So, one day you decide to pee on a stick, and suddenly two blue lines appear or the word ‘pregnant’ – and that’s it, you’re having a baby – your body is housing a baby.
Your body is suddenly something that is prodded, poked and discussed by everyone you meet. ‘You wouldn’t even guess you were pregnant!’, ‘Jesus, look at the size of you’, ‘Well, you’ve definitely popped!’, and my personal favourite, when I was the size of a whale at 10 days overdue, ‘Have you not had that baby yet??’. Your body suddenly feels different – you’re sharing the space with another person (maybe other people if you’re having a multiple birth), you’re feeling new things, you’re feeling pains in places you didn’t think you could, you’re hardly sleeping, you’re being more careful about the things you’re putting into your body… the list goes on.
And then you have the baby – your body goes through an incredible trauma and delivers this beautiful little being that you can see is a little piece of your heart on the outside of your body. Your body has grown and produced a human, and that is great.
However, now there’s talk of going back to your ‘pre-baby’ body. Somehow there is still chat like ‘should you really be eating that?’ headed your way. For some, unexplained reason, people are still talking about your body.
Well, here’s what I think about my ‘pre-baby’ body. I think it was alright, it was a body, it kept me alive, it housed my mind and my soul and my personality. The legs of that body carried me down the path that led me here. The hands held the hands of my father before he passed away. The lips kissed young loves, the arms wrapped themselves around newly born nieces and nephews and the heart didn’t think it could feel any more love than it already did.
Then, suddenly, I have a post-baby body.
Now, this body? This body is amazing. This post-baby body grew my beautiful daughter perfectly, and sustained her for 41 weeks and 3 days. That’s a whole 10 days more than it should’ve. It then gave me the strength to deliver her into this world, and I am damn proud of it for doing so. Still, this post-baby body makes me proud. The legs run after little feet, the hands have fingers that a tiny hand clings to, the lungs and voice sing songs that comfort my lovely girl and send her to sleep. The arms are a safe place for her to rest, and the chest takes her back to the warmth and safety of the womb that grew her. This body has changed my life, and the things that it accomplished and continues to accomplish will always be more important than the size label on my jeans, or the lumps under my swimming costume.
So if you ever see me at the local swimming baths, in my swimming costume, know that before you stands a woman who is determined to show her daughter what a body is, and what a wonderful thing it can do, and that that is much more than fit into a certain size of clothes.
Featured image by Chloe Macleod