Long before you were conceived, New Year's Resolutions were a big deal for me. I wrote list after list of what I needed to change about myself, what had to be different and better. Top of the list was always my need to lose weight and be harder on myself, starting January 1st. I never loved my body, and focused on what wasn't right about it. My tummy was never flat enough, my butt was forever too big and my thighs too fluffy. I was gross and I needed to be stricter on myself if I wanted to get somewhere.
After meeting your mama though, things started to change. She was the first one who loved me whole, the first one I allowed to love me. I opened up to her, slowly but steadily. Every time I felt gross, I let her comfort me. That little monster telling me I wasn't good enough, or thin enough, lost a bit of its power. Her voice, calm and warm, became easier to believe each time she told me I was beautiful.
Now, with you growing bigger and stronger every day, my feelings are so torn baby. On the one hand I am so proud of what my body is capable of. I feel resilient and gorgeous and Venus-like. My body swelling up with you, our little love, is the most magical thing I've ever done. But then there is the outside world. Without even meaning to, people judge me and my belly holding you. "Are you sure it's not twins?" is probably the most made comment. "You still have four months to go?! Wow, you're big!" comes in second.
With each comment, however loving, that little monster in me is fed. It becomes a bit stronger and I look at my stretch marks, my breasts, and my thighs and I start to doubt myself again. I can barely stop myself from making another list of how I need to change. How quickly I should get back in shape after having you. How I need to get my old body back like other mothers I see around me, like the media keeps telling mothers.
Luckily, I have your mom by my side. She comforts me, reassures me and makes me proud of what my body is doing again. She rocks me when I cry, holds me and lets me talk. She keeps the both of us safe, every day. Because of her love and the safety she provides, my inner monster falls silent. Her loving words, her touching my stomach, talking to you, drowns out whatever that monster was trying to whisper.
Then I remember there's no way I will get my old body back. There is no old body, there's only the one I have. The body I am making a person with, the body that is transforming and will never be the same as I once had. I am my body, there is only one of me. And you're living in me. Breathing my breaths, nourished on what I feed us. Completely natural and totally mind-blowing at the same time.
This year, I'll write a list on what I wish for us. No changes, just hope and love. I hope you feel whole and complete in your body. I want you to be able to love yourself, and whatever you are meant to become. I wish for a strong and healthy arrival of you. I hope I get to feed you with my body after you're born. I hope your mother and me stay healthy and strong, so we can play with you, protect you, comfort you. I hope my fingers find yours, and we get to hold hands for years to come. I hope you fall asleep on my chest, like your mom sometimes does. And most of all, I will do my best to be more gentle. More gentle on myself, more willing to see the beauty in this process of making you. I'll be gentle on myself, so I can teach you the same. Teach you to look for the warmth in people, instead of how cool they are.