An Open Apology to My Postpartum Body
Every day, I’m forced to look in a mirror and confront you. As I finger through a closet of clothes that no longer fit like they used to, I begrudgingly put on the same pair of jeans I had to buy in order for this new belly and hips to be comfortable.
I place a finger over my scar, thinking that one day it will disappear and not be a constant mark of the pain and disappointment of being cut open to deliver my baby. I hope the new underwear I’m refusing to buy, because a size small no longer fits these curves, will hopefully mask this scar of shame I still feel.
It’s summertime and I wish you would be back to looking fit and firm in a bikini, tan because I was poolside, not indoors rocking a sick baby. I had to dress up and I could only focus on the softness of my stomach and the fullness of my face, not the joy in the occasion or beauty in a new dress to wear.
I’ve harbored pain and resentment for 13 months and it’s time for me to say I’m sorry and thank you.
I’m sorry for focusing on the pain and the disappointments, instead of the joys and the blessings. I’m sorry for wishing for abs instead of being thankful for strong arms that carry my baby every day. I’m sorry for always seeing my scar as a sign of shame, instead of a sign of strength that I made the right decision for my baby, even though it was the hardest for me. I’m sorry for shaming you when you haven’t failed me and gave me the biggest blessing of my life.
My eyes look tired no matter how much mascara coats my lashes. I have new curves and an expanded rib cage. I’ve traded in rompers for yoga pants and bikinis for sweatshirts. I’ve woken up at 5AM to fit in a work out and not slept until 5AM because my baby was throwing up all night. My coffee cup is always full and I’m a physical and emotional wreck.
But, you are miraculously staying healthy when I need you the most. You are finding energy I didn’t know I possessed and emotions I have never felt. You are the softness in my belly that rests a tired baby and the warmth in my heart that finds me eternally grateful at the end of the day.
So thank you for giving me life and allowing me to give life. Thank you for the strength to carry, push, pick up, rock, and bend over. Thank you for growing and expanding so this sweet babe of mine could enter the world and forever change my life.