“If you can, try and be gentler with yourself, ’cause you’re doing the best you can. I’ll try to remind myself to do the same.” That’s where I left off when I wrote about my feelings towards my changing body last year.
I want to express gratitude for what my body has done, and what it continues to do. My body grew a whole human! It literally stretched to accommodate another person living inside of it. My body healed after being cut open to let said human out. My body continues to feed, nurture, and carry my now 10-month old baby!
The physical toll of motherhood has been tough, but the most challenging of all has been trying to adjust and balance my thinking and my emotions. I don’t think I’ve ever been so happy/stressed/sad/worried/in love/anxious/annoyed/content/dissatisfied in my entire life. All at once. Sometimes in equal measure. I know I’m not the only one who’s going through this right now, but it can be difficult to see beyond myself when I am literally in isolation. That’s why I want to post these photos and write these words—to put it out there that amid all of the challenges, there is so so much to be thankful for, too!
Before having a baby, I would have NEVER thought to post a photo of my squishy midsection. After having Miles, though, I thought of how lonely it can feel when it looks like everyone else’s life as a parent is going so smoothly. What I have learned, even though I already knew this before, is that no one is sharing it all. Babies cry. Blowout poops and spit up and drool are a part of everyone’s life as a parent, and although not every day is hard or “bad,” not every day is great, either. This is also true of our physical appearance.
I lost all of my baby weight, but my body didn’t “snap back.” My body bears the permanent marks of someone who went through pregnancy and birth and I kind of love that! Sure, I oiled myself up for 9 months hoping to avoid stretch marks, but they happened anyway. If you were also militant about your anti-stretch mark cream/oil application and STILL got them, I feel you. It’s annoying to say the least, but at the end of the day, my body did what it needed to do.
My body did what it needed to do, and it hasn’t stopped being an absolute machine in the last 10 months. Motherhood is a marathon, and somehow, despite the exhaustion, my body is keeping up with the pace and the demands. I think I owe myself a little credit—so this is me, patting myself on the back.
This is also me telling fellow moms out there that although you may not love this new, postpartum body, you owe it to yourself to at least acknowledge that our bodies are fucking amazing.