“I have had a complex and complicated relationship with my body; in addition to being visible as a Black woman, I have always been one of the largest bodies in a given room. I lost a bit of weight in my early and mid 20s but, like nearly every person who tries intentional weight loss, I gained it all back and then some within a few years.
I was at my highest adult weight when I got pregnant and gained more weight during the pregnancy than was socially acceptable. Still, I adored pregnancy because it gave me a perspective that I sorely needed: for the first time, I had to trust that my body would gain the weight it needed to properly nourish and sustain my growing baby. For the first time, I paid attention to my body’s hunger and satiety cues rather than trying to follow a set diet or schedule
Now, at almost eight weeks postpartum, I can say that I have more love and respect for my body than I’ve ever had before. The process of carrying and delivering my daughter proved that the trust I had in my body was well-placed and that the number on the scale is not a valid indicator of my health or physical ability.
My postpartum journey has been typical from what I can tell, but it has also radically changed me. I expected to change, of course, but I did not expect that change to be as complete as it has been. There is no aspect of my life - physical, mental, or emotional - that has escaped unscathed.
I did not expect for every part of myself to be so attached to this new life. Audrey is more than my offspring — it’s as though I’ve grown a new limb or organ, some part that is so essential to me that I have no idea how I survived without it before.
It is perfectly OK to doubt yourself, even if it’s taken you years to get to the point of parenthood. No one knows quite what they’re doing at first, and it isn’t easy for anyone. Everyone has their struggles; not everyone will be open about them.
I am a fat queer Black woman. My story is real and valid but I hardly ever see it, let alone see it celebrated. I wanted to commemorate the birth of my child and celebrate my entry into parenthood at the intersection of these identities.”