I used to be a tad self conscious and occasionally find myself worrying about the way my body looked and how others would see me. I never had a thigh gap, I’ve always had small boobs and I’ve always had wobbly bits. I don’t stress over it as much as I know some beautiful women do, but I’m human.
However, I realised tonight that I’ve never really spoken about the pivotal moments that really changed the way I felt about my body. I credit two people for changing the way I perceived my body, Christopher and my Aela Bear.
When I fell pregnant with Aela Bear I thought I understood what I was in for: a bit of a spew in the morning, I’d feel a little stretched by the end of it and go through a few hours of pain and then boomshakalaka I’d have a little bubba.
Holy crap was I wrong. From the moment you fall pregnant it’s like your animal instincts begin to kick in, your entire being becomes consumed by this little human starting to evolve right there INSIDE YOUR BODY! Your vessel is no longer your own, you don’t feel the same, you can feel something growing, moving and even your brain cannot focus on anything other than this tiny person that you haven’t even met yet.
Toward the end of my pregnancy I wasn’t sure how much more I could take. I went through two weeks of Braxton Hicks contractions – but my goodness did I know when it finally started to happen. I woke up at 4am on a Wednesday morning and I knew it in my core that something was changing. My labour began and when we arrived at the hospital they believed I would have her no later than that afternoon.
But my bear had other plans – I contracted, I pushed, I struggled all day, all night and into the next day. I was ready to give up but at the same time still adamant that I would bring her into this world on my own. I had never experienced pain like it, I had never gone through that type of mental strain before and I started to question my abilities as a woman.
Eventually we had exhausted all efforts before it was finally time to accept that she was going to do things her way and I was taken in for an emergency caesarean. I can’t even begin to explain how it felt knowing I was being cut open and the moment she was pulled from inside of me is something I will never forget.
I was sewn back up and then began my whirlwind of adjusting to motherhood – nourishing my little human, experiencing insane sleep deprivation, questioning my abilities, hormones all over the place and all sorts of things that no-one ever really spoke about.
Tonight here I sit reflecting on the past two years and what my body has gone through. I have reached a point where I am now in awe of what the human body is truly capable of – I don’t give a shit if I am wobbly, or my boobs are even flatter than they were before, or I have a scar across my stomach. This body has grown, carried and nourished ANOTHER HUMAN!!!!!!!! NOURISH your body to help it work as efficiently as possible NOT to be visually pleasing for social standards.
LOVE your body because of what it can do. NOT because of what you think it lacks.
APPRECIATE your body for the fact that it is yours and it is your vessel carrying you through life… it is no-one else’s to judge, critique or throw shade at!
HuffPost UK Parents has launched ‘Mumbod’, a new section to empower mums and mums-to-be to feel confident about their bodies pre- and post-baby. We’d also love to hear your stories. To blog for Mumbod, email email@example.com. To keep up to date with features, blogs and videos on the topic, follow the hashtag #MyMumbod.