WHAT TO EXPECT AFTER EXPECTING
For a six weeks I have slept no more than three hours a night. I don’t mean three consecutive hours either. Exhaustion is an understatement, though it is the only word I can conjure to articulate what I currently feel. My boobs are the size of something resembling a woman in a national geographic photograph, wearing a basket on her head, going topless, with a baby strapped to her body. Milk pours out, unless of course I want to pump and leave bottles for the baby sitter, who is actually here so that I can sleep, not go out. Having had a C-section, my abdomen has a rather unusual looking belly flap, which hangs over the incision that brought forth these precious girls I carried for 36 weeks. Both my children and my belly are stunning for entirely different reasons. A friend, having had the same cut on her middle torso, coined it, a “front butt”. How sadly accurate she is. The weight, I felt certain I would shed almost immediately, seems to be a bit more fond of me than I am of it. My ankles can now be seen, you know the actual bone, which for months was disguised by a pool of excess fluid. However, now my lower legs wont let go of this extra puffiness. I keep telling my body, ‘you are not a mermaid, there is no need to act as though you have a leg, when you in fact have two, plural. We don’t have to mush them together as though they are one.’ Forget about wearing my wedding rings, they haven’t fit for months. Every so often I try, but only get as far as my knuckle. Everyone says, this will pass, but sitting right here in the middle of it, I feel as though I’m in a stagnant pond, not a flowing river. The only thing that I actually pray will pass, is the gas trapped in my babies bellies, which causes them to burst out into a distress cry strong enough to summons emergency services, at which point I am acutely reminded that I am the emergency services they are crying out for. The world as it once was no longer exist. Everything and I mean everything has changed. Apparently there is a name for this condition. It is called MOTHERHOOD.
Why does no one speak of this struggle? Are we, as women, ashamed to admit that its hard? Do we not want anyone to think we can’t do it? As if it isn’t enough just trying to be a mother, why on earth would we bury ourselves in shame, refusing to let each other in on the truth. Let’s face it, they write books about lots of things surrounding the world of pre and post natal care, about child rearing and child bearing, but rarely does anyone talk about the reality of WHAT TO EXPECT AFTER EXPECTING. Let’s tear down these walls, along with the idea that we are all going to be pushing strollers with sleeping infants in our pre-pregnancy workout shorts, going out for a little post-pardom jog. (By the way, since we are telling the truth, I didn’t wear work out shorts before I was pregnant. I haven’t actually worn shorts in like 15 years. Just saying.)
It’s time to bring it up, lay it all out on the table, get real, get honest, and be brave. We must dare to expose all of our parts, even our “front butts”. The only way we can get it wrong, is if we do it alone. We need each other, leaking boobs, crowe’s feet, burning eyes, fluid retaining parts and all. Together we can not only get through it, but laugh while we are in it, and possibly avoid things like, oh you know, a psychotic break.
Blogs that I love: http://momastery.com/
*** coming soon: a site for mamas being created by two of us southern mamas (me, aka: Burnz and Tayla Lynn, aka: Turts) figuring out how to sing, song-write, live, love, and raise these babies…. be on the lookout. www.taylalynn.com