By the end of my first pregnancy, I had put on almost 44 pounds! Even after giving birth, most of the pregnancy weight was still on me. My belly was flabby and wrinkled with stretch marks.
Even as a part of me was busking in the joy of cradling my precious newborn in my arms, there was another part of me who was afraid to look at myself in the mirror.
I was very upset about how ugly my body had become.
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The stretch marks were battle scars from a long-drawn battle lasting nine months which I had conquered and safely brought to earth a new life.
I was very proud of what my body had done. Yet I felt what my body had become, was ghastly.
Then I read articles on how other mothers have shared their feelings towards their postpartum body, and how they took pride in it regardless of the changes.
I realize I was the only one putting myself down.
My husband had always encouraged me and loved me despite how my appearance changed during pregnancy.
He saw beyond the exterior and admired the woman who endured the pains to give birth to his son.
I needed to love myself more, just as I so easily love my newborn.
I focused less on how my body looked, and more on my positive emotions as a new mum – the pride, joy, and bliss of having a baby.
Nobody could have a hold on me to criticize the way I look, because no one else knows exactly what sacrifices I made or the pains I had endured during pregnancy and after.
It is my body, and it shouldn’t be subjected to any judgment by anyone else.
As I started to take pride in my body, even with the stretch marks that here to stay, I was no longer benchmarking my beauty to any media or celebrity icon.
I am beautiful because I love my body for all that it has done for my baby.
I take good care of myself.
I appreciate the way I look. I am beautiful.
And so are you.
Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight. – 1 Peter 3:3-4
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