My body is one of a kind. Yet on days, I hate my postpartum body.
I struggle to accept who she is, how she acts, what she looks like. She does so much for others and for me, yet all of that is overshadowed by doubt, fear, and self-sabotage.
Every day, she showers her loved ones with hugs and kisses. She breathes, she loves, she gives, and lives.
What my Body Does
Every day she loves, she explores, and she learns. She cleans, she stirs, and she cooks daily. She folds, she bathes her children, and takes care of herself.
Time is spent laughing with her husband, or her little baby, making the first attempts at walking.
She cries and wipes away the tears of others when they get hurt. She weeps when having a hard day, or when harsh words of others have pierced her heart. Yet she holds through, in the good times and the bad.
Through God’s grace, she was able to take a tiny cell and grow it into human life. A baby with a beating heart, perfect lungs, and the most beautiful eyes.
She grew the baby, nourishing it, giving it more than it needs so that it may flourish and develop. It grew, with tiny fingernails and perfect toes. For 9 months, she nourished and kept that baby warm and safe until it was time.
A Perfect Gift
When labor came, she knew what had to be done. She contracted, dilated, and pushed, never giving up on her one mission. My body birthed a new life into this world.
Creating and birthing a baby was not enough. She healed, she recovered, she took care of that baby. My body fed, she swaddled, and she cuddled, soothing her little baby. She breastfeeds her newborn when hungry, and rocks to sleep that beautiful babe.
What a miracle, as she is ready to do it all over again in the morning. She protected, she soothed, she sang songs and read good night stories.
And the crazy thing? Once the baby was just a few months old, she decided it was time to do it all over again. To risk her sleep, well-being, and health for the possibility of another child.
The Flaws are Beautiful
She is beautiful and powerful. However, I still continue to doubt her every single day.
My body has done way more than she will ever be given credit for. She has been loyal and kept me strong and healthy for so many years. She has been with me, never forsaken me, cared for others and for herself.
The stretch marks on her belly she wears them proudly, a sign of all she has done and accomplished.
She looks different than the “ideal” bodies society has ingrained in our minds. She may be bigger, or smaller, stretchier, or have a sagging stomach pouch.
My body is real. Utterly unique, and completely perfect.
Why do I overlook these things? Why do I judge and put her down when she has done so much? She is perfect, just the way God made her.
My body will never be the same as she was when she was younger. She has lost and won battles, grown, birthed, and experienced failures and triumphs.
No matter what she has gone through or what she looks like, she longs to be accepted and loved for who she is and all she has done. I want to learn to not hate my postpartum body, yet to love, adore, and appreciate.
She will forever continue to love, to give, and to live. And that is absolutely beautiful.
For she is a child of God. She is “wonderfully made, dearly loved, and precious in His sight” (Psalm 139:14).
Dear Postpartum Body,
You are amazing. You have done so many things in my life and I thank God for you. Thank you for giving me everything I have ever longed for and will continue to sacrifice yourself daily for the needs of others.
You are powerful, loved, and perfect.