Eight months ago I became a mother to a son. I still can’t believe it. I look at this smiley, happy boy and wonder where he came from. How did eight months pass so quickly and how on earth is he already wearing 18 month clothes with 3 teeth and walking around the furniture?! Can everything but the hour before bedtime slow down just a little?
The third trimester postpartum is interestingly similar in reverse to being pregnant. I’ve lost quite a bit of weight recently. It’s funny how in retrospect it hardly seemed like much time at all. I’m 6 pounds away from what the scale said before I got pregnant. I wore my special size 8 lucky brand jeans I bought when Lia was 6 months old this week.
I stop in my tracks though pretty much anytime I pass a mirror naked. I actually think who is that?! Not in a bad way. It makes me think of being a child and seeing real women’s bodies: my mom’s, my sisters. All real, all women. No airbrushing or good angles or filters or whatever we subject ourselves to now. Those innocent eyes of mine then believed that is what a woman’s body looks like. Curvy and soft, strong and well used. Do you remember waiting for boobs to fill a bra? I do, even as an “adult” I yearned for cleavage in the right outfits. I remember having small, perky breasts. I’m in no way well endowed now but I have a grown woman’s body now. My breasts touch my body when I bend over startling me as I wonder what this new sensation is. My hips are wide and rolling and sturdy, my legs and butt are strong. My belly is soft and only slightly stretched but fierce. My arms carry a 20+ pound baby around all day. My body has held 4 children inside, 2 that have made it to the other side. My body is not my own, it’s the whole universe. So this body I pass by in the mirror now that has been so well used shocks me because of the awe of it all, how amazingly ordinary and extraordinary it is to grow a child, birth a child, continue to nourish a child from the outside and it all happens without a whole lot of conscious thought. We need to stop hiding these amazing, real post partum bodies. There is as much beauty here as there ever was. I’ve earned this body of mine.
There’s a great article floating around about how we need to stop talking about getting our bodies back. They are right here. I’m healthier and stronger now then I might have ever been in my whole life. The most important thing is that I’ve found faith and trust in my body again. How much could we change the world if we poured all this energy we waste on worrying about what a scale says or the size of our pants are on things that really matter? How much would your world change?