My fingers are still slightly swollen. My breasts are often lop-sided. There are dark marks tracking from my thighs to above my belly. And my belly is a proper little jelly-belly, with it’s own little jiggle.
And I love it all.
Just 12 weeks ago I was huge. 41 weeks pregnant, with massively swollen hands and wrists. Mr Pilot and I were trudging around the neighbourhood twice a day and I’m sure that the sight of me was scaring all the neighbours. 11 and a half weeks ago, the doctors made an incision in my stomach and pulled out my beautiful boy. The next morning, as I took my first (rather painful) post-birth shower, I realised my body would never be the same again. At the time, I was exhausted, sore and incredibly teary and I didn’t really know what to think about my body. But time has passed now and things have become clearer.
I love my new body.
I love the way it carried my beautiful Squirm so his little body was strong enough to fight the early battles. I love the way my body has fed my beautiful Squirm so he now seems the size of a small elephant (slight over exaggeration, but he has been stacking the weight on). I love that my shoulders and back and hips are strong enough to wear my beautiful Squirm close to my heart. I love the way my body has softened and curved into a new shape to suit what is, in some ways, the new me.
We’re not supposed to love our post-birth bodies. We’re constantly bombarded with images and news stories and ads on Facebook which promise us the key to losing our baby weight, that show us the latest celebrity to lose their baby weight, that make us feel like we should be all sharp lines and angles and perfectly sculpted muscles.
But I don’t think I’ve looked like that since I was 15, and I’m quite happy not to look that way again. I’m quite happy to look different, because I am changed by this experience. What my body has managed to do is evident in the marks, the curves and the softness of my belly.
And I love it.