The White Stripes

A while back, the amazing, talented and brave Bianca from Big Words shared a brilliant post about how she feels about her post baby belly and the pressure to “bounce back”.

It’s been on my mind ever since then, but not until now have I had the words to express how I feel about my own body.

Funnily enough, the words aren’t even mine.

Roo (16 months), The Two (32 weeks incarceration)

“My stars and my stripes are your dream and your labors.”**
Franklin Knight Lane

One week ago.

“Mummy,what’s this?”

She has lifted up my shirt.

“That’s Mummy’s tummy.”

“Mummy’s tummy? But what’s this?”

She is tracing one of my thick, long stretch marks.

I have been known to refer to myself as one giant stretch mark, such was the transformation.

“They are marks on my tummy from when you were a baby and lived inside here.”

She looks at me in total shock.

“A BABY in your BELLY!?!?”

“Yep.

“Mummy, you’re funny!”

“And, when your brothers were tiny they lived in my tummy too!”

Roo laughs for a moment, but then concern clouds her face. She traces the stretch marks for a while.

“Poor Mummy, stripes hurt you?”

“No, they don’t hurt me.”

“Poor Mummy.”

“Baby, they don’t hurt me, I’m OK, see?”

And I show her how poking them doesn’t hurt. The true test of pain for a three year old.

“Mummy OK.’”

“Yep, all OK.”

Roo continues to look at my stomach.

“Mummy have a baby in her belly?”

“Nope. No more babies in my belly.”

She looks concerned again.

“No more stripes?”

“No more stripes. But I think I have enough.”

She looks at me with her big blue eyes and then pulls my top down and stands up.

She pulls up her top, shows me her tummy.

“Mummy, Rory have some stripes please?”

“Mummy can’t give you stripes, darling.”

“Pleeeeeeeeeeaaaaaaase Rory have stripes like Mummy? PLEEEEEEEEEEASE?”

She thinks I’m beautiful, not despite, but because of, my stripes.

She’s also started calling me Mummy Tiger.

She is Rory Tiger.

One day, I hope she earns her own stripes.

32 Week Twin Belly

**I know this is a political quote, but seeing as motherhood can be so political, I figured it’s use was appropriate**

Photography by Becca Jay Photography