Almost 6 months ago I had a baby. My third baby.
And for the last 6 months I’ve been part of the postpartum community and been paying close attention to how those of us in this stage of life talk about our bodies.
Here is what I want to say about it.
I am not going to try to get my pre-baby body back.
You are probably thinking, “Really? why not?”
I want to explain. You ready?
For the last 8 years my body has grown 3 babies and has been in seasons of pregnancy and postpartum and all that comes along with that.
God entrusted my body to bring three beautiful babies into this world that I call my own.
He knew that my body would grow. He knew it would be different afterwards. He also knew that my heart would never be the same.
Giving birth for the third time, my final time, has given me an even greater appreciation for this ONE body that God has given me.
I have spent years abusing it, cursing it and wishing it was different. Today, I confidently say, I appreciate it. I am working so hard for body neutrality, and just being thankful for what it has given me.
I have embraced postpartum this time with tenderness that I never have before.
I still look in the mirror at my cellulite and rolls and excess skin and it feels foreign to me, but MY BODY IS STILL GOOD.
I am coming home to myself again, because this is a new body. I can’t go back to my pre-baby body and I don’t want to.
The loose skin and stretch marks and cellulite tell a beautiful story about my journey through motherhood.
My breasts will be different this time because this is also the only baby I have ever nursed and though I won’t recognize them either, they have nourished a life and that is an amazing gift I will not be ashamed of.
My pre-baby body was preoccupied with perfection, and my postpartum body knows that perfection doesn’t exist.
My postpartum body gives grace that my pre-baby body didn’t.
My postpartum body can see another Mother’s change after baby and appreciate it, not criticize it.
My postpartum body doesn’t need to change to be accepted by society and it’s ridiculous idea of what a woman “should” look like after birth.
My pre-baby body never looked in another humans eyes and saw herself because she had never had the experience of carrying life that is more precious than her own.
My pre-baby body didn’t know how motherhood would change her, and how she would consider her children her greatest gift, no matter how much it changed her.
So, today, as I embark on the next chapter of my life without dreams of another baby in my womb, I walk confidently towards a place of gratitude.
I am so thankful for my body and though it looks different, it’s ok.
I am learning to accept and appreciate it more every single day and my kids are a reminder that my body is so much more than how it looks in a pair of jeans or what size is on the tag.
My body gave life to 3 amazing humans who are making the world a better place for us, and I believe, for others.
I will honor my body with nourishing foods and joyful exercise.
I will honor my body with rest when it needs it and lots and lots of grace.
If it changes into a smaller body then that’s ok, it it doesn’t I am learning that that is ok, too.
My focus is on the good.
My focus is on not only healthy habits that make my body feel good, but on a healthy mind that will trickle down to my children reminding them of the power of their own bodies no matter their size.
Thank you pre-baby body for the life I had, but my postpartum body is the one I am most thankful for.