Postpartum Poem (Molly)

My name is Molly Lynch. I am 27 years old, I have a 4 month old son, and I have post partum depression. It hit me like a wave and I couldn’t believe how many women struggle with this, and dont speak their truth. I have written a poem to my son Theodore about my experience, and am hoping to share it with others so that their stories can be heard and shared.

My poem is called “the lonely island”

A lonely island, just him and me
His wails continue, just let me be.
I’m so tired, why doesnt he care?
He’s selfish, dependent, stripping me bare

Where is the bundle of joy I was promised?
My sanity and happiness constantly compromised
I sit and cry holding you tight
You grip my finger with all your might
I love you and hate you, so ashamed to say
The time ticks by slowly, day after day

This little blue pill, promises the world
To make everything better, to stop the unfurl
They call it post partum and promise it wont last
But it’s been 16 weeks, I just want my mind back
And slowly but surely, things look brighter
Hes waiting for me, because hes a fighter.
My bundle of joy, so loving and forgiving
Loves me unconditionally, relying on me to continue living

I’m sorry Theodore, but mommy is better
I’ve fought tooth and nail for you,
And so I give you this letter.
A promise that I will always be here, no matter the cost
I love you more than air, even when I’m lost.
I’ll fight this disease to be the mom you deserve
Because you are the light of my life, you’re love I preserve

So stop growing little one
Mommy loves you
You are my sun
I love you to the moon, and more than every star in the sky
Because you are my one and only, you are my special little guy.

The Poetry of Our Bodies

Inspired by a project I had in my digital humanities class this past semester, I created this word cloud from your entries here. For this particular cloud, I pulled the top 10 posts under the category of “Positive Body Image/Words of Encouragement” and fed them (anonymously, of course!) into the processor at Voyant. It gave me this cloud.

I love words, I love word clouds, and I love to immerse myself in them and look at them closely. They are a kind of found poetry, and I love to use them to create more found poetry. For instance, right off the bat, I see:

stretch like I’m body beautiful

And then:

pregnant love just marks

But I think my favorite is:

advocate changes big

By shifting these words around, we find new meaning in them. New ideas that already exist subconsciously in our hearts – or that we can choose to weave into the fabric of our future thoughts.

It is also important to examine the size of the word “body” in terms of the rest. It appears more often than any other word. Of course, this is a website dealing with bodies, so it’s expected to loom over all of our posts, but that doesn’t make it any less significant to see it displayed this way for us. Sometimes to see something from a new angle gives us a refreshed view of it. This is a reminder how much our physical appearance is of importance to us. Perhaps it is time to focus on the other words that help to make up our whole selves?


Voyant does more than word clouds, though, and this particular tool was interesting as well. It really showed what people were saying about their bodies. The first thing that strikes me here is how much work went into body image in these posts. “Found love for the mommy body” or “Learned to love” or accept my body”. This is not a passive act, it is hard work, daily. The second thing that strikes me is that some of these top “bodyposi” posts are minimizing themselves.. “Love everything about my body even though..” We have to temper anything good we say or feel about ourselves – and that is why the work is hard. Not only do we have to relearn how to view ourselves outside of the negativity society imposes upon us, but we also have to do it so carefully that we do not become ostracized by society. It seems – and in fact it is! – contradictory. The line to walk here is very thin and often unclear. A woman who is too down on her body is “negative” or “focused on the wrong things” but a woman who is unapologetic about her looks is “conceited” or “full of herself.” There is no real good option which is why women trying so hard to find how to love themselves tend to pair their intentions (“I love my body”) with a caveat of some sort (“even though…”). I know I often do this, even within feminist circles, even to my closest friends who truly know my soul, when I am talking about my abilities. “I know it sounds stuck up to just say it like this, but you know I’m trying to drop those patriarchal rules so….”

The goal is that someday, we won’t feel the need to minimize our beauty and our talents and our gifts. That is the work we are doing here at SOAM.

How do you do this work in your life? Do you feel this struggle? How do you manage it? How can you work this year to grow from this? What does “growth” mean to you in this area?

Unapologetic (Darah)

I love me with the sags.
I love me with the stretch marks.
I love me with dark circles.
I love me with frizzy hair.
I love me with pale skin.
I love me with stretch marks.
I love me with love handles.
I love me with back rolls.
I love me when I’m menstruating.
I love me when I’m lactating.
I love me with body hair.
I love me when my hands are dirty.
I love me with belly fat.
I love that my body can give life.
I love that I can sustain life.
I love me when I eat.
I love me when I’m sick.
I love me for me.

Who I am goes deeper than my skin.

I’m confident.
I’m artistic.
I’m intelligent.
I’m creative.
I’m imaginative.
I’m logical.
I’m kind.
I’m articulate.
I’m ambitious.
I’m empowering.
I’m soulful.
I’m funny.
I’m daring.
I’m charming.
I’m thoughtful.
I’m generous.

And I’m unapologetic for who I am..

~Age: 26
~Number of pregnancies and births: 4 pregnancies, 3 births
~The age of your children, or how far postpartum you are: ten – placed for adoption, three and 5 months.

Beautifully Destroyed (Sia)

Previous entries here and here.

age 17
months pp 9

The other day I ran into a girl who I went to school with. She is a little younger than me and has always been kind of rude. She was telling me how she saw pictures of me before I had my daughter and how she COULD NOT believe that I was ever THAT skinny. She said I must hate my body and she went on to say that having my daughter DESTROYED me. I honestly was at a loss for words. I could not believe she was talking to me this way. I mean, I was actually starting to think I looked pretty good for having a nine month old baby. I looked the girl right in the face and I calmly told her that I would of gained 1000 more stretchmarks and 300 more pounds for my little princess, and I walked away. Her words really did get to me, and I have to admit I went home and cried to my boyfriend. I may not have the body I used to have, but that girl doesnt know what its like to fall asleep every night with the arms of the man that loves me wrapped around me tight. She has no idea the feeling that overcomes me when I peek into my daughters crib late at night just to see my beautiful baby girl sleeping so peacefully in a fuzzy sleeper with animals on the feet. So if people look at my body and think that I am destroyed, then I am BEAUTIFULLY destroyed. I have never been this happy in my life. My body never brought me happiness earlier in life, my daughter brings me the most joy and my body made her. I wouldnt change a thing for the world. Of course there are days where I look in the mirror and wish I was thinner, And I must say there is wayyyyy too much love in my love handles haha. My love handles are my biggest complaint, but hey I dont have too much to complain about. Im just loving life, loving my family, and most importantly learning to love myself.

I wanted to share a poem that I wrote about my daughter, kennedy, when she was only a few weeks old.

my beautiful baby girl sleeping so peacefully beside me
i lay my ear on your chest , listening to the steady rhythm of your heartbeat

i take your tiny hand as you wrap it around my finger tightly
bending dowm to kiss your cheek, i notice one eye opens slightly

only for a second, then you enter your dream world for the second time
i love you so much, its unbelievable something so heavenly is mine

for nine months i watched how my body changed and grew
the moment i saw that plus sign, i was overwhelmed by love for you

i felt every movement as your own body took shape
i felt my body expand, as yours began to gain weight

until you gained enough weight to be a beautiful healthy baby girl
the day you were born, i knew you were my world

your headful of hair and your dark eyes
the resemblence between us took me by surprise

you had the cutest little mouth and your chubby cheeks
all swaddled up, you looked so sweet

i remember the first time you looked up at me when you opened your big dark eyes
i smiled down at you as i, myself started to cry

a mother meeting her baby, the greatest feeling there is
now our new life as a family was to begin

I went a little picture crazy with this post haha, but all of the ones of me our me nine months pp. then the other pictures are of my little girl kennedy. and then of course the one of the both of us together.

Updated here.

Chemically, Artificially Me (Anonymous)

Previous entries here and here.


if I were less of me

and more like you

would I be alright?

would you love me more

if I looked like the models in the magazine?

boney flesh, bared on glossy paper, beautiful?

layers of colours, a madeup mask.. hides you..

redefining your idenity

wrapped up in your image

and forgetting that you breathe

your tiny frame

breakable like glass

never thin enough..

the pages

they tell you who you are..

who you should be..

tired of the comparison

“the perfect look”

change this… change that

look like this..

this ever changing standard of beauty

distorted by the consuming vanity

physical scrutiny

you forget that I am real

you forget that I feel

I am not an object

I am not on display

and would it be okay if I were just ‘me’?

apart from the vision you have for me

I fade away

..and only this distorted image remains

who am I?

and what have I become?

chemically, artificially, me

Who will you be? (Lauren)

I am not a mother but I think about that day so often…who she (or he) will be, how I will feel, etc. This simple poem is a reflection of those thoughts.

Who will you be?

Who will you be? Will you be like me?

Will you live in a castle or climb through the trees?

Who will you be?

Will you stand on the ground? Or dream wistful fancies, your head in the clouds?

Who will you be? Will you be like me?

Bold as the drumfire or quiet and meek?

Who will you be?

Will you drive a car? Ride on two wheels or walk very far?

Who will you be? Will you be like me?

Will you sleep on the sand or play in the sea?

Who will you be?

Will you wear a suit? Will you paint skyscapes with brushes or delight in the flute?

Who will you be? Will you be like me?

Stretch like the sunrise or be gentle and wee?

Who will you be?

Will you be gaffe defined? Or relish in quiet and whisper in kind?

Who will you be? Will you be like me?

Brown eyes or blue eyes…or a gingered green?

Who will you be? Will you be like me?

Will you march with the legions or run wild and free?

Who will you be like?

You will be like you.

A magnificant riddle…

The best of us two.

Acceptance Achieved (Anonymous)

As a teen
I hated my body
Too thin, so ugly
No breasts, no hips, no butt
I longed for curves
I cried

As a first time mother
I hated my body
Still too thin
But now with stretch marks
I longed for smooth skin
I cried

As a second time mother
I hated my body
Mores stretch marks
And now a saggy tummy
I longed for my teen body
I cried

As a third time mother
I hated my body
I finally gained weight
But in all the wrong places
I longed to feel beautiful
I cried

Now, finally, as a woman
I decide to love my body
Accept motherhood’s curves and
Enjoy the shape given to me
By my three beautiful children
I smile

The Loss of my Son and Daughter (Keisha)

Becoming a mother is one of the best feelings in the world to experience. You can’t believe to be bringing someone very special in this world, and they be a part of you. My son Demetrius was born January 14 2000, 8 lbs 1 oz. A big and healthy baby. I did everything I knew to do in making sure my baby would be healty, but sometimes there are things beyond your control no matter how hard you try. My son died on Feburary 15, 2000 at the hospital. I was devestated and hurt to the core of my bones because how could this happen. What was wrong with my son that he would leave me so soon. But things happened for a reason and at that time I didn’t know or cared what that reason was. All I knew was that my sweet baby boy was no longer with me. The death of my son even traumatized my oldest son because he was close with his brother even though it was a short time that Demetrius spent on this earth. As time went I was depressed a lot and so was my son. Three years had past and I was pregnant again. This time I was making sure that everything I did was good for my baby. The only thing was I kept thinking back what if the same thing that happened to my son would happen once more, but after getting a lot of advice and counseling from friends and family and professionals, they said lighting would not strike twice in the same spot. I wanted so bad to beleive that. I started beleive what everyone said and I let my guard down. My due date was approaching, then my due date was here, I was in labor for 5 days straight. All the contractions and the pain was hurting me, but I was excited that I was getting ready to bring my daughter home. I had a doctors appointment and then the doctor checked me, I was scared when she told me that she couldn’t find the heart beat and when she did it was a sing of relief. She said by 8 pm that night you would be in full labor. I went home and five hours later, it was time to go to the hospital. I was excited because the time was getting closer to bring home my baby, but it didn’t happened that way. When I got to the hospital and was checked out by the nurse they couldn’t find a heart beat, I told them that I went to the doctor’s earlier and they had a hard time finding the heartbeat. The nurses told me something that I didn’t want to hear. They said to me that I’m sorry that there isn’t a heartbeat, that my baby had died. Screaming, criying, yelling and heartbroken I was once again devestated by the news of my daughter that was supposed to be born on June 11, 2003. After having to push my daughter out, the doctors and everyone else saw what the problem was. The umblical chord was wrapped around my daughters neck. Once againg my son and I was heartbroken because we weren’t able to have no time with either son or daughter. Here is a poem that I wrote for both of my children, writing this poem got me through that awful time. The poem is attached to the email.

My Beautiful Angels

God chose me to have his angels
In my eyes that’s what I see
God chose me to have his angels
To my surprise because I had three
God chose me to have his angels
Because I was told that I could have none
God chose me to have his angel
But he took two and I kept one
Because my Angel baby what a gift from GOD
So innocent good and sweet
I think about you every night and day
Tears come down I weep
Knowing that I must be special
To get this gift from God
With the time we shared
On this earth
Giving you back was hard
My special baby
I love

Some Poems

I have excluded one of the poems Kate originally included with her submission, due to copyright issues, but wanted to pass on the recommendation she gave. It sounds like a great book, thanks, Kate!

I’m reading this beautiful poetry anthology called “A Book of Luminous Things“, and came across a few poems that really touched me and I wanted to share here. They are from a section of the book called “Woman’s Skin” which the editor, Czeslaw Milosz introduces by saying this:

“Love poetry has always been abundant in any language, so there is no point adding a few drops to the sea. Besides, it is not poetry written mostly by men that interests me, but something else, woman in her flesh, particularly as described by herself.”

In The Morning

In the morning,
holding her mirror,
the young woman
her tender
lip with
her finger &
then with
the tip of
her tongue
licks it &
& admires her

– Author unknown, translated from the Sanskrit

Marked (Anonymous)

I wrote this poem after one of my best friends and I had a long conversation about our stretch marks and how difficult it was to accept them. It was published in Motherverse magazine. I love this site! love our mamabodies!


my new lover traces my lines, my road map…my history, and at the same time my path to the future
he is gentle
with my first the marks came late i didn’t want any i rubbed my belly with oil, vain…hoping to pacify her
sweet baby curled inside
when they came they looked like flames curling lips of fire low on my belly
and later i liked them, because they reminded me of her
my second daughter stretched me out earlier and more
the flames licked my belly button and then rose up, not symmetrical, like smoke curling away from a lone campfire like incense lit in sacred space
they spread out, gullies, rivulets running down my hips waterfalls to remind me that nothing will ever be the same
these, from her, i cannot hide. i want to. Part of me feels embarrassed until i realize that i cannot love you unless i love myself
these are from my moon baby i say
I couldn’t love myself without them
sometimes they remind me of snakes
my daughter lays her smooth cheek on my belly and laughs
she too is drawn to them she traces smoky lines with her fingers digging deep
let’s walk to georgia mama she says and I say OK
she is wild she wants to paint her hands and feet we do it together then i lie down and we color in my marks…red for the fire the love that burns between us
the passion that
marked our relationship before our eyes had even met
blue for the water our share of tears and all we will learn from each other
green for the earth
mark my body green! as sacred yes i too have brought forth life
we leave some silvery white, for Air she says, Air I breathed when we first disconnected
her sister toddles over, places her pudgy hand in the middle of my belly and laughs and spits
they have both marked me both in different ways
and i know i look like the Goddess of Changes
you did this i say and you…this was you here and here and here
I did that one mama she says
I was writing on the inside, writing my love for you
Hoping you would notice
hoping you could read my script
I couldn’t wait to touch you