Thursday, May 2, 2013

Embracing

16 years old
Over the last two months I've really started to discover something about myself.  I like who I am.  All of who I am.  For about the last 10 years I have been struggling with my weight.  Basically, after high school ended and I was no longer cheering and dancing on a daily basis I've put on the pounds.  I've put on a lot  of pounds.  I'm probably 100 lbs heavier than I was my senior year.  I have had pressure from many different people in my life to lose weight and be skinny.  That pressure hurts sometimes.  It makes me doubt myself.  I shouldn't doubt myself.

Now, I am fully aware of my size.  I know that I am a big girl.  The truth in the matter is that I don't feel like a "big girl."  I feel the same as I did back then.  Yes, it has been frustrating when my clothes have gotten tight and I have moved up to the next size but that is ok.  I actually haven't gained any new weight in a long time, not even through my recent pregnancy.

Rah-Rah sis boom bah!
I have lost about 25 lbs since giving birth to Anya.  Am I proud of the loss? Absolutely!  But I it hasn't had a big effect on my body image.  I think the biggest thing for me had been seeing what my body can do and what it can handle even though I am heavy.

After 3 kids I am able to nurse for the very first time.  I've had road blocks in my way every single time but I was more determined than ever to breastfeed.

Senior Picture
After Sidda was born, she was jaundiced.  She was under the bililights and had a bottle in her mouth before I could ever attempt to feed her myself.  I blame the fact that I was a new mom and completely uninformed that I didn't try or fight harder to nurse her.

When MJ was I was able to nurse him for 2 whole days.  I don't even think my milk had started coming in before I got sick.  I ended up with a kidney stone and was in so much pain I didn't know what to do.  The medication I was on caused me to pump and dump and by the time I was able to try again I was just about out of milk and MJ just wanted a bottle.

Michael is 16 and I am 18
This time with Anya I wasn't going to give up.  I didn't want to spend my time mixing formula and worrying about bottles and everything like that.  I was able to nurse her twice before she was taken away from me to go to the NICU.  Anya had jaundice and was coombs positive.  She was put on the bottle and I was left to pump as much as I could.  She was in the NICU for 4 days under the bililights and my milk didn't come in until day 3.  But I couldn't even try to nurse her until day 4.  When I finally did get to try I couldn't get her to latch.  She was used to the feel of the bottle in her mouth.  I was on the verge of tears until the nurse gave me a nipple shield to use.  Anya was able to latch and feed.  It made all the difference for me.

Using the nipple shield can be frustrating but I am so greatful for it.  I still have to use one so she will latch on, but I am ok with that.  It helps my body to do what it is supposed to do.

Sidda and me.  She was a few days old.
My body has been through a lot over the years but knowing that it has grown three perfect babies and has been feeding the last one for the last two months gives me so much more confidence in myself.  My "big" body does exactly what it needs to.  I can walk and run, play and dance, and do all the things I need to do.

MJ after his first bath
Another confidence booster is knowing that my husband is attracted to me, no matter my size.  He has loved me at my smallest and my biggest.  He wants to keep me at my worst and that makes me excited to be with him when I am at my best.


I know that outsiders may look at me and just see the roundness of my hips and the roll of my belly and the thickness of my thighs, but when I look in the mirror I see a woman who has grown to love who she is no matter what others think.  My body has grown and fed babies. It has danced and cheered.  It has ached.  I have felt broken and over joyed.

Getting ready to take Anya home
I have been broken hearted over my size but I fully embrace who I am in the body I was given.  Only I know how it feels to live in this skin and with these bones.  There is no need to worry about how anyone else feels about it because I love it.  It what God gave me.