6 weeks post partum

We welcomed our third child into our home this summer. She is such a sweet little girl! I am still trying to figure out what her "Tips" alias will be so for now she is just baby girl. Tips Jr. And Miss Tips just adore her!!!!

I have received so many compliments and/or comments in the past 6 weeks since I first ventured out of our home following the home birth of baby girl.Quite often I get the surprised comments, "You look so good!" or "You look really good." etc. I know that the comments are sincere, but at what point did it become common for mothers to look "not good" following birth? Maybe my skin coloring looks better because I am wearing the correct colors for my type and that is it. Or maybe it's because I look so thin. Whatever it is, I hope to help avoid any comparing others may do by sharing this.

I used to listen to what the world told me I should think about myself and my body for most of my life. After the births of Tips Jr and Miss Tips, I was ashamed of my body. It was NOT the pristine body I had when I returned home from my 18 month LDS mission and was in the best shape of my adult life. I missed my flat abs. I sometimes mourned over them and felt "resigned" to this state of being.

As I started on a journey of becoming a better version of myself around the time Miss Tips turned 9 months old, I learned that resignation is different than acceptance. I no longer am resigned to the condition of my body. I accept my body in the condition it is. It is a beautiful gift from God! It helped me create another human being and bring her into the world of the living. Why should I be ashamed of my body after it has done what no man's body has ever done? Millions of women throughout the ages have gone through what I have gone through. None of us would be here if our mothers had not sacrificed their bodies' on our behalf. So why do we continue to look down upon a woman's body for not immediately returning to the state it was before she conceived her baby?

I think that the shift that has occurred in my mind in relation to my post-partum body is a combined result of a few things:

1) I have been Dressing my Truth for the past year. It has been well over a year since I have donned any black and I don't miss it! It definitely helped that for being as large as my belly got (47 cm the day my daughter was born), I never felt like I looked frumpy because I was wearing the correct colors and fabrics for my type.

  2) I read an article during this pregnancy written by a fellow mother of 2. One day, a few months after her second son was born, her older son asked her about her stomach and it's shape. She started to react in a manner to hide it and be embarrassed or ashamed by it, but then had the thought that her young son would only perceive her stomach as she perceived it. If she thought it was ugly or something to be ashamed of, he would think it was too. But if she told him how beautiful and wonderful it was, then in his young mind he would think so too. So she explained to her son where her "tiger stripes" came from and what a fantastic miracle it was that both he and his brother had grown inside of her and that the "tiger stripes" were where her body had stretched so they would have enough room during each of her pregnancies with them.

3) Third, Tips got me the book The Gift of Giving Life: Rediscovering the Divine Nature of Pregnancy and Birth by Felice Austin. It was a fantastic book to read the few weeks before baby girl made her appearance in our home. I gained a deeper understanding of the significance of the ENTIRE birthing process and can honestly say that I do feel especially privileged to have experienced what I have experienced THREE times! Pregnancy and birthing are definitely types and shadows of the Savior and his Atonement.

A shift has definitely occurred in my thought process of my now 7 week post-partum body. I find it truly is a gift from God. And despite having diastis recti this pregnancy (I realized it during the first trimester when I would sit up and my abdominal muscles would hurt... a lot), I truly am grateful for my body and for all that it is capable of. Looking back, it seems surreal that all three of my children grew inside of me for 9 months! And yet they did. Maybe that is why the birth process leaves a mark on our bodies - to remind us mothers of the gift we have given another human being.


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