Let’s call this blog post a victory lap, shall we?
At two weeks postpartum, I’m in a very awkward stage as far as my body goes. I can’t fit into my pre-pregnancy pants yet, but my maternity pants are just a bit too baggy. Similarly, the number on the scale is considerably smaller than it was two weeks ago, but it’s still one that I’ve only ever seen since becoming pregnant.
The Lindsay from several years ago would probably be crippled by depression over this. She would most likely be missing out on all the wonderful blessings surrounding her newborn boy because she’d be too concerned about dropping the baby weight as fast as possible. And she’d definitely be completely inconsolable over her ridiculous new bra size. (For the record, I still have no idea what my actual bra size is. Thanks, nursing sports bras! You’re the best!)
But no. Not anymore.
I’d argue that, if anything, pregnancy has taken my body image and radically transformed it into something magnificent. Sure, my midsection is as soft as a pile of bread dough and is decorated by a couple of new stripes. And maybe I’m not entirely sure what “size” I am anymore. And let’s not get started on what my BMI says about me at present.
As completely cliche as it sounds, I’ve never loved my body more than I do right now. Here’s why:
1. my body built a life.
Every time I look at my son — my beautiful, perfect, angelic son — I am in complete awe. My body is the instrument God used to create my sweet baby boy. It’s a true miracle, really.
2. my body sustains that life.
All I have to do in order to make sure my baby is fed is stick him to my boob. Bam. Fed.
(Also, to drive this point home, watch Jim Gaffigan’s stand up special called “Mr. Universe”. It’s on Netflix.)
3. i’ve never felt more loved.
Okay, so maybe it’s true that my two-week-old baby doesn’t really give a crap whether or not I have horns, so long as I feed him every two hours and change his diaper as needed. BUT BUT BUT it’s really nice to feel so loved, no matter what my body looks like. My son couldn’t care less if I ever lose the baby weight — or grow horns — he just wants me to be near.
4. for the first time in my life, i’m letting myself be loved.
Not just by my son, but by my husband and my friends and my family, too. For the first time since I can remember, I’m consciously letting myself be loved, without asking “why” or “how” or anything, just because I am me. Not because I look a certain way — because that “certain way” is definitely NOT what I look like right now, and I might never again — but because I simply am. Because I am a wife. Because I am Mommy. Because I am a friend. Because I am family. I am loved and that’s the end of that.
In today’s society, I think that too much pressure is put on new moms to get back to their pre-pregnancy form as soon as possible. What with celebrities like Beyonce gracing the front covers of magazines mere weeks after giving birth, it’s easy for new moms to feel insecure about their so-called ravaged bodies. But as for me, someone who has a past that is pock-marked by disordered eating, I refuse to fall victim to that.
There is nothing — I repeat, nothing — in this world that I have done that holds a candle to carrying my healthy, perfect, wonderful baby boy to term and giving birth to him. Nothing. And if I’m a bit pudgy and stretch-marky afterward? Let it be. I couldn’t be more proud of my body and the miracles it is capable of.
Put that in your beauty-obsessed pipe and smoke it.