Post Cards from the Edge

PostPartum Missives, maybe is a better title.  Only because Postcards From the Edge has already been taken.

I forgot a hundred things about being a new mom in the last six years. But I remembered one.  New moms put hormonal teenagers to shame.  I am out of my fucking mind.  Carrie Fisher style.  Crazy.  But lucid enough to know it. Carrie Fisher crazy without the booze.

But this time it has not taken me by surprise.  Four days.  I made it four days on virtually no sleep before I asked MQD to just sit by me.  He held my hand and I  wept.  First quiet, reverent, emotionally charged tears.  And then big, fat sobby, snot running down my face in to my mouth tears.  “What’s wrong, babe?”

“I have no idea.  I am pretty sure nothing.  I just started to cry and now I can’t stop. ”  MQD handed me some tissues and he sat back down next to me.

He sat back down.  And he held my hand.  And I smiled.  Because he sat back down.

Aside from a general state of crazy… the last few days have been unbelievable.  Eventually the weepy “I am so in love with this baby and my family is complete now” post will come.  But I haven’t had a chance to process all that yet.  Next week, after my family leaves, before MQD’s arrives, while Emily is in school and I can get my “stare at Lucy and contemplate my love for her” on it will come… but today all I have is some observations regarding my postpartum self.

Since my post regarding grooming was such a hit I figured I’d share this.  If you’ve ever ordered a draft beer  in a cheap pizza place then you will know what I am talking about.  The big mug arrives.  Oh, a frosty mug of beer.  Delightful.  And you pick it up to raise it to your lips and HOLY SHIT, you almost zing beer over your shoulder on to the backs of the people sitting in the booth behind you because it is so much lighter than you’d anticipated.

I climb in the shower yesterday, hair washed, face washed.  Listen for Lucy.  I hear quiet from the bedroom.  I picture MQD snuggling with our sweet girl in bed.  Drip, drip, drip go the boobs, no harm no foul.  We are in the shower.   I have five more minutes to shave my legs.  And I grab my razor, lift my foot up to the corner of the shower (where I propped my foot before I could only reach the side of the tub) and HOLY SHIT if I was a cheap plastic mug of beer I’d have been ass over head on my back in the shower.  Without the giant stomach to stop me,  body still hopped up on relaxin, the hormone that makes your joints limber for an easier labor….  I can damn near put my foot behind my ear from a standing position.  Stretch marks, stitches and a total absence of abdominal muscles makes this a much less appealing visual than it might have been at nineteen…but nonetheless, I had a smile as I imagined my post-pregnancy body… not too different from a cheap plastic mug of beer.  It’s no frosty pint glass.  But at least it’s beer.

Feeling rather full of myself I jumped out of the shower.  And took the first long look in the mirror. At 29, after Em was born I had high hopes.  Aspirations of bouncing right back to my pre-baby body.  This time, I know better.

Yesterday I pulled all of the super pregnant third trimester maternity pants out of my closet.    And I replaced them.  With the super comfortable elastic waist band pants of early pregnancy.  Elastic waistbands, we’re thick as thieves, you and me.

I’m not going to turn my back on you just yet.  We can’t stay friends like this forever. But for now… please take good care of my belly.  Do what you can to not let it fold over your elasticy goodness.  No one needs to see that.  And I promise to keep you covered with a tank top as often as possible, choosing to pull my boobs out the top of my shirt instead of lifting up my shirt to expose myself as an elastic pants wearer.

In the meantime, I will try to see past the stretch marks and the belly and the big black circles under my eyes.  And I will try to remember the wondrous thing my  body did for me less than a week ago.   You gave me my Lucy Quinn, body.   So I will give you a couple of months of elastic pants.  But just a couple.

A couple of years after Em was born  I had the pleasure of stumbling in to this website – The Shape of  a Mother.   I struggled with posting this picture today and then was reminded of the brave women that came before me, telling their stories.  Stories of birth and rebirth, of love and fear and shame and pride and all the emotions in between.

I have been honest about so much of this journey.  And this is where I am today.  Six days post-partum.  Weepy.  Joyful.  Falling in love a hundred times a day.

27 responses to “Post Cards from the Edge

  1. Thank you for posting that picture. You look so beautiful and you hesitated to let anyone see you like that. I need to learn something from that for sure.

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  4. Brittan Gotbeter

    What a beautiful journal entry. Just read this one and your final birth story. Thank you for sharing so much of your heart. You look amazing for 6 days ppd. As a mom whose had 3 c sections I love to read beautiful vaginal birth stories, sort of living through you..Thankful for my healthy 3 babies but probably always longing for that moment, my hands under their arms, pulling them up to me. What a beautiful moment! Congrats again!

    • Thank you for reading, Brittan. Having had two very different labor and deliveries I can say that the moment you hold your newborn is the same no matter how they get there. But it makes me feel good to think I could share my story with you.

  5. You make me happy! That is all.

  6. We are not back to normie weight right after popping. So kudos to you recognizing that your body is still working hard.

    Oh, you are totally reminding me what I am in for in…34 weeks! Keep ’em coming!

  7. mommysaidaswearword

    This is an amazing post. Beautiful and hysterical and honest. I am glad I found you (through The Waiting, of course). I’ll be reading.

  8. LOVE this so so much. You are so brave to post this pic of you being so beautiful. Oh wait, you look friggin amazing so I kind of hate you (No I don’t. Please don’t cry. I love you.) ;)

  9. Beautiful post! Sometimes I feel like my body is The Other, too, and then I just remember all it’s busy doing right now and I can’t help but love it through the pain and annoyances it gives me.

    I am nominating you for the 7×7 Link Award because your blog is awesome. Congratulations!

  10. That there is One Hot Mama!

  11. Oh how I look forward to your posts….you’ve gone from the “read real quick before class since I just got to school 1.3 seconds before the 1st block bell” email pile, to the “SAVE, MARK UNREAD, SAVE UNTIL PLANNING BLOCK” email pile.
    LOVE IT.

  12. Beautiful inside and out…look at that smile. I miss you all.

  13. Just want to add that a women I admire quite a lot told me that your milk generally comes in the same day as the tears. (hugs) -serena

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  15. GIRL you look FABULOUS! Don’t let that crazy hormonally whacked out brain of yours tell you ANY DIFFERENT! BEAUTIFUL!!!! Now go sit back down and relax!

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