Dear War-ravaged Body,
Wow, where do I begin? We’ve been through so much together though we haven’t always been on the friendliest of terms. You really know how to work my nerves, you know?
Like after my first baby was born and I packed a pair of much-too-big-for-me pre-pregnancy jeans to wear home from the hospital. I guess you thought it was funny when I couldn’t even get those things past my hips. Well, I cried. You may not have noticed since when I emerged from the bathroom with pajama pants on instead I laughed and made some silly joke about it. But that was only the beginning of the times I’ve had to cover for you.
Oh, I had my moments in the sun where I talked you down and back into suitable form. That baby wasn’t but 2 months old when I was wearing my normal clothing. I’d put you in your place, that’s for sure. Of course, it didn’t last since by the time that same baby was 5 months old I was snuggling another tiny baby within my womb.
And, honestly, you weren’t real kind to me during a time that should have been beautiful. Not real kind at all. Come to think of it, you always got a little out of hand when I was expecting. Thanks for that. Really. What girl doesn’t love her mama glow to be replaced by swollen everything-you-never-knew-could-swell?
Anyway, we’ve moved beyond all that now. We’ve battled back and forth as you grabbed for the extra pounds, trying to throw them in the cart like a spoiled child while I screamed and threw them back on the shelf like a frustrated parent. What a scene we’ve made! And the truth is, I feel like I need to apologize.
You see, I’ve seen the light. I’ve finally seen, I mean really seen, all that you’ve been through and how I heaped guilt on you for not measuring up. Oh my goodness, how wrong I’ve been.
You have housed and nurtured 7 precious babies for me. They stretched you beyond reason, made you sick, wore you down and made you accommodate their growing needs without ever offering a single thank you. You have done the work of a soldier, time and again, and then come back for more.
You’ve manufactured milk in abundance so I could nourish those sweet babes with that liquid gold. And you’ve done it even when you were exhausted and depleted and wanted nothing more than a little rest. Year after year for years you gave of yourself even though your outer beauty was slowly being chiseled away with all that giving. Well, I’m here to tell you, you are beautiful. You are and you need to know it.
And it isn’t because you look like a Barbie (stop laughing!) or because you’ve bounced right back after each blow. I’ve seen you and I know that bounce started looking more and more like a splat as time went on.
No, it’s because you’ve sacrificed everything so I could have my arms and heart filled to overflowing with love. You have given so I could receive. You have borne my scorn with a smile and done your best not to betray. YOU are the reason we’ve made it this long nursing a chocolate semi-addiction with any shred of dignity.
And you, my friend, have managed it so that my awesome, hard-working, loving man can look at worn out old you and still see me. He sees right past your flaws and into my heart.
You have been the scapegoat for all my bad habits yet you keep trying. You hold it together when you feel like falling apart and you jump on board when I decide it’s time to really get fit and healthy.
You’re a trooper and I’m going to try to be nicer to you. I promise. Because after all you’ve done for me, the least I can do is make things a little easier for you and stop holding you to such ridiculous and unattainable standards. You will never again be the body of my pre-baby years but you know what?
I’d take all these babies over that body any day. Absolutely any day. So thank you from the bottom of my heart!
With peace and acceptance,