10 years ago a doctor sat across from me and told me I had cancer.
She looked at my boyfriend and asked him how serious we were.
She explained that if I had the surgery that was recommended, there was a fairly significant chance that I wouldn’t be able to have kids.
I was 24.
That night I turned to my boyfriend and told him that he had an out. I knew he wanted kids and I knew that I may not be the person that was able to give them to him. His response? “Well, then we’ll be Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt… just more attractive.”
Disclaimer: This was 2007: Pre-biological children, messy divorce Brangelina.
In case you’re wondering, yes, that was the moment I decided that this was the man I was going to marry.
Yesterday, I went to my annual OBGYN appointment. After years of having to go every three months post-surgery, it’s nice to only go once a year. I stepped on the scale and immediately started making excuses. See, it’s not that I’m overweight, or inactive, it’s that every time I have a child my “happy weight” goes up by five pounds. No matter what I do, my body springs to that weight. Dieting, exercise, fighting to stay in shape despite my daily insanity, BOOM- those ten pounds want to stay right where they’re comfortable… on my hips. I dwell, I guilt myself, I feel inadequate, and all the while I don’t ever see what everyone else sees.
The doctor proudly reminded me that I was coming up on my ten year mark. Healthy as a horse, with two beautiful children. When ten years ago, someone had to sit across a desk from me and verbalize my deepest fears.
I was ashamed of what I had to go through.
I do not consider myself a survivor.
Every time I think of that situation I remind myself that there are so many that go through so much worse.
But the truth is this-
Those extra ten pounds are constant reminder of my blessings.
That squish that I hate is not going to go away.
My body is not ever going to be the body that I had at 24.
It is SO MUCH BETTER.
This body is healthy.
This body has carried two healthy, beautiful boys.
This body is not trying to kill me.
So tonight, I indulged in an extra glass of wine, an extra slice of pizza. I actually fed into the squish. It was a thank you gift. Because, mamas, as much as we fight against it, those jiggly, loathed parts of our bodies are a constant reminder of our blessings. Not every woman wants, or can ever achieve, the “mom-pooch.” So, I’ll raise a glass to mine.
A thousand different fears.
One incredible husband.
Two miraculous sons.
In hindsight, worrying about how my children have changed my body is pointless. It’s also normal, but I digress. Yesterday was giant reminder of what could have been, and I hate that I’ve been so focused on how to hide the physical reminders of my kids. How many women want what I have? How many women have the same exact fears? How many women weren’t as lucky?
These hips don’t lie.
And it’s time I stopped asking them to.
Cheers to the squish, mamas. You’re beautiful.
And me, I am too.