A Love Letter to My Post-Baby Body
Written by Alison Tedford
Dear Flesh and Bones and Heart that Sustains me,
We were first paired some 31 years ago. Neither of us had any idea what kind of journey we would be on together. I was so excited about you in the beginning. You were magical. You could do no wrong. You carried me everywhere with strong legs. We had adventures and everything was fresh and new.
Over time, I began to take you for granted. I didn’t appreciate you as much as I should have. I compared you and evaluated you with unreasonable criteria. I objectified you. I let what other people thought of you slowly change the way I saw you. I treated you with disrespect when the resentment started to build. Then, out of nowhere, a miracle occurred.
We got a second chance, you and I. It’s a bit of a bad cliché, but a baby brought us back together. He was a surprise, and a pleasant one. I was delighted and excited again. Everything was fresh and new once more. I watched in wonder as you expanded to contain the bundle of amazing incubating within. You persevered through nearly ten months of nausea and exhaustion. You sustained not just my life but his, under less than ideal circumstances. You magnificently delivered that perfect baby boy. You were so strong, I can’t even believe it.
Now that baby has grown to a boy of seven and you and I are forever changed. Silvery lines allude to the way you stretched with every kick. After enduring the strain of accommodating a second human, neither of us are the same. There are parts of you that will never go back the way they were before. I’m at peace with that. I accept you unconditionally.
I look upon you, my post baby body, and I am humbled. This is our second honeymoon. We are celebrating. You kept my baby safe while it grew and then fed it for eighteen more months with fresh milk. You earned every jiggle, every curve, and every single swell of pride of a job well done. You are softer now. You are a lush cocoon to cradle him with every owie and booboo. Your lips kiss away his tears. You are my son’s childhood home. You are magical once more.
I love you today and always,
About the Author: Alison Tedford is a single mom from Abbotsford, BC. She is a data analyst, a pole dance teacher and an eating disorder support group facilitator. She documents her journeys in fitness, feminism and parenting on http://www.