My journey with my postbabybody has felt like the worst of rollercoasters at times. I had an antagonistic relationship with my body for a number of years before ever having a baby, and sometimes postbaby I’ve felt like my body and I are finally best friends, while other times I stare in the mirror, confused at how I’ve arrived at this place. Lately, it’s been a lot easier to accept my body and treat it well (both in thought and action) because of my refusal to participate in diet culture in any form. I work especially hard to avoid the particular subset of diet culture that demands birthing people “snap back” after having a baby like we are just so many rubber bands. What I think of when I hear “snap back” is that I’m supposed to erase any evidence I ever carried an entire other human inside of this body and be PROUD of how well I’ve been able to accomplish this ridiculous task, as well as feel shame if I’ve “failed.” It makes me really angry and so I decided not to participate.
Instead, I think about how this new body connects me to ancient experiences. These deeper stretch marks, these wider hips, this wrinkly belly (with accompanying flap!), these flatter breasts, the fact that my bladder will never be the same, the fact that my right foot now seems a little bigger than my left, all of these aspects of my postbabybody connect me to the people who birthed me, stretching back for millennia. And that’s super fucking special. I was someone’s first home on this planet and I’ve grown to (mostly) love that my body will always show evidence of this foundational experience in my child’s existence.