Tag Archives: body image

37 Weeks

9 Jun

I am not so sure who I am anymore, caught up in another like this.

The right colors, the right softness, a ready nest. That is what I am consumed with. It’s weird and cliché, and all too real at once. I get it now, this deafening urge to make a safe space for my child in a chaotic world. Safe is relative, as is space size, but I am think I am doing pretty good.

My mind feels so lost and unaware of trying to control any of this, it’s like I am going on autopilot and making decisions.

Small decisions like the color of her diaper changing pad cover.

Big decisions like listening to a doctor’s report or following my gut.

It’s scary sometimes, losing control like this. Grasping at the things I can control, but realizing nothing is certain.

I will be a mom soon, her mom. A mother to a new being that is part of me and part of my husband.


We made a person…

I know it’s a “rite of passage” or at least usually considered one for women, except those that can’t or don’t want to bring new life in the world. I know it’s ordinary, if you define ordinary as common, happening often, but that word just shouldn’t be paired with this.

If it’s ordinary, it’s the most miraculous ordinary event in the world,

one we smile or shed a tear at, but don’t feel its full weight and meaning until it is so close to home. As close as our own body.

It takes a lot, to fit two souls into one body.

It’s so weird, this sharing of my body. For 28 years I had my body to myself. I didn’t treat it as good as it deserved. It’s not that I abused it, it’s just that I never liked it really much.

For a long time it felt like something separate from me, another strange thing in my life that I just wanted to be different, to be “normal.” I got angry  at it for not being the shape I wanted it. I was one of those annoying girls that was always so skinny, but still hated myself anyways. I never exercised because I thought I didn’t have to.

I didn’t hold enough regard for it, or myself, so I gave it away too easy. I picked at it, and picked it apart, thinking, “If only___________ I’ll be happy with it.”

We didn’t have the best relationship.

Slowly, I grew up and let God love me and learned to love myself. I took care of it better and wasn’t so quick to despise the things about me I always saw as negative. In fact, I began to see those things as positive.  Not to say things are completely mended, but I grew to appreciate this house I live in, and feel more connected to it.

Now, my body is no longer just mine. I’ve already given it to my husband for life, and I am now I am sharing it with her.  I have a new appreciation for all it can do, despite the wear and tear of having another being living inside.

It’s stretched out, to what feels like the limit at 37 weeks.

This barely 115 pound teenager is now an almost 200 pound pregnant woman pushing 30. This embarrassed underdeveloped preteen, now fully bloomed, beyond what I ever thought possible, so much more than something sexual, a source of sustenance for my child. My once skinny legs are swollen and red, from the summer heat, water retention, and lack of circulation. My back is killing me and my breath is short. But I wouldn’t trade a skinny, fully functioning body in for this. She’s so worth it.

And now, at 37 weeks I know she will soon be her own. Her body is changing and growing too, preparing to live fully functional, outside of me.

In a few weeks she will separate from me, and our journey will begin.

Our messy, gorgeous, heartbreaking  journey of beauty, learning  and growth.

I will love her more and more, and she will become more and more independent from me as each day passes, and her dad and I will watch with overwhelming joy and a twinge of sadness.

It takes a lot, to fit two souls into one body.



I’ve Decided to Forget About Self-Esteem

10 Jan

This morning in the shower I almost lost balance. My body feels so awkward as it stretches and grows, expanding to make space for the life inside me.  It’s hard sometimes. One moment I am filled with joy at the thought of my coming baby, the next I just feel awkward and fat.

Yesterday I watched an interview with my favorite angst-filled 90’s singer Alanis Morissette, talking about her experience being pregnant and giving birth. She candidly shared how her whole life she did everything she could to ignore the fact she had a body. She didn’t want to confront it head on, for the insecurity would be too much. Everything she did was to transcend.

We’ll love you just the way you are
If you’re perfect

-Alanis, Perfect

But, as Alanis discovered, there is no escaping your body when you are pregnant.

I understand. I never felt comfortable in my skin. As a kid, I was the definition of gangly. I was painfully shy and just wanted to disappear into the background, but my tall stature prevented that. I suffered from deep fear and insecurity and  it showed in my bent posture and awkward hand placement. I resented my body and all the space it took. I wished I was tiny because that’s how I felt.

It wasn’t until my early twenties that I actually began to believe I was beautiful. It wasn’t that a man convinced me, or repeating some spiritual incantation about how God made me special.

It took God, showing me outside myself to see within myself.

It took me understanding the root of my childhood fear, and understanding Grace in Jesus to have grace on myself.

It took me finally loving my life to see that it was beautiful.

I know we all struggle with the way we see ourselves. There are so many books and blogs on body image, especially for girls.

But maybe the answer to this self-esteem crisis isn’t repeating some kind of chant or putting make-up on, or taking it off.

Maybe it isn’t found in the compliments of others, in using or hating Photoshop, in blaming magazine editors for our false view of what being pretty means.

Maybe it isn’t even in repeating bible verses about how wonderfully made we are, and convincing ourselves we really believe it.

Maybe the real way to finally accept your body image is to begin to realize what a miracle this vessel we were given is. 

Maybe the way to love yourself is to allow yourself to be in awe at the way your eyes are reading these words and your brain is processing them.

 I’ve decided to forget about self-esteem and focus instead on esteeming life.

Because when I quit comparing myself to others and realize each person is a miracle, I can’t help but love myself and those around me.

Our blood flows, our brain sends messages.

These systems inside us are vastly complex and creative.

We feel and stretch and smile.

We love and go through loss and get sick and heal.

We invent and create art and societies and make babies.

We are alive. 

I am reading an autobiography of a boy who is almost completely paralyzed. He typed the book with a stick in his mouth.  He is stuck in his chair, unable to talk or hardly move.

And yet, he is not confined. He is not limited.

His imagination more than compensates for his lack of physical movement.

In his mind, he travels and soars. 

He is not stuck.

It’s time to stop believing the lie that we are stuck.

I am not stuck.

You are not stuck.

Whether you are bursting with new life, maybe a baby or a dream,

or you feel all weathered up and used, and are just going through the motions,

Your life is a miracle.


Lately, I place one hand on my heart and one on my growing belly.

I breathe in deep and close my eyes and imagine my child.

Kicking, smiling, growing, anticipating entering this brilliant world.

A unique being, alive and breathing. Thinking and feeling.

I know then, that even if I gain one hundred more pounds and the hair on my head falls out, even when lines and marks on my body stretch out, and half-moons grow darker under my eyes,

I am and will always be beautiful. 

Because life is a miracle, and I get to partake in it.

%d bloggers like this: