My newly postpartum body is soft. Its skin moves in ways that it never did before. It feels different and it looks like it’s been “used.” It has legs that are unshaven, hair that is unkempt and eyes that feature dark circles around them. It leaks fluid from various locations and it wears pads in its bra and underwear now…

My newly postpartum body cries more than I’m accustomed to, and it eats more too… It’s tired. It aches. And it’s tender.

My newly postpartum body is swollen. It prefers to sit on a soft cushion and it likes when I drink hot tea while taking slow deep breaths. It’s nipples are sore. No, I take that back. Its nipples are cracked and bleeding and they hurt so bad that the pain shoots through it like a knife. They are full and warm and they sweat more than they ever have.

Its hair that was once full and shiny is now dull, drab and actually coming out in clumps when its fingers run through it… There is a dark line that runs from its pubic area up past its belly button and there are some dark spots on its face now too.

This body that once held a sweet baby in its womb, gave birth and I am grateful for the sacrifice it made.

Its uterus squeezed tightly again and again for many hours. Its cervix thinned out and opened, and its strength pushed a tiny human through its vagina and into its arms. Arms that were waiting to lovingly hold and caress that baby.

My newly postpartum body laid its eyes on that tiny human and its heart felt like it might burst right out of its chest.

It smelled that baby and it fell madly in love. It continued to release oxytocin which supported its bond with that sweet baby and all felt right in the world.

Newly postpartum body, you are awesome! You did great work and I am so proud of you. Go easy now and give yourself a chance to rest and recover. Allow yourself to heal, and acknowledge your great accomplishments. You are deserving of the love and care of others, so indulge in it. And most importantly, whatever happens do not compare yourself to others.

Authored by: Randy Patterson