Friday, September 30, 2011

TMI: The Post-Partum Body

Here beginneth the third chapter of the Book of Yoga Pants, wherein I battle back from my I-bore-a-baby body one final time. 

At the moment, my body is a strange assortment of lumps and bumps. There is dough everywhere. It is a study in fabric draping, except that it is not fabric hanging around, it is my skin. 
Until just a few days ago, my incision was still covered in steri-strips. There were so many of them that they looked like a row of long, skinny teeth smiling across my lower abdomen. It was a pretty goofy smile. Half cute, half horror flick. The strips itched like crazy, and I am so happy they are gone. My body is all mine again now.

The incision site is still a bit temperamental--stinging and pulling one moment, and then the next it seems to be without nerve endings at all, as though nothing ever happened. 
And yes, there’s a flappy underbelly thing going on. I know it will be with me for a long, long time.
My breasts are on fire a lot of the time. They weigh about 8 pounds each. They hurt so much and get so engorged that they are hot to the touch. Thankfully, Bronwen doesn’t seem to mind. I am fantasizing about the cabbage leaf and quark treatment. My chest pulls me over with its weight. It gives me headaches. Pumping helps.

The breast weight and my hesitancy to really stand up straight and stretch out my lower abdomen make me feel like I am walking around like the hunchback of Notre Dame. This, in turn, makes my back ache. I am trying to channel my two grandmothers and stand up tall and proud, rolling those shoulders up and back and down...
I long to exercise. I satisfy myself with meager walks around the neighborhood. 

I am attempting to make healthy eating choices, but I will be the first to admit that there are way too many carbs and sweets in the rotation these days.

I know, I know. I can already hear you. I'm not even three weeks post-partum. People tell me I'm looking great (and I love them for it), and for the most part I am in fact pretty well. But underneath the surface, underneath the clothing, is a body which is a foreign landscape to me right now. I am doing my best to be patient with it, but we all know patience is not my greatest strength.

I am trying to treasure all that comes with renewed mommyhood--and I really, truly treasure so much right now--but the physical limitations are making me crazy. Just a little. A manageable crazy. A typical "me" level of crazy.

Yours from the couch,
The GM

1 comment:

Natalie Cannon said...

First off, I miss the GM! It's nice to know someone else going through similar post baby... stuff. You are inspiring that you want to jump into life so quickly. I mostly look for excuses for why I can't just yet. :) Jason knows I'm competitive though and just challenged me. The first of us that loses 20 lbs gets 200 bucks to spend however they want. Stamps here I come:)

Your post reminded me of a conversation with a friend a long time ago. She had been putting off kids cuz she was afraid of all the pain involved and asked why we have to suffer such pain in child birth. That conversation began a long journey of realization of what it means to me to be a woman and how significant it is to have children. One of the end results is that women have the opportunity to be co-creators with God and saviors of mankind. One of the things that made Jesus Christ THE Savior was the physical pain he endured in the Garden of Gethsemane. He endured physical pain for us. In order to bring children into this world we also sacrifice physically for them. Whenever I am unhappy with the physical pain and form associated with birthing, I think about the spiritual significance of what I've done for them. Makes me feel a little better about the lumps and bumps. They are more a badge of honor then ugly eyesores:) Your blog entry helped me to remember that. I love your honesty and plain speaking. I miss the GM! Wish we weren't all so far away.