I’ll be honest, getting ready for the day has never been something I’ve ever been really any good at doing. My thirtyfourth birthday is swiftly approaching and more than anything all I want is to feel like a grownup. And for whatever reason, part of being a grownup in my mind has always included a solid self-care regimen.

Surprisingly, in the days since being home from the hospital, I’ve taken better care of myself than I ever have. Showering upon waking, massaging cream and healing ointments into my skin, tending to my delicate and temperamental complexion, drinking lemon water throughout the day, braiding my hair before bed, even stretching before I sleep. It seems odd to say, but the truth is I haven’t felt this well in a long while.

It’s no secret that pregnancy has always been a tremendously difficult experience for me and this pregnancy was no different. As a matter of fact, I was so overcome with hyperemesis gravidarum that I wound up in the hospital needing IV fluids on two different occasions. It’s easy to live in sweats when most of the day is spent puking. These days I’m dressed almost before anyone else wakes up.

I’m sure it has something to do with self-preservation, an instinctual need to tend to my own well being in a time of great personal loss, almost as if to say that I myself am not lost. That I’m worth the few minutes it takes to wash and moisturize my face. There is gratitude in the simple act of caring for oneself, and I’m grateful to this body of mine for all that it has done, all that it has endured, and all that it will carry me through for all the rest of my days.

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