I wake up each morning trying to decide whether I will like myself today. Whether I will be OK with this human body, with its weaknesses and frailties. I wake up wondering if I will ever see myself the way my husband does. Or the way that God does for that matter.
I am a bitter battlefield of hope and self pity. I look in the mirror as I brush my teeth, wondering where the happy, thin girl of my youth went and whether there are glimmers of her still in there. I oscillate between trying to accept myself the way I am, 20+ pounds overweight, mother of three, skin of a Shar Pei if seen in a two piece swimsuit. Having three kids in a 5 year span does things to your body and metabolism that you can't really prepare yourself for. It makes me scared for the mother of all those Duggar babies. How isn't her uterus dragging along the floor? Or maybe it is underneath the long skirt. Right behind the flap of skin that's been the home of so many children. Before my first baby I could pretty much eat whatever I wanted. I was right on par with my weight, pretty happy in my body with the exception of my inherited small boobs. Thanks to my mom's side of the family. After my first child, I lost the weight right away. I was back to my pre-baby weight pretty quickly, though my jeans never fit the same again, with hips now that were wider than I'd ever had, from carrying an average size baby in my small frame. But I was OK with it. I was a mom and that's what I'd always dreamed of.
Me post Maggie.
Me immediately after Miles. Like the next day.
Baby number three bit back hard. It was a difficult pregnancy. I lost almost 15 pounds in the beginning from being so sick. I almost had to work with a dietitian to bring my weight up. I threw up multiple times every day for all but 2 weeks or so of the pregnancy. I ended the pregnancy about where I started the pregnancy, maybe slightly more, but not by much. I was beat. I was drained, exhausted and emotional strapped all the time. I went into preterm labor. It was stopped. She still came at 34/35 weeks, healthy and strong but tiny. She was fiery and full of angst. She cried all the time, and so did I. I was a mess. She was colicky. We were all suffering. I rewarded myself for getting through the day with chocolate, and fast food, and whatever I was craving in the moment that would create that calming, soothing endorphin rush of pleasure when the taste touched my tongue. I had post partum depression and did work with my doctor on strategies to address the issue without medication, ready to take it if needed. Luckily asking for help and going on walks in the sunshine eased my anxiety and gave me a break. I started to feel more like myself, but I was still making so many poor food choices.
My constantly crying baby. (I almost posted a video so you could hear the scream that used to come out of this tiny being, but I thought I'd spare you the pain.)
Me looking a hot mess because she NEVER let me put her down and I never slept.
All I know is that when my husband looks at me, he doesn't see all that nonsense. He's not looking at my meals and assessing how it will impact by butt. He doesn't pay attention to the weight I've gained over the years. He sees his wife, the woman he loves, the mother of his children, and he's happy with that. I'd be wrong to try and guess what God sees when he looks at me. But I know that He loves me warts and all, and is happy having me as his child. Why can't I see myself the same way? Truly I don't know. And that is where I stand for this very moment in time.