My body doesn’t feel like my own. My baby is ten months old, and I’m still getting used to the way my formerly taut stomach has loose skin that pools and puckers. My baby is ten months old, and I’ve stopped nursing, but I know my breasts will never be the same, more full than before, but deflated still. My baby is ten months old, and after months of losing my hair, I’m now trying to tame the baby hairs that have sprouted along my hairline.
My son knows this new body better than I do. When having his bottle, he runs his pointer finger along my clavicle back and forth back and forth. He’s so close to walking, and uses my body to steady himself before taking a step. When I’m rocking him in my arms at bedtime, he curls his right arm behind my back and reaches his left arm up to touch my lips or run his fingers through my hair. When he’s sleepy or scared, he sucks on his middle and ring fingers, clutching my chest with his other hand. His place of comfort and safety is my source of shame.
My body is as familiar to my son as his own, I suppose because he knows it was home. But when will I start to become used to this body?