You don’t have to look to find advice on how to “get your body back” after pregnancy. From breastfeeding forums to fitness instructors, new moms will be encouraged to make their bodies look as if they have never been pregnant.
Lots of people can attain their pre-pregnancy weight, but no one can truly erase the body’s hard-won wisdom. No diet or exercise or cosmetic surgery will ever undo the widening of my pelvis and my feet. Nothing will change my eyeballs back to their pre-pregnancy shape. No amount of keigels will make my cervix new again.
My body went through profound and permanent changes when I created and carried new life inside me. Every organ and system of my body was impacted by my choice to become a mother. My pre-pregnancy body is gone, along with my pre-pregnancy life.
I was an underweight anorexic when I learned I was pregnant with my son. In the ten years since, my weight has fluctuated but it has never dropped as low as it was the day I took my pregnancy test. My pre-pregnancy weight was not a healthy weight and I didn’t achieve it through healthy means.
My post-pregnancy body is stronger, wider, larger. I am not the shrunken bud of a girl I once was, afraid to grow and grow up, starving myself into prolonged adolescence. I am not the same, and my body reflects that. The story of life is written in my body, in seen and unseen ways.
It’s okay to look like you have given birth. It’s okay to look like you’ve been through pregnancy. It’s okay to have a different body and a different life after transforming into a parent. Some days I look how my body looks or feels or works better than others, but it is the body that’s taken me this far and given me my son. I’ll treasure it as best I can.