Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Open Letter to My Body: Post-partum Edition

Dear Body,

I haven't written you in a while, and the last time we spoke, I promised to take better care of you. In light of recent activities, it's time to write you again. This time, it's to apologize.

I'm sorry for not thinking you were good or strong enough. Even at my fittest as an adult (three years ago today on my wedding day), I didn't think you were enough. Arms weren't defined enough. Tummy was still a little soft. Legs could have been more muscular.

I'm sorry for constantly being ashamed and trying to hide under ill-fitting clothes instead of just sizing up and dressing to flatter.

I'm sorry for not exercising you more in general, and for taking your strength and capabilities for granted.

Now I know better...

I look in the mirror now and see your war wounds. You carried a human life for 9 months, and delivered a nearly 10-lb baby who is healthy, happy, and wonderful. Now I see what I took for granted.

Those legs that weren't strong enough? You took my pregnant body up and down stairs every day. You carried me down the hallway to the labor and delivery ward. You lift me up and carry me to my son when he cries for me. You're stronger than I ever thought you were.

Those undefined arms? You hold my son now, and he thinks you're fine. And you know what? You are.

It's been 2 weeks, and you, body, look more and more normal every day. I may never wear bikinis again and my belly may never be as close to flat as before, but life will get back to normal - a new normal - soon enough. But is that important? Not really. What's important is that you continue to hold me together, get me where I need to be, and feed and nourish my baby. 

That is worth far more than any bikini.