I... Gave... Birth... These words, grouped in that sequential order, still amaze me. In prepping for this week's post, I grew very excited about photographing my postpartum body. For the most part, I've always considered myself to be a body positive individual. Being one of the countless women who stare in the mirror, agonizing over imperfections, has never really been my thing. Perhaps this is due to me always being in a hurry to get dressed or undressed, thus not really having the time to glance in the mirror, let alone, obsess over what others may deem as flaws. As a young girl growing up, I never heard my mother bashing her own body. That woman proudly embraced every stretch mark and dimpled butt cheek. My mother not only thought that she was beautiful... but that she was FINE! Her favorite song was "Brick House" (although technically she didn't meet the true definition of a "Brick House"... still, this was reality in HER head) So naturally, I was all about the mantra of "accepting your body as is..." That was until I saw MY postpartum body photographed.
To be perfectly honest (and not to be overly cocky), prior to seeing my post-babe bod, I honestly thought that MY body was bangin. Don't read me wrong, I never thought my body was Naomi Campbell worship status, but I honestly thought it was somewhere between Naomi Campbell & being hot enough that somebody thought it dope to procreate with... The truth is, after much studying of this postpartum photo, I didn't recognize my body. My tummy, softer and laced with marks reminded me that I had, two times before, housed a small human. My boobs... saggy... don't even get me started on my booty. I mean, I've always been a part of the little booty committee. However, I couldn't believe how my booty now resembled a popular breakfast dish... the pancake. I... Gave... Birth... and now my body showed it..
After giving birth, I remember the first feelings of going to the restroom. Peeing resembled something of a double dutch match. Releasing a stream of urine initiated a timidness that can only be compared to feelings of a first date. Like many mothers, I have had to reacquaint myself with not only my body, but my bladder. The last minute rush of finding a public restroom while out and about, all while doing the low key, grown woman pee pee dance is one of the worst feelings in the world! In doing so, I run the risk of the slightest sneeze being the trigger to a full on accident.
Postpartum Urinary Incontinence is an issue that women seldomly discuss. One in three women suffer from urinary incontinence, and it usually takes several years on average for most women to even seek help… all the reason why I was so excited to spread the word about the brand, THINX and their newest line of feminine products, ICON. Imagine if you were able to ditch your panty liners, and most importantly, you could ditch the worry of those minor accidents!! ICON, similar to their predecessor THINX, offers beautiful underwear with built in technology designed to hold any leaks, preventing grown woman accidents. ICON panties are available in two beautiful styles: High Waisted & Bikini. I chose to take the High Waisted design out for a test drive. After trying these beauties on for the day, I must say… I was pretty impressed. I stayed dry all day… no leaks or mishaps. To really test them out and see how well they would hold up, I decided to jump on a trampoline while wearing my ICON Undies. Once Again… no accidents or leaks. All clear! As an added bonus, they are super comfortable and soft. I actually almost forgot that I was wearing underwear.
In addition to being in awe of these well made undies, I was equally impressed with their philanthropic work. The creators of THINX/ ICON are heavily involved with the Fistula Foundation. What is Fistual (Obstetric Fistula)? An obstetric fistula is a hole between the vagina and rectum or bladder that is caused by prolonged obstructed labor, leaving a woman incontinent of urine or feces or both. Research shows that there are 1 million women living with Fistula.
"At the heart of our mission as a company is a focus on eliminating the shame and anxiety that women feel when they are held back by their bodies. We support that mission twofold: through our products in the first world, and by improving the lives of girls and women in developing countries through our giveback."--Kejal McDonald (VP of Marketing)
Calculated in every pair of ICON underwear sold, contributions are made toward the surgery and treatment (including antibiotics, transportation, recovery and education) for women living with Fistula. "The best part of the Fistula Foundation's work, is that once women have had this life-changing surgery, they also have access to education and midwife/ nurse training to assist other women." --KM
Here's how it all breaks down:
• One pair of Icon underwear can provide a single course of injectable antibiotic to give to a woman prior to surgery to prevent infection.
• Two pairs of Icon underwear can provide rehabilitation training materials for a woman after her surgery.
• 40 pairs of Icon underwear can fund transportation to the fistula surgery for one woman.
• 300 pairs of Icon underwear can fund a life-changing surgery to repair one woman's obstetric fistula.
An amazing pair of undies that you can feel confident in, all while assisting in the rebuilding of our fellow women’s confidence across the globe… I'm totally down for that!
Yes, my body has changed. My boobs may point a bit more south than I’d like. My butt may not be as firm as desired. My belly may not be as chiseled as in years past (perhaps that was just in my head). While my body may lack society’s standards of perfection, THIS body is mine. It has housed and nourished (and is still nourishing) two baby boys. I thank God for my "fun" bladder, as it serves as a reminder that I pushed a baby out of my vagina LIKE A BOSS. I… Gave…Birth… and now my body shows it. For this I am forever grateful.