When I got out of the shower this morning and caught a glimpse of my naked, wobbly, shrivelled baby belly my first thought was 'ewww gross'! I then went on to grab handfuls of flesh asking the god of flat stomachs why he had been so cruel as to have giveth and then taketh away! And then my wonderfully grateful and over protective brain kicked in and gave me a stark awakening.
Why is it that when a women is pregnant it's all about how gorgeous her bump is, her belly, her gloriously expanding baby vessel, the keeper of secrets, the miracle maker and yet when the baby's born, it suddenly becomes something offensive, something to be hidden, to be apologised for and hidden under baggy tees or stuffed into Spanx?
This disparity is bullshit and I for one am over it!
So, here's why I'm lovin' my belly and why you should too *love your belly, not mine, although love mine too if you want, it's totally smoking!
My belly welcomed six pregnancies. It's strong intuitive connection to these pregnancies knew that two of them shouldn't or couldn't continue and although it was some of my darkest days, I trust that my belly knew best and had respect for the journey it took to allow those babies to move on to whatever was to be waiting for them.
My belly grew 4 whole humans, quietly, unconsciously and unquestioning. It then spent hours and hours contracting, manoeuvring and aligning before bringing me the fruits of its labour. These babies had been fed, been watered, been nurtured and brought out safely into the world by my belly.
Aside from all the baby making, my belly has graciously accepted every glass of wine and greasy burger that I threw at it, expect on the odd occasion whereby it made me sick for hours and gave me a 2 day hangover to prove that even though it is an incredible addition to my body, it too, has limits, Baileys after red wine is defo one of the limits.
Every disgusting stretch-mark is actually a forever connection to the child I grew and a mark of respect for the ones who didn't make it.
Every bit of disgusting over hang covering up my mum pants is actually a story of good times, eating and drinking with friends, sofa buffets of cheese and crisps with my husband and birthday cake for all the years and years celebrating my own life and those that I'm blessed to have around me.
So when you step out of the shower, instead of shaming it, be more forgiving of your wonderfully perfect belly and all the stories that it holds. Let's stop comparing ourselves to over airbrushed pictures of a fantasy world that doesn't exist. Let's find peace with our bellies and respect if for all it's hard work up to this point and for all the times we are yet to share with it.
*yes that is a photo of my actual belly *gulp* see, it's bloody gorgeous!