thoughts at the lady doc

i had my annual check up yesterday (can you say fun?!) and had 5 hours all to myself. completely alone. no children. nada.

i don't think other moms would be surprised if they knew how weird it is for me to be alone. i mean, i'm alone a lot in the house when the children are napping or sleeping. but i'm still in the house, with the checklist in front of me.

i know why most women choose to always stay busy. when you run from one thing to another, music always on, away from the house, you don't have time to think.  when you are having a hard time the last thing you want is to be alone with your thoughts. i've been feeling a push to write more about what post partum depression has been like for me with each baby, but i'm still not quite ready yet.

i'm happy to report that yesterday was good. i am in a nice place in my head now. the silence was soothing. the errands didn't annoy and irritate. all of the stores reminded me that sunday is mother's day. and for a few weeks the thought in my head rolling around (thanks to nienie) is, "motherhood is..."  "motherhood is...".  i've answered that question more than a few times on paper,

motherhood is who i am
motherhood is permanent
motherhood is not parenting
motherhood is exhausting
motherhood is sacred
motherhood is in all of us

but alas, none of them formed into an essay in any way, shape or form. just thoughts that popped in the air once they came out.

but yesterday, as the doctor gave my chest a good check-up, including the annual breast exam (oh baby) i was in a much different place then after i had been for awhile. i wasn't embarrassed of the state i am in. i peacefully watched as he basically saw every inch of a woman's features that we try to hide, conform and change.

and i can report, that motherhood is on me. it is written all over my body like words in a well used journal. my chest has expanded and contracted with each new live it has given milk (i've nursed for more than 10% of my life. weird.). and just like silly putty, there's only so many times you can stretch it out and put it back together until it loses it's firmness and shape (think national geographic my friends).  my hips have expanded (but not quite contracted again) to support and bear a child through them. my hair is full of long hairs strengthened with hormones, and short wispy baby hairs from hormones. my face has laugh lines and sun lines streaking across every square inch. each one of those wrinkles is from sadness or laughter, or worry and fraught. squinting in the sun to watch the splashes in the pool and the jumps off the diving boards.

 as i carried out the recycling this morning i thought, "i am my body". it is one of the most amazing gifts i've ever been given. it's strong enough to carry my children and hike a mountain. it's soft enough to make love to my husband and comfort a newborn.  it is beautiful exactly how it is. and i wish i could have always felt this way about it, but i think it has been a process. with each dark moment and sad phase of wanting and wishing and desperately trying to make it different than it is, i've gained a little more acceptance afterwards. when i'm in my good place, i'm happy when i exercise and enjoy the huffing and puffing and sweat. i'm not punishing my body for having thighs that touch and chafe, i'm living in it. i'm using it. somedays the time to exercise is replaced with movie time and kisses with the husband, or rocking a sick baby to sleep, or mopping the eternally dirty kitchen floor. but i don't worry or fret about it. there is always tomorrow, and there is always my body. and my body can move and dance and jiggle and shake. and oh, how dancing makes me truly and completely happy.

my body has allowed me to do all of these wonderful things, and has been patient with my stubbornness, negativity and abuse over the years. but in the end of it all, it is my body and i love it. if there is any legacy i leave my daughters, it would be happiness. their mother was beautiful and happy, because she chose it. she chose to see the infinite, good and eternal things our bodies can do and allow us to experience. she chose beauty. she chose strength. she chose happy. she chose herself.

how wonderful of  a world would be if we could always feel this way about ourselves and others?

post workout creepy photobooth face
*my writing seems to be more and more random these days. must be the weather.


Rey said...

Way to make me tear up at work! This was beautiful, and just what I needed right now. Thank you for sharing Annie, makes the rest of realize we are not alone.

Candi said...

I want to appreciate my body more. Thank you for writing this.

Rachelle said...

I love the line, "it's strong enough to carry my children and hike a mountain. it's soft enough to make love to my husband and comfort a newborn"

(P.S. How does Ty feel knowing that you confessed to having sex on your blog. Not that the 4 kids wasn't a dead giveaway ha!)

Annie Leavitt said...

hahaha, rachelle. he hasn't read this yet. but i don't know why we are so weird about it in our mormon culture. i think it's a beautiful privilege of marriage but our kids don't hear us say one word about it and then we're screaming at them "have a great happy marriage! have 800 kids!". dur.

Whitney Baldwin said...

Bravo, Annie. Beautifully said. This was just what I needed to read today.

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