Yesterday I officially turned 34 weeks. I also grew - a lot! Suddenly my belly is bigger...my face seems wider...my chest, unbelievably and inconceivably, is larger...my legs and calves and - ankles? - and feet are all swollen and unrecognizable.
None of this is shocking. These things happen every day to pregnant women everywhere.
But it is shocking...to me. Not because I care that I'm growing - everywhere. But because I don't.
I spent many years abusing my body with an eating disorder that nearly killed me. It wasn't always for vanity - it usually isn't. It was a great distraction - a way of taking control of the parts of my life I had no control over. But when you have an eating disorder for some time, you begin to believe that your self worth is tied up in what size you are or how your body looks in the mirror. It takes a long time to "de-program" yourself to think otherwise.
Somehow - someway - I came out on the other side. And when I find myself looking in the mirror at my ever growing pregnant body and feeling nothing but extreme gratitude...or when I look at every curve and every mark and see a miracle instead of a monster...I shock myself. My body is not my own right now...and I LOVE it.
Who is this person? Why is she suddenly so accepting of herself??
Although my transformation happened before I gave birth to Gavin - I know that Motherhood has changed me profoundly. And Gavin's death has given me an even greater perspective. Nothing - at all - is so bad that hurting myself in any way would make it better. Nothing.
Everyone's body is such a beautiful tool - and it should be cherished and cared for as such. Man or woman - your body is capable of loving another person, creating another person, carrying another person inside of you as he or she grows and then is birthed, educating another person (in a myriad of ways) and so much more. The sheer privilege of carrying a child in my womb is overwhelming to me. Sure, I have the difficulties and discomforts of pregnancy - but when you have an awareness that you're part of a miracle...and you have walked through events that are much, much bigger than you...it's near impossible to complain. (Unless it's about gigantic boobs. I WILL complain if they don't go away. Don't judge.)
I am closer every day to meeting our daughter. I hope, as she and her brother grow up together, that we foster in them a healthy body image by our example. And I hope and pray that they will love themselves and realize the power they have to affect others with their lives.
That's what's on my mind tonight. Well - that and a chocolate mousse trifle that is calling my name from the kitchen.
I'll post a belly shot this week! And some other photos of our nearly done nursery (Ed and I were in serious nesting mode this weekend!) and a few other fun things.