I was about 8 weeks postpartum when I looked at myself in the mirror and could not recognize who I saw. My eyes were red and tired. My hair was so matted that when I tried to take it out of the bun, it stayed on top of my head. I tried to run my fingers through it but it wouldn’t budge. I got in the shower and examined the new body motherhood gave me. My smooth skin was gone. I found stretch marks on my hips, belly, and boobs. I don’t know this fucking body. I cried.
Seven months postpartum and I’m still not sure who is staring back at me. I don’t fit my pre-baby clothes anymore, so I bagged them up and gave them away. I want to go shopping since I only have maternity shirts and leggings in my wardrobe. But I’m not sure how to dress this new body. My old body loves crop tops, dresses, and high waisted pants. I don’t know this body. I torture myself by looking at pictures of the body I had before I was pregnant. I decide to go online shopping because being in a store gives me anxiety. But of course I don’t know my size now and I have to guess. I look at clothes that are different than what I would gravitate to, and I hate it all. I get frustrated and buy some jeans and a couple t-shirts and hope for the best. I get them a few days later, and I hate the way the jeans fit. So I send them back and I cry more.
I don’t know if this is how becoming a mother is supposed to make me feel. I feel vain for being so wrapped up in my body image. I feel lost because I don’t know who I am anymore. And I am lonely because I don’t know if anyone will understand me. Motherhood is so strange. There is so much strength and power in being a women. I created and continue to nurture and protect this precious little life. And still, I am completely lost and unsure of myself.