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Pregnancy Scars

Quick link: I Know I Should Boast about My Battle Scars

What if I don’t want to brag about my jiggly belly? What if I refuse to post belly selfies? Social media makes me feel like we have to bare all and love it, or that if we wish we didn’t have stretch marks that means we don’t love our kids. I totally disagree and wrote about it for Brain Child Magazine.



So, this is NOT me, NOT my belly or my child, NOT how things looked while I was pregnant. We were more of the sweaty walrus variety. But this is how we’re told to feel and be during pregnancy, isn’t it? By ‘those people,’ the ones ‘out there’ on social media.

I know I’m supposed to boast about my scars, stretch marks, and shape.

I’m supposed to be empowered by naked selfies.

I don’t boast and I’m not empowered or posting those naked selfies (I’m not even taking them).

I have a stomach that looks like a saggy raisin. I never really had the chance to feel good about my body. I got pregnant at 21-years old, before I had grown into the idea of loving my size and shape. I was still in the high school and college years of hating it all, of never being thin enough or strong enough or having the right size ass or big enough boobs.

And then pregnancy changed my stomach permanently (the big enough boobs didn’t last long and leaked milk so they weren’t exactly what I’d hope for). The pregnancy was twins, it went full-term, I looked like a walrus. My skin stretched until it couldn’t stretch anymore and so it started coming apart, cracking open new seams that would never go back together, pushing the elasticity of young skin up to and then beyond the point of no return…

Click here to read the rest I Know I Should Boast about My Battle Scars

Twenty-Two Flights of Stairs

Quick link: Daunted Yet Determined

Today I’m writing at Brain Child about climbing 22-flights of stairs on the day I gave birth to twins. Yeah. Want to know what that was like and what it taught me?


The day I gave birth to twins I walked down twenty-two flights of stairs. I was twenty-two years old. We lived on the twenty-second floor of an apartment building in downtown Minneapolis. The building had two elevators that were often broken and on July 26, 2000 both were broken. I was thirty-eight weeks pregnant and roughly the size of a beluga whale. Stretch marks crisscrossed my stomach in between faded temporary tattoos of stars and planets, and blue ink marks where my husband had drawn a map of the world, boundaries of continents loosely guided by the stretch marks.

If these babies didn’t come out soon my stomach might explode. My belly button had long ago spread flat and had been turned into an imaginary mid-Atlantic island on the map. I ate meals with my plate balanced on top of my belly. I wore a dress my mom sewed for me. I called it a dress because it had flowers but it was a tent with holes cut out for my head and arms…


Click here to read the rest: Daunted Yet Determined

Babble: American Childbirth and Human Rights Failure

babyQuick link: Childbirth in America, is there a human rights failure?

Today I’m writing at Babble on a heavy topic: childbirth and human rights. I live between worlds and have empathy for pregnant women in both of those worlds. I have, in fact, been a pregnant woman in both of those worlds. I hope the piece reflects this while at the same time issuing a call for people in the United States to think outside their own experiences when laying claim to phrases like ‘human rights failure.’ There is so much at stake in how we use language and how we treat women.

The article American Childbirth: Human Rights Failure? talks about the fear American women face while pregnant. The author said most of the pregnant women she spoke to are, “scared to death” of childbirth. She wrote about the dire state of labor and birth practices in American hospitals. About the real and terrible statistics of birth in the United States compared to other developed nations as cited by the World Health Organization and Amnesty International.

The same day I read this article I heard stories of four women and three babies here in Djibouti who died in childbirth. Each woman was the relative or friend of close friends of mine…

Click here to read: Childbirth in America, is there a human rights failure?

*image via Flickr

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