Some days I am filled with pride. Pride for my beautiful daughter, pride for being able to nourish her with my body alone, pride for having put my body through hell to be in heaven. Most of the time nothing else matters other than this feeling. My world revolves around Cadence and my life is better because of that. 

Some days, though, I really get a good look at the woman in the mirror. She has bags under her eyes. Her skin is dry and neglected. Her hair is a mess and probably hasn’t been washed in a couple days. Her breasts are not as “cute” as they were before they went through pregnancy and now breastfeeding. Her stomach has stretch marks and excess skin and fat from having grown a child, the scar from her c-section is a dark purple-black color, and she wonders if that will ever fade. 

This is hard. Pregnancy was hard. Loving this new version of myself is hard. Being a mom is really fucking hard. What keeps me going is that it was all worth it. Everyone told me it would be, but I didn’t know until I caught myself staring at my daughter while she slept, or until she smiled at me for the first time. I can get through the part where I can’t stand to look at myself some days. I can get through the emotional turmoil my hormones have left me with. I look at my baby now, sound asleep with a pacifier dangling halfway out of her little mouth, and I love her. I see her blue eyes and I love her. I feel her soft skin and I love her. I look at my baby and hope that she never feels like her happiness should be determined by how beautiful she is or isn’t. But she is, and her two mothers will always make sure she feels it. 
I am changed. Physically for sure. Emotionally forever.

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