When I look at you I want to cry.

 

You look unrecognisable from what you were before I had children. You’ve changed in so many ways (and not for the better) and look so different from the way you used to. I hardly see the body I had before anymore.

 

But you gave life to my three children and for that I am grateful.

 

For decades I wanted bigger boobs but when you gave them to me all I can think about is how much I hate shopping for underwear that looks like scaffolding for a small building. And let’s not even mention the fact that they aren’t quite where they used to be.

 

But you nourished my three children and for that I feel blessed.

 

Three babies and two c-sections mean that what once was flat is now flabby and overhanging. My stomach looks like a deflated balloon and my pre-maternity jeans sit gathering dust in a drawer that hasn’t been opened in months. As for underwear post baby, I used to be able to wear sexy lingerie but now I’m in knickers that my nan would be proud of.

 

But you nurtured my three children and for that I feel admiration.

 

Stretch Marks, dry skin, hair loss and exhaustion seem to be the legacy you’ve left me with after pregnancy. I can’t remember the last time I didn’t look tired and I’m baffled as to why you think that my hips need to stay 3 dress sizes wider than before now my babies have come out.

 

But you protected my three children and for that I feel thankful.

 

My wrists and hands hurt from the relaxin you’ve released into my system to help my body prepare for childbirth and the thought of doing a single sit up is frankly laughable. If I bend down to change a nappy my back hurts so much I feel like I’m 90.

 

But you birthed my three children and for that I feel proud.

 

You see, you’ve given me something so precious, so incredible and so beautiful that yes, sometimes when I look at you I cry.

 

You’ve given me a body that has strength, resilience and power. You’ve given me a body that can take the strain of pregnancy, cope with exhaustion and recover from major surgery. You’ve given me a body that created three amazing lives, carried them for nine months and that now spends every day raising them.

 

You have given me more than I can ever repay you for, not once, not twice but three times and asked for nothing in return. You never quit. You give me the strength to keep going on only a few hours sleep and don’t complain when I fuel you with cans of coke and chocolate because I forgot breakfast. Again.

 

So that is why I sometimes cry. Because no one can ever do more for me than you have or will. No one will support me more, get me through or keep me going. No one can match the gift that you have given me, three times. And for that I love you more than words can say.