Wednesday, May 29, 2013

You Are Beautiful: Postpartum Insecurity

The other day I caught myself in my own words.  Have you ever done this?  When you just shock yourself for what just came out of your mouth.  Sometimes it's humor, sometimes it's horror.  This was straight up conviction.

Anyone who has had a baby knows, no matter how you carried your baby or how much weight you gained in the process, your body will never be the same.  Things have shifted.  It's the great sacrifice.  Maybe part of The Fall with child-bearing.  That such a beautiful process of bringing life into the world would cost the mother her body.

Naturally in my profession, I see women who are haunted by their physique on account of carrying, feeding and providing for their children.  There is nothing wrong with remembering "what you used to look like."  But our culture is obsessed.  And here I was thinking, I was above all that.  I ate healthy, yes.  I love to exercise, (I know- not for everyone), yes.  And I think I have a relatively wholesome body imagine.  But there I was, nine months later, thinking about it.  Knowing my child was worth it, but wondering about this scar, this belly weight, my lack of muscle tone.  I just wanted out of it, and wasn't wanting to hear "it took your body nine months to get like this, it takes about nine months to completely recover." Stuck in the impatience and dissatisfaction I judged my own clients over.

So this hypocritical, vain, new mom was
ooing and ahhing over her new son.  Colton was on his changing table having just blown out a darling outfit, with poo everywhere, tears running down his cheeks wondering what the heck just happened.  I just kept telling him how beautiful he was.

I heard my own "mom voice" saying:

Hello there beautiful!

You are such a beautiful baby!

I can't believe I made you!

You are so perfect.

No need to fret, I'm here.

I love you even when you are unsure.

I love your body.

I love your smile.

I love your little belly.

I love your cute thighs.

That's when I stopped.  I loved this little human that I gave birth to.  Not for any other reason outside of unconditional love.  After all- what has he ever done for me?  Nothing.  He really has no idea HOW much I love him and all his little parts I enjoy studying.  He is such an amazing creation.

Wow.  Really?  It dawned on me that this is how God views me.  Even right now, especially right now, as I look at myself unsatisfied.  He's shaking his head when I'm staring myself down in the mirror and saying- I love your body, Noelle.  I made you perfect.  I made you able to bear a child and go through this process- isn't it beautiful?!  Noelle, you are perfect to me and there is no need to fret about your physical state.

I've definitely begun a journey here.  A journey toward further maturity, and away from self pity.  This isn't to promote some huge self-esteem talk, or some get-fit-now promo, but to recognize beauty. If Colton were to look back up at me and say "these thighs?  really?" I'd say "yes those thighs- you are so ridiculous  I love you and your body I created!  It's perfect!"

Lesson learned.  Truth and beauty observed, even if I didn't see it right away.

1 comment:

  1. Love. So much love, and such a great thing for women to remember - post-pregnancy, or apart from pregnancy. You are so beautiful, Noelle.