I distinctly remember, as a child, playing with my mother and at one point, her shirt was lifted up a little to expose her belly. My mother is so beautiful, with olive skin and in that moment, I immediately noticed light silvery lines on her belly. I remember touching them, they were soft as silk, and asking her what they were, concerned because they looked like "owies". She told me how, when I was growing inside her, and getting bigger and bigger, her skin had to stretch to hold me. I don't remember anymore of the conversation, except that she had this soft loving smile on her face that was heavy with love and her voice was light with emotion. In that moment, I felt so wanted and special without realizing the depth of it all.
After I had my newest bundle, there was a little twang of sorrow right after giving birth, as the belly deflates and is empty. I missed that feeling of fullness. Yet that feeling leaves so quickly, as you hold that tiny squirming bundle. As I healed, I seemed more aware of my belly this time. A few more stretch marks, things that once were firm, now soft. I stood before the mirror, holding a sleeping bundle, gazing at my form. The door opened, it was my second son come to tell me he loves me before he goes to school. He put his hands on my soft belly and said, "No baby in there." then looked up at me with a huge grin, putting his cheek on my belly, "I love your big, not so big tummy, mommy." then skipped out. I never thought I would be okay with my form in it's current state. However, I have come to realize that it is a moving record of our family. Each child has etched the beginning of his life in my skin and as I touch those soft silvery ribbons, I am reminded of the life I've brought into this world and how precious it is, from the very beginning.
Psalm 139:14-16 "Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous--and how well I know it. You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion, as I was woven together in the dark of the womb. You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed."
Written as a project for "Save Our Daughters" through The Shape of A Mother website. Check them out!