I have a lot of facebook friends who are in the OB world, plus I follow some OB related organizations (American College of Nurse Midwives, American College of OBGYN), so my feed often has lots of articles pop up around OB issues. One theme that reappears every now and then is embracing your postpartum body. I see photos of women proudly showing off their battle scars- or tiger stripes as I’ve seen them affectionately named- roaring that these marks made them moms. The photos of them in their underwear often have them holding the baby that gave them the body that they are embracing.
After seeing one such article, I was inspired to make a before and after babyloss photo of my own and asked readers to do the same if they felt up to it. But these ones were more symbolic- we wore clothes. Though I would love someday to see an article of babyloss moms in their underwear and their postpartum loss bodies.
Because what about those of us that don’t have the baby to hold to remind us why are bodies look the way they do? What about those who lost their babies before they got any stretch marks or sagging skin?
My midwife friend hesitantly gave me this book for Christmas.
When i unwrapped it, initially my heart sank a bit. A whole book of mothers with babies- great, just what I don’t have. But she explained that not all the stories were “good” ones. There were sad stories in there as well. I’ve flipped through the pages, but haven’t read it really yet, because to read the tough stories, the ones I might relate to, I have to sort through the happier ones first. But I will.
And then I stumbled over this article and this article. The first one I like better than the second- only because the second reflects on how her rainbow baby helped her embrace her body (though it does address the idea that for some of us, it feels like our bodies betrayed us). But the first is great- it recognizes how it’s hard enough for women to embrace their bodies after birth, but tells of the extra burden that we loss moms carry and gives some ideas how to embrace the changes.
I was left with little physical reminders of my pregnancy- just my pelvis/tailbone issues, really. The most visible marks I have is some stretch marks on my breasts from engorgement- when my chest filled with milk for a baby that wasn’t there. I guess I both enjoy my changes- proof that there was a baby and resent them- proof that there is no baby.
How do you feel about your body after loss?