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An Ode to my Postpartum Body

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Pregnancy can be one of the most rewarding and yet challenging times of life. While women run the gamut in individual experiences of pregnancy, one thing we all seem to have in common is being too hard on our postpartum bodies. Most of us are guilty of a flow of negative thoughts regarding the changes in our bodies after giving birth. While it's easy to compare ourselves to others, or even our past selves, we seem to be continuously down on ourselves about our postpartum appearances, whether it be a few months after birth or years later. Ladies, wouldn't it be more beneficial for us to ignore the urge to compare and stay focused on the positive here?

I mean after all, we may have altered our appearance, our emotions and our lives overall, but it's time we praise this miracle of growing a life within us, and give glory where glory is deserved. Our bodies are these absolutely amazing vessels that can not only keep us alive in this world, but also physically create a life, and we should be utterly proud of our bodies after birthing children. Moms, if enough of us can embody this philosophy, imagine the positive changes in society that could follow suit. Imagine if we became less hard on ourselves and actually truly loved our bodies and the way that they looked after birth... Women let's be proud of ourselves, for we are warriors. Own it, empower ourselves and believe. For the new year, do you think we can include loving ourselves as part of the changes we resolve to occur? I can promise you, your body, your soul and your children will someday all thank you.

A few days ago, an absolutely inspiring perspective on this topic, in the form of a blog post, crossed my path and I would like to share with you all...

"Babies Ruin Bodies"
by N'tima Preusser

An Ode to my Postpartum Body.

"Before I became pregnant, someone told me, "don't have a baby, babies ruin your body."

It has been over a year since Anabel began her life. This time last year she was a microscopic speck in my stomach, and we were announcing our pregnancy. Between then and now, I have gained and lost fifty pounds. Four months after her birth, and my body still carries proof of her existence.

I have dark pools under my eyes. A valley where my belly button once was. Hips with a new amplitude that my teenage self wouldn't recognize. I have lines mapped across the mountains of stretched skin left over on my midsection. Lightening bolts on my sides proving I once was too small to contain all of the love that filled me. Lines indicating that my daughter once lived inside of me.

Do you realize the significance in that? Every limb, finger, toe...her heart, even, developed near the very place my own heart beats inside of my chest. Those mountains of skin are all I have left to prove that we were once one and not two.

How can I be ashamed of that?

I have so much to say about seeing my grandfather's eyes embedded into the sockets, and under the brows and lashes of her father's. I see the seventeen year old boy I fell in love with, and my grandpa as a child all at once every time she looks up at me. She even wears my ears and my chin. The two very things I cursed having the most growing up. Not much makes me feel more beautiful than seeing tiny renditions of those same features on Anabel, and realizing just how special they are.

My body grew that.
Not everybody has that privilege.

Sure my belly is a bit softer nowadays, but the way it moves when I jump up and down sends my girl into fits of giggles. And yeah, my hips are hardly as narrow as they used to be, but they sure know the perfect figure-8 motion to sway her to sleep. My twenty-one year old hair is even beginning to gray, but not much soothes her more than my hair between her tiny fingers.

I am not something flawless in the eyes of society, or even close to what I once what physically, but my perfect girl sees me for who I am. To her, I hang the moon. She knows my heart. She knew it long before we met.

And she loves me for it.

I cannot tell you how much worth and validation I feel because of that truth.

My body is only a vessel for my spirit. An incredible vessel. It is strong, well, abled, and undefeated.

My body is full of life.
My body is powerful.
My body made me a mother.

If anything, I was ruined by the world before I knew her & she made me whole again."

View the original blog here.

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