Tuesday, March 22, 2011


This past Christmas, my mother-in-law gave me a full-length, embroidered on the edges, flowing nightgown.

To be honest, I had NEVER worn a nightgown. I'm more of a workout pants and t-shirt kindof girl when it comes to bedtime. But I noticed the tag had a Dillard's sticker, and felt the soft brushed cotton, and took it home to wear to bed.

Enter Mrs. Olsen in nightgown. Rainbow Girl stops and stares. She says, "That's pretty" and the next day asks if I'll buy her a nightgown. The Mister of the House comments how cute it is. I wonder if they are serious.

The thing is, when I was a newlywed, I heard a tale (supposedly true) of a Hawaiian woman that ran on the beach every day for exercise. Once she became pregnant, she continued her daily jog. She jogged every week of her pregnancy, and even ran 3 miles the day she gave birth.

She was woman! Nothing would hold her back! She stayed in charge of her body and worked through the discomforts of pregnancy to provide good health to her new addition!

This was the woman I was determined to be. Tough. Resilient. In shape. Fitting into her skinny jeans 4 weeks postpartum. This is the woman who would have thought nightgowns were for grannies and not tough young mothers who jog the day before and the day after giving birth.

But then when I became pregnant, I felt like I was being overtaken by Alien Body-snatchers. Why does my favorite food make me ill? What's with the leg cramps? Why am I so freaking tired?

There's a beautiful (and necessary) loss of control when you incubate another human life. Because no matter how hard I try (and let's be honest, I have NOT tried as hard as the "Hawaii Lady") I can never seem to not get pregnant in my arms, butt, and sides.

This reality has been disheartening at times, and has later served as ammunition for victim-hood that only chocolate cake could understand.

But now, I am older and wiser. Offspring #4 is coming to earth soon, and while I am determined to skip church the next couple of weeks if I haven't gone into labor, there's a letting go that I am trying to embrace...A letting go without a grudge.

In my crunchy hippy birthing center, I am happy to announce that there exists the pregnant women apparently friends with the Hawaii Women. They usually have blogs and have gorgeous black and white photos of their bare tummies, sans stretch marks, showing thoughtful and/or exuberant images of their blossoming motherhood. I snuck this photo at my last appointment, check it:

La La La! Three, maybe even one pregnancy ago, this picture would have ticked me off just a bit. Now? It's just slightly annoying. Yay!

I am woman. Hear me roar!

I am 35 and love my nightgown!

My arse is a rectangle starting in my middle back, but I grow 'em gorgeous and strong. So it's okay.

And even though I'm going to skip church the next two weeks if I haven't gone into labor, God loves me and I think He's awesome. I recognize my blossoming as a blessing from Him.

Thirty-five is the new 50 and it feels good...


Anonymous said...

Gorgeous and Strong. You are not the Hawaii woman. You are better. You are Cache Valley with much of your power coming from South East Idaho, and it does not get much better than that.

Tara said...

If you can be comfy in style, embrace the nightgown! :)

Good luck with your delivery!

Wade and Marilyn said...

You are gorgeous and so is the nightgown. Can't wait to meet our new grandson.

Rands Family said...

Love the nightgown. You look GREAT! Good luck on the next addition to your family. One of these days we will have to see each other.

alison said...

There is nothing about this post that I do not L.O.V.E. The pictures were the perfect conclusion. Real motherhood rocks. You rock!

Advent Creative said...

I love this post and you my dear friend. Your nightgown is darling and your laundry room is uber fab. Love it. Good luck the next few weeks. See you soon.

paula said...

You look beautiful!

Lael said...

I loved this post, lady. I was not a pretty pregnant lady, and am still convinced that most of those annoying models in the mommy magazines are wearing some sort of stupid belly prosthetic. That said, I came to terms with my big beautiful baby-making body. Babies came out easy. I had gorgeous boobies that made plenty of milk. My babies were big and healthy. And eventually, you get your body back ... That is how real bodies and real pregnancies work! Bring on those stretch marks, you are awesome!

valerie said...

Amber, I love your honesty.

Lee Family said...

One Word: Marilyn

Okay, I had to throw in one sarcastic comment since every other comment was all about motherhood empowerment which you know I am a big fan of . . . SO that means I can stand to be sarcastic. BUT at least your daughter thinks your "Marilyn" nightgown is pretty, when we probably just mocked. HEY, the last time I was home I actually slipped on one of her nightgowns and it was the most comfortable thing I'd ever slipped into!
BUT most importantly, you are a beautiful person inside and out and this kid is lucky to have you as his madre!

Danielle said...

YOu are Awesome... love that you find humor in life.

Anonymous said...

You are gorgeous. Great post, Amber.

And you know what? I always hated pictures of me pregnant, and now I wish I had more of them. There needs to be proof to show the kids, "Look! That's when I was pregnant with so-and-so." I love those pictures of you.

Anonymous said...

I miss you in a way that makes me ache. Reading your words and seeing your pictures bring back memories of my hardest moments being softened through your ears to listen and your voice to sing me to sleep. If the mission was not for anything other than meeting your soul...it was 18 months well spent.
I love you~ period.

Allen Family said...

I love you!
I go on a break from the blog circuit, but then when I come back and read one of your posts, it's so refreshing. You look beautimous!