Sometimes I hate you.
I see you in the mirror and I hate the way you look. Hate the way you make the skin on my lower abdomen pooch out. Hate how no matter how many crunches I do and how many pounds I lose, you’re the reason the pooch won’t ever go away.
I hate the way you feel under my fingertips. I hate how you’re numb in some places, and how it gives me goosebumps to not be able to feel my own fingertips on my skin.
I hate the way my stretched-out, post-pregnancy skin wrinkles down over you when I sit down.
I hate that I couldn’t give birth vaginally. I hate how seeing you reminds me that I failed, that I couldn’t give birth “correctly.” I hate how your very existence makes every future pregnancy a high-risk one.
You changed everything.
You brought me nighttime snuggles and morning drooly kisses. You brought me hours of re-reading “The Hungry Caterpillar” and playing with itty bitty toes. You brought me someone who needs me in a way no one has ever needed me before.
You may have brought me numb spots on my abdomen, but because of you, I can feel so much more.
I feel the wet of tiny tears as I brush them away. I feel the sweetness of pudgy arms around my neck. I feel joy in the munchkin fists knotted In my hair. I feel the closeness in the milky breath on my face.
I feel heart-stopping amounts of love—a kind of love I never even knew existed before you.
You brought me so much more than I could ever have dreamed.
Because of you, I get to look into the bright eyes of someone who adores me. I get to watch him grow and learn and love. I get to see the face of God in those round cheeks and gummy smiles.
When I see you, I see my own strength. You are a physical mark of the overflowing love I have for my little child. I am reminded on days when I don’t feel like I am enough, that I have already done so much for him. I see you and I feel better because you remind me that even though I make mistakes as his mother, I am willing to do absolutely anything for him.
Because you happened, I have become a thousand times better than I ever was before. I have learned how to sacrifice, how to give my everything, how to care about someone else more than I care about myself. I have learned what it means to be the one person in the world who can make things okay after a bonked head or a bad dream.
Because of you, my whole future is brighter. I have first days of school and PB&J sandwiches and soccer games and graduations to look forward to. I’ll have bedtime stories and teenage curfews and Mother’s Day phone calls and a mother-son dance at a wedding.
I see you, purple raised skin nestled low on my belly, and I see him. I can look at you and see what his tiny face looked like the first time I ever saw it. I see the way his eyes found mine in the beginning moments of his life and I can feel my heart bursting all over again.
I didn't fail because of you. I am thriving because of you. You have completely changed who I am and what I do and how I see the world.
How can I hate you when you have done so much for me? How can I hate the pooch and the numb spots when I have tiny fingers that reach out for me and a little voice that calls me “mama”?
No, I don’t hate you.
That little child you brought me? Loves me even when my skin sags over. Wants kisses from me even when I have morning breath. Loves to hear me sing even when my voice cracks.
I hear his giggles and his coos and see his wide innocent eyes and wonder... how could I possibly hate you? You are beautiful. You make me strong.
You helped make me a mama.
I am forever indebted to you.
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Also, be sure to read more about pregnancy and childbirth:
Read my emergency c-section story here.
Read about how to prepare for an emergency c-section here.
Read about what 2am looks like with a baby here.
Read about my PUPPP rash here.