Friday, October 19, 2012
Loving our postpartum bodies
I sit here with a sleeping baby lying on my lap and my other little darlings sleeping upstairs. As I look down at my youngest little one I find myself thinking about what a blessing it is to embrace womanhood. Recently Ive come to really understand how much fertility is part of womanhood and how so many women have been taught that their fertility is something to suppress and stop and sometimes do away with all together. And as I sit here I am just at awe in how fertility in all its natural goodness is just so beautiful, rich and powerful!
There is so much that comes with a womans fertility that has been long forgotten by many. One thing that Ive discovered recently is the appreciation for the changes in a womans body in all the different stages of child bearing: before, during and after pregnancy. So many times Ive heard the complement " Wow, I cant believe you have children, you look great" and things along these lines, like the goal for women is to look as though theyve never had a child. But embracing the changes like weight gain, stretch marks, a soft little baby pouch all give a peaceful comfort to a woman when she accepts and comes to love the changes. I fought these changes for 5 years and didnt want anyone to take my picture because I thought I was just sooo fat. I would look at myself in the mirror in disgust because I had extra layers of fat after having a baby. Then I would work so hard to lose the weight and only after losing the weight would I allow myself to enjoy life. After our third baby was born I prayed alot about my weight and alot of my issues with weight and I found myself in a place of acceptance. I was given lots of clothes that actually fit my soft, curvy post partum figure and you know what I started to love my body. Now I didnt get all into being curvy and showing off my new figure...no. I started to really learn to love modesty, but not because I thought i should cover up because I was so ugly, but rather I wanted to keep hidden what was sacred and lovely and preserve my true beauty. I mean think about it, my womb grew and carried LIFE...if thats not sacred I dont know what is. And sacred things are always veiled and kept hidden. Covering my midsection became a beautiful practice instead of a shameful hiding of stretch marks. This change in mindset and understanding of the human person and human body has brought me a freedom that I know God hopes for so many mothers....a wonderful love and appreciation for the beautiful gift of a womans body. And this is a beautiful thing for women and young women alike who have not carried a child in their womb. Our female bodies resemble the Blessed Mother and her womb carried God himself. From her "Yes" to God, she lifted all women alike up. Now all women share in this great honor of having a womb. This might sound funny the way that Im wording it but what Im trying to say is the womb is sacred even for women who are thinking they are infertile. The womb still holds the beautiful capacity for life and this great honor can be veiled with lovely humility and modesty.
I am sharing my personal experience and the great joy that Christ has been giving to me through this process. I just love you all and I pray for your hearts to be pulled toward Christ in every moment and in every way, from changing a diaper to falling on our knees in prayer!