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A Letter to My Mom Bod

Photograph by Twenty20

After reading Julia Cheiffetz's "Letter to My Body on My Daughter's Second Birthday," I was inspired to write a letter to my "mom body"—calling some parts out but thanking the rest.

Dear Vagina,

Hmmm, something's different about you. I can't quite put my finger on it. Oh, wait! I remember. You ballooned to 26 times your normal size and let a baby with a 96th-percentile head circumference float through you like you were some sort of fetal Lazy River. A few stitches and a few dozen license plate-sized frozen maxi pads later, and you were … not as good as new, but as good as could be expected. But you soldiered through our VBAC, and for that, I am grateful. Most of my friends have to squeeze before they sneeze, and I usually don't, so thanks for that. I promise to bring good magazines to read in 15 years when we're spending more time in the pelvic PT waiting room.

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Dear Age Spot on My Cheek,

Don't get too comfortable. The minute I'm done nursing, I'm booking a dermatologist appointment, scoring an arsenal of prescription-strength anti-aging drugs and sending you back where you came from.

Dear Boobs,

It's been a phenomenal four years. It was love at first sight when you swelled from a small B to a small C with our first pregnancy. Perky, full, bouncy and all sorts of lovely. And then, when our milk came in four days postpartum, it was the absolute shock of my life. I've never experienced anything like it—slowly trudging into the hospital bathroom, undressing for a shower and seeing Christina Hendricks' torso staring back at me in the mirror. Nursing Baby No. 1 for 13 months was one of the coolest, most awe-inspiring and fulfilling experiencing of my life: You made that happen.

The two of you are like Arnold Schwarzenegger and Danny DeVito in 'Twins'—related, but surprisingly so.

After weaning, you shrunk down and were flimsier than before; we visited Victoria's Secret for a proper fitting and stocked up on bras with the phrase "Add-2-cups" on the tag. There was that one unfortunate night where we went out dancing for a friend's birthday and you couldn't even fill half of the cups of my trusty black bustier top; I placed gym socks in the bottoms of both cups, gently laid you on top and hoped for the best. But I didn't mind, because you had worked so hard, and you deserved a rest.

Following daughter No. 2's delivery, you filled back up with milk, but not nearly as forcefully this time around. You were big, but not rock-hard, porn-star big. Milk didn't spurt out like a sprinkler, turning our family room into a lactating Jackson Pollock painting or fill my Medela bottles like geysers, but you got the job done. Fourteen months later, Lefty is still going strong, but Righty, you seem tired. You've lost a lot of weight. The two of you are like Arnold Schwarzenegger and Danny DeVito in "Twins"—related, but surprisingly so. Once we wean, we'll reassess the situation, maybe take you on another bra shopping spree. I've pondered implants, but there's the moral dilemma of how I can instill confidence in our daughters and teach them that inner beauty is what matters, but not exactly follow that advice myself. Whatever happens, know this: You are rockstars.

Dear Legs,

Oh, how far you've fallen. You used to be my best feature—as long as Julia Roberts' legs in "Pretty Woman" and able to rock short skirts with no tights or nylons necessary. Remember the tight dresses and knee-high boots we wore in the early '00s, when we danced on stage at clubs until 4 a.m.? Now, you're still long and you're definitely strong from all of the toy-gathering squats I do, but you've become roadmapped with spider veins that popped up during Pregnancy No. 1 and went seriously downhill with Pregnancy No. 2. They're like gremlins, those veins; the slightest bit of water and they multiply—little purple and red branches make me look like I've been participating in Muddy Buddy races that leave me perpetually battered and bruised. You've become mom legs. Which makes sense, I guess, because I'm a mom. But still.

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Dear Abs,

I have nothing but love for you, actually. You refused to let stretch marks take over and bounced back shockingly quick from both pregnancies. I barely notice our C-section scar, and when I do, it reminds me of that happy day and legitimately brings a smile to my face. (Although I never understood why the OB didn't take the extra step to make it symmetrical.) No, abs, you are not pancake-flat. But you look great, and can still rock a two-piece. Sorry I ignore you during workouts, but the day care at our gym only gives me an hour, and between cardio, weights and showering, you usually get the shaft. Maybe we'll sign up for a free week of core power yoga soon.

Dear Hair,

Where did you go? Come back.

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