Having been one of those people that had looked upon pregnant women as almost mythical creatures, I was elated that I had finally joined the ranks! I watched in wonder as my body began to change and grow and reveled in the expansion of my breasts, belly, and hips. I was a late bloomer and had spent plenty of time wishing that things about my body would change, but all in all was relatively pleased with it and gave it little thought prior. Becoming pregnant was truly the first time that I had given so much thought to my body in a positive way.
Having one, two, three–then a bonus fourth– babies over 11 years meant that I now spent much of my time hyper aware of my body and what it was doing, and who it was growing or nourishing. Honestly, given how delightfully delirious those years with young kids are, I didn’t have much time to worry about how it looked, and certainly no time to try to change it.
When I started working as a birth doula it was abundantly clear that, not only had I found my niche; making a living helping women become mothers themselves, but also that mothers had a lot to say and I was an eager audience.
As I added parent educator, La Leche League Leader, and mama/baby yoga teacher to my list of jobs, I could not get enough of the mamas and their voices. We talked about changes and all of the transitions equally wonderful and terrifying that come along with parenthood.
Hearing mamas one after another timidly admit that they were struggling with their new shapes, I realized that not only could I relate, but that many of these women thought they were the only ones. That they alone were ashamed of their softer, looser bodies. As I implored them to love themselves and to embrace and own their softness as they cradle their babes, I was finding that I could relate all too well as I was having my own struggle to accept my body.
Carrying babies, large, incredibly active babies (my last tipped the scales at 10 and a half pounds) this my friends, did a number on me. My body has been stretched, pulled, tugged, loved, and snuggled. I have been at once in awe and also at odds with my body.
I would never, ever trade the immense honor of carrying and birthing my children, but I do miss my pre-baby body, the one before this road map of love was carved out upon me. I stand in the mirror longing to adore what I see and trying to not end the sentence, “I am beautiful, but…..”.
This is where Mid Drift was born. This need to connect all of these mama voices. The need to show mothers that you are not alone in your hormone addled struggles with your body. I want mothers to know that we see you and we love you. We stand side by jiggly side in solidarity.
This film and movement is not only for those mothers who feel that their bodies are unattractive or misshapen, but also for the mothers whose bodies may not show any signs that they carried life.
Whether you love or loathe your body, this film and this movement is for you. We want to start a conversation that I hope will never end. One in which mothers do not make excuses for their shapes or scramble to cover up tugging at their shirts and smoothing out their stretch marks. One that brings mothers, daughters, sisters, sons, friends, and partners together in a love note to our postpartum bodies.
I'm busy working on my blog posts. Watch this space!