An open letter to my postpartum body

Inspired by Vonesai Muhaso ‘s Huffington Post piece by the same title as above, I decided to write my own letter to my postpartum body.

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Dear Post-Partum Body,

I cursed you and insulted you. I threw venomous verbal attacks at you throughout my first post-partum phase. I sometimes still do. I hated and sometimes even now, hate you for what you did to my weight. You made everything became rounder, bigger, thicker, and more voluptuous ensuring none of my clothes fit me any longer without muffin tops or tearful struggles at the upper thighs and hips when trying to pull pants up. You wasted my money because those beautiful dresses still in price tags that I bought just before I got pregnant will never fit me again. You wasted my time because I have stood in my closet crying, upset and angry, for not having anything to wear and you know I am not being dramatic. You know you did this to me.

I never had a flat tummy so I can’t blame you for that one but you did make it puffier and lumpier. On the other hand, you didn’t give me any stretch marks so I forgive you for this one although only begrudgingly. You see, I want to embrace you and accept you for everything positive you have brought into my life or at least that’s what I’m told I should do, and I honestly and truly do appreciate you but couldn’t you have done it leaving me back at my pre-pregnancy weight? I would have loved you even more. Yes, my love is conditional but you knew that already.

This love-hate relationship is ours for the lifetime, sister! Yet, I do want to thank you for all that you are and everything that you will mean to me:

First, a very big thank you for being strong enough to hang in there through the stitches following the birth of my two amazing babies. As you continued to sit there, feet in stirrups, you were going through a lot of things physically but you allowed for the epidural to continue to be effective and not hurt me in the least. You made sure that even though I was in pain and everything hurt after the epidural wore off, I didn’t need to take any of the stronger narcotics the nurse was willing to give me. Instead, I was able to get by with good ol’ Motrin.

You made me struggle with breastfeeding the first time but the second time around, you wised up and made sure I was capable of exclusively feeding my baby. When I look at that smiling, gurgling, happy and healthy little baby, I feel proud of what you have allowed me to accomplish.

Thank you for giving me strength – tremendous physical strength and a sturdy hip whenever I have needed to carry my 2-year-old AND push a stroller at the same time. You give me strength when I need to push the monstrosity of a double stroller I have and it is NOT a jogging stroller so you understand the physical toll it takes to push that thing. When my baby boy was still a baby, you gave me strength to be able to carry him in my arms for long, even an hour or over just so he can sleep. Today you give me strength to wear my baby girl around me in her carrier as I lift my older kid in and out of a stroller or shopping cart as we continue our visits to the zoo and museum and farm and library and parks and Costco and Target and Safeway and elsewhere.

You knew I did not have much post-partum help this time, that my mom and dad wouldn’t be here like they were, last time. So, you decided to heal quickly and got me on my feet sooner than I ever thought was possible. You didn’t make me lose hair this time, not yet anyway. You didn’t give me any acne or scars or rashes. Again, not yet, but it’s only been 15 weeks so who knows if you will change your mind.

Through it all, and despite all the aches and pains and sleep deprivation that are a constant reminder of just how fragile you still are, you have given me the courage, stamina, and determination to make a beautiful life for my family filled with love, to be able to hold, hug, and kiss my baby boy and wipe his tears or play with him or chase him or read to him or feed him or bake with him or water our garden plants with him, or lift him and swing him around to give him piggy back rides and horseback rides, to carry him up and down the stairs when his tired little feet just want to be with mommy…

….to be able to hold, hug, and kiss my baby girl, to rock her to sleep, to tickle her tummy and make her laugh, to make funny facial gestures and contortions just to make her smile, to wear her for hours in her carrier, to lift and haul her carseat wherever we go and up and down the stairs, to wake up whenever she needs to eat and satiate her back to sleep, to be able to then be up and about all day running errands, doing kids’ activities that need to be done, chores that need to be completed, and a home that needs to be kept.

Thank you for all that you have come to mean to me through the two post pregnancy periods of my life, one of which is still ongoing. Yes, I am still 20 pounds heavier, my clothes still do not all fit me, my muffin top has declared a grand vacation from ever intending to melt away, and my weighing scale simply refuses to indulge me. Yet, in you, my dear postpartum body, I find the fortitude to keep going and doing what I need to do for my family. One day, when the time is right, I will also do something for you, for myself.

Sincerely yours,
Suchitra

 

 

 

 

 

 

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