Baby Taco: 3 months, 3 weeks
My mom is the most beautiful woman in the world. She can sing, she has the softest skin. When I was little she had these big glasses and her hair was perfectly 80’s poofy even though it was the 90’s. She is the loudest in the room and everyone loves her for it. She can make you laugh even when you’re at your darkest.
When I was little I loved going in her closet to see her clothes. She had great dresses from.when we used to go into the city, (New York). There, we would hang out with her equally loud, equally beautiful funny family. It was like being in a movie where everyone wined and dined.
My aunt threw these grand parties for my cousins Bar and Bat Mitzvah with food and dancing and gowns. My mom was and is always the prettiest girl in the room.
So that’s why it was always so confusing to me that she hated her body. I remember pulling one of her dresses down so I could wear it. I was still little. My body was still round, no curves no nothing. But I pressed that dress up against me and I felt like a movie star.
My mom caught me holding it and said something like, “oh yuck, I hate that dress, that’s my fat dress”. Fat. Fat. Fat? I remember looking down at my own round belly and from then on I knew fat was bad. But was it? I love my moms soft skin. She has big boobs that when I was young I would cuddle up next to. I felt safe in her softness. She was, is stunning. I never saw her fat, I saw her as my mom.
So here I am. When I gave birth to Taco I hit 300lbs. Ugh. It’s hard writing that down. I have always been big but I kept active. I was strong. I loved lifting weights, yoga, walking. My body acceptance has always been a struggle. I matured much faster than my friends. I was even taken to a doctor where they found I grew a pituitary gland tumor. The doctor said I could grow up to be tall and thin or, me. Short and chubby.
I never had trouble like the other big kids. I was never teased for being big, I had boyfriends. I got hit on just as much as my thin friends. I like to think I’m ok. I used what my mom did to make myself stand out. I never saw that my mom was big because she had so many other more important attributes.
But when I was pregnant, I was fat. I knew there was a baby in there but I had become so swollen, so weak,that by the end that 300lbs was no surprise. I had gained over 50lbs. I was huge. Everything hurt. People would say, “you’re glowing”, “you’re beautiful”. My husband still made love to me with the same passion. Not disgusted by my ever expanding body. Everyone else saw a pregnant woman but I saw a swollen monster.
Since Taco has been out, I have lost 30lbs. Not great but I’m making an attempt. It’s hard. Like, so much harder than before. Pregnancy made me weak. Where before I could squat my weight, I now struggle to do a push up. My strength, the one thing that made me not just fat is gone and I am desperately trying to get it back between his naps and feedings.
I wonder what Taco will think of me when he’s older. Will he look at me the way I look at my mom? Or will he be embarrassed that his mom is big? Will his feelings get hurt if his friends say something about my body?
Today my friend threw a baby shower. She’s 32 weeks and is gorgeous. She has a perfect baby bump. Through all the celebration, all I could think is, “Oh my god, I’m fatter than the pregnant chick”. Such a stupid thought. She was thin before getting pregnant and she will be thin after giving birth. That’s her body type.
I’m not saying this to say that fat is bad because it’s not. To me it’s beautiful. I am attracted to big. The taller and bigger you are, the more I want to know you. There is a power to it. I’m writing this because I wish I felt that way about myself. I miss the power.
With Taco I have become so soft. I need to be strong. I am fine with slipping on a size 20 as long as I can beat you in an arm wresting match. I want Taco to know that being big is not bad and that his mom is trying. I am big but I am so much more. I like to think I am like my mom. Loud, can light up a room, can make people feel welcome.
I will get my strength back. I may never be skinny, but I will be strong. I will teach Taco that every body is a good body. Fat, skinny, tall, short, they are all beautiful and so much more than a number on a scale.