From the very beginning of our marriage, my husband and I had always promised each other that we would continue to make our anniversary special each year. We stuck to the traditional themes for gifts at each passing year and made sure to take a trip away, even if it was just somewhere local. It was important to us to remove ourselves from our crazy busy lives and spend time focusing on us and our hopes and dreams for our future. Sure, the logistics of it all became a little harder once kids were introduced into the mix, but we made it work (along with our village of support).
My parents were always huge supporters when it came to focusing on celebrating your anniversary and making sure you spend time with each other, even when kids came into the picture. They were also always very open with me growing up (and when I say open, I mean red in the face, embarrassing conversations have nothing on you, open – ask any of my friends). As embarrassed as I felt during those conversations, it has helped me become a very open person with the people that I trust in my life, most importantly, my husband. It has helped us have a great line of communication. It’s probably also the reason why I am so open to sharing my life on Facebook and through this moms blog, especially when it comes to this particular post.
Last September, my husband and I celebrated our fifth wedding anniversary. Leading up to our anniversary, I was struggling with what to get for him. We were already planning on taking a big trip with just the two of us to Key West but I still wanted to get him something special. I ended up ordering him a ManCrate (wood for five years) filled with some of his favorite barbecue items. But, it just didn’t seem like enough. Then I remembered him joking about me doing a Boudoir shoot for him. I had laughed it off at the time because I literally just had our second baby that past January and the thought of taking photos of how this body looked now seemed exactly that: laughable.
I had always been the type that was a very strong personality, so that came off as a very confident person. But, what a lot of people didn’t know was that I always struggled with my body image. Even before pregnancy, I was never really happy with the way my body looked, which is ironic because now I look back at those pictures and think how crazy I was to think otherwise. My husband has always loved the way I looked, no matter what, but he has also always been a huge proponent of me loving the way I look too. I knew if I kept putting off taking these photos until I thought I looked ideal, I would never get the photos done, because unfortunately, I’m probably my worst critic.
I let the idea simmer in my brain for a bit and after few days, I decided to pull the trigger. I found a Groupon for a place that had great reviews online. It included hair and make-up. I quickly started researching outfits that were classy and timeless – I was NOT going to reveal too much . . . just had Baby #2 in January, remember? When it was time for the photos I was super nervous. I didn’t want to look stupid and never felt like the exotic, sexy type more like the smiley, bubbly one. Much to my surprise, the experience went completely opposite of how I ever thought it would.
The woman who did my make-up made sure it wasn’t more than what I would usually wear but just enough to show up in pictures. Then, when it was time for the actual pictures, the photographer made me feel like I was the most beautiful woman there ever lived. I have never felt so confident in my life, especially at a time when I felt my body was probably at its worst having carried and produced two humans within the last two and a half years. She joked around with me and made me feel very relaxed and comfortable. I actually had so much fun, I wish it could have lasted longer.
When I got the pictures, I was astonished. They were not airbrushed; I was not edited in any way. It was me – 100%. But, because of the way that photographer made me feel, that I could be truly beautiful and love my body after babies, I could see the happiness glowing from my face in the pictures. I was in love with the photos (my husband obviously was too). More than anything, I loved that it made me feel proud of not just who I am inside but who I am on the outside too.
So, I’ve bared it all and I hope some of you will take the plunge too and learn to love your body after baby.
My husband always did but now, I do too.