. And for the rest of my summer, I’d be covering up, nursing, hot, uncomfortable, and ashamed of my stretch marks and cellulite.

I stood there ashamed that at 27, I’ve already started the mom suit collection. Ashamed that I was even ashamed of such a trivial issue when there are far greater things to think about. Ashamed that at 20 weeks pregnant with our third baby girl, I was worrying about how I’d look right after giving birth.

Then my husband’s voice came as a gentle reminder, “We get to have another baby.”

We get to have another baby girl.

I thought back to those days with a new baby, the bliss and the joy. I remembered what it felt like to not have any care in the world outside the fact that my babies were healthy and thriving. I remembered the look of love on the man’s face as he helped nurse my body back to health. The sparkle in his eye the first time I wore lingerie, though stretch marks lined my stomach. I remembered all the days my sweet three-year-old has walked in and said, “Mama, you are beautiful.” And I remembered the joy on my 20-month-old’s face as she twirled around in her jammies and cape, feeling every bit as beautiful as she does in her favorite princess dress.

And then I looked on, I reminded myself that I will not be robbed of the joy of my June baby from suits like this. I will not allow the joy of summer to be lost in the insecurity of a swimsuit.

Instead, I will put on my trusty mom suit. I will swim with freedom. I will feel the warmth of the sun on my face as I enjoy the cooling waters surround me. I will run through the sprinklers, dive for under water tea parties, and catch my girls as they jump forward with wild abandon.

I will nurse under a big hat and umbrella, with a cold lemonade in my hand, smiling at the man I get to raise these ladies with.

And I will teach my girls that no amount of fabric or public opinion should ever determine the joy they get to have living this life. Their worth, my worth, is not found in the way those suits fit. Their worth, my worth, is found in our Creator. The One who gave them life through my womb.

Every day, I will remind them Who has made them worthy, valued and beautiful. And I will tell them of the joy we experienced the day we got them.

Originally published on the author’s page

Arianna Freelen

Arianna is the wife of a rugged man and a mom of three little princesses. She is a photographer, professional furniture re-arranger, purger of all the things, Celine Dion karaoke queen, and Vanilla Dr. Pepper drinker. She loves to write about her Savior, her role as a wife and mother, and finds fulfillment with her arms full of those she loves most. You can learn more about her life at www.choosingfreelen.com and @choosingfreelen.