After a womb~an gives birth, our society considers it a compliment to say, “Wow, I can hardly tell you just had a baby! You lost that weight so FAST!” This is a symptom of how we downplay how big this experience is. The value in our society is placed on how quickly we achieve our pre-pregnancy weight, body and productivity level. It is one of the places feminism has failed us.
Though the cord is cut, it still exists, so please do not tell me you can hardly tell I had a baby. Because I am forever changed and I will always be able to tell. No matter what I look like. No matter how close I am to pre-pregnancy weight. My body will never be the same. I used to fear that. I was terrified of having stretch marks. I do not have any and now a part of me grieves that. When I hear, “It hardly looks like you just had a baby,” my soul screams and I want to be able to life my shirt and say, “YES, YES you can! See this!” I am grateful for the little bit of loose skin on my belly. The proof to the world that I did. I gave birth.
The shapeshifting of our bodies is a metaphor for the shapeshifting of our hearts and souls. We become a shadow of who we were and yet bigger than we were all at the same time. I want to embrace the external and internal shapeshifting for myself, for all of the women who have given birth and for all of our children who grow up in a world that values the idea that everything should go back to “normal” as quickly as possible. I want to give our children something else. I want them to know, that it will never go back to normal. It will be better than it ever was and that will require a different level of care and attention. And it is beautiful.
Carrying life changes us. I will never be the same. And I am grateful.