We’ve had some struggles, you and me. In my teens, we were just getting to know each other. It was a rocky road at times, like when people referred to you as “big boned.” I was learning how to properly fuel you by giving you the right foods. How to be active, to keep you strong and in good shape. I wish I knew then what I do now about you and what a true blessing you are. But that’s something that has come with the gift of motherhood.

In my 20’s, we became more well-acquainted. I knew how to care for you. After I got engaged, we worked so hard together to get into “wedding shape.” And, looking back now, I totally took that six pack—okay, four pack—for granted. (But I have the pictures to prove it.)

Now that I’m in my 30’s (how did my 30’s happen so fast, btw?) with two kids, I’m coming to terms with my new postpartum body.

It doesn’t look or feel the way it used to to me. It may not look as good in a bikini. It now has a giant scar which allowed my second son to come into this world safely. It has more wrinkles, marking years of laughter and sadness.

But when I look back, it has given me so much.

What I want to do is thank my postpartum body. Thank you for the gift of health. Thank you for the gift of life. Thank you for the gift of movement.

Thank you for giving me a home to grow two children.

You allowed me to conceive, nurture and birth two little humans. Being pregnant with them has been my greatest blessing. Feeling their kicks and movement for nine months helped me feel connected with them until we were able to meet face-to-face. We hung in there together, as both births came with challenges. But together, we came out on top—victorious and so in love.

Thank you for giving me these loving arms.

Arms that hug my toddler tight as he leaves the house in the morning, growing bigger and more adult-like every day. Arms that cradle my newborn as I nurse him to sleep in the wee hours of the morning. Arms that embrace my husband as he walks in the door after a long day. Arms that are strong enough to carry 10 bags of groceries in at a time, to hold my toddler when he doesn’t want to walk, to rock and bounce and cradle my baby when he can’t fall asleep. I have mama strength now.

Thank you for giving me lips and my voice.

Lips that kiss away boo-boos. A voice to read bedtime stories. Words to tell my family and friends how much I love them. A voice to speak up when I am desperate for help. A voice that helps me put into words how much this life means to me.

Thank you for giving me these green eyes.

Eyes that allow me to see the beauty around me. Eyes that shed tears of joy and sorrow on the good days and the hard days. Eyes that are forever seared with the moment my husband came to pick me up for our first date and the first time I saw the faces of my little boys. Eyes that have allowed me to watch my beautiful newborn smile for the first time. That light up every time my boys walk into a room. Eyes that let me take in all of these little moments, every single day.

Thank you for my magical powers.

You allow me to be the main food source for my 3-month-old. You never cease to amaze me as you produce the most nutrient-rich food for my son. Although at times I may feel like a 24-hour milk-only diner (and am running on very little sleep), it is a privilege to be able to feed my son. So, to my body, thank you, for being my partner in crime.

You may have scars. You may have wrinkles. You may have more aches and pains than you did when I was a teenager. You may not look the way you did when I was in my 20’s. You may not be as skinny as you once were. Or as flexible either. But—you’re a rockstar, and I love you for it.

A version of this post was published January 17, 2019. It has been updated.