A friend of mine recently created a photography challenge blog. One of the challenges we were given was to photograph texture. As I was thinking about what to submit as my entry, I happened to look down and see the stretch marks on my belly- deep, wide, and discolored- so I decided to photograph a woman's most prized battle scars.
I wasn't blessed with a beautiful pregnant belly like so many women seem to be. Mine is covered with stretch marks and an unbecoming layer of peach fuzz. When I'm not pregnant, it reminds me of a shriveled balloon that has been blown up and then deflated one too many times. But I love these lines and the beautiful little people in my life that they represent.
I love the scar from my appendectomy that I underwent when I was 24 weeks pregnant with Camden. I remember the prayers and priesthood blessings that preceded what was one of the most spiritual experiences of my life, where I witnessed first-hand the Lord's hand guiding my life, and the life of my unborn child. Because of my expanding belly during the time the surgical wound was healing, the 4 inch long pencil-thin line became a 1/2 inch wide line of stretched skin.
I love the extra wide stretch marks that grace the side of my belly that came when I was pregnant with Luke. The thin stretch marks I got from my pregnancy with Camden tripled in width. I couldn't understand why I felt like I was carrying a bowling ball on my pelvis during most of my pregnancy, but when he was born, he was almost three pounds heavier than Camden had been. He was such a chubby little chunk of love and I felt a close connection to him from the very beginning.
I don't know if this is my last pregnancy. Part of me really hopes it is, and the other part just isn't sure yet. If you had asked me three years ago, I would have knocked you upside the head and told you to not even mention pregnancy to me again! I was so done! I once had a theory that anyone who had six or more kids had to have a few loose screws upstairs. And if they didn't, then they would by the time they were done raising their kids. And here I am, on the brink of reaching that "loose screws" threshold. But my heart was slowly changed and I know there is another little person waiting to be a part of our family. The thought of having another child doesn't terrify me like it did before, but the thought of never feeling the kicks and nudges makes me sadder than I ever thought it would.
|My submission to the photography challenge for a self-portrait, taken at 34 weeks.|
|I had planned on taking pregnancy pictures throughout my entire pregnancy to document the growth of my belly, but I've let the time slip by, taking only two pictures. I took this one at 27 weeks in my living room on a cold and rainy day.|