Not skinny

Having a postpartum body is weird, even 8 months later. And it’s even harder to explain. Towards the end of pregnancy, when my belly was huge, and my breasts were engorged, and I had crazy pressure on my hips, I started to feel like my body wasn’t even mine anymore. I had all these aches and pains, but they weren’t my aches – there was some foreign stressor causing my bones to spread apart, stretching ligaments 3 million miles away from their typical points of attachment, making me uncomfortable as I tried to sit upright, or lay on my back, or stand for longer than 2 minutes. That stressor of course being pregnancy, I knew at least that the end of weird body stuff was near. I knew the baby would come out and everything would go back to normal. Holy hell was I wrong.

(Am I alone here, or does motherhood seem to dole out repeat lesson after lesson stating that every prior concept of normal no longer exists? It’s like every time I hit on a “routine” and make plans around it, everything changes again. I think God wants me to stop being so controlling, but dammit I need some order around here. I digress.)

I’m 8 months postpartum, and I still have weird pregnancy-level body stuff happening. The most distressing is that I’m not skinny.  What the hell?? The baby is out of my bod, but my gut still looks baby bump-esque. I’m doing the breastfeeding thing (though it’s not baby-to-boob, it’s pump phalange-to-boob – but the juices are flowing!), isn’t that some magical weight loss cure?? I am not losing weight breastfeeding. If anything, I’m more blob-like because I am constantly sitting to squeeze nourishment from my nipples. I want to smack the pretty, happy, skinny mommies on Pinterest who tote the beauty of breastfeeding and swear by it’s powerful calorie-burning abilities. STFU, you who have lost all of your baby weight. It’s not because you’re an amazing breastfeeder, it’s your genetics. Yay you. (I mean it, yay you. Just having a pity party with my fupa.)

Not only am I not skinny, but I STILL feel like my body is not my own. I still feel that weird foreign stressor making everything from balance to blackheads more difficult. And I feel like a crazy person because I know there isn’t anything foreign currently in my bod!! Am I even in my body? I don’t know! I’m in a body that I don’t recognize that sometimes feels to me like someone else’s. I might be certifiably crazy, but on occasion, I get the sneaking suspicion that I’m borrowing someone else’s body. I told you this was hard to describe.

Excuse me breasts, the nipples are supposed to point up (or at least both in the same direction). Excuse me bladder, you’re supposed to give me some warning signs before you start leaking hot urine all stingingly down my legs into a sad little puddle on my bath mat, giving me one more thing to do today. Excuse me under eyes, you can go ahead and release that fluid you accumulated in pregnancy ANY TIME NOW. I’ll wait. Excuse me feet, you wear an 8 not a 9.5 – please go back to normal so I don’t have to buy an entirely new wardrobe of shoes. Excuse me stretch mark-lined, flappy-skinned tummy, I love you for growing my boy, but omg please shrink and taut-ify ASAP. Excuse me brain, please stop being so apathetic about my appearance!

WHAT IS HAPPENING?? I was supposed to pop the kid out and then everything was supposed to go back to normal. I can’t even take a selfie without some not-me body part acting out of turn.

CE915508-2773-4A9B-A96C-11E941FDE0A9

Look at that adorable mom and baby – wait, what’s that blobby thing at the bottom of the picture? Oh that’s her postpartum baby belly, complete with stretchmarks. It somehow escaped from its t-shirt to grin for the camera. Awesome.

I am not skinny, and I have no motivation guys. Suggestions welcome.

 

 

Advertisements

10 Adorable Things My Husband Says I Do, Which He Asked Me to Post After Seeing Last Week’s List and Feeling Bad

I swear I wasn’t trying to guilt trip him by posting the original list. I merely find his annoyance humorous. Is that patronizing? He really is a great guy!
Here’s his new list, nearly verbatim (I’ve switched his “You”s to “I”s, and you’ll see parentheses wherever I’ve added my notes):
  1. I wear his clothes (awwww)
  2. I always forget my phone charger downstairs
  3. I stop mid-sentence and have no idea what I was just talking about, but when prompted, I know exactly what I was about to say and finish my sentence.
  4. I make up weird stories to go along with bubba’s picture books (awwww)
  5. I love playing Sudoku and am really good at it! (WAS really good at it. Now the numbers kind of bleed into one another because my eyes are tired.)
  6. I start getting really giggly after one glass, but then I can hold my liquor for several more glasses.
  7. I am into reading my horoscope, and I always read hubs his, too
  8. I do yoga in tight pants (😂)
  9. I write stories about our family. (awwww)
  10. I snore like a little, tiny lamb (I DO NOT)
K, this is an adorable list of adorable stuff I do! A small part of me wonders if he wrote it because he wants to get lucky (might work). But who cares! I feel so loved!

10 Annoying Things My Husband Says I Do

Here’s a list of behaviors of mine about which my husband has recently complained. He was getting so complainy that I started making this list, and I may have used it as evidence of his bad attitude to begin a healthy discussion (see points 5 & 7).
For the record, I think I am a lovely bedfellow – kind and considerate! But, alas, on occasion I annoy my hubs. (Which I don’t find at all insulting, guys.)
  1.  I never, ever clear the microwave clock after using some-odd seconds to zap my coffee.
  2. I hardly ever close the microwave door.
  3. I  leave my clothes strewn about the bedroom, living room, kitchen, car, and garage, and, yet, I never have a sweater when I need one.
  4. I trail off mid-sentence and start thinking and/or talking about something else, and, apparently, sometimes I just leave the room altogether.
  5. I make him talk about feelings.
  6. I drink all the sodas.
  7. I am always right about feelings.
  8. I cook food, take what I want from the pan, and leave the rest on the stove instead of putting it into Tupperware. (Well yea, because I’m assuming he wants some too.)
  9. I thrust my foot in front of his face to signal that I want a foot massage when in any supine position.
  10. I scarf all of the junk food before he even has a chance.

I mean, isn’t all of this stuff adorable though, in that – hey we’re married and have a sweet chubby bubby, ain’t life quirky! – kinda way? We’re so fun and cute! Right? Also, I’m a soda-and-junk-food ADDICT and he knew this when we married. So… Also, talking about feelings is important! (At least this point he concedes. Oh well. He’s not always adorable either.)

I am Lucky: I Don’t Want To Go Back To Work

I’m crying as I type this because I quit my job today so I can stay home with my 5 month old. I’m crying, but really… yaaaaaayyyyy!!!

The moment my little chubba wubba emerged from the womb I was blessed with some other-worldly, divine knowledge in an instant. First, I knew beyond any doubt that I wanted 3 or 4 more of these tiny, sweet, adorable, fleshy little things in my life. (I’ve since been told this is some sort of hormonal response necessary for species survival, but the desire is, inexplicably, still present, though I remain very, very sleep deprived.) And second, I knew beyond any doubt that the 6 weeks of partially paid disability leave my employer was affording me to recover from delivery was not going to be enough time to recover anything whatsoever: not my mind, not my body, not the strange chemical reactions of pregnancy hormones leaving and postpartum hormones taking up shop in my brain and nervous system that was making me crazy, not anything; because – and, here’s something I don’t have to tell other new mothers, but which warrants reiteration for anyone not experiencing this phenomenon – you do not rest and recover for 6 weeks and then go back to normal after having a baby.

In fact, there is no going back to normal AT ALL. You do not, will not, can not go back to the woman you were before having a baby. Instead, you go from being a smart, confident, independent individual, possibly someone quite driven to succeed in her career, for whom taking time off is an effort, to suddenly being this mom person who leaks and sheds and sweats and who cannot for one moment FATHOM being separated from her newborn. A 6 week old can barely lift his head! And is completely dependent on ME! 6 weeks of disability leave is not enough time to recover. (Don’t even get me started on the fact that they call it disability. Having a baby does not make you disabled. Eye roll.)

Luckily in the states we have the Family Medical Leave Act (or FMLA for short), which allows an individual up to 12 weeks a year off when that individual has an affliction for which time off of work is deemed medically necessary – infant bonding is one such affliction. But in my family, even at 12 weeks old, when my newborn was technically no longer a newborn, I was still suffering through the adjustment period of going from individual to mother. At 12 weeks old, bubs was still waking up 4-6 times a night, and sometimes every hour on the hour, I was still pumping breastmilk every 2-3 hours AROUND THE CLOCK, and no one was really sleeping in our house. At 12 weeks old I began to wonder WHO GOES BACK TO WORK RIGHT NOW?? I am so fortunate that I am in a position to take this unpaid time off while my loving, doting husband works himself ragged for our family, but my heart breaks for all the people who simply MUST work after having a baby. HOW ARE THEY DOING THAT??

I am lucky. I had my baby in October 2015 and took 12 weeks of FMLA, finishing out the year. Then I took another 12 weeks of FMLA to start 2016 because by law you get 12 weeks yearly, and you can use your 12 weeks of FMLA as infant bonding in the first year of baby’s life. Which meant I got 12 weeks in 2015 and 12 more weeks in 2016 for a total of 24 unpaid weeks at home with my baby. Unpaid, because FMLA covers job security only. But bubba’s still not sleeping, and I’m still not at all back to my old self, and I am still not emotionally, mentally, or physically prepared to go back to work. But I have to because my time off is over.

So, what do I do? I scour care.com and Facebook mommy pages to find a nanny to stay at my home with my baby. I cry big, fat, salty tears of fear and remorse in the shower, and I get ready for work. I work two full days, vapidly greeting coworkers who are welcoming me back while I’m preoccupied with looking at my phone, willing text message notifications with picture updates from home. I receive said texts, pictures of my baby with the nanny, and they don’t make me feel any better at all. I cry more salty tears, at work this time, and I feel grateful that my job is mostly done over the phone. Then, I get on the phone and start talking about topics that interest me not at all, and I have an epiphany: this is bullshit and an utter waste of time.

I don’t want to be working! Moreover, I don’t want to be working at a job I don’t care about, for a corporation that doesn’t care about me, or my mental health, or my emotional well-being, or my family. To pontificate for a moment, I have ONE life to achieve as much happiness as possible, I have ONE chance to raise my son, and this stage of life is fast, fleeting, and completely temporary! This job is not worth the sacrifice. And honestly, I rationalize, with the cost of childcare my job really doesn’t bring in a whole lot of extra money.

So, I talk to my husband; then, with butterflies flipping around in my stomach, I talk to my boss. And I quit! And I am elated! And I rush right over and fire the nanny, who tells me she had a feeling that would happen. (Smart girl!)

With a deep breath of gratitude, I gaze over at my little chubba wubba, who is just now acquiring strength enough to sit himself upright on his own, and I marvel at the love, sacrifice, and utter devotion of his two parents, and I cry some more big, salty tears, but tears of happiness this time, and I scoop that little boy up and raspberry his tummy so that he giggles and clutches tufts of my hair. And in that moment I know for sure, without any feeling of doubt or guilt, that this was the right decision for my family. Man, I’m lucky.

 

 

Ode to A Mini Fridge

Oh! Mini fridge in my room,

you hum so loud and occasionally boom.

You wake me up, it scares me so;

or, I forget you’re there and stub my toe.

Yet, you are the one to protect the milk;

storing, preserving – of the ice box ilk.

So you stay sputtering, and taking up space,

and leaking on occasion, to mark your place.

“At least it’s better than going downstairs,

at 3am,”  I am told by He Who Dares,

after being led to believe I am the decider

of all things domestic, and he, the provider.

So there you stay, convenient and ugly,

squat, and dented, and chilling smugly.

Oh, mini fridge in my room,

one day soon you will lose your bloom.

 

(OK, I mean, it is convenient. I pump in the middle of the night, every night. And I guess it’s nice that I don’t have to go down to the main fridge. I’ve also started to keep sodas in it for when I’m working and don’t want to run downstairs. And it does have a very small footprint. Maybe if I sit my coffee pot on top of the mini fridge I won’t ever have to leave my room! So, alright, I guess it’s cool. Haha. Get it? Cool? Mini fridge pun! High-five!)

67C20922-F8C0-4D6E-B912-2F45162176B3