Sunday, February 28, 2010

Who Is That Woman in the Mirror?

I'm sure body image is on nearly every 33 week pregnant mother's mind, including my own. Questions like, "will I be able to lose the baby weight this time?" are constantly running through my head. I look at my young body in the mirror and think, "surely that can't be me!" No, no, I have a flat stomach with no stretch marks. And those hips? Nope, definitely not mine; much too large to be my hips. And why am I growing hair in weird places and getting pimples like a 13 year old? If the cosmetic things that come with pregnancy aren't bad enough, there is always the physical toll on the body that pregnancy brings. Middle of the night leg cramps, pain in places you didn't even know existed, and the shear exhaustion that comes from growing another human being are just a few.

Now, reading all of the above you might guess that I don't like being pregnant. It is actually just the opposite. I love being pregnant. Yes, almost every aspect that comes with pregnancy involves some form of suffering, right up until the end. And yes, it is very difficult to see my once nice, fit body permanently marked with the signs of pregnancy and not quite the same shape it used to be. But through these long 9 months of anxious anticipation of my daughter, there has been one thought that gives me comfort.

Motherhood is the only vocation where one is called to physically give their body as Christ did.

We, as mothers, literally give our bodies for the sake of another as Christ did on the cross. For nine months our bodies become a dwelling place for an innocent life, and we suffer and give till we think we no longer can (or till we think we might literally "pop"). All this is done out of love for this tiny person we have never met. And does it stop after the birth? No. In fact some women would agree with me that it becomes even harder. Your body, already recovering from birth, is trying to stabilize hormones, produce milk, and take care of a brand new baby all on little, and sometimes no, sleep. This for me was, and I'm sure will be this time around as well, overwhelming and seemingly impossible. But, when I put it in the context of sanctification of the soul, and not of worldly things, it becomes so much easier. When I picture myself with my stretch marks, pains, and my awkward body walking next to a man who is bloody, beaten, exhausted and embracing a cross he never deserved, I feel unworthy of such small sufferings. Especially such small sufferings that bring the joy of new life at the end of it all.

So today my resolution is just that: to suffer as Christ did in silence and humility. And I am sure that if things get too tough, our loving Father will send me a Simon.

In His Love,


  1. It was following the long and very eventful birth of a friend's child that I heard a priest say "Mother's are lucky. They get to feel, on the day of their baby's birth, one small piece of the love of God for his people. She can look at her baby and say 'this is my body, broken for the love of you, a stranger I did not even know yet and still already loved.'"

    I love the blog. Why would I think you were copying me? You're so silly. I think it's great. Mind if I add you to my blogroll?

  2. My first comment!!! Yay! LOL! That is such an awesome and beautiful thought from that priest. And I would be honored if you added me to your blogroll.

  3. I just read your first post and this one & couldn't agree with you more. Keep writing, I love it!