I don’t cry for my body anymore

I could feel the sweat trickling in tracks down my body.  It had been a hard training session.  As I walked in the door — home — I pulled off my wet t-shirt, enjoying the cool relief as the air hit my damp skin.  I walked around that way, for a good 10 minutes before taking a shower: shorts, socks and a crop.  As I casually chatted to the children about the upcoming plans for the day, I noticed my son (5) staring at my belly button.

“What?  What are you looking at?” I was curious.

“That there. It looks like a cut. What is it?” he said.

I glanced down at my belly button to see he meant the strange and lonely stretch mark that snaked its way through my navel.

pregnant with fourth child“Ahhhh, that.  When I carried you inside my stomach, it needed to stretch so much,” I put my arms out in a circle in front of me, “That the skin tore a little.  That strange one right there, all by itself, only happened when you were in my tummy. And you know what? It reminds me of you, so it’s really kind of special.”

I was surprised how his face lit up.

“So you can remember that I was inside your tummy once,” he reiterated with a delighted chuckle; big smile. Then he ran off to play outside.

And so I think of them, I do — the now silvery lines sitting under my navel, and the one lonely one above it, that marks the birth of my only son — I think of them as beautiful, as special.

But it wasn’t always like this.  I distinctly remember the moment, during my first pregnancy, when I noticed the first stretch mark marring my smooth skin.  I cried that day.  But I don’t cry anymore for my body.  I train it, I feed it, I rest it, I entrust it to the one person who cares for my heart and too: sees my imperfect body as beautiful; and I love it for giving me my four children.

Sometimes things need to be broken so they can become more beautiful than before. That is what motherhood did for me. It stretched, pulled, and even tore at my person.  Yes, such violence. Such love. Such highs. Such lows. Such fear. Such joy.

Grateful for SUCH complex beauty.

All of it.

motherhood

Remembering my first year with son.  He’s one in this picture. 

Now he’s a little boy — five going on six — full of energy and questions.

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Kelly loves life at both ends of the spectrum: wearing high heel shoes one day and hiking boots the next; sipping tea out of a pretty cup and slurping hot coffee from a camping mug; challenging herself physically and stopping for quiet unhurried moments to feel the wind on her face. Kelly and her husband Matthew seek to live a fun and adventurous life with their four children and pet bird.

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Comments

  1. Kat says

    Thanks for sharing this beautiful post Kelle.
    When I had my first baby, (of four kids) 11 years ago I tore so badly I had to have bowel surgery and a temporary colostomy bag.
    For a long time I wore those scars with sadness and even anger at how my stomach will always not sit right due to being cut up the middle of my stomach.
    My husband reminded me that scar is a badge of honour and to wear it with pride.
    So I do.
    I may never wear a bikini again (hm, did I ever?) but those scars and my caesar scars are now worn with pride.

  2. Tina says

    “Sometimes things need to be broken so they can become more beautiful than before. That is what motherhood did for me. It stretched, pulled, and even tore at my person. Yes, such violence. Such love. Such highs. Such lows. Such fear. Such joy.”

    That is such a beautiful way to put it..brought tears to my eyes :) Have my first baby boy and have stretch marks all over my body not just my tummy and even now he is 8 months old am sitting with mild pelvic disability which prevents me from running/exercise and am still 10 kgs over my pre-pregnancy weight,,a source of constant tears..but I am slowly learning to love and respect my body again..

  3. Deb says

    LOL. My whole body is one big stretch mark! I’m not overweight, but I got my first stretch marks as a teenager when I went from stick-figure child to curvaceous young woman.
    For some reason, stretch marks don’t bother me in the slightest. I’ve never been compelled to buy Palmer’s cocoa butter (for stretch marks) or anything else.
    Stretch marks? Who cares! I’m alive, I’ve got skin, and it stretches sometimes. :D

  4. Annette Higgins says

    I look at my cesarean scar and think its amazing they could pull a baby out of there. I needed to. Have a cesarean due to pre-clampsia and I’m fortunate to have my baby girl. Thanks for sharing Kelly!

  5. says

    I have stretch marks on my belly, thighs & breasts, plus a nice cesarean scar. I was pretty paranoid about them, until my husband just commented ‘I think their beautiful’, so now I see them with different eyes, I grew people, that’s pretty friggin amazing.

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