Today marks three weeks since I delivered Aria. In the days that followed her birth, I was shocked by how quickly my body was returning to its pre-pregnancy shape. Looking in the mirror was devastating. Seeing myself without a pregnant belly was such a huge reminder that I had lost my baby. When my breast milk came in, it was a painful reminder that my daughter wasn’t here for me to feed.
With each passing day, the physical evidence that my body created a beautiful baby girl has rapidly disappeared. The small stretch marks I had developed have completely faded. My belly has mostly returned to its original size and shockingly, I’m already two pounds less than my pre-pregnancy weight.
Truthfully, I hate it. I miss being pregnant and the miracle that it was. I wanted to keep my pregnant belly forever. I had never felt more confident and beautiful than I did during my pregnancy. Most of the time, the world sees you as a Mom because you are either walking around with a baby bump, or you have your child in your arms. I don’t have either of those things to show everyone that I am indeed a mother. Yes, I have hundreds of photos of Aria, and even more memories of her. But it isn’t the same.
The one lingering piece of physical evidence I do have is my c-section scar. When I first learned I was pregnant, I was mortified when I thought about the possibility of a c-section, and the scar it would leave on my body. I thought it would be disfiguring and strange to look at. But as I sit here today, with only this horizontal line across my lower abdomen to show that I have recently given birth, I’m proud. Having physical evidence that Aria happened to my body makes feel more like a “normal” mom. I cherish it.
I genuinely wish so many mothers weren’t ashamed of their postpartum bodies. Pregnancy is such a privilege, and its impact on your body really should be a point of pride. I feel so honored to have been given the opportunity to grow a life, even as short as Aria’s life had to be, she is still an enormous blessing. Every change my body experienced throughout pregnancy were so worth the moments I had with my daughter.