Thursday, April 18, 2013

In His Short Life

It is hard to believe that this time last year I was pregnant with Forrest. I do not have that many "naked belly" pictures. I don't know why I shied away from them. I can't remember my reasoning for not preferring to show off my bare pregnant belly. My mom had to nag multiple times to take a picture of my naked belly during my pregnancy before I consented to doing it several times. One day, I finally relented, and allowed her to take a picture of me. Little did I know that this turned out to be one of my few favorite pictures from my pregnancy.

I will have to do a few more of naked belly pictures throughout my next pregnancy.

Stu, and I know that we wanted more kids after we had Forrest. I can't imagine Forrest being the only child or even a brother of one. We both hail from large families. I want three. Stu want four. So the number is still up in the air. The consent is that we will have more kids for sure. I do hope that my next pregnancy will be as easy as I had with Forrest.

Because I already have a boy, I do hope I will have a girl next time around, and it is something I really want to experience. I will be over the moon I end up having a girl. It is not to say that I will be crushed if I do end up with a boy second time around. I will be as ecstatic because that means Forrest will be having a younger brother to look after, and play with. As Forrest is already proving this, boys are fun! I can see myself with two boys. 

It is funny because if you asked me before I had Forrest if I had wanted a girl then I would have said no. The idea of raising a girl terrified me. I was not taking the best care of myself. I was self-conscious. I struggled with my body image. If I had those struggles then how the heck was I going to set up my daughter for the best outcome in our already self-obsessed society toward bodies especially those of women. I was going to set her up to repeat the same ugly cycle that I was trapped in. 

Having a boy felt safer somehow. In my mind, boys were less prone to fall into that nasty trap of perfection, and more confident about themselves. How sexist of me. But it was how I felt, and thought at that time in my life. 

When I got pregnant, I just knew I was having a boy. Call it a premonition. Call it a mother's intuition. All of my life, I knew I was going to have a boy first, and it was a given that I was going to be a mother of a boy. When the ultrasound specialist turned to me, and asked me if I wanted to know my baby's sex at 12 weeks; I smiled, and said yes. A sliver of dread crept through my mind...what if I was wrong, and what if my baby was a girl? I was not ready for a girl. My gut disagreed with my worrying mind, and insisted my baby was a boy. As I watched the mouse hoover across the television screen, the specialist pointed at the sixth "finger", and smiled. Your baby have a little dilly. Yes, he did say that. 

My heart bloomed right there, and relief washed over me. I was having a boy. I felt guilty for being so relieved that the baby was a boy. I did not want my life-long premonition to be wrong. It was not that I did not want or would have rejected my baby if he was a she. If my baby had been a girl then I would have embraced her, and loved her from the start-go, but I would not be lying if I did not say that if would have scared me shitless. 

Throughout my pregnancy, I came with term with my past demons, and put them to bed. I forgave, and made peace with my struggles I had. I owed this much to me to be healthy mentally, physically, and spiritually. In a sense, Forrest had saved me. Yes, it was a tired, and old cliche, but it was true.

Becoming a mom pushed me into a healthier direction. I was no longer just responsible for me, but also for my little man. This pushed me to accept my mistakes, learn from the lessons, and let go of my old fears. I strove to be a good perfect  imperfect mom. I was able to look at myself in the mirror, and embrace the changes that bestowed upon my body from being pregnant. No longer I viewed my body as a failure. My body was a vessel that carried my beautiful baby. Every little lines, softening abdominal muscles, and stretchy button button all reminded me of what my body did. When my husband looked at me, and told me that I was even more beautiful now that I am a mother; I did not dismiss him, but smiled, and knowingly nodded my head in agreement.

Because of this revelation  I am no longer afraid of having a girl, and to raise her to be a capable confident woman that she deserves to be. I do hope that someday I will be blessed with a girl.

Forrest has taught me this much in his short life.


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  2. I've experienced a similar journey of growth since becoming a parent, myself. It's truly amazing, all of the little and big ways in which it changes you.

    I love your belly pic. I, too, was always much too shy about having my actual belly photographed. I think I allowed it just once in each pregnancy, though after finally having the baby, each time I would think, "Next time I should do a few more..."

    Maybe *next* time, if there is one. ;)