I have a new theory. Before I share, let me clarify a few of my beliefs.
1. I think childbirth is a picture of Christ on the cross--the agony, the pain, the laboring, and then the new birth--I bring forth a baby; He brought forth the Church.
2. I think women stress too much about losing baby weight (self included).
3. I don't believe there is a certain time frame in which you must lose it (Ignore that "9 months to gain, 9 months to lose" lie.).
So, my theory?
I think a pregnant body and a postpartum body is beautiful. Even though I sometimes struggle with the way I look now (usually a result of comparing myself to others), I do truly think it is a beautiful thing. Why?
In the same way that Jesus' body was battered, bruised, torn, tattered, bleeding, gushing water, heart exploding, so does mine.
Now, I know you may be thinking that I'm crazy to compare the pains of pregnancy and childbirth to a crucifixion, and I get that--just hear me out--I, in no way, think I have EVER physically suffered even close to what my Savior endured on that cross. But look at the similarities:
1. He had stripes on his back from being whipped (cannot fathom that kind of pain).
I have stretch marks.
2. His body was torn by the cat of nine tails.
Mine was torn by babies.
3. He had blood pouring out of his body.
I did too.
4. When he died, they stabbed him with a spear, and blood and water gushed out.
When my bags of water broke, the water gushed out.
5. He labored to breathe.
I labored with measured, meted breaths.
6. His heart finally exploded.
Mine exploded in JOY.
Now, I realize I may be reaching with this one, but I thought of it the other day after I'd been asked if I was pregnant with #6 (and I'm SO NOT)...which doesn't HURT my feelings, really, because I know my abs LOOK pregnant. And this has happened to me many times because twins just destroy the abdominal muscles. But, I was mourning my pre-baby body, my pre-TWINS body, and then this thought occurred to me:
After Jesus arose, even His glorified body still had scars. Why?
As proof? For Thomas? For me?
So, when I stand in front of the mirror and see my twin-skin, the stretch marks, and the separated ab muscles that could only EVER be repaired with surgery, I am going to remind myself of what I accomplished--
I brought forth NEW LIFE.
And so did He. And for that, I am ever grateful.