Four and a half months postpartum, my body feels strong but in a completely different way than I’ve ever felt strong Before. Arms and legs. Baby lifting above my head, squatting to feed the cats while holding that squirmy fifteen pounds against my chest. Pushing the stroller uphill. My breasts heavy with milk. A kind of heavy I couldn’t have understood Before. Before is my old country. Where I lived with a flat stomach and no stretch marks and only my own life in my own body.
My belly squishy and soft and proof that a baby grew in there. The linea negra a bit lighter now but still very much present. My hips back together but still a bit wider than Before, perhaps forever. My feet longer. My face more tired. My face more beautiful.
My hair is falling out, all the extra pregnancy hair collecting in the shower drain and on the bathroom sink and the pillows and sticking to my shoulders and everywhere else too. I get cramps in my lower abdomen, my period coming back already? I don’t know. Phantom contractions? Everything in my lower region feels just slightly different.
Heart full. A new heart, on top of the old one. More tears. More farts. More love. Deeper intimacy. More cracks. More light.
singing to you, the song my mom sang to me. in a sports bra and your dad’s sweat pants, in our bedroom, late at night.
this is our life. us and you. “hello best friend” your dad says when he gets home from work and takes you in his arms.
my arms are full, so is my mind, so is my heart and all the secret tucked away places of my body that carried you and moved my organs all around and held more blood and more bones and where those extra cells of yours will live inside me forever.