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A letter to my postpartum body

Dear postpartum body,

YOU ARE A MIRACLE MAKER. You created life. Your soft, stretch-mark filled belly expanded beyond imagination to house your growing baby.

YOU ARE A WARRIOR. You labored for over 30 hours and birthed that baby girl —all 7 lbs, 4 oz and 20 inches of her — naturally, without any drugs!

YOU ARE EXACTLY what your baby needs right now, and you are far stronger than you look. Your new heavy breasts fill with liquid gold to keep your baby alive and growing. Your unrecognizable nipples not only feed your child but also soothe her when she’s overwhelmed or tired. Your chest and soft belly offer the perfect landing place for your baby to nuzzle and melt into you as she falls asleep. Your arms continue to grow stronger each day to carry your baby’s growing body. Your wider hips provide the perfect seat for your baby. Your voice and touch can soothe her to sleep.

Postpartum body, YOU ARE SELFLESS. You changed in more ways than you ever thought possible. Your back and hips still ache from pregnancy, back labor and delivery. You rarely get to blow dry your hair or put on makeup. Your feet grew (maybe permanently?) and none of your old shoes or clothes fit. Your body in the first photo here at 9 weeks postpartum has changed a lot since the other two pictures were taken at 9 weeks and 9 months pregnant, but it is still the same strong, beautiful, life-creating and life-sustaining body.

It’s not all gratitude over here. Some days it’s really hard to look at you in the mirror. There are many days when I miss how you looked before that 9 weeks pregnant body, and some days when I desperately miss that 9 months pregnant body (am I crazy?). I’m learning that it’s all a process. And I’m learning to love you and to appreciate you for all that you’ve done, for all the ways you’ve surprised me, and for all the ways you continue to amaze me with your strength and beauty.

Love, Shannon

P.S. Check out my body’s transformation in less than a year —> 9 weeks postpartum, 9 weeks pregnant, 9 months pregnant ?

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