I’ve been thinking a lot about how I feel about myself as an individual, a woman, both a mom and wife, daughter and sister, just all the things and all the relationships I have as me, Bree.
Ever since I had Millie I have been the most confident I have ever been. The day I came home from the hospital I felt great besides the pain from a healing c section incision. The next day was Thanksgiving. I was 5 days postpartum and I felt great about myself. I felt beautiful. To be honest, I had a droopy belly and had to wear an ab binder to be able to sit and stand without being in an insane amount of pain which probably accented my postpartum tummy, my milk had just come in so that was uncomfortable, I was still horribly swollen from all the fluids I had needed during my surgery (sausage toes and cankles like I have NEVER seen or experienced), and still had a swollen face from pregnancy/fluids. It didn’t matter. I felt beautiful. As time continues to go on (Millie is a little over 4 months now) I feel better and better. I have lost the baby weight and possibly more. Kenny says I have but I haven’t weighed myself but that is not even something I am thinking about or concerned with. Before, I felt insecure pretty often. This has improved dramatically over the years but there was still a bit of that old insecurity left.
I recently saw this picture and it got me thinking
I think there are two parts of this new found confidence and love for my body and my self as a whole.
1. I was created to be a mother.
When you are living out your identity it is so, so easy to feel amazing about yourself. I was created, born, called to be a mother. My spirit has always been a mom. I have been mothering everyone I come into contact with since I was around 3 years old. Now, my body is a mom too and I am so at home within myself.
2. Birth and nursing my baby has empowered me as a woman.
My birth was extremely difficult. I have never done anything like that in my life and honestly even with the problems we had I kicked its ass, just ask my mom or husband. (Sorry if you are offended I said ass but that is the only way I feel I can accurately describe it.)
I had to fight to breastfeed for the first few days then couple weeks. It was painful. I was healing. I couldn’t even pick her up the first couple days without help. Millie had to deal with jaundice and was losing too much weight. I had to work and be determined to get my milk to come in. I did not have as difficult a time as some women I will absolutely admit but it was hard. I was scared but now I have a 4 month old who is 17lbs and in the 93rd percentile for weight. My instincts were correct.
In the beginning, I was nervous I was going to offend someone by nursing in public. I have learned so much though. When I feel it would be most respectful, I use a cover. Not because I am ashamed or embarrassed but because I choose to show love to those around me and value relationship over my own comfort with nursing. Most of the time I do great nursing without a cover. Walking around nursing my baby in the grocery store without anyone noticing makes me smile every time because she is happy, I am happy and no longer do I find myself self conscious. I feel beautiful, feminine, strong and empowered every day by God, my husband and my family.
Being a mom is kind of like exercising. It is really hard, and sometimes you just want a break so you can catch your breath. Then, you keep pushing yourself and when that set is done you feel amazing. There is new found energy, your blood is pumping. It is invigorating and all of the sudden you realize you can handle another set.
Through birth, nursing, and my relationship with God, I have fallen in love with a tiny person I had never known but always been aware of, discovered a new depth to the love I have for my husband, and uncovered a new layer of love for who I am as a woman.