We Need to Stop Saying “Babies Ruin Bodies”
by Ntima Preusser
Before I became pregnant, someone told me, “don’t have a baby, babies ruin your body.”
It has been over a year since Anabel began her life. This time last year she was a microscopic speck inside me, and we were announcing our pregnancy. Between then and now, I have gained and lost fifty pounds. Four months after her birth, and my body still carries proof of her existence.
I have dark pools under my eyes. A valley where my belly button once was. Hips with a new amplitude that my teenage self wouldn’t recognize. I have lines mapped across the mountains of stretched skins left over on my midsection. Lightning bolts on my sides proving I was once too small to contain all of the love that filled me. Lines indicating that my daughter once lived inside of me.
Do you realize the significance in that? Every limb, finger, toe…her heart, even, developed near the very place my own heart beats inside of my chest. Those mountains of skin are all I have left to prove that we were once one and not two.
How can I be ashamed of that?
I have so much to say about seeing my grandfather’s eyes embedded into the sockets, and under the brows and lashes of her father’s. I see the seventeen year old boy I fell in love with, and my grandpa as a child all at once every time she looks up at me. She even wears my ears and my chin. The two very things I cursed having the most growing up. Not much makes me feel more beautiful than seeing tiny renditions of those same features on Anabel, and realizing just how special they are.
My body grew that.
Not everybody has that privilege.
Sure my belly is a bit softer nowadays, but the way it moves when I jump up and down sends my girl into fits of giggles. And yeah, my hips are hardly as narrow as they used to be, but they sure know the perfect figure-8 motion to sway her to sleep. My twenty-one year old hair is even beginning to gray, but not much soothes her more than my hair between her little fingers.
I am not something flawless in the eyes of society, or even close to what I once was physically, but my perfect girl sees me for who I am.
To her, I hang the moon.
She knows my heart - she knew it long before we met.
And she loves me for it.
I cannot tell you how much worth and validation I feel because of that truth.
My body is only a vessel for my spirit. An incredible vessel. It is strong, well, able, and undefeated.
My body is full of life.
My body is powerful.
My body made me a mother.
If anything, I was ruined by the world before I knew her, and she made me whole again.
*Cue Katy Perry’s “Roar” here.*
Pregnancy and birth CHANGES your body, not “ruins” it. Unless you suffered from a physical form of trauma from pregnancy or birth, your body is not ruined.
Puberty changes us from girls into women. Menopause changes us from childbearing women to women who can no longer carry a child, but carry on the wisdom of life to the next generation. In between these two great changes, there is the change from being a non-mother to a mother (for those who are blessed with children, biological or adopted). With all these changes in a woman’s life, her body changes with her: and these changes are NORMAL.
Anyone who claims babies “ruin” the female form are blinded by ignorance and asserts that our female-given gifts of fertility and virility are diseases that cause the “symptoms” of pregnancy-induced, bodily changes.
My breasts are a little bit flatter, I have stretch marks, and my belly button, too, is more of a deep crevice than a button: but these are changes that come with biological motherhood. And you know what? That’s okay. Because. they. are. normal. They do not make me less loving, sexual, mothering, or human. And they do not make me any less beautiful, physical or otherwise.
They are a part of a woman’s life as she goes through her series of changes. It’s about time we started accepting that.
Heard of a pro-life organization? More than likely, they offer all kinds of neato services or referrals to things like pregnancy care, suicide prevention/counseling, information on the foster care system, and more.
Seriously: actually try to genuinely get to know the kind of things are out there, a resource out there may help you or a friend someday. They are not perfect, but ignoring that they exist hurts more people than it helps.
Reblog and add a link if there is a specific group or service you want to give a shout out too. Here’s mine to start it off.
Also gonna tag @lifemattersjournal because they have all kinds of resources.
You formed my inward parts. You covered me in my mothers womb. I will praise you for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Marvelous are your works and my soul knows very well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in secret and skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Your eyes saw my substance being yet unformed and in your book they all were written the days fashioned for me when as yet there was none of them.“ #amen #silentday #prolifegen
You can read more by clicking on each of the above.
From Lauren Enriquez, LifeNews.com
prolifeproliberty have you seen this?? This is awesome!
If you’re a single pregnant parent who wants to choose life, but don’t feel like it’s economically/socially viable at your current point—look into Maggie’s Place.
Maggie’s Place provides a home first during and then up to two years after your pregnancy as well as ensuring that you become economically and socially independent through their programs
- A nurturing and stable home environment and nutritious food
- Maternity and infant supplies
- Weekly therapeutic counseling
- Bus passes
- Informal mentoring from other new mothers
- Case management through an one-on-one interaction between the mom and staff in what we term the “contact person” relationship
- A savings program in which women must save 70% of any income they receive while living at Maggie’s Place.
- Weekly life skills courses on topics such as childbirth, healthy nutrition, budgeting, communication, and child rearing.
- Referrals to community agencies including parenting classes, adoption counseling, job training, and low-cost housing.
- Access to education programs including high school equivalency, community colleges, and vocational training through referrals and a scholarship program.
- Knowledge of state programs including health insurance, day care subsidies, food stamps, child support and cash assistance.
- Informal modeling of healthy family life including conflict resolution, facilitating decisions for the common good, upholding expectations and consequences as needed, and celebrating goals achieved.
- Opportunities for prayer and spiritual development (i.e. participation in community prayer, invitations to join the staff). Please note: while the house is rooted in the Catholic traditions, the moms come from a wide variety of religious background and participation in spiritual opportunities is by invitation, not expectation.
These are there current locations
And their website https://www.maggiesplace.org/
Please share to get the word out and provide support for pregnant people!
A friend og mine once worked at Maggie’s Place, and she had nothing but amazing stories to tell. Women’s lives are really changed through this organization.
I think I’ve seen this before, but yes, this is awesome.
And there are other similar places throughout the country.
Your local pregnancy center can tell you about resources in your area, from adoption agencies to maternity homes to affordable prenatal care and more.
For instance, I know a maternity home in Southern California that specifically helps teen moms. They provide a safe place to live, prenatal care, job training, and adoption help (if the girls choose adoption). They also run a private high school in-house so the girls can graduate while caring for their child. The girls can stay there up to two years after their baby is born.
So wherever you live, there are resources nearby that want to help! OptionLine.org lists local resources, and your local pregnancy center can give you a more comprehensive list.
This is Natasha. She is 16. She had her first debate in high school on abortion yesterday and won it 30-3. Natasha happens to have Spina Bifida. Her parents, and so many like them, were pressured to abort her because of “her quality of life & cost to society.”
Natasha won her debate because she spoke passionately from experience about what abortion steals from us.
Her mom says, “I think her quality of life looks pretty dang near perfect. She waterskis, snow skis, wheelchair races, runs 5ks, plays wheelchair basketball and a whole lot more.”
Thanks, Natasha, for showing us that our challenges don’t define us or destroy our lives! And congrats on your win!
Saying you’re Catholic and pro-abortion is like saying you’re a pacifist and pro-war.
It’s like saying you’re a vegetarian but you still eat meat.
It’s like saying you’re Mormon but don’t believe that Joseph Smith was a prophet.
It’s so integral to the Catholic faith to respect the basic humanity of every life from conception to natural death, but for some reason people keep insisting on calling themselves Catholic without even fulfilling this basic criterion.
The Catholic Church has many issues that are up for debate, but the morality of abortion is not one and will never be of them.
”It was a powerful, solemn scene at Planned Parenthood in Stapleton on Saturday morning as Archbishop Samuel J. Aquila led some 1,800 Catholics in a Eucharistic procession seven times around the abortion clinic, essentially surrounding the facility with silent prayer for over an hour.
…Seminarians from St. John Vianney Theological Seminary led the people in the hymns and prayers each time the procession passed around the building. They also assisted with crowd management.
“We were honestly expecting 500-800 people,” Swanson noted. “Three times that number showed up. This provided a bit of a challenge for us logistically, as 1,800 people don’t exactly fit on the sidewalk of a city block.
Following the procession, Father Joseph Hearty of Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parish in Littleton celebrated a Latin Mass in the lot across the street from Planned Parenthood.”
Read full story at Denver Catholic (Photos by Andrew Wright/Denver Catholic)
“ I was so proud to be publicly Catholic that morning. Archbishop Aquila had emphasized in his original announcement that there was to be no shouting, no arguing, no haranguing. Before the Procession began, Fr. Scott Bailey, assistant to the Archbishop, re-iterated those instructions. We were to walk together in prayer, knowing that the battle is in the Lord’s hands, and to give silent witness to His truth as we processed behind Our Lord’s True Presence, elevated in the Eucharist.” - Charlie Johnston, The Joshua Initiative
“do NOT get to use disabled women, raped and abused women, life threatening pregnancies, and having a disabled child, as a tool for your abortion argument because you do not have a monopoly on that.” As a disabled woman this really resonates with me. I am not your justification for murder. You don’t get to speak for me. @alwaysabeautifullife said it wonderfully.
Every time someone is offended I’m prolife I remember all the times that family, past boyfriend, my abuser, teachers, physicians, shamed me and pressured me to abort my children through the entire duration of my pregnancy, sobbing in isolation because I was rejected and hated by people I love and trusted simply because I chose to keep my child.
The second someone can’t use you for their political leverage on this site you’re disposable garbage and really makes me sick. I’ve seen posts about women hive just had abortions on this site and all I’ve done is message them and ask them if they were okay. Privately I prayed for them. Never did I harass them or shame them.
Let me make this clear for everyone, you do NOT get to use disabled women, raped and abused women, life threatening pregnancies, and having a disabled child, as a tool for your abortion argument because you do not have a monopoly on that. Women like me suffer humiliation even from physicians thanks to people like you who think a pregnancy should be terminated due to the situations above. You’re personal story is your own, but stop using the above examples as the “pro choice argument” for people who DONT EVER KEEP THEIR BABY. Because I DID, 4 TIMES.
My choice wasn’t valid to you because you can’t use it as a tool, that’s not prochoice, that’s disgusting.
We live in a secular culture where Tumblr inc. can bombard us with pro-abortion Planned Parenthood advertisements because of the 1st Amendment. But let any other corporation promote something Catholic and support a prolife cause or another family oriented cause… where did that 1st Amendment go?
You only get freedom if your thoughts and opinions agree with what is considered “acceptable,” or PC.
You have free speech – as long as you say what we want you to.
Dear British, American and english speaking friends, watch the video of my speech at the french Parliament on the ban of ProLife websites - Marion Maréchal-Le Pen
“In reality, you are has-been feminists. Political dinosaurs from ancient times.”
Yes. The answer is yes.
I remember when my coworker first found out I was a conservative, he asked me how I could support someone like Rubio because I’m a woman. He was like “if you were raped, are you honestly telling me you would keep it”. I looked him dead in the eye and said yes. He was so shocked that I would consider a baby conceived through rape to still be a baby
Because there are no scientifically valid reasons to believe a fetus is not a living human, and since it’s a living human, it would be both evil in the sight of God and unconstitutional to deny them their right to life.
Our a activism must go beyond the #marchforlife and #walkforlife. There are plenty of ways for you to participate in the #prolife movement. Here’s a few ways you can do your part! #whywemarch #prolife #activist #spreadtheword #life (at Stand True Ministries)