Yes, I cheer for our Detroit Tigers! Come on guys! YOU CAN DO IT!
But I'm talking about the other type of tiger. The one I turned into the day I had Dayne.
I struggled to get pregnant so I cherished every moment of pregnancy. I loved watching my belly grow, thrilled when I had to switch to maternity jeans. (OMG the moment I slipped my first pair on I swear the heavens opened up and angels started singing. Pregnant mommies - do NOT push this off until you can no longer squeeze into your regular jeans. Trust me.)
I secretly loved hearing people say "Oh you're all belly!" - Which by the way was totally not true, I discovered this fact when I tried to pull my jeans on two weeks post-partum. Moms - DO push this off until your maternity jeans are falling off you. Trust me.
But I was a LOT of belly, Dayne was a big baby! 8 lb 15.5 oz
My tummy had to stretch, a lot, to accommodate his growth. When I was able to inspect my belly weeks later I noticed stretch marks from my belly button down. Lots of them. I had red marks on my hips. My belly has extra skin that I'm not quite sure will ever go away without medical help.
I LOVE Dayne, with more love than I ever dreamed possible. I would (and will) do it all over again. But I fear my bikini days may be behind me. I sometimes wonder if Jason looks at me and says "Well, at least she still has a great sense of humor."
(I've asked him flat out before and he said he still finds me attractive, that all this "extra" is just part of being a woman and a mom)
I'm not quite fitting in my clothes like I did before and wonder if I ever will or if my body is forever changed.
I live with it, what choice do I really have? I am hoping to finally get the green light to exercise again in two more weeks so maybe that will help with the outside and the inside.
But when I saw this on Pinterest, it struck my heart and made me tear up a bit.
I may not have the smooth skin I once had, my belly button may make me raise an eyebrow, I may have to start shopping for tankinis but I earned these stripes. I grew one of the most amazing people I know in me. I cared for him, nutured him, protected him. I held him closer than anyone else ever will. I allowed him to come flying into this world, ready to make his own mark on it.
So when I start beating myself up, I remind myself...my body isn't ruined. I'm a goddamn tiger who has earned these stripes! I just need to look at Dayne's smile to know it was all worth it.