One year after the birth of my child, I’m still perplexed by the postpartum body I’ve been left with. In fact, I barely give my reflection more than a quick glance – if seeing is believing, I don’t want to believe.
It’s not just the layer of fat that has grown on me as if I’m still carrying babies in my belly, back and thighs. My shoulders seem permanently widened and I wish my broadened hips would lie.
Nothing could have prepared me to be a mom. Sure, other parents warned me I could forget about uninterrupted sleep, taking long baths, or having any time to pamper myself. And while all these things became very true when my son was born, I didn’t mind.
Giving up small luxuries (that I completely took for granted before) was part of being a mom in my opinion. So what if my showers are so quick and haphazard that I sometimes mistake the toothpaste for face wash? It’s my job to sacrifice! I have to do everything to take care of my son!
I was able to continue in this manner for a few months until…
Before I had a child, breasts were merely for hanging out of too-tight tops in the hopes of luring a man. I suppose that tactic worked because one of those men became my husband. Now I’ve come full circle as those same breasts are still hanging out of too-tight tops (due to leftover pregnancy weight) to lure another man – this time of the baby variety.
Being a breastfeeding mom has been one of the most difficult and rewarding experiences of my life. My son has confounded and surprised me in every possible way. One day he screams for the boob, the next day he screams to get off it. He used to reject my left side, now he favors it. He initially used to hate my fast milk flow, now he fusses if it comes too slow.
However, all these issues pale in comparison to the most important part of breastfeeding:
What the heck do I wear?!
It’s a miracle that I’m even able to type these words with my little miracle permanently affixed to my breast, burp cloth hanging off my shoulder, and spit up all over my shirt because burp cloths are actually useless for catching the many mysterious things that babies eject.
But here I am, writing my first post since I became a mother. The keyboard feels strange as my hands have mostly been used to help release trapped air from my baby’s belly. The computer screen looks fuzzy given the lack of sleep in the eight weeks since I gave birth. I should get a medal for being able to compose coherent sentences since it also seems that I won’t be sleeping for the next 18 years since giving birth.