A Letter to My Post-Baby Body

Hi Body.  It’s me, Me.

I thought I’d write to you today to say two things, really.  I know I could probably say a right many things to you but for the sake of time and emotions, I’ve narrowed it down.

First, I’m sorry.

I haven’t treated you very well for a very long time.  I’ve looked in the mirror and cursed you.  I’ve filled you with too much food so you weigh more than you should, which is fine except it isn’t (for either of us).  There were also times that I didn’t fill you with enough food, something that was equally horrifying (for both of us).  I’ve been playing the love-to-hate-you game for awhile now, and I don’t know about you, but I’m tired of it.

I’m tired of blaming you for everything.  I’m tired of making us both feel so bad about ourselves, it is sickening, both literally and figuratively.  I’m tired of making bad decisions and then feeling angry at you for the results.  I am, as they say, tired of being tired.

But hey – we’ve been through a lot together, especially recently.  And that stuff has changed us like I never even knew was possible.  But as I’m sure you’ve figured out by now, I’m not the greatest at dealing with change.  So I’ve been doing what I think I should to keep our head above water then being pissed at you for dragging me under, when in fact, it should be the other way around.

So I’m sorry.  I’m really sorry.  Like, as many reallys as you need to understand how sorry I am.  Because I get it now.

I get how hard it is to be you.  To carry me through this life and have to put up with all of my mistakes and bad decisions.  To continue to let me be me, to let me keep trying, to let me keep living.

Because I know now.  I understand that you might just want to stop one day.  I’m not talking about when we’re super old and super wrinkly and have 17 great-great-grandkids who’s names we can only sometimes remember.  I’m talking about you getting tired of me, soon.  Of you deciding that you can’t take any more, of you not letting me live this blessed, wonderful, beautiful life anymore.

I get it.

And you know, I only really got it after having The Kids.  Those crazy changes I was talking about earlier?  Yeah, they came from The Kids.  Who knew that growing another human life inside you could do such a number on you, on me, on us as a team, as slightly out of pace as we are?  Who knew that you wouldn’t want to get the baby out yourself, that you needed help – twice! – or that you would recover so quickly, so incredibly, that our doctors and nurses called us a miracle? Who knew that?

Not me, then.  But I do now.  And I keep learning it, and more, every day that I’m with The Kids.  Which leads me to my next item.

Thank you.

Thank you, Body.  Thank you for giving me the strength, the ability, the sheer opportunity to do what so, so many others can’t and wish (so wish!) they could.  I know you are my miracle.  You gave me The Kids and that, despite what a great many people might say, is a big deal.  Growing a human and bringing it out into the world, safely and in good health, is a really big fucking deal.  And I guess I’m kinda pissed at those great many people for thinking otherwise.  Because you know what? I fell for what they said.  I fell for their accusations that having a c-section (let alone two) makes me/us less of a woman.  I fell for their bullshit that said feeding a baby formula with or instead of breastfeeding (even if it IS because we just couldn’t keep up to our big baby’s needs and demands) is wrong and unhealthy.  I fell for their impossible, inhuman expectations that I should look a certain way a certain amount of time after having a baby.  I fell for the farce that is the ideal post-baby body, one that has no stretch marks or “mummy tummy” or is anything less than skinny and looks smokin’ hot in a teensy weensy bikini.  I fell for all of it, and I blamed every shortcoming on you.

But I get it now.

I get that no one else has the right to judge us or tell us how to live life.  They don’t know what we went through to get The Kids out of you and into this world and keep them healthy and safe and growing strong and happy.  They don’t have the right to judge how we look or tell us how we should look.  Who decides that, anyway? Honestly, I’d love to know.

Since I get it now, I thank you.  I get that you have worked so, so hard for me my whole life and especially during pregnancy and onward.  I get that you’re getting older and things aren’t getting any easier and that I need to listen to you WAY more than I ever have.

Because I know that if I don’t, you might just decide to stop telling me things altogether.  And neither of us are ready for that yet.  We have a lot more life to live.

I promise to take better care of you and not be so damn hard on the both of us.  I promise to listen – truly listen – to you so that we can enjoy life together (and with The Kids and everyone else we love and who loves us) for decades to come.  I promise not to curse you when I look at you in the mirror.  I promise not to hate you anymore.

You deserve so much better and I’m writing to tell you that I get that now, and I’m going to give you what you need, what you deserve and have deserved for so, so long now.

I’m sorry, but thank you.

Love,

Me.


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