The Body to Strive For

You have worked hard your entire life to ensure a healthy and active body. You attend a gym, go to yoga once a week and drink tea and green smoothies like they're going out of style.

Then you get pregnant.

What a miracle! Your body is creating a human being! You spend nine months exercising, walking like crazy and indulging a here and there because the baby needs that second cupcake! You experience back aches, hip pressure and exhaustion like you've never felt before. 

What is this new body? Your once healthy, strong body feels like it's betraying you. You are weak and absolutely exhausted, despite the 12 hours of sleep you got the night before. The gym no longer brings you joy and you've settled on the couch as your new favorite place to be. You don't give up though. You keep doing yoga and the gym doesn't fall completely to the wayside, and you prepare.

Then the big day!

Its a marathon of 30+ hours and you finally get to hold your  beautiful baby. You experience so many emotions and are truly overwhelmed with love. You take the next few months to relax. You love on your new baby and allow your family and postpartum doula to care for you during the 4th trimester. You're pretty sure this is heaven! Then it happens. 

You take a look in the mirror. Your body isn't the same. It's a different girl looking back at you than the one a year ago. 

Our postpartum bodies hold so many stories. I personally have never been so overwhelmed with how amazing my body is and so utterly disappointed at the same time. I wanted so badly to be the one that sprung back to my pre baby body, but here's a secret no one tells you. No one looks exactly the same as their pre baby body. Every mother changes in some way, whether outwardly or on the inside. Pregnancy and motherhood change us. 

I'm here to give you the go ahead.

The OK, that you are allowed to mourn for something that is lost.

You are allowed to feel sad for the uninvited stretch marks.

Shed a tear for the hips that are a little wider than before.

Allow your heart to sink when you look at your once perfectly chiseled tummy. 

And try to find joy in this new body. 

Allow for the sadness and then remember. You are a women. An amazing, strong, beautiful women. You have done something that many can only marvel at! You have been to the edge and fought your way back. You created another humans body inside of your own. You may have fed, nourished and kept that human body alive with your own. This body has cradled, rocked, kissed, lifted, and hugged that little human and it has not broken. This new body is not the enemy. It's something to be cherished and loved on a daily basis. It's a sign every day to you and the world that you have done the impossible and have won! 

I want you to know that it's ok if you cry today because those stretch marks aren't really what you had in mind. But then I want you look yourself in the mirror and know that you are enough and that no one in the entire world could have done what you did, and that is something to embrace. That is a pride to strive for.