It’s an interesting thing to watch yourself grow and age. I’m often uncomfortable with pictures of myself, so I tend to stay out of them. Like so many others I pick myself apart. Why do we do this? I retook this picture like ten times. Ten times!! I didn’t like my hair or thought I looked old. I have lots of white hairs these days and it is still kind of crazy from having my last baby. I like this one. This is me, as I am right now.
This year, as I learning to take a step back, I am learning to accept myself more. I am learning to see myself the way my children see me....or at least the way my baby sees me. It’s time to be more kind and compassionate with the person I am in this moment.
I had my third and last baby this past May. She is amazing and I’m pretty sure I fall a little more in love with her every day. This pregnancy was different for me than my others. While I loved being pregnant with my older kids, I don’t remember loving my body....not during pregnancy and definitely not after. In some ways, I was more uncomfortable this time around, but I am not as young as I was with the older two, so that’s to be expected. I wasn’t uncomfortable with the way I looked though. I loved the curves of my pregnant body. I loved that I could see the veins so clearly in my breasts as they grew. I loved my growing belly and the life that lived inside.
My baby was born. My clothes didn’t fit. There was extra skin in the place where my baby used to be and I had a bunch of growth marks. Yet, I loved my body. There was no sense of need to get back to my pre pregnancy self. I loved this body more than that body.
This body has done amazing things and it deserves some respect for that.
I’m not sure what made this time different, but here I am, almost 37 years old, truly loving and appreciating my body for the first time. I’m embracing this body which grew three other humans. I’m embracing the new curves. I’m embracing this insane hair. I’m embracing the places that show evidence of growth. I’m even embracing lopsided breasts as they continue to nourish my baby.
I’ve decided that it’s ok to love my body. It’s perfect in its imperfection. I just wish I’d done it sooner.
Cristina Evans is a Mother of 3, Wife, & Birth Doula