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Why hiding my post-baby body isn't something I'm interested in

Emily is a wife, mother, and graduating this summer with her Masters Degree in Marriage & Family Therapy. She blogs, writes for magazines, and has her first book coming out in May.

My post-baby body makes me proud, even if it's not fashionable

I was so ready to not be pregnant. In the final days before giving birth, I literally had one outfit that decently fit around my blimp-sized baby bump. I couldn’t wait to get back to regular clothes, reclaim my old style, and exchange this 30-pound ham around my midsection for a cute little baby I could hand over when my arms got tired.

Then, I had the baby. At first I lived in a (spit-up soaked) bathrobe, embracing the blissful glamour that motherhood bestowed. But, after a few weeks of healing, I was ready to move beyond the world of comfy couches and frozen casseroles and head back out into the real world where I could show off my new little creature. But, what to wear?

In light of all the major life events that had just occurred in my life, it seemed silly to worry about things like, Do I look pregnant in this top? Should I wear a belt with this? Can you see my nursing pads through this shirt? But as I stared at the selection in my closet, my head filled with insecurities.

Not pregnant. Not skinny. I was stuck in fashion purgatory!

Nine months was barely enough time to embrace my changing body. Just when I had gotten used to the fact that I had a built-in shelf developing right under my chest, it got replaced with a stomach that looks like it came straight out of a Jell-O mold. Not to mention the stretch marks and new boobs that can’t seem to decide what size they are.

As I pulled another pair of black stretch pants onto my legs, I caught myself pondering how best to “cover up” this squishy mom-body so that the world would never guess that I had just popped out an 8-pound miracle just weeks before. Then in dawned on me, Why in the world do I want to hide the greatest accomplishment of my life?

If I had just won an Olympic gold medal, I’d be Instagramming the heck out of it. If I’d been given the Nobel Prize, I’d be tweeting it out like a Kardashian tweets… well, about anything. Here I was with one of the most incredible feats of my personal life, with wearable evidence for the world to witness, and I was trying to conceal it?

Suddenly, my closet didn’t seem so bare. The sweaters and belts that taunted me moments before lost their power as I looked down at my jiggly, scarred body. I had a baby.

There was not enough Spanx in the world to keep me from sharing my experience. While my wardrobe may make me ebb and flow with satisfaction, the gift of pregnancy was a tsunami that wrecked my body and left it forever changed for the better.

It might take a while for me to zip up those old jeans or stuff my nursing breasts into that little black dress, but the courage and confidence it took for me to house a baby inside my own body is something I can’t just hang up at the end of the night.

Motherhood is forever. Motherhood is one-size-fits-all.

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