‘I had a panic attack before I posted it. My body has fat, it has rolls, it’s got stretch marks from before my pregnancy. But that doesn’t make it any less postpartum.’

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I spent almost 30 years of my life before I got pregnant not caring what I look like, or my body. It took me having my daughter, Maci, to truly understand true love for my body. It took birthing a human, becoming a mother, to understand that our bodies are incredible. The things they can accomplish and do, it’s incredible. I was so nervous the first time I posted my bare stomach saying, ‘this is my body,’ I had a panic attack before I posted it. I was wanting to join in and be a part of something and show that I am capable of loving my body too, even if it’s not the typical body you see labeled as postpartum. Because it has fat, it has rolls, it has more than a stretch mark. It’s got stretch marks from before. It’s got it all. But that doesn’t make it any less postpartum.

The first few weeks of motherhood for me felt very lonely. I was feeling so uncomfortable in my body and was searching for someone, anyone, to relate to. I remember scrolling Instagram almost every day and seeing nothing but perfection. It seemed so easy for everyone else and everyone else didn’t look like me as a plus size mother. I saw other moms celebrating their postpartum bodies, but I could never find another plus size mother who was celebrated in the same way.

Instagram/@Meg.Boggs

A few months ago, I posted my first postpartum belly photo and my messages were immediately flooded with women excited to have found someone sharing from my perspective. It made me realize there are so many just like me out there. It also made me realize there might be another type of journey different than mine that might be out there as well, feeling alone without representation. That’s when this idea started swirling through my mind. I wanted women of all shapes, sizes and experiences to gather together and proudly celebrate our bodies for all that they have done. I wanted this to spread in a way where others would join in so the mother out there who was feeling how I felt, would open up her Instagram and feel like she can love her postpartum body too. That’s when I started the #this_is_posrtpartum project.

I wanted this video to be something all mothers could watch at any moment when they needed to hear those words from all of the women who first joined me in this project. I wanted all mothers to see that this is postpartum, in every size, shape and form.

This Is Postpartum

Twenty mothers. All shapes. All sizes. All experiences. Sharing one mission. To show mothers around the world that they are not alone in their experiences and struggles with accepting and loving their postpartum bodies in whatever shape, size or form they come. #this_is_postpartum

Posted by Meg Boggs Blog on Friday, September 7, 2018

Meg was flooded with responses from other moms who were eager to celebrate their bodies they once struggled to love as well. Below are the photos they had the strength to share, and why they chose to do so.

@thefortintrio 

Instagram/thefortintrio

When I found out I was pregnant with triplets I remember scrolling through pictures of other triplet moms’ before and after pictures wondering how much my body would change. Would I have stretch marks? Would I ever feel comfortable in my own skin again? Would I hate my post baby body?

The truth is my body changed. It changed a lot. I may have “bounced back” (whatever that really means), but my body is not the same, I am not the same. Everything changed.

There comes a point in our postpartum journeys where we have a choice to make. Will you choose to embrace your wounds and love your body for the miracle it did to bring life into this world OR will you be your biggest critic constantly feeding yourself lies about your new body? The reality is, in order for us to fully embrace our postpartum bodies, we must change our perspective and how we see ourselves.

Yes, my body has changed. Yes, it has taken time for me to feel beautiful, strong, sexy, and confident in this new body. But I prayed for these wounds. I longed for these tiger stripes. There was a time during my infertility where I would desire to have had C-sections over and over just to have a baby in my arms. When I look at my hope wounds, I will remember the other women out there waiting, hoping, wishing for the same kind of hope wounds. I will choose to embrace them for what they are because they are apart of my story and brought me my miracles.

Whoever you are and wherever you are in your postpartum journey, always remember you’re beautiful, your body is amazing, and you’re a great mama. This is postpartum. I hope other women are encouraged and inspired through this project to celebrate their bodies and be kinder to themselves.

@moderndaywonderland

Instagram/moderndaywonderland

This is such an important project because it reminds us that we all have our own experiences when it comes to this postpartum journey. We need to remember that everyone’s journey is unique, and absolutely beautiful. Motherhood comes in all shapes and sizes, and because of this we are able to see so many different stories and inspiring messages. I think that this movement gives mothers a stronger sense of community, and reminds us that it is ok to have wrinkles, stretch marks, scars, and every other beautiful marking that comes with a well lived life. Talking about and embracing our bodies and journeys reminds us that we are all together on this crazy adventure.

@thegarciadiaries

Instagram/@thegarciadiaries

This project means so much to me for so many reasons. The narrative on postpartum women HAS to change, it just has to. There are so many unreasonable expectations and I hope this movement helps all of us realize that we are in this TOGETHER. There is no “right” way to look or feel postpartum. This is my reality: cellulite, stretch marks, rolls on rolls, a messy toddler, a newborn who doesn’t sleep unless I’m holding her, matted hair, and so much love.

@katiemcrenshaw

Instagram/@katiemcrenshaw

I was passionate about joining this project, as a blogger who maintains a tone of authenticity and is known for her “straight-talk.” I’m an advocate for self-love and positive body image, especially after becoming a mother. Social media and media in general have set a dangerous precedent for what “normal” looks like for new moms. We are here to change the narrative.

This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Meg Boggs of Dallas. Do you have a similar postpartum experience? We’d love to hear your journey to self-love. Submit your story here, and subscribe to our best stories in our free newsletter here.

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