We assume a lot about people, and especially about their bodies. Maybe it somehow seems more reasonable to make assumptions about the things we can see. These women are my friends, my village, and they are willing to share their stories with you so that you may honor them.
I know postpartum isn't glamorous or how models should look on the runway; however, despite how we look or what Mother Nature does to our bodies, we simply want to look beautiful. The moment is beautiful. I want to remember being beautiful.
Nine years ago, when my first baby was born and those eating disorders and body image issues still stood way too close, these experiences would have really bothered me -- but today I know the truth of it.
Today I lead postpartum support groups, and thank goodness I have to be the group leader, so I can't walk out of the group and cry in the restroom. I must open up that old inner self to some more compassionate attitudes if I'm going to be of help to my fellow moms.
I know everything feels undone. I know being a grown-up sucks. I know your house is a mess. I know you have writer's block. I know you feel behind. I know you wish you were superwoman. I know. I know. But. You just had a baby.
No one should co-opt your C-section story for their birth agenda. Just like shaming women about how they breastfeed or formula-feed is anti-feminist, so is shaming them and questioning them about how they birth.
I'm trying to figure out how best to honor my pregnancies -- all three -- and the body that housed them. They don't necessarily need to be emboldened in my postpartum size and I guess stretch marks of the soul are the stretch marks that aren't readily visible to anyone other than me.
At some point after my second child made it into toddlerhood intact, I developed a kind of confidence I never had before. I am capable! I get stuff done! Our little world may be a bit of a mess on a day-to-day basis, but my husband and I can do this parenting thing.