This was the last picture I took of myself before Emerald was born. She was born 4 days after this picture was taken. Throughout my pregnancy, occasionally I'd post a picture of my baby belly on facebook. I never posted this one though, because I was too ashamed. I weighed almost 200 lbs by the time Emerald was born (188 lbs to be exact). I gained 60 lbs total during Emerald's pregnancy. Gaining 60 lbs in 9 months does NOT feel good. Physically or emotionally. When I looked in the mirror I was disgusted with myself.
Now, at 10 months postpartum, it is so much easier for me to look at this picture and find the beauty in it. The idea that in my belly was a fully alive, fully developed little person...well, that is just incredible. And gaining 60 lbs in the process of growing that little human being simply does not seem like that much of a sacrifice anymore.
Oh, it is SOOO easy for us as women to beat ourselves up about our bodies during and after pregnancy. We just loooove to make ourselves feel guilty for looking less than perfect and weighing more than a super model. But when we do that, we lose sight of the precious gift that God has given us as moms, to be a part of the miraculous creation of an incredible little person. It's truly too wonderful for me to put into words. I am overwhelmed by gratitude and thanksgiving that God would choose me to grow a little person inside of me. Wow. I mean, that is an INCREDIBLE gift and such an amazing responsibility.
If you are pregnant, or if you are recovering from pregnancy (it takes some women YEARS for their bodies to fully recover from pregnancy...and by this I mean shrink back to it's normal size) please keep your thoughts positive and focused on your sweet baby. Take pride in the fact that God chose you to be involved in such an incredible miracle and be joyful every step of the way. Even if that weight never comes off, it doesn't matter. You are a Super Woman, because you grew a baby. And that baby is worth every bit of the body changes that occur during pregnancy.
This video is an incredible reminder of how miraculous the baby-baking process is. Especially if you keep in mind that all of this happens in just 9 months! Seriously, seriously incredible. Next time you are tempted to curse at the numbers on the scale or the stretch marks in the mirror, watch this video and remember the miracle you were a part of to cause those body changes.