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Hey There You…
Yeah you, the one who is showing as my reflection in the mirror, but I don’t quite recognise anymore.
The one who looks stretched and worn, who has new bumps and lumps and who looks older (and maybe a little wiser).
First of all, I have to apologise. Because I truly am sorry for all the horrible things I’ve said about you over the years.
It’s been over 6 years since you started growing life inside of you, 6 years since you worked harder than I ever imagined you could. 6 years since you gave me my son, and what thanks have I given you?
Instead of celebrating you, I cried over stretch marks.
Instead of celebrating you, I punished you by not eating enough food.
Instead of celebrating you, I worked you harder, determined to lose those last few flabby folds.
Instead of celebrating you, I wished for you to be better.
For this, I am so sorry.
Perhaps it is because I was young. Or maybe because society tells us we are supposed to ‘bounce back’ after pregnancy, and tell us how long it should take to get our ‘pre-baby body back’.
I never really understood the idea of getting my body back. You didn’t go anywhere. You just changed. Evolved. Matured. Grew. You gave life.
I stood in front of the mirror today, and I cried.
Not because I didn’t like what was looking back at me.
Not because there’s an extra 10kg more of you than what there was a few short years ago.
Not because I didn’t recognise you.
But because I realised you had always been there for me.
When it felt like pregnancy was tearing me apart and poisoning me with Hyperemesis Gravidarum, you kept going. You took all the nourishment and goodness you could find from within me and used it to help my babies grow and thrive.
When I was frail and could barely stand, you continued to care for my babies and grow them, knowing how loved and how important they were.
When my babies grew and you stretched and expanded further than I even thought you could, you kept me strong, you moved without much pain and you allowed me to enjoy moments of pregnancy.
When my babies moved and danced inside of me, you felt it too, the love, longing and connection we already had with these beautiful babies.
When it came time to birth these babies, you moved, swayed and roared them earthside.
Somehow despite how sick I was during pregnancy, you managed to recover from birth quickly and with ease, and for that, I am so grateful.
But you didn’t stop there, oh no. You nourished and nurtured these babies, feeding and calming them for years after they grew inside of you.
You might be a little softer, but my babies love how snuggly you are.
And today when I looked in the mirror, this is why I cried.
Because, after almost 6 years, I can finally say I love you.
I no longer look at you and cringe. Instead, I smile. I genuinely smile. Because you have shown me that I am stronger than I ever imagined, more resilient than I could have dreamed, and beautiful just the way I am.
So, my lovely postpartum body, thank you.
Thank you for growing, nurturing and nourishing two gorgeous, happy and healthy babies.
Thank you for continuing to be strong when my mind wasn’t.
Thank you for being everything I could ever need, and so much more.
I love you.