My Diastasis Recti Misses My Baby Bump
When you have a baby in your belly, it’s cute. When you don’t have a baby and have a belly, it’s not (except if you are a little girl; then bellies are adorable).
I write a lot about dealing with my diastasis recti. Over two years later, it still hasn’t healed and I still have a belly. I’ve come to terms with it, accepting that it may never go all the way back together and working to feel content and confident in my body right now. I even filmed a video on “Postpartum Dress: What to Wear with Diastasis Recti” to share my tips on what I wear to help me feel good in my clothes.
But it’s still there, and so is my struggle.
Split in Half, Life in the Middle
I have a history of nightmares, and tsunamis are in them a lot. Sometimes when I see pictures of the ocean or hear a Scripture on the sea, the Lord shows me a glimpse of why that vision of tsunamis strikes fear in my heart and how He overcomes. This weekend at a She Speaks Conference, we sang a song saying, “God split the sea so I could walk right through it," and that hit me with another vision of the Israelites walking right through the middle, with tsunamis on either side of them (see above picture). Then I thought about the word “split” and how I associate it with my abs. In most pregnancies, abdominals separate to allow the expanding baby to grow in the uterus. God designed it that way.
Sometimes God has to split life apart to make away for life to come through:
"Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and the LORD drove the sea back by a strong east wind all night and made the sea dry land, and the waters were divided. And the people of Israel went into the midst of the sea on dry ground, the waters being a wall to them on their right hand and on their left...Then the LORD said to Moses, “Stretch out your hand over the sea, that the water may come back upon the Egyptians, upon their chariots, and upon their horsemen.” So Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and the sea returned to its normal course when the morning appeared. And as the Egyptians fled into it, the LORD threw the Egyptians into the midst of the sea. The waters returned and covered the chariots and the horsemen; of all the host of Pharaoh that had followed them into the sea, not one of them remained. " Exodus 14:21-22, 26-28 (emphasis added)
The waters were divided so the Israelites could walk to the Promised Land. My abs were divided so the baby could come through. Then the sea returned to its normal course.
What about when the mother’s body doesn’t return to its normal course?
It means we’re not at the Promised Land yet. Instead of staring at the tsunamis of water to the sides of us, we can focus our eyes on the Promised Land ahead of us.
We need more grace. Heaven hasn’t come down, God hasn’t finished the work He says He will promise to complete (and it is impossible for God to lie), and our bodies are not perfect yet either. It means we get to rejoice in our scars, have joy in our pains, and keep our heads up: "Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day” (2 Corinthians 4:16).
I don’t know if you clicked on this post because you also struggle with a different body after baby, but be encouraged: you’re not alone and God’s not done. Keep your eyes on what’s ahead and continue marching forward. If you have a child, look at that child and see a precious glimpse of the Lord’s promise to us. He brings great life out of hard labor.
Praise be to God!