“I wish I was sitting in front of you breastfeeding my…”

“I wish I was sitting in front of you breastfeeding my child, but he was too weak from his birth injuries to ever latch well. We tried every day until he was 16 weeks old and it always ended in both of us crying. It felt like rejection, even though I knew it was because he was too weak. I finally resigned myself to the fact I’d be an exclusive pumping mother and I pumped for 21 months. I found other ways to comfort and bond with my baby…and we are, indeed, very bonded. Coming face to face with my newborn’s mortality has given me incredible clarity. I felt guilty for months after he was born because I had spent so much time obsessing about preventing stretch marks. In hind sight, I would trade a belly full of marks for my son’s health. I felt so stupid because of that new clarity I gained; I learned that it never mattered if I got stretch marks. It’s amazing how my body image has shifted since giving birth. I went through a period of time hating my body for failing my child. He should’ve never been safer anywhere else than in my womb, but that wasn’t true for him. I hated my C-section scar because it was a daily reminder of our trauma. Fast forward a year and it has now become a treasured mark. It represents the place in which my son entered the world. That new clarity has finally helped me make peace with my body and quit obsessing. All I care about now is being healthy on the inside (including emotionally) and however that manifests itself on the outside is perfectly fine with me now. That new clarity has also reminded me that it’s not how much I weigh or how tone I can become that’s important…no, it’s the unseen that is important. It’s the bonds of love I share with my husband and our child.”


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