Monday, July 27, 2009

trophy stretch marks

So my mom had four babies and her stomach was left without a single mark. Okay, that's a lie. We were all lifted out of her, so she got some awesome cut marks. But in terms of stretching, nada. I naively assumed I'd enjoy the same benefit (minus the cutting). For one thing, I was a chub in high school - my skin had already stretched out some. For another, isn't it genetic? (By the way, my pregnancy was in no way like my mothers' pregnancies, so I have no idea what I was thinking.)

Mid way, I noticed a strange stretch mark looking thing. I didn't mind too much. It was tiny. By about week 33, however, that little mark and lots of little friends - purple, squiggly friends. When I came home from the hospital, I literally looked like I was about thirty weeks pregnant. But the funny thing is, I didn't really care, about the marks, the huge belly. Annabelle completely blinded me. It didn't matter. And still, there's a part of me that looks at these "decorative stripes" (as our friend calls his wife's stretch marks) on my "bread dough belly" (as my husband calls my mushy belly) with a small amount of pride. These marks, this stomach, they are evidence that my little person was there, my body carried a baby. It's proof positive that I did it.

Miss Annabelle has rather unpredictable bowels. Usually it comes in blow out proportions. Once, as I changed a blow out, I had to get Jess' assistance because she blew out right then and there, two additional times, including some projectile that hit me on the leg. Jess freaked out, pointing frantically at the poo (!) on my leg (!), and I just asked him to hand me a wipe. Every time I bathe her, she leaves a small present on the towel or me. But it never fazes me. Although these things are at their essence unpleasant, at times I feel like they are trophies, marks of recognition. Trophies of motherhood.

They aren't pretty, sometimes they smell awful, and the belly is going to take work (lots of it) to tighten up. But, when all is said and done, there's something in me that is okay with this new body, with hips that don't fit in jeans the same. There's something in me that sees my daughter's messes on me as a privilege. Because they are. All of it is a privilege and a blessing. I've waited so long for these sleep deprived nights, for every little part of being a mom.

And I wouldn't change a thing. Not even the spit up in my shoe. (She has really incredible aim.)

NOTE: If you know me, you also know I'm going CRAZY. And started walking when she was two weeks old. Today, when she got starving mid walk, I ran home, pushing the stroller that is definitely not a running stroller. I looked pretty ridiculous, I'm sure, and I was huffing like a man in his mid 40s who just gave up smoking.

But it felt SO GOOD.


Snailbug said...

She looks like she just asked a question. I think the question was: Where's my grandma?

I'm coming, Annabelle. I'm coming.

Marissa said...

You are? What about me?

The Harrises said...

Way to Annabelle! I'm glad you're officially baptized into motherhood with poo on your leg. I'm glad you're loving the moments and appreciating them.


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