One year ago, I was 2 days past my due date waiting for the little bedenbaby to leave my belly. It was one of the most agonizing waits. A woman waiting for a baby to be born is not a particularly patient one. It was a long 12 days for my family.
I read so much on what birth would be like during those waiting days. Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth was a good companion, and I took a lot of warm lavender baths to soothe my heart and body. I remember last July like it was yesterday. Memories flood me now of the soft music that played on the way to the birth center, the long 20 hours of laboring with the midwives after 3 days at home, her birth, the days that followed.
One year later, and I remember everything.
Birth changed me in different ways than pregnancy. Motherhood has changed me further. Being a mama to a toddler is different that being a mama to a newborn, and everything is always moving. Everything’s always growing. My life and my heart and my body and my family are forever altered.
After E was born, I remember standing in the shower looking down at my now empty belly. Where a baby had grown from a tiny egg into an 8 lb girl. Where the placenta delivered oxygen and nourishment so that she could live in there for 42 weeks. Where my organs rearranged themselves to make room for her body to grow, and now suddenly had all this space to float around in. Where my skin stretched and my joints softened so that a soul could have a body and a life.
What a miracle it is.
That day I cried that things were different in all of the good and hard ways. I said goodbye to a girl who wanted to be a mommy, and I traded it for a woman who is one. I am still learning to be comfortable in my new skin. I am learning to say thank you to my body for working so hard and so well. I am learning to eat for nourishment that feeds my cells and makes milk that feeds my babe. I am learning that E will notice how I talk to myself, and I’m thinking about what I want her to hear.
I want her to know that I am so happy that God put her in our family. I want her to know that I am so proud of myself for carrying and giving birth to her, that it is what I am most proud of, my best accomplishment, the hardest and most rewarding physical and mental marathon.
I want her to know that I like my body. It has been kind to me, and it’s so strong. It is well made by a genius Creator. I want her to know that it changed with her birth for the better. Like a canvas painted. Like a song with harmonies.
A womb that held a baby.
I want her to know that she was worth it.
If you don’t already know, I just jumped into the photography world. It has been a lot of work, but it’s so much fun. You can find me at www.erinbedenbaugh.com.