This Mama Loves Her Postpartum Body, 'Bubblegum Belly' And All

A blogging mama shared a photo of herself with her children—and the message she shared about her postpartum body is just so good.

Like so many mamas out there, Janene Crossley saw some physical evidence of her pregnancies that lingered long after she delivered—and she's just fine with that. After all, pregnancy is the thing that made her a mother four times over.

Crossley shared a sweet image of herself and her children lounging in bed. We were struck by how happy the whole clan appears—but it was Crossley's message that really got us. The mama, who blogs at Hello Ivory Rose, expressed her love for her postpartum body in the image's caption field.

“When your 5 year old sees your post-partum stomach and gives it a big ol' tummy twister while laughing hysterically and hollering ‘IT FEELS LIKE BUBBLE GUM!!!’, you post that ridiculous, unflattering open-mouth pic instead of the 'prettier' one," she wrote. "This belly of mine will forever share my story. It's a novel that pleaded and prayed to house my babies. The fresh, crepe-paper skin means that tiny Avery is nestled in my arm instead of on the inside. My sore chest means that I'm still single-handedly growing this baby. What a straight up miracle this is. I'm feeling 100% proud of this post-partum body, with its jelly abs and shriveled up skin. It made me a mother."

When your 5 year old sees your post-partum stomach and gives it a big ol' tummy twister while laughing hysterically and hollering "IT FEELS LIKE BUBBLE GUM!!!", you post that ridiculous, unflattering open-mouth pic instead of the "prettier" one. Oh, sweet girl.. I hope you always feel confident in the skin you're in. Stretched, loose and marked up. It's beautiful. This belly of mine will forever share my story. It's a novel that pleaded and prayed to house my babies. The fresh, crepe-paper skin means that tiny Avery is nestled in my arm instead of on the inside. My sore chest means that I'm still single-handedly growing this baby. What a straight up miracle this is. I'm feeling 100% proud of this post-partum body, with its jelly abs and shriveled up skin. It made me a mother. A mother who now has cellulite because that's just how my body handled pregnancy. This was my road to Motherhood. Paved with miserable pregnancies and yet a lifetime of unconditional pure love for these 4 little ones. And yeah, I'll make these girls reenact this childhood photo when they're grown with bubblegum bellies of their own💕 #embracethesquish #postpartum #11weeksold

A post shared by JANENE CROSSLEY (@janenecrossley) on

Crossley actually posted this photo last month, but it has continued to make waves—and Crossley recently shared the image once again, albeit with a comment that spoke to the impact her original message had on other moms. 

"I’ve been absolutely floored by the reaction to this one photo I recently shared on Instagram a month ago," she wrote alongside the second photo. "I was humbled and brought to tears when nearly a thousand women reached out by sharing their own familiar stories while offering me encouragement for being real and honest about the changes that come with becoming a mother."

It just goes to show: Celebrating postpartum bodies matters—and by viewing your own with pride and appreciation, you just might inspire others to do the same.

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