This is a picture of my 15 month old and my belly. It has been well over a year, and I have slowly and peacefully accepted that my belly is going to be floppy and riddled with stretch marks for a very long time.
She has helped me accept my body. When she nurses, she often caresses my soft, pillowy belly roll. She does not care about the stretch mark scars or the flap that I have to tuck into my waistband. She often pulls up her shirt to excitedly exclaim, “belly!”, then tickle herself and laugh and laugh. She does it to me sometimes, too. She strokes my stomach gently, so lovingly as she falls asleep. She loves my belly, so I have come to love it – hesitantly, sometimes begrudgingly. But if she can love it unconditionally, so can I.