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.