At eight months post-partum ( + post-surgery + post-illness), my body is pretty much back to its steady state. There are some enduring changes: scars, loose skin. I’m thankful for my Cesarean scar as a permanent reminder of my son’s presence in my body, especially as the more transient reminders drift away. I had a very dark, thick, adorable linea nigra. I thought it might last forever, but it’s started to fade over the past three weeks.

After a lot of painful work to loosen and soften my big, deep scar, I can finally hold a plank without pain at my incision (except when my bladder is full, and except when I have menstrual cramps). After countless wonderful but strenuous physical therapy sessions, massages and yoga classes, my normal posture is back.

At times that progress and recovery is exciting. I feel more powerful and physically present. Sometimes, that inspires a bit of hope and optimism.

In some moments, though, living in this babyless body breaks my heart open all over again.