This Body is Amazing

Wednesday, September 16, 2015
(photo by Erryn Kowallis Photography)

It was the day after I had Oaklyn...
I was standing in our hospital room's bathroom about to tie my gown back up after nursing my new little baby.
She was snoozing away in her daddy's arms.
She was content, he was smitten, and I was sore/exhausted.
Right before grabbing the tie I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror.
My eyes widened and my already cloudy mind panicked.
"Why do I still look pregnant? She's out of there. What is still in there?"
The nurse came in a few hours later.
"I'm here to check your swelling."
"Okay good, my ankles seem really puffy and my fingers are extra swollen."
The nurse touched my ankles and looked up at me "Yeah you are still really swollen. I'll be back to check on you tomorrow before you leave."
"Oh, that's it" I thought, "I'm just swollen, it will all go back to normal soon enough."

The next day I was getting dressed to go home.
I brought a sweatshirt and leggings.
Very, very, tight, pre-pregnancy leggings.
There was no way I was going home in those. Especially with that diaper I had to wear.
Thank goodness I had the stretchy pants I wore to the hospital.
The next few days I spent much time weeding through my closet trying to find clothes that weren't too small or too big because I wasn't the size before pregnancy or during pregnancy.
Thanks to nursing, constantly being on the move with a baby that loved being rocked, and a fussy newborn that didn't like when I left her to go eat... I started to shrink rather quickly.
I was back in most of my pre pregnancy clothes with the exception of some pairs of jeans, in a few weeks.
But the loose skin, the stretch marks I didn't know existed, and the lost muscle definition haunted me every time I saw my reflection.
I know every new mother thinks it. Of course, some more often than others...
"I miss my body before kids."
I was more limber, I was stronger, my skin was tighter, you could see my abs poking through, and I felt comfortable in my own skin.
What happened?
I'll tell you what happened...
Something amazing happened.
I grew a child in my own body for 9 months and 5 days.
I stretched and often ached but I did that.
My body did that.
I gave birth to a child.
I'll spare you the details, but that's no walk in the park.
I gave Oaklyn life.
My body gave Oaklyn life.
I have fed her for almost 7 months.
I have nourished and helped her grow.
My body has supplied her with food, it knew how to give her food.
I have rocked her and held her til my arms feel weak but she has been comforted during the fussiest times by being held close next to me.
My body pushed through the longest nights to help calm a little baby that was hurting, hungry, and had her days and nights mixed up.
When my mind told me I couldn't, my body kept going.
My body has recovered from the most amazing miracle and excruciating pain any human will know, because it is amazing.
It's hard to see the changes made and it's hard to work towards what I want to become.
I'm aloud to have a few thoughts, on occasion, of disappointment.
I wouldn't be human if I didn't.
But, it is also so important to remember that this body has been through much sacrifice to bring forth the miracle of life.
And that is the most important thing this body will do.
I will still continue to search youtube to find that miracle workout to get rid of that darn pooch... but I will also strive to remember, and I hope that you mothers will too, that these bodies of ours sure have done some incredible things.
Give yourself a little more credit because, your body is amazing.
All my love,
Aleigh Joy

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