When I look in the mirror, I do not see a tummy blemished with stretch marks, weighed down by loose skin. I choose to see an abdomen that has the flexibility and strength to grow and carry my children. I see the spot where, during pregnancy, I rested my hand on my swollen belly to feel my babies move, and whisper to them that I love them.
When I look in the mirror, I do not see my cesarean scar as a sign of failure; an inability for my body to deliver my children naturally into the world. I choose to see this scar as a mark of my resilience and tenacity. It is a reminder that I will do anything necessary for the health and safety of my children. It is a scar that I will look upon with pride.
When I look in the mirror, I do not see lopsided, saggy breasts. I choose to see breasts that have the incredible ability to nourish and sustain my child, both physically and emotionally. I see breasts that have withstood blistered nipppes, breast pumps and bouts of mastitis, all in the name of meeting my baby’s needs and filling them with my love.
When I look in the mirror, I do not see weak, untoned arms. I choose to see arms that carry and comfort my children. I see arms that are capable of superhuman multitasking; able to cradle a sleeping newborn, play lego with a toddler and prepare dinner, all at once. Arms that are strong enough to cuddle, pat and jiggle a crying child, for hours if necessary, until comfort and sleep are found.
When I look in the mirror, I do not see a face blemished with wrinkles and dark circles. I choose to see a face marked with lines from laughter and smiling; a reflection of a life filled with joy. I see eyes that look tired, there is no denying it, from long nights tending to a newborn. These tired eyes remind me of how fleeting this moment in time will be when my tiny baby will depend so heavily on me.
When I look in the mirror, I do not see thighs two sizes bigger than they used to be. I choose to see legs on which I stand tall and proud. My back is straight and my head held high with the confidence that comes with being a second time mum. My posture portrays my belief in myself as a mother, my ability to trust my instincts and my courage to ask for help when I need it.
When I look in the mirror, I see a body that shows the telltale signs of motherhood, imperfections and all. My body will never be the same as it was before I had children. But then again, neither will my heart.
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