This is me. My (almost) 21 weeks postpartum body.
My skin is sagging. I have stretch marks for days. I feel unattractive and ashamed. I have said, “I can never wear a bikini again” at least twelve times. Why do I feel such disgust for my body?
I carried a beautiful baby for ten months. I pushed that 8-pound-4-ounce human out of me – naturally/unmedicated over 20 hours of labor. I am currently sustaining my son’s life – outside of the womb. I have more than enough reason to be proud of my body and what it has accomplished. Yet, self-love and body positivity aren’t quite what I am feeling.
Honestly, I am embarrassed. I did not want to share this with you (or anyone, for that matter). I can barely stand to look at myself in the mirror. But I want you to know something: it is OKAY for you to feel this way. You do not have to embrace your “warrior woman” side right away. You may not quite be prepared to show off your postpartum body. So what?! You do you, mama.
I don’t know about you, but (even though I rarely admit it) I am driven by emotion. My words and actions reflect how I’m feeling. I am not yet ready to put on my Body Positive hat. I know, I know, “Debbie Downer” over here, but hear me out. I cannot currently say “I am comfortable and confident in my skin”, but I know that I was made purposefully by my Creator.
Your body is beautiful, unique and intentional. Your body is strong. Your body is life-giving. Your body is wonderfully and wholly you. Your feelings about yourself are VALID. You do not have to claim your body confidence right away. However, one day you will. You will redefine those stretch marks as tiger stripes. You will believe that your body is a powerhouse and crazy cool. You will see yourself in a new light.
Self-pep-talk…is that a thing? I’m writing this to you because I know that you need to read it, but so do I. You (I) won’t feel this way forever. For now, know that it is okay. You’re not alone. You’re not terrible. You are still a warrior.