I gave birth to my first child five months ago. It was the most astonishing moment I have ever experienced. I was overcome with this new love that I had never thought possible. As I started to get the feel for motherhood over the first few weeks I also started noticing the large effects that carrying a child for 9 months has on your body. It will never be the same as it was before.
I have stretch marks that go from my belly button to the top of my thighs. My feet are bigger. My breasts have been through the ringer getting bigger and then gigantic and now a lot smaller than I started out with. I have this weird acne and mood swings that my Dr. says are from the hormones that should eventually (hopefully) balance out. It has been so hard for me to feel beautiful again. I have my days where I know that what my boyfriend see’s in me is truly what I am and then I have days where it is hard to know why he ever had interest in me at all.
With these struggles I have been trying to figure out what I wanted to do for him for Valentine’s day, not just a gift but something more, something that he will love. I decided to give him me. I wanted to get some boudoir photos taken just for him. Over the last couple of days I have tried on sexy outfit after outfit, corsets teddy’s, you name it. I cried. I didn’t feel sexy. For some reason in my head I felt that my significant other would laugh at a photo of me wearing any of this stuff. I had the session set for Wednesday. I called and put it off for one more day so that I could try to wrap my head around being ‘sexy’.
I chose a tasteful bra and panty combo with a nice matching black robe. I did my hair in pin curls paired with a red rose and matching red heels. Even as I changed into my outfit in the bathroom before the shoot I began to tremble a bit, afraid to show my stomach and stretch marks. I looked at myself in the mirror and took a deep breath, ‘I can do this’ and stepped out into the next room. At first as I started to adjust myself for posing for the camera I was ridged and nervous, but as the shoot went on, the more comfortable I became and I started to feel sexy. It was invigorating.
I wondered if how I felt was going to show in the photos of me. As the shoot came to an end I thought about my loving man and hoped that there would be at least one good picture for him. I picked up my beautiful daughter and held her tight. As Barbara started uploading the photos to her computer I saw myself in a way that I haven’t seen myself in quite some time. It was almost breathtaking.
Who was that woman in those photos? It was me. The me that I have always been, I just forgot about it with the rush of new motherhood. I am a mother, but before I was a mother I was a woman. A woman that was funny and fun and sexy at times. I can’t let myself forget that part of me.
Becoming a mommy is hard work, but every part of it can be beautiful. You just have to let it be. Taking these photos today helped me to realize all of this. I am beautiful, sexy and fun and just because I am a mom now doesn’t mean I have to leave those parts of me in the past. I can balance motherhood and being beautiful at the same time!