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Loving myself through Postpartum

Loving myself through postpartum has truly been a journey, one filled with challenges, self-discovery, and ultimately, acceptance. Before I embarked on this path, I was healing from a heartbreak during the challenging COVID years. In that solitude, I found the strength to fully embrace the woman I am, appreciating all my unique qualities. It was a path to self-love that allowed me to revel in life and food without the weight of insecurities holding me back.

No more masks, no more filters – just me, appreciating every part of myself. Pregnancy was a magical time, filled with cravings, weight gain, and a sense of beauty in my own unique way.

Welcoming my son into the world was a defining moment, a love story like no other.

But postpartum reality was different, and it hit me hard. Suddenly, my body felt like a stranger’s, and I grappled with discomfort I hadn’t experienced before. Despite having no stretch marks during pregnancy, they appeared suddenly, accompanied by loose skin under my still-bulging belly. Feeling attractive or comfortable seemed like a distant memory. Being a single mom by choice meant there was no partner to share this burden with.

Throughout my self-love journey, I've embraced my body, but this unexpected transformation was never part of the plan. I couldn't help but wonder, who would ever love me like this? The immediate thought: I'll be alone until I figure this out because no one could possibly love me looking like this.

Society bombards new mothers with unrealistic expectations of a quick "bounce back," but the reality is far from that. Breastfeeding, instead of shedding pounds, seemed to make me hold onto them. While some say it takes a year, I knew my body would need much more time to reach a comfortable state.

Amidst these struggles, I am grateful for the progress I've made and the supportive community I've found. I've learned to challenge these negative thoughts, realizing they're unfounded. My worth and beauty aren't confined to my appearance; they reside in how I carry myself and how I feel about myself. I've come to understand that the right person will love me as I am. If someone can't accept me for my changed body, why would I want them in my life?

Reflecting on this, I realized that even if I had gone through this with a partner, they would have witnessed my pre-baby body transforming into what it is now. If that change bothered them, why would I want such a person in my life? Bodies change; that's inevitable. What doesn't change is my inner spirit and love, which only grow stronger with time.

To my fellow moms who, like me, aren't experiencing the "bounce back" they hoped for, remember this: your worth, your spirit, and your beauty lie within you, not in your body or its size. Invest in clothes that make you feel beautiful, relish in delicious food that nourishes your body, and exercise for the sake of your mind. If you're single, have faith: the right person will see your beauty, inside and out, and will appreciate you for the incredible person you are.

This journey of postpartum self-love is not easy, but it's worth it. Embrace the changes, celebrate your victories, and above all, love yourself fiercely. We're in this together, supporting and loving each other every step of the way.

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