Dear Post Baby Body,
It’s time for me to be brutally honest about our relationship. For a long time we have walked around going through the motions together and being very co-dependent on one another. Well, that time has come to an end and it’s time for some change.
I used to wake up most mornings hating you. Gasp! I know, I just said it. I would look in the mirror and see a former shell of myself staring back at me. I was there but I was hiding under thighs that were just too big, hips that were a lot wider than I thought humanly possible, a belly that was hanging too close to my knees, breasts that looked more like my morning pancakes and a body full of wide stretch marks. I spent so many mornings telling myself that I looked okay…I mean I’ve had some kids after all. I would do everything I could to convince myself that this was just part of life. Mostly, I would just tell lies to myself so that I could pretend I was okay with that image that followed me everywhere every day.
I tried a million things to look better but never stuck with anything. I would get frustrated and start self doubting so much that it was just easier to accept that I would look like this forever and move on. I wanted to treat you better but I didn’t feel like you were changing fast enough so I stopped. Quite frankly I was really, really mad at you. I couldn’t believe that you would betray me like that during my pregnancies. I couldn’t believe that you couldn’t hold yourself together and had to just expand and stretch all over the place. I didn’t want to be mad but I was and I just couldn’t help it. I know you would tell me that looks don’t matter and that it’s “whats on the inside” and all that stuff but come on…..there isn’t a woman on planet earth who’s looks don’t effect how she feels about herself. It’s much easier said than done.
So before you think we can’t be friends anymore let me tell you something. That is how I USED to feel but something has changed. Me and you after 5 long years brought another little boy into this world and somewhere along the way my anger went away. I woke up one morning with a 3 week old baby and realized something powerful. I looked in the mirror and saw a different woman staring back at me. Those hips are still wide but I saw the perfect way in which they bore the weight of 3 beautiful babies. The thighs are still large but I felt the strength they have to carry me through my day. My breasts are still like pancakes but they have nourished my children and provided them comfort. Those stretch marks that I had hated for so long showed me all that was beautiful about those stripes. And as tears sprung to my eyes I saw my belly. I saw that skin that hangs loosely and, my dear body, I saw LIFE. I saw how you created my whole world from 3 small cells. You grew the most amazing thing to ever be grown….humans. You developed and built and nourished my children until they were ready to meet me. That skin provided them warmth and comfort until I was ready to take over. I saw beauty that morning for the first time in almost 8 years. For the first time I felt the power of being a woman and mother and what that meant. Instead of hating myself, I thanked my body for everything that it has done for me.
So, body, thank you for being healthy all of these years and never giving me any trouble even when I haven’t taken care of you. Thank you for bringing my 3 boys into this world in the most easiest of fashions. I mean I owe you big for those labors that weren’t at all labored. But most of all, thank you, for showing me how strong, resilient and amazing you really are. YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL and I salute you.
You’re always changing, proud owner