My little Phoebe is six months and ten days old. Sometimes it feels like it was just yesterday that my husband and I were loading up the car to go take our weekly photos of my ever growing belly.
But she is here, and I am taking the appropriate time to document her ever growing chub and giggles. I know all too well how the time whirs past during the first year of life, and I don't want to miss a thing.
Tonight, as my not-so-tiny family of five went out for dinner, I had my husband take a picture for me for my website. The sunset was dazzling, I've been wanting a picture that shows off our new location more accurately, and I was not in pjs. Conditions were perfect. Well, except for the fact that I have no idea how to pose myself in this post partum body of mine.
For ten months, I got so good at drawing all of the attention to my belly and the life inside of it. I grew a confidence that is unique to pregnant women, one that I respect and love capturing. But this body I'm in right now, rightthisverysecond... It's something else.
Some of my favorite clients are with me throughout their baby's first year. They blush and brush off the adoring comments I throw their way during their sessions, in disbelief of the beauty that is all their own.
I look through the photographs my husband takes of me and I can see which ones are flattering, which ones I see worthy enough to share as a part of my "brand" but the uncomfortableness that is this period of post baby bearing, it can dim the lights on it's exquisiteness. While this is not a picture of what I see in my head, it is a picture of what my baby needs. My neck and cheeks are still full (probably from nomin' on her fat baby rolls all day, AMEN?!) There's that little bit of fluff all over that I keep while breastfeeding as another reminder that there is a rolly, squishy, cuddly lady who needs a soft, safe place of refuge. My hips are wider than ever before, and the twins... three breastfed babies, y'all... All kinds of fun analogies to be made.
Tonight I caught myself grimacing, and thought "You cut that out. What would you tell your clients if they were making that face at themselves?"
I am not one to promote self absorption, or that your worth is in your looks, but I do believe that our bodies are designed beautifully to care for our baby's needs in each stage of their lives. And for that, I will accept where my body is, today, and be thankful for all that it has been entrusted to do for my little ladies.
No, this post isn't a cry for compliments, it is a call to action to love that uncomfortable place you are in.
All my Love, Mae