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this womb’s work: a letter to my body after child-birth

a raw, complicated story of love & loss after child birth

photo credit: E.L. Blevins (@mscameralady)

dear {postpartum} body,

i cried a lot for you.

...when i looked at you in the mirror for the first time after giving birth to my beloved daughter, i cried.

i did not cry for the beautiful life you nourished for 39 weeks and 2 days.

nor did i cry for the way you did not fail me as i lay on that table hemorrhaging without any signs of slowing.

i cried because i did not recognize you, myself, any longer.

i cried because the stretch marks that had been so itchy for all those months had now turned a blue-Black and covered the entire surface area of my stomach.

i cried because it still appeared as though you still carried another human in your depths.

i cried because no one ever told me the fear and the hell and getting-hit-by-a-freight-train feeling that gets trapped in your body after child-birth.

i cried because you had always been the altar by which i’d always been worshipped “the skinny one” - and skinny you were no longer.

yes, dear body, i cried for you.

not just once. but again and again and over again.

i cried for the milk that engorged my breasts and caused the pain i’d never felt before.

i cried for the tugging, burning feeling that erupted through my incision every time i moved.

i cried for the questions i had about how you would respond in the aftermath - would you shrink back to size, would you remain large and protruding, or would you ever be the same?

i cried for the new and life-altering ways i now understood the words of Christ: “this is my Body, which is broken for you.”

i cried for you because before i am/was a mother, i am/was a human with a politicized womb, that just wanted my mortality not to be threatened simply because i chose to be fruitful.

i cried for you because before i was a mother, i was a human with a politicized womb, that just wanted my mortality not to be threatened simply because i chose to be fruitful.

dear body, your journey to parenthood was not an easy one.

but it was one that has forever changed how i look at myself.

you endured the weight and the requirement of more than one womb raider whilst balancing all the needs of our unborn child.

you overcame the nutrient deficiencies i had for years to become more than sufficient for me and my baby.

you became a conduit for the almighty Creator to work a miracle on our behalf - willing a determined, little girl child to stake her claim to the life that God ordained for her.

you made room when i had no idea how much more you could take.

you grew me up and grew in me a more expansive belief of God as Mother.

you showed me there is power in naked vulnerability and i will never forget it.

so. my dear {postpartum} body, and all the bodies who have carried a child to any term, and all the bodies who desire to carry a child:

some of us will be scared of what pregnancy will mean for you - dear body.

some of us will look at you and turn up our noses because you don’t look or feel the way you used to.

some of us will struggle with knowing if we’ve made the right choice or if you have what it takes to get us through.

to these things, i say: thank you.

thank you for the grace you have to cover us, to bind us in, and to do this womb’s work.


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