Love For My Postpartum Body
I went and had a baby last year. Since then, I’ve experienced some of the happiest moments of my life. Watching Millie learn and grow is the most incredible thing, but things are a lot different since she’s come around too! Life has been a series of lessons in these last nine months. I’ve learned to get REALLY good at multitasking. I’ve adapted to some of the solitude that seems to come along with being a stay-at-home mom. I gave birth, my hair fell out, and my sleepless nights climbed like, woah. I’ve gone through some serious changes.
But the one change I’ve had the hardest time accepting is my postpartum body. It goes against every ounce of body-positive feminist inside of me to admit that, but it’s the truth. Nearly nine months have passed since I gave birth and I’ve only lost a little over half of what I gained during pregnancy. My weight loss climbed for the first five months. I was eager and hopeful. At one point, I remember thinking to myself, “Wow, I’ll be back into my old clothes in no time.” But then it all stopped.
The scale became my enemy. And every time I walked past the clothes hanging from my closet shelves, my heart sank. I remembered the confident person who used to fill those jeans. You don’t really listen when they tell you, there might come a point in time, after birth- where you hate yourself a little. I read posts just like this one, feeling certain that I couldn’t be one of those people. But then, I became one. My once size six body became a size twelve. And I hated it.
But today as I looked in the mirror, I saw my daughter next to me. And instantly, I was filled with guilt. I thought to myself, “Is this what I want her to learn from me?” There’s a whole world out there that will try to tell her what beauty is. They’ll warp her mind, and make her reexamine herself the same way I am. I don’t want that for her. It’s my job to show her differently. I set the standard for self-confidence. And if I can’t love myself, she will never learn how to either.
So, I faced my reflection again and took a new perspective. I examined myself and found the good.
My tummy may be soft, but it stretched to fit the most perfect little girl. And it will always remind me of the joy I felt bringing her into this world. It nourishes her every single day. My arms are strong. They’ve cradled her since birth and lift her at every request. My back is resilient. It’s coped through twelve hours of labor, long nights of side nursing, and constant babywearing. My eyes look tired, but I get to watch my daughter grow and play every day. I get to be her mom! And how cool is that?! Being a mother is beautiful and amazing, so why should my body feel any different? It’s a reflection of the time and the love I’ve poured into my children, and I’m so proud of that!
For the first time in a long time, I practiced self-love. And a little sure does go a long way.