There has been much uproar about how a woman perceives her body after going through the changes of pregnancy and childbirth. We can stick to a proper diet during pregnancy and still end up having a pooch after giving birth. Sure, we can exercise our way to our pre-pregnancy weight, but we can’t really bring back our post-baby figure, not really. Pregnancy and giving birth changes every woman uniquely in the same way a new baby changes her life.
When Victoria Caroline Haltom, of Victoria Caroline Boudoir Photography in Texas, revealed on her Facebook a letter she got from the husband of a client, a curvy mom-of-two in her mid-40s who commissioned her to shoot sexy photos of her and “magically alter” (read: Photoshop) her flaws, it was a wake-up call for every woman, whether or not she’s a mom. Haltom specializes in sexy shoots and the woman wanted her photos taken as a gift to her husband “to spice things up”; they’ve been together for 18 years.
Read an excerpt of the husband’s letter below, as per Halton’s post:
"When I opened the album that she gave to me, my heart sank. These pictures… while they are beautiful and you are clearly a very talented photographer… they are not my wife. You made every one of her "flaws" disappear… and while I'm sure this is exactly what she asked you to do, it took away everything that makes up our life.
“When you took away her stretch marks, you took away the documentation of my children. When you took away her wrinkles, you took away over two decades of our laughter, and our worries. When you took away her cellulite, you took away her love of baking and all the goodies we have eaten over the years. I am not telling you all of this to make you feel horrible, you're just doing your job and I get that.
“I am actually writing you to thank you. Seeing these images made me realize that I honestly do not tell my wife enough how much I LOVE her and adore her just as she is. She hears it so seldom, that she actually thought these photoshopped images are what I wanted and needed her to look like. I have to do better, and for the rest of my days I am going to celebrate her in all her imperfectness. Thanks for the reminder.”
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Browsing through her post's comments, some men even proudly confessed that they feel the same way about their wife. So to further prove that this hubby is not alone in his thoughts, we asked real men -- husbands -- what they love about their wife’s body after welcoming their kids into this world:
1. Your scars “I love everything about my wife’s body after getting pregnant and giving birth to our son. I was with her every step of the way, and I know for certain that she’s been through a lot. I particularly like her C-section scar because it forever reminds me that my wife is such a strong, admirable woman,” says Keefe Juan, husband to Lana and dad to Kaleb, 3. Even those stretch marks you try relentlessly to prevent by putting on all kinds of lotions and moisturizers? Your husband loves those, too. These scars are testament to a challeging feat you have surpassed.
2. Your breasts “Breastfeeding breasts are the best,” says Giosi Mendoza, film director and dad to a teenage boy. While a woman’s breasts grow bigger during pregnancy, they could sag after you’ve weaned your little one. But, as this dad is quick to point out: “Honestly, it doesn’t matter. Every breast will sag eventually; that’s life. We're not here to perpetuate men’s lust for a young perky body. Women are human beings with soul and spirit. Breasts are just a body part with function, like our genitals. There’s a whole lot more in the being of another person. People should wake up and see that,” he adds.
3. Your love handles “I cherish my wife’s love handles now. I admit, I was primarily attracted to her slim figure, but hugging her in bed proves to be more satisfying because I have room to squeeze her, for the lack of a better term, especially when I’m nanggigigil,” says Garrett Santos, bank executive and dad of three. That pooch you so wanted to get rid of after giving birth may still serve a purpose. “After three kids, come on, you can’t expect your wife to have a lingerie model’s body. In the same way, I appreciate that my wife does not also expect me to have six-pack abs, although I try,” he quips.
4. Your fuller hips "I love my wife's hips now. They aren't sharp and bony. They're perfect for spooning," says Migz Castañeda, husband to Angie and dad to six-month-old Rio. Indeed, a bit of flab is not so bad at all. It could even pave the way for a little more action in the bedroom or a new-level of sexual satisfaction for both of you. Plus, you have to remember, not all men love your set up top; there are also men who fancy a woman's behind more than her stick-thin silhouette. Giving birth can enhance that.
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5. Your beautiful face “I know it’s stressful sometimes to juggle family and a career, but my wife makes it work somehow. That alone makes her even more beautiful to me as we age,” says graphic artist and dad-of-two Liam Jackson. “I love her smile; I can’t even imagine how I’d manage such a beautiful smile while having tons of things to do, but I look at my wife, imperfections and all, and it instantly makes me feel lucky,” he says.
True enough, as both of you and your husband age and go through your ups and downs, you both realize that there’s more to life than an hourglass figure or six-pack abs. However, this is not to say that you can just let yourself go and not care. As long as you’re healthy and happy with your new body, it will reflect on how you live your life—and your better half will love you for it even more.
Haltom, who as a new mom had struggled with her body image as well, clearly nails it: “Our loved ones cherish and adore us just as we are,” she says. “I encourage you to embrace YOU just as you are!”
Sources: October 17, 2015. “Boudoir Photographer Shares Heartfelt Email from a Client's Husband After His Wife Asked for Retouched Photos” (people.com) October 16, 2015. “After Seeing His Wife In Sexy Photoshopped Photos, A Husband Said He Missed Her ‘Flaws’” (buzzfeed.com)