A woman. An instrument for creation. A mother.
I remember my first look at my reflection in the hospital mirror the day after I gave birth—still swollen and sore and stretched in a way I had never been. I forgot to celebrate you then. I forgot to rejoice in the monumental moment that we had both just accomplished together—the birth of a child.
I forgot to wallow in the strength of how you labored, how you welcomed each contraction with a slow and steady breath. How you battled the pain with grace for the long-awaited moment of holding that sweet child in your arms.
For months after giving birth, I criticized you often. I let the pressure of “bounce-back culture” define my feelings toward you. I cried tears in grief, for you were no longer the body that I once had known. The shape that you took was an unfamiliarity that did not settle well in my bones for a long time. But finally, I am finding beauty in your rebirth. For you sustained a baptism unlike any other—the moment of becoming a mama.
You stretched and bled and formed liquid gold. And now, proof of my child’s existence claims its territory over every inch of this being. All-consuming. Forever changing me in a way I never expected that I could be.
I thought I knew the ways of Mother Earth until my body became a maternal terrain. And the roots started setting, reaching across my breasts, my hips, my thighs. And a rushing surge climbed the globe of my belly, marking the space that stretched for a love so immense that it filled and shaped me like a full moon.
I am learning the language of loving you.
This love has forced me to grow. It has broken me open—wide open—and my body will never be the same because of it. This is the first place where my child and I were one. And now, it is evident in the softness of the extra skin that I carry. The skin that I once spent moments wishing away. The skin that I, for some reason, couldn't find beautiful. But now, its beauty overwhelms me, and I cannot deny the magnitude of its magic.
When I reflect on my journey of carrying, of giving birth, my body and I both agree that this is where we have felt our strongest. That this is where we have joined in unison and firsthandidly witnessed the glory of God.
So to my postpartum body, in case I haven't told you enough, please know this: You are worthy. You are beautiful. You are my body. My sacred space. My haven. Crafted by something so divine that my mind cannot fully fathom its glory. You are a home. My home.
You have shown me the true meaning of resiliency. You labored my son into this world. You are my child’s beginning. His blueprint. His roadmap. His first home.
I will spend the rest of my days finding beauty in my postpartum body. In each birthmark, each freckle, each dimple and stretch mark, each "flaw."
I am learning the language of loving you. Because after all, you made me a mother. And for that, I give you the highest praise.