Life Giver

My very first photo as a mom right after giving birth to my 1st in a tub.

I helped create a human- 6 humans to be exact; one just met our Maker in paradise sooner than the rest of us.

I try to remind myself of that fact as I look in the mirror picking apart every flaw I see staring back at me.

My newest little beauty is only 4 days old. 4 DAYS old. I’m 30 now. I haven’t slept probably more than an hour and a half straight since she was born. Her nights and days are reversed. My usual birth weight loss accompanied by water weight of about 20 pounds the first half a week just didn’t happen this time. It’s a good morning now when I’ve lost at least her birth weight in pounds. Instead, I’ve experienced more swelling- I didn’t even know that was possible without an IV & having an all-natural birth with no interventions. My usual dark circles under my eyes have grown darker, my puffy face paler. My once, the only thing I can usually count on eyes seem smaller, and my hair limp. My once small midsection with a visible 4 pack of abs has long been separated & what has taken its place is more like a deflated air balloon that sadly hangs over. While I was hoping my screwed up back that I had at least the last 3 months of pregnancy would magically heal when I birthed my baby, it realistically didn’t & still causes such pain that I can barely walk or get up at times. I gained more weight this pregnancy than any of my others, and I’ve always gained a lot no matter what I’ve done to prevent it. Frankly, I don’t want to be seen. I find my body and myself embarrassing. When I think about having to show up places, I just cry. I keep telling my husband that someday I won’t always look this way and find myself crying all over again. Talk about embarrassing.

However, when I look at the beautiful 8 pound, 7 ounce human being I brought into this world, I would do it all again in a heartbeat. She was worth it. She was worth every pound I’ve gained, every battle I’ve faced along the way, and the slow-motioned finish line crossing I envisioned as I tried to breathe through the ring of fire pain of her crowning so that I wouldn’t experience another pro-lapsed uterus like I did during the one forceful push I got her brother right before her out in.

You see, these human beings I birthed into this world have birthed a warrior out of me. They made me realize I’m stronger than I could ever imagine. That I could push through and cross those finish lines even with abs separated, a screwed up back, and all odds against me. They’ve made me realize that the best, most beautiful and worthy treasures come not only on the opposite side of the most laborious pains, but through them. That the rainbows wouldn’t come without the storms. That the closest I could ever come to relating to what Jesus felt and how much He loves us was when I allowed my body to be a living sacrifice through the pains of pregnancy and childbirth, and how worth it I’ve thought all my kids were even on their worst days.

I looked into the mirror again tonight and I saw that I’m not what I want to be yet. I won’t give up where I’m at and look this way forever. My body will heal, and I won’t give up. If I were looking at someone else in the same situation as me, I’d tell her to look at all she’s gone through and what she’s brought into the world because of it. I would tell her, “You are not to be pitied. You are fierce; and you’re a warrior. You just went through a tough battle, and you need to be gentle on yourself. The enemy wants you to feel defeated and pitiful because that’s the only thing he has to throw your way now, and his lies are only powerful when you agree with them. You’ve already won when you brought life into this world, and the enemy hates any bearer of His image. Now’s not the time to back down now. Someday, the circumstances will change, and the life bearers you brought into this world will bring forth life in so many different ways, and all this time will be but a mere shadow that was quickly passed in the grand scheme of things. For now, please be gentle with yourself. God gently leads those who are with young, little lamb. Hold your head high. You would never see others the way you see yourself now.  You, beautiful life giver, are an image bearer of the King who brought life into this world. Enjoy the lives you helped create, and embrace the life giver that you are.”