Monday, November 10, 2014

On Beauty, Postpartum and Otherwise

"It doesn’t make sense to call ourselves ugly, because we don’t really see ourselves. We don’t watch ourselves sleeping in bed, curled up and silent with chests rising and falling with our own rhythm. We don’t see ourselves reading a book, eyes fluttering and glowing. You don’t see yourself looking at someone with love and care inside your heart. There’s no mirror in your way when you’re laughing and smiling and happiness is leaking out of you. You would know exactly how bright and beautiful you are if you saw yourself in the moments where you are truly yourself."
(via A Cup of Jo)

As you can see in the photo above, I made it out of pregnancy alive, but not without a few shiny purple battle scars on my belly. What you can't see is the acne on my face from the postpartum hormone dump, my wet hair pulled up and out of the way from rushing through a shower because my babe started screaming in her bassinet as soon as I squeezed shampoo into my palm, the maxi pad outline on the butt of my sweatpants, or the dried milk in my armpit from my sweet girl falling asleep at my breast with her mouth full.

I'm going to be completely honest with you--I've never felt more beautiful in all my life.  

Because what you also can't see in the photo above is the way that screaming little girl immediately calms down when her soft-bellied mommy steps out of the shower, scoops her up and holds her against her bare skin, or the silly way she wakes up one brown eye at a time after a deep, open-mouth sleep on my chest.

Who can say this body isn't glorious, that my new squishy tummy isn't the perfect place for my newborn to nap and my web of stretch marks doesn't tell the loveliest story of how she once slept and grew beneath my skin?

I'm beginning to understand beauty as more of something we feel, something that stirs us, rather than something we see.  I've never felt more in tune with my body than I did through labor and birth and now new motherhood, but I've also never felt so little ownership of it.  My body is no longer just a physical concept for me to obsess over for lack of self-esteem--it belongs to a tiny human for much bigger purposes like nourishment and comfort.  It's more than how it looks. What a gift to both of us that it's healthy and functioning well enough to conceive, carry, birth, and nurse a child! You can't convince me that isn't beautiful.



  1. Jordan, I've been following your blog for some time now and I want to thank you for being so transparent and raw. It's such a breath of fresh air. I look forward to your upcoming posts. Also, congratulations on your little one. :)