Why I Love My Jiggly Belly by Robyn Birkin
My husband and I were driving home from a wedding out of town and I caught a reflection of my stomach in the window, wobbling away to the vibrations of the car as my muffin top looked very comfortable perched above my seatbelt.
When I was in my twenties, my flat, washboard stomach was the pride of my body. No matter how little exercise or how many muffins I ate, it was always flat as a pancake and toned. My stomach was reliable.
And then I had a child, and like many of us, instead of flaunting a gorgeous, toned body in a bikini on the beach like Miranda Kerr, here I am in my stained clothes with unstraightened hair, looking more frazzled than fabulous.
My stomach has gone from flat and hard, to wobbly and soft complete with sagging skin.
My boobs have gone from perky and round, to pointy and facing downwards.
I have stretch marks on my thighs that match the cellulite.
And I couldn’t be happier.
I sat in the car and smiled, reflecting on how lucky I am to have these battle scars, these reminders of how incredibly blessed I am to have a child of my own.
Because I am a fertility warrior. Our Chloe was three years in the making and from the moment we started trying for a baby, to the moment she came into the world, I wished I could have stretch marks.
Maya Angelou (only one of the most amazing women to have ever lived) is reported to have once visited a remote village and bathed with the local women, who felt sympathy for her because she didn’t have the telltale signs of having had a child. To them, stretch marks were a badge of honour.
For three years, I prayed I would have the opportunity to have those badges of honour, and am so lucky for it to have come true.
So much of how we feel about ourselves is about our own perception, and the unrealistic expectations we set for ourselves of perfection. Nobody is ‘perfect.’ Even the people we think are ‘perfect’ don’t think they’re perfect.
I’ve long since let go of that expectation of being perfect, and I choose to look at myself and my body as a beautiful reflection of my journey in life and how far I’ve grown as a person, how many lessons I’ve learnt, and my triumph over the challenges I’ve been faced with.
I hope next time you look in the mirror, you’ll see that beautifully unique reflection too.
Robyn Birkin is a author, fertility warrior and zen mama who lives in Perth, Western Australia with her husband and daughter, Chloe, a gorgeous result of IVF treatments. She has recently shared an honest and raw account of her journey with infertility, IVF and miscarriage in her book, Screw Infertility! When she is not trying to stop her daughter, Chloe, writing on walls and trying to give the cat a nervous breakdown, she writes stories for fertility warriors, life lovers and vegan babes on her blog, Modern Day Missus. She is a lover of veggies, surfie dudes and sunshine, and is in the juice (over smoothies) camp.