I have been reflecting a lot lately upon my body: how it looks, how it feels, of what it is capable, and how I am keeping it healthy and strong. I don't know if it is the difference in demography, but I am finding myself much more aware of its shape after having Summer than I was after the twins. I know that I need to practice being kind to myself in this postpartum season, and I remind myself of this, but I am finding that practice to be an effort. It is easy to let myself feel dough-y, chubby, less-than. I know this body has just brought forth a life, and continues to feed baby Summer milk so she may grow, and I am very proud of its ability to do this. I am finding it easiest to regard my body these days as one that is on loan to me: it is temporary. I won't always be eight weeks postpartum. I won't always be nursing a newborn.
I am taking any tendency to feel blah and turning it into an effort to give myself gifts: time to practice yoga, time to take my girls for a walk (pushing a double stroller and wearing a baby works up a sweat!), feeding it nourishing foods. I am eating as often as I like, but trying to be conscious of what foods will best help my body function and create Summer's nourishing milk. I am trying to challenge myself in yoga, but slowly and subtly as I recover my strength. I am using my body to give comforting hugs to my family, and nurturing cuddles to my girls. I confided my feelings to Rich, and I notice he's reminding me frequently how beautiful I am to him.
I am reflecting on how much a part I am of a big, motherhood brigade. Women around the world who are all raising babies grown within their bodies (or their hearts, if they adopted), and learning to embrace their new normal or their temporary bodies on loan. I am celebrating a friend's progress as she nears her surgery date to have the excess skin removed from her body, after losing well over one hundred pounds. I am cheering on friends and family running races and taking time to exercise, because we can all use a cheering squad when it comes to motivation.
I like feeling part of a bigger collective when facing personal challenges. I also like looking at pictures I've taken this week that make me smile: