Tomorrow I will have been not-pregnant with Fae as long as I was pregnant with Fae. It’s a milestone, something to think about, her birth like center of a see-saw and at this moment everything is balanced. But my body is not a mirror of itself from 18 months ago. I don’t think it ever is. (Looking at my 9 months pp post after Gabe is a shock. I look SO GOOD omg! And young! And ugh….)
3 days before giving birth to Fae. My last profile shot pregnant.
1 week postpartum.
Pregnancy is weird. What our bodies go through and recover from is strange. How can we be ballooned out like that and then snap back like a rubber band? Well, it’s not exactly as quick as a rubber band.
2 weeks postpartum.
This time the whole recovery process feels slow. It was slow right out of the gate. Everything was sore longer, my hips and groin felt fatigued for months. Walking was slow. Getting back into a workout routine was slow. Everything slow.
My tummy skin is still weird and soft. Weird meaning different and inexpiable. When I am on my back it is soft like jello. I can jiggle it around. When I sit it folds in on itself and I have a few tire rolls. In the evenings I can still look 3 months pregnant, a little pooch. Some clothes fit, some clothes don’t. Sometimes I can buy in my old size and sometimes nothing fits right at all. I am less than 5 lbs above my pre-pregnancy weight but that has never made any difference when it comes to postpartum recovery. It’s not the number, it’s the shape.
9 months postpartum.
My boobs are soft and hang low. They are still recovering from 6 months of breastfeeding. My skin all over has lost its firmness. I think I remember that that is hormonal. I have been working out hard for the last month. Since I stopped breastfeeding I amped up the workouts, amped up the strengthening, and have been paying closer attention to what I eat.
For the last month Kamel and I cut out alcohol and desserts. Except when the world calls for it. Which is a lot less than my 1 beer a day and sometimes a pack of M&Ms that I found in the cupboard. The annoying thing is that it didn’t make much of a difference. Well, not on the scale anyway. I think working out helps my elasticity. It helps my feel sane, it helps me feel strong and energized. It puts parts of me back where they belong.
For months after giving birth I had incontinence issues. Jumping made me pee. Running made me pee. It was a horrible feeling and very demoralizing when you go to the park to jump rope on your lunch and leave after 30 seconds because you’ve peed. Thankfully, at 9 months out that has greatly reduced. I can do jumping jacks and high knees and all the normal working out stuff with mostly not feeling like I’m going to pee. Sometimes I still do a little. We aren’t superheroes.
I’m not on any birth control. I just want my body to be. I don’t want to put anything in it or take any pills or mess with anything. This is me, whatever works for you – you do you. But it means that we are more at risk for pregnancy. What was that I had said about vasectomy? Well that didn’t happen. Won’t happen. But that’s not my story to tell. The other day I was a little late, and I thought… hmm… what if I’m pregnant? I struggle with having a third all of the time. I love my kids, I want a million of them. There are just so many factors and a lot more cons than pros. Minus the part where the pro is another AMAZING HUMAN. Ugh. Well, anyway… there was a moment where the possibility of being pregnant was kind of a little bit more possible than usual, and I had this moment of pure, clear as day, sickening panic. I do not want to be pregnant again. I do not I do not I do not. (Do I? No. Right? Right.)
In 9 months I have lost 45 lbs.
My stretch marks have faded to white, though I still finger the scars from time to time.
My breasts have expanded to 2 sizes bigger and then shrunk back down to sad little deflated balloons.
My rings all fit comfortably again.
My hair is growing back and the regrowth is about 2 inches long. Still so fucking annoying.
I am still about 1 size above my usual pants size, though I squeeze myself uncomfortably into old pants and muffin top the shit out of them.
My vagina is good. My back is getting there. My strength is almost back.
Nine months in, nine months out. What we live through, what we are able to thrive through is phenomenal.