Writing these words seems so wrong because of how heartbroken I was about my birthing experience, but the time in which I felt most beautiful was immediately after I had my daughter. Like, one hour afterwards.
Anyone that I may have poured my heart out to after giving birth may be thinking, “What? You didn’t seem to feel very good about yourself at the time.” But the two feelings of dichotomy (feeling beautiful versus feeling pain about a disappointing birth) come from two different places in my heart. I’ve talked my brains out about how unhappy I was about having an unwanted emergency c-section, so today I am pleased to talk about the positive experience of beauty I felt after having my daughter.
I loved pregnancy. I, thankfully, was not one who suffered from morning sickness, and beside a few unpleasant symptoms here and there, I felt radiant. I loved my huge, swollen belly, and I even loved my swollen feet. We had tried to conceive for two years and experienced a miscarriage, so when it finally happened, I truly relished every moment.
Like every mother, the moment they placed her in my arms, I was floored at her beauty. But somehow, at the same moment, she made me feel beautiful too. She was created in my own image. I couldn’t believe what my body had overcome to make something so gorgeous.
The night in which I felt the most beautiful was our first night home from the hospital. I placed my sweet baby girl in her cradle at our feet, and for the first time in nine months, crawled into bed with my husband with no bulging baby bump. It was just the two of us instead of the three of us. I have never felt thinner (despite what I actually weighed at the time…I couldn’t have cared less), happier, more fulfilled, or more natural. Was I in pain? Yes. Was everything kind of gross? Of course. But for some reason, beyond my understanding, I truly felt beautiful.
The phenomenon has continued for me postpartum. I still feel beautiful 19 months after becoming a mother. The best thing for my ego was having a child. I don’t know why this is, and I want to acknowledge that it is sadly uncommon. I can tell you that this has nothing to do with weight. And I am so far from an athlete, it’s not even funny. It’s something inside. I love my body, flaws and all. I am in awe of what it accomplished every time I look at my daughter.
I can’t tell you exactly why I have felt this way, but I feel so blessed to have had these positive feelings toward myself. I look in the mirror and think, “I am someone’s mom.” I don’t think about the stretch marks, the small bulging hernia my c-section caused, my widened hips, my sagging breasts, or thinner hair (yes, birth does that!). I could, but why? There’s so much beauty to notice all around me, why bother?
And on a side note, I am aiming to raise my child in a home where her mother continues to feel beautiful. Ladies, how often did you perceive your mother as having confidence in her appearance? I never did. I only heard my mother refer to those last pesky five pounds she always wanted to lose. Until I had my own child, I too, always had those same pesky five pounds to lose. Let’s change that, mothers.
Thank you, Krista, for allowing me to anonymously share. I pray that this falls on hearts of readers in a humble, grateful manner versus a haughty, conceited manner. I am blown away by how beautiful motherhood has made me feel and I pray that the women in my life might experience the same emotions.
*This writer prefers to remain anonymous.