Trigger warning: verbal abuse and domestic violence
The hardest part of my pregnancy was my body changing.
Domestic violence hit me the hardest during this time.
This is why I get emotional when I legit see pregnant mommas living their best lives with their miraculous growing bods — oh, I see you.
Being with someone that tugged on my thighs and looked at other women from top to bottom that were fit, built, and gearing up for spring break and me, at my core, feeling the heaviest and ugliest, sweating profusely, very pregnant, trying to walk for 20 minutes on incline at the university gym.
I felt my clothes didn’t hug my bump cutely like others. I refused to buy maternity jeans until mine busted from being kept together with a hair tie — and towards the end, I didn’t want to leave the house at all.
I felt so much shame for my pregnant body — if I’m being honest, hatred for it.
I remember looking under the sheets soon after delivering and realizing I still remained there — pregnant appearing, but now no child within me.
I remember weeping in the shower, leaning against the wall, and seeing my changed body appear beneath me.
I wept for this body I imagined as soon as these nine months were over.
My partner, throwing a women’s fitness magazine at me while we were still at the hospital, telling me that it should make me feel better and get motivated that one day I would look like them again.
I remember being in labor and looking at my nurses and wanting them to hide and their shifts to be over because they were cute and I knew I couldn’t compete — while giving birth.
I remember juggling every day after … losing weight fiercely and way too quickly while breastfeeding because I needed to “get it back.”
I remember having piles of animal crackers on my Boppy pillow at night while my nursing son was absorbing nutrients from my epic body, and me counting the individual animals, trying to tell myself I couldn’t eat too many.
I remember my first post-birth walk, post-birth run.
I remember shorts being gifted to me after he went on a shopping spree, with a pair of tennis shoes, and pulling them up and realizing they were too tight still. Thinking he may have bought that size on purpose so I must fit into them.
Talking to my therapist the other day, who is a male, I told him how I struggle with my after-appendectomy body, my after-baby body, and how I feel like I still get held back because of these voices in my head. I can know they are not my truth. But I hear them nonetheless. I’m tired of them.
As I told him, “When I look in the mirror, still after all this time — I still hear his voice in my head.”
“Saggy. Boob. Bitch.”
… And the cheating didn’t help.
You didn’t like that language? Yeah, I didn’t either.
You know what I gotta say in response to this? Wear the dang bathing suit.
WEAR THE DANG BATHING SUIT.
Don’t just wear it — own your body in it. All these scars, stretch marks and pieces of your body that tell your story. Allow them to be seen, honored and heard.
I should’ve been able to walk around the hospital for my first post-birth walk and not feel like every other woman or man would think I still looked pregnant. I should have strutted my stuff, knowing I had an incredibly hard pregnancy; mentally, emotionally, sexually, and physically. I birthed a healthy baby, the sweetest, most beautiful human that made me into an epically changed woman.
Do not, for one more second, keep your soul at home when you decide to bring your body out.
Do not do it any longer.
Go check yourself out right now. Breathe her in. She is mighty, strong, brilliant, sexy, fierce, intelligent, brave, resilient and her body tells the most epic of stories — one of her life.
Wear. The. Bathing. Suit.
And each time you scan the pool or scan yourself, remind yourself that you are a straight up masterpiece.