This is me in January 2016.
I’d fought hard for this. 10 years of grief, loss, inadequacy, loneliness, desperation and fear and finally I had in my tummy the baby that our little family had been wishing for.
I was Mother, Queen, provider. My hips were rickety but I stood upright with the confidence of a woman who had recently discovered that even the impossible was possible.
By all standards I’d had a rough year. But a difficult time at work, surgeries, IVF and personal struggles could not diminish the light that followed me around. A lot of things were not OK but I was living proof that they could be OK again. My friend Donna asked if she could document this momentous moment in my life and I agreed.
I was happy to take my clothes off. I would have stood there naked if she’d asked me to because I’d never felt more connected to my body, I’d never felt more part of it, more proud of it. Every bit of skin, every hair, every scar was mine and was beautiful.
I know that some people find images like this inappropriate, shameful even, I know because they’ve made sure I know! But I don’t. I know that some people only want to see women’s bodies when they’re slim and young and in bikinis on the beach or selling perfume or face cream on billboards and in magazines. I don’t. I know that some people hate their bodies and feel uncomfortable when they see women embracing their appearance. I don’t and I won’t.
This is me and this is my body and I think that being pregnant was amazing and that big tummies are beautiful and that our bodies, our journeys should be celebrated as we see fit and not hidden or scrutinised.
So here’s my big, fat nakedness again. It’s MY bump pic and it documents forever a moment in time when I felt like the sun rose just for me.
I love it so much and I’m sharing it for the 6th year despite the naysayers. And you know what, if you go on YouTube there’s even a video of me dancing around in my pyjamas trying to break my waters. I hope it brings a smile to your face.
Love Rachel ❤
Ps. The dance didn’t work 🤣