Emily and Thomas Marson are a storybook romance. After meeting on a dark beach and talking for hours, the two instantly fell in love and began a new life together. And, last October, the couple welcomed twin baby boys: Arthur and Finley.
Despite the smooth delivery, Emily told Mom.me that Arthur—the older of the two—came out "struggling to breathe."
"He had to be resuscitated and was in ICU for three days. We were all in the hospital for a total of eight days and, since then, it's been a beautiful journey and one I will never forget."
The couple has since maintained an exquisite photo memoir of the boys' lives on Instagram that captures the agony and ecstasy of parenting. Some of the photographs, in fact—like this gorgeous shot of Emily's pregnant belly or the one of her simultaneously breastfeeding her twin babies—is a tribute to all mothers.
One photo in particular, however, raises the bar of acceptance to a whole new level. In a heartfelt "love your body" message, the young mom shared an image of her infant sons lying next to her imperfectly perfect stomach.
“[T]his is quite a personal post but I am now four months postpartum and beginning to embrace what my body has become,” Emily writes.
"I’ve housed two beautiful babies for 36 weeks and breastfed for 5 weeks," she continues, while adding that her pregnancy wasn't "exactly an easy ride." She was hospitalized for dehydration and early contractions, but despite the struggles, she says that she is so proud of herself.
"I carried such beautiful children and gave them food, warmth and most importantly all the love that I never thought I had," she writes. "[A] scar that I will have for the rest of my life is a tiny sacrifice for a lifetime of beautiful memories with my family.”
She ends on a powerful note that speaks to us all.
“Your stretch marks DO NOT define you, your scar DOES NOT define you, your flab DOES NOT define you,” she continues. “You are incredible, you are a mother and you are the light of your babies' eyes."