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 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. 


Samantha said...

love this :)

Erin M said...

ive always referred to them as my tiger stripes. If you as my kids what they are, they will tell you 'those are mom's tiger stripes" I have A LOT of stripes

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