Tuesday, September 4, 2012

my pregnancy with ember: 23 weeks.

week 3.

Bare belly!

I was really starting to love my belly at this point.
I loved being pregnant. I loved the belly, I loved everything.

I was even excited when I got my first stretch mark! (Though... that quickly got old fast. Especially when they started itching. Drove me nuts.)
It was one of the first times in my life that my body really, truly was what it was. It was either accept it, and love it, or be miserable.
Who wants to be miserable?
I never ever felt so... I don't know, confident about how I looked. How my body looked. I always felt really lovely and proud of my body during this pregnancy. It's a weird thing when you normally have such low self esteem and want to change so many things. To suddenly feel acceptance and love for the skin you're in is an amazing and very powerful feeling.

My body was useful, my body had a purpose, much greater than looking cute or being sexy or attracting people sexually. Above and beyond more important than that. That is SO freeing! I spent so much time once I hit my teenage years, worrying about being attractive to people. It came to the point later on, that I would feel like nothing if I wasn't seen as sexual, in some capacity, to someone. I needed to be wanted. For my boobs, for my butt, for my hair, for my legs, for any part of me. As long as I was being noticed in that way, I felt like I was worth something.
When I felt unnoticed, I felt worthless. I felt like nothing.

(My goodness, if I teach Ember and any future daughters anything, it would be NOT to feel this way. If I do anything at all right, I hope I can help them with this.)

Things have changed so much since. Thank goodness.

I definitely carried some of that new self confidence with me, long after Ember was born.
Because even though she's no longer inside me, this body is still doing important things. And I need it well taken care of, to continue to mother my daughter.
What's really too bad about it is, that I should have taken care of my body because it was caring for me. And I didn't have enough respect for myself to pay attention to that.

It's still difficult some days. I still, very naturally, want my husband to notice me once in awhile. I want to be complemented when I take a little longer to get ready than usual. (Not that these things never happen, but I'm sure my meaning is clear.) I get a little self conscious about my shabby clothes, or lack of makeup. I want to love my natural, true self. I waiver. It's nice to be noticed. But it's not everything.

I followed my body's cues and did what came naturally after Em was born. I did not obsess about weight loss or toning things up or how quickly the stretch marks would fade. I just felt like I had better things to do.
I also had to be just as vigilant as I was during pregnancy about taking care of myself. Eating enough of the right foods. Drinking enough water. And so on. If I felt lousy, then a full day of caring for my daughter was going to be hard on me. It didn't need to be. It just wasn't worth it anymore to let myself get down.

This was just one part of the very healing experience that my pregnancy with Ember, and her birth turned out to be. I had this huge feeling that what I was doing was going to be the most intense therapy of my life. For a few good reasons, I had very badly warped self confidence and sense of self for a long time. I put my self worth in the hands of others... it never worked.

Embracing my body, embracing these changes, and embracing all the ways my life was completely changing, is one of the smartest things I've ever done. Everything was happening anyways, I couldn't stop it now. Fighting against the natural way of things seemed like a big waste of time, when there was so much to enjoy about it.

I know, I know, me being positive? Yep.


  1. Just yes. Not sure what else to say except yes. :) So glad I'm not alone