As I feel the drops of milk plummet onto my soft and squishy tummy I can’t help but look down and notice the tiger claws and the fresh, bright red line still healing. The incision from where my fourth daughter entered this world.
I close my eyes and under my finger tips, the impressions of my “tiger stripes” pave the way to the bumps on my newest scar. Just as my leaking breast milk takes another dive.. this time striking my knuckle – a small tear glides off my cheek.
I wish it was easier for me to embrace my postpartum body. I can’t help but feel somewhat ashamed of it. I feel like I did something wrong. Like I wasn’t lucky enough to just bounce back.
I look around me and see all these women embracing their new bodies. I try so hard to shake these feelings of resentment of myself and embrace the new me – the older, wiser, strong woman who gave life for the fourth time, yet I find myself struggling to let go of the images in my head of the once confident me.
I’m not proud of my postpartum body. I really do hope I can get there one day.. I truly feel like I will. But for now, I’ll just appreciate what it has given me.
It has provided shelter for nine months to my four children. It has helped me nourish my daughters so that they may grow to be strong toddlers. It has carried them and cared for them in ways I still can’t wrap my head around.
It has left little impressions that are kissed ever so softly by their father reminding us of the times we laid in bed waiting to feel the next movement of our then unborn child. The movements of those little hands and little toes we kiss and hold so dear.
I am eternally grateful to have experienced this wonderful abundance of joy and love. The little girl who dreamed of a happy big family would be so proud of us right now. I absolutely respect it, I’m just not ready to be love it.