Operation Caffeination

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Let’s just start off with this: I am not posting the photo on the Internet.

with one comment

I wrote this down a few moths ago, forgot about it, found it again today and still like it. That doesn’t happen often, so I’ve decided to share it.

Spoiler alert, though: I am not posting any nakey lady pics. Some people do that, and that is fine, more power to them…but the Internet is not anonymous enough for me to feel comfortable posting pictures of my unclothed body. I’d love to hear more from other women about their relationships with their bodies, though, particularly those whose bodies do not fit the Western idealized blueprint for beauty. Do you feel beautiful? Do you value beauty? How do you define beauty for yourself? What makes you feel beautiful?

I stepped out of the shower on the morning of my scheduled c-section and admired my pregnant body for the last time. I knew that I was unlikely to have any more children, and I secretly longed to take a picture of my naked self so that I would always remember how beautiful and alive I felt in that moment…but it felt weird to rejoice in my own nakedness, and so silly, to love my body and to feel so good in my own skin when everyone around me was sighing about stretch marks and bloating. I certainly had my share of both! I caved to the societal pressure to perceive myself and my body as inadequate, and I didn’t take the picture. I have kicked myself for that so many times since.

Three months after my daughter was born, my little toddler son stretched his body across my stomach and paused to examine my c-section scar. He frowned for a moment, and then inquired, “Is this where our baby got out of your tummy?”

“That’s the spot,” I assured him for the millionth time.

“Is it an owie?” he asked again.

“Having babies is very hard work,” I replied. “Some parts of it hurt a lot, but I am safe and happy and don’t have any owies now. This line on my tummy lets me remember what it was like to have a baby inside my tummy.”

He smiled and patted my midsection, which jiggled and squished under the pressure of his little hand.

“Your tummy is empty now, huh, Mom? No more babies in there!”

I felt tears spring to my eyes, and then realized that I was gently stroking my own stomach…and again, I was washed with feeling of tenderness for my body. I felt proud of how hard I’d worked, how much I’d endured, how much I’d learned, and profoundly grateful to have had the immeasurable blessing of a healthy body that was able to create beautiful babies for me to love, all on its own.

I looked at the shriveled, scarred, lop-sided mess that two pregnancies had left behind, and smiled a little.

And this time, I took the picture.


Written by GRSeim

March 28, 2012 at 7:20 am

One Response

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  1. What a great moment to be able to remember with a photograph 🙂


    March 29, 2012 at 7:16 am

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