About a year ago, six weeks after giving birth to my son, I posted my first entry.
It’s been a tough and fun year and yet again my body has changed a lot. I am still breastfeeding and that has helped me lose all my pregnancy weight, without any effort on my part. That was quite unexpected – I thought I’d really have to struggle to reach my pre-pregnancy weight. My breasts are softer and saggier than before the pregnancy and one is quite a bit larger than the other because my son prefers to feed from that side. When I lean forward, my stomach looks like it belongs to an old woman, with all the wrinkles and the lose skin (that doesn’t show in the pictures here, because I am standing straight). After the birth I thought that the skin on my stomach would “recover”, but I have now realized that it won’t. I tell myself that that simply comes with having a baby and it doesn’t bother me too much, but I am embarrassed when my husband sees it.
Sometimes my negative thoughts take over. Sometimes I still see my body as belonging to the rapists. Sometimes, when my son presses his sweet face against mine, I wonder if he would still love me if he knew that I have been raped by four men. And I wonder if I am worthy to be his mother – can someone as damaged as me be the mother of someone as pure, innocent and wonderful as my little boy? I try to console myself with the knowledge that even though I am far from pure, at least my love for him is. And I remind myself of the great things my body was able to do during childbirth and I remind myself that my breasts have nurished and are still nurishing this healthy and happy boy and I am thankful for that. It helps, because the negative thoughts don’t take over anymore as they used to before we had our son. My hope is that one day I will feel completely worthy as a mother, a woman, a person.
The pictures show my body one year post-partum.