I believe that my body is strong. I didn’t always believe this. When I was a teenager with a lousy self-image, I constantly thought my body needed to be changed, to be fixed somehow. My son changed this view forever. My body nurtured him for forty weeks, and every day of the pregnancy I marveled at this miracle. I know that pregnancy is no revelation, that humans have procreated since the beginning of time. But my own personal body had never done such an amazing thing before, and I began to see it in a whole new light. Not once during my pregnancy did I ask my husband if my outfit made me look fat, or step on the scale and curse. I loved my expanding belly, and the life within it.
Being an engineer by trade, and naturally curious about how things work, I learned everything I could about pregnancy and birth. My husband and I studied The Bradley® Method, since it was the most complete childbirth class I could find. Once a week for nearly three months, we practiced for our upcoming labor and delivery. I learned amazing things about the human body, and it slowly dawned on me that my body is pretty amazing too.
What really cemented my belief in my body’s strength was its ability to bring my son into the world, with no drugs or medical interventions of any kind. My obstetrician was like a lifeguard keeping watch by my side, ready to spring into action if any dangerous situations developed, but thankfully, none did. I trusted my body to do what it needed to do. My husband was by my side the entire time, helping me to relax through my contractions and telling me how strong I am, how my body could do it. After twelve hours of labor, my husband laid the baby on my chest and said the magic words, “We have a son!” I looked into my baby’s eyes, wide open and curious and ready to learn all about his new world. I brought him to my breast and he latched on right away and began to eat his first meal.
In that moment, with every fiber of my being, I was proud of my body’s strength. I had nurtured my son in my womb, birthed him into being, and now I was feeding him, once again helping him to grow and thrive. All this with my body. My body! I will never again doubt its strength.
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