Thursday, March 24, 2011

The Miracle Factory

Once upon a time, three angels were busily working in the miracle factory. They were responsible for wrapping up all the little miracles and sending them on their way. Normally they wrapped each one in bright, sturdy paper with big, shiny ribbons. They stamped it with a delivery date and away it would go to the parents who eagerly awaited its arrival. Things usually ran pretty smoothly. One day, however, down the conveyor belt came a little miracle that made the angels pause. "Oh my," said the first angel "this one's um...well.. .different. " "Yes, she is unique" said the second angel. "Well I think she is quite special," said the first angel "but I don't think she will quite fit our standard wrapping procedures." And the second angel added, "And we know she's special, but will everyone else?" "Not a problem," said the third angel "obliviously a special miracle deserves extra special wrapping; and of course we'll send her off with our most heartfelt blessings. Then everyone will see how special she is." "What a wonderful idea!" replied the others. 

So they searched the shelves high and low for their finest paper, and their most delicate ribbons. When they were done, they stood back and admired their work. "Beautiful!" they all agreed. "Now for our blessings," said the third angel "for it is time for her to go." "I will bless her with innocence and happiness," said the first angel. "And I will bless her with strength to face the many challenges that lie ahead" said the second angel. "And I will bless her with an inner beauty that will shine on all who look upon her" said the third angel. Before sending her off the third angel, who was very wise, gently tucked a note inside.

And it said:

Dear Parents, 
Today you have received a very special gift.... 
It may not be what you were expecting,...
And you may be disappointed, angry and hurt.
But please know that she comes with many blessings,
And, while there may be pain, she will bring you much joy
She will take you in a very difficult journey,
But you will meet many wonderful people.
She will teach you patience and understanding
And make you reach deep inside yourselves
to find a source of strength and faith you never knew you had.
She will enrich your lives,
And will touch the hearts of all who meet her.
She may be fragile,
But she has great inner strength.
So please handle her with care,
Give her lots of attention,
Shower her with hugs and kisses,
Love her with all your heart,
And she will blossom before your eyes.
Her spirit will shine like the brightest star for all to see,
And you will know that you are truly blessed. 

Author Unknown

Friday, March 18, 2011

Feeling Fab at 40

"Welcome to the first Milk Mama Diaries Carnival (March). To celebrate National Women's Month, our participants share how breastfeeding has changed them as a woman. Please scroll down to the end of this post and check out the other carnival participants."

I have a friend, no let me correct that.  I have two best friends who have been with me since the day I was born.  These buddies of mine have never left my side (somewhat), not even for a second.  How can they?  They’re literally stuck to my chest! LOL  Is it scandalous to declare over the world wide web that I love my boobs?  But I really do!  Trust me.

Now I have to admit that I was not as proud of them then, as I am today.  Back when my high school classmates started morphing into shapely teeners, my hormones decided to take an indefinite leave of absence.  So, while all of them started progressing from training bras to cup A’s and B’s… I was holding an empty cup (A).  Laugh if you will but I’m sure you know what I’m talking about here.

Needless to say I had no choice but to live with what has been given to me – emphasis on the fact that I had no choice, please.  Life then beacons me to move on and grow up.  And grow up I did (sans the height and the “future” – as many Filipinos like to refer to it). 

Fast forward to present times, now that I am a wife and a mother, things have changed significantly.  Last time I checked I know sport a Cup C nursing bra!  Now isn’t that splendid news?  What was once an insignificant part of my body, my breasts are now the most important and valuable body part I have as far as my babies are concerned.  And that is putting aside the visual side of things. Hip hip hooray for breastfeeding!

I’m no longer self conscious about my two “friends”.  I don’t exactly care about their size, I’m just proud that these are not only aesthetics but functional parts as well. And neither am I self conscious about breastfeeding.  While some would hesitate to nurse their babies in public for fear of indecent exposures or perhaps at the risk of offending some others – I personally could not care less.  I allow my children to feed anywhere and anytime they want (isn’t that what breastfeeding clothes and covers are for?). 

It’s a good thing that even after being unappreciated for all these years, they’ve remained loyal to me and my kids.  It’s been almost 3 years and my breasts have not failed me yet – not even once!  And I doubt if I ever will.  Now that’s what I call a real friend. 

I believe that I would not be the mother that I am, had I decided to give my kids formula milk.  I love the fact that my babies need me – and me alone.  I love it that they have to snuggle up to me at night even if it means I wont be able to sleep in a comfortable position.  So what?  Time will come when my kids will be all grown up and it’ll take a lot of persuasion for me to get them to snuggle up to me or even give me a kiss.  I’d like to enjoy this piece of heaven while it lasts. 

Although breastfeeding means that I need to be extra selective with the clothes I chose to wear, and that I need to be on constant watch for leaky breasts – these are all but small discomforts against a lifetime of health benefits for my kids.

Do I regret my choice to breastfeed?  Not a single bit.  I am the woman that I am now – proud and confident, because my breasts have made me realize what really matters in terms of becoming a woman.

PS.  Today happens to be my 40th birthday.  Just a few months before, I was extremely depressed about my weight and my appearance.  I felt that I needed a major makeover so that I could live up to the tag “Fab at 40.”  Writing this made me realize that feeling good about myself need not depend on how I look or on how much I weigh.  I know I have accomplished much in raising my kids and I have everything there is to be happy about – a good husband, wonderful children, dependable friends and a supportive family.  It sounds cliché but its true -- feeling good about yourself is not dependent on how you look, physically but in knowing that you have accomplished great things with what He has blessed you with.  And yes, I’m still past my ideal weight – but I still feel Fab at 40!

Please check out other Carnival Participants at: