You exploded with excitement when the plus sign faded into view on your pregnancy test.

You rejoiced with every ounce you gained, every centimeter added to your waistline, because you knew it meant your baby was growing.

You endured the discomfort and sleepless nights as your baby grew bigger, your hips grew looser, and your back grew tighter.

Then on one glorious day, you delivered your baby into the world. You held your precious pink bundle in your arms. You cried tears of joy.

And then you glanced down at your midsection.

It was hardly any smaller considering the amount of baby and mess you just shed.

As your belly slowly shrank over the days and weeks, you began to notice the saggy skin folds. You touched your belly and felt the softness. You tried to lift heavy grocery bags and noticed how weak your abs were.

You felt unsure of yourself.

I’ve felt it too. That dreaded postpartum insecurity.

I’ve wondered if my stomach would ever be the same. If I’d ever find time for exercise again, between feedings, diaper changes, and the sky-high pile of onesies in the laundry basket. Would the stretch marks ever fade? Should I just go ahead and donate my pre-baby jeans?

And if the thoughts in our own heads weren’t enough, we’re bombarded with pressure from outside.

We look around every corner and see airbrushed supermodels. Ads for beauty products. Fitness programs. Miracle diets. And we want what we don’t have.

And we forget what we do have.

Postpartum Mama: you have a beautiful, brand new, perfect baby in your arms.

You MADE that baby. With your own body. Your womb was home for that baby for 9 months. You ate an extra 300 to 500 calories every day, because your body was her source of food.

You birthed that baby out of your own body. You stretched and grew and opened up, both physically and spiritually, to make room in your life for your precious baby.

Look at your baby. Right now. Kiss those little fingers and little toes. Soak in how beautiful and miraculous her existence is.

Now, step in front of a mirror.

Look at your body. That body grew a perfect baby. Lay your hand on your soft belly. Your belly was home for your perfect baby for 9 months. Soak in how beautiful and miraculous your body is.

Because it truly is amazing. It’s done the phenomenal work of bringing a new human life into the world. What could be more impressive than that?

Postpartum Mama, I challenge you to look past the physical imperfections you see. Look and see the amazing work of creation God has done through your body.

As you stand in front of the mirror today, push away all thoughts of dissatisfaction. All the pressure screaming at you to change. Let it go. 

Instead, whisper words of praise and admiration. Look at the beautiful reflection staring back at you and say, “I praise You, God, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.”

Say it every day. Ten times a day. Every time you walk past a mirror. Every time you almost don’t take a selfie. Every time you’re tempted to reject the body you’re living in right now.

Hold onto the joy you experienced when you found out there was new life growing within you. Cling to the excitement of the first glimpse you caught of your baby’s precious face just seconds after giving birth.

Don’t worry about the extra ounces. The extra centimeters clinging to your waist. They’re proof that your body has done miraculous things.

Embrace it, right now. You are fearfully made. You are wonderfully made.

Don’t ever forget it. 

Sara Estabrooks

Hi, I’m Sara!  A former teacher, sometimes artist, Catholic wife, and mom of 3 (with one on the way).  I’m here to open wide the doors of my heart and let you in on my joys, my struggles, my questions, and my life lessons.   My goal is to grow in kindness, love, and prayer, and invite you to grow along with me.  I'm moving forward step by step every day, and I'm so happy you're joining me on this journey. You can find more from me on my blog: To Jesus, Sincerely.