Today my baby boy is one week old. Since his birth I’ve spent every moment of the day and night drinking him in with my eyes, studying his features, learning his personality. There are moments that I can’t even believe he’s real! I can’t imagine our lives without him and in a way, it is as if he was always with us – a part of me that I have always known but never been able to touch until now.
In just seven short days he has taught me so much about life. When he was born, I was reborn. His birth was miraculous, there is no other way to explain. And now, after it all, I stand in the mirror – a new person – and I almost don’t recognize the woman who stands before me. My once flat and firm then round and full belly is replaced with a soft, padded space that cushions the tiny frame of my newborn as he rests upon me, skin on skin. My breasts, which never called much attention to themselves, now provide the sole nourishment sustaining my infant boy’s life. I’m cracked, slightly torn and a little sore but overwhelmed by a joy and love that trumps any discomfort of the early days. It was this body – fully spent – that brought forth such life into the world. He has taught me that our bodies – although beautiful – serve a higher purpose than merely being ornamental , they are meant for divine work. Our bodies are tools that bring the sacred to earth and allow us to experience the presence of holiness in the world. Whether climbing the world’s tallest mountains or birthing babies, it is our bodies that allow us to experience all that this life has to offer.
Although this body is forever changed, I find myself breathing in a renewed sense of strength and capability. I am growing into my namesake – Tara: she who brings forth life! And even though I may not recognize my body, it is my husband who has taught me that I am still sexy, even though I have changed. Or maybe I am sexy because I have changed. All I know is that I am forever changed.