Just me, my sidekick and Target. Yup, a happenin’ Wednesday night. You can tell we’re moms, even without the kids around. We were in our natrual habitat, Targ-ay. “I could so see you in this!” sidekick says. She beams from ear to ear as she holds up the vibrant orange fringed vest that reminds me of my grandma’s afghan. “Try it on.” “I don’t know if I like the color,” I say meekly. I give in and try it on. I squirm as I look at myself in the mirror. I actually dig the afghan, I mean vest. Sidekick is right. “Why are you squirming?” I tell her I’m just not sure about the color, but that’s a lie. I’m squirming because I don’t like what I see in the mirror. It’s not the vest. It’s me and my postpartum body that briefly housed two children. My hips are wider, my breasts are less perky and beneath the vest, beneath my shirt, are stretch marks that adorn quite a bit of my belly. Not exactly a highly sought after accessory.
And then comes baby. Babies. I have two. They’re pretty amazing; however, nothing ever prepares you for the aftermath. The fluctuating hormone levels that contribute to your not so nice mental state, weird appetite, lack of sleep and abrupt changes in your body. Some women take it better than others. Me, I don’t know. I’m still struggling. Realistically I should cut myself a break. After all, I’m only 5.5 months postpartum with my second child. I grew two babies within 21 months of each other for 9 months. My body made them, nourished them and brought them into this world. Pretty amazing thing, birth.
Rewind back to me standing in front of that mirror. I take off the vest. It’s placed back on the hanger and put back on the rack. We move on to another aisle and eventually leave (after much meandering on sidekicks part. Love ya girl!). Now, after some reflection I wish I could say I’m magically at ease with my body, because it’s responsible for some pretty amazing work (sassy girl 1 and sassy girl 2). That’s just not my reality. What I can say is this, I am beautiful. I am strong. I am a mother. I may not be okay, just yet, but I’m getting there. That southern gumption is a hard thing to tame.
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*To be clear…NO, I’m not prego again. Silly people.