This is me. The only me I’ll ever be.
I love finding pretty kerchief tops and grandpa sweaters at thrift stores, I’m happy to drive a Honda with a chip in the windshield, I wear a ponytail almost every day of my life, and I only shave my legs when I know I’ll be wearing a bathing suit. You should see me in the winter. 🙂 I have strong arms, a dimpley butt and thighs, and a momma tummy pooch that I’m proud to have. During and after pregnancy, my body became stronger in some places, more jiggly in others, and I have come to accept the fact that my current body is my new normal. It’s my momma body. And now, everything you never ever wanted to know about me and my body post pregnancy….
My Tummy aka the Momma Pooch:
I was fortunate to not get any stretch marks except a little one in my belly button piercing that I can’t really see anymore. From day 1 of my pregnancy, I rubbed this stuff into my ever-stretching beach ball belly.
I doubt it’s why I didn’t get stretch marks but you better believe I plan on using it everyday again if I ever have another baby because I’m superstitious like that. I also love that now when I use it on my hands, the smell reminds me of being big and round and beautifully pregnant and it makes me smile.
My belly button is completely different than it used to be and I’ll probably never wear a belly button ring again. I’m perfectly fine with that. Meanwhile, my stomach tattoo went completely back to normal.
Some of my innards have been rearranged. I know this because if I step over the baby gate with my right leg first, I pinch a mystery organ that was never there before between my hip bone and my ribs. It’s not a feeling that makes me pump my fists in the air and yell, “hell yeah! Let me do that again…”
For about 7 months post-baby, I had a big gaping hole down the middle of my stomach muscles where they separated which is actually very common from pregnancy. It creeped me out the first time I stuck 4 fingers into my abdomen and almost tickled my spine. Luckily the muscles eventually grew back together with the help of lots of dancing with baby in the kitchen, and good old-fashioned time.
It is physically impossible for me to suck it in like I used to and I’ve pretty much given up trying.
Over a year after having a baby, my linea negra, though faint, is still there from my belly button down.
I’ve accepted the fact that no matter what weight I am, my stomach will now always have a little bulge and never be flat like it was ever again. And I now sometimes find myself noticing other women’s mama tummy pooches, mostly at Babies R Us (go figure), and every time I do, I feel an awesome sense of camaraderie. Us mamas are strong and amazing creatures and our pooches are beautiful little baby houses.
Mom Boobs and Breastfeeding:
In the last 2 years, I have ranged anywhere from a 32B to a 32DD.
Actually in the last 48 hours, I have ranged anywhere from a 32B to a 32DD.
It’s been 14 months and I’ve decided to retire the boobies, I haven’t pumped for 2 days, and I feel guilty for stopping. Summer definitely prefers breastmilk over cow’s milk, this I know. And my guilt is like a little voice in the back of my mind telling me that if I can still give her breastmilk, shouldn’t I? But then I look at my pump and take off running the other way.
I’ve had people tell me I should be proud of myself for keeping the boobies going this long, though this whole time I’ve just kinda felt like it was what was meant to be, my call of duty, and it was just another part of being a new momma.
I had a clogged milk duct the size of a golf ball for a while. It was looked at, felt, prodded, poked with a needle, examined with an ultrasound, and at the end of the day, my doc’s advice was to put a hot washcloth on my boob for 20 minutes then try to press on it until it popped. So I went home, I heated, I pushed, I pressed and pressed and pressed, and just when I was about to give up, I gave it one more good push and it burst inside, almost knocking me into the mirror in the bathroom. It hurt like a mother fucker and my breastmilk was tinged pink and looked like strawberry milk for 2 weeks, but the lump never came back and the doc said the milk was fine for baby.
I recently had thrush from breastfeeding which is basically a yeast infection on the nipples – it involved a lot of fun peeling, red, rawness on cracked nips that burned and itched horrifically. I decided to save the $30 copay to the doctor and take matters into my own hands with some Monistat 7 from Walgreens a few times a day, washing it off before each pumping. It went away after about a week. Oh yeah, the doctor is in, people.
I’ve been strictly pumping for a while now and I’m so so sad that I don’t remember the last time I actually directly breastfed Summer. I wish I had known that the last time was the last time ever, I would have burned the memory into my mind. In fact, a few weekends ago she and I woke up early together and out of curiosity, I offered her a boob thinking perhaps it was like riding a bike and she’d pick up where we left off. Yeah, she looked at me like I was crazy. It’s all good though, my nipples practically invert every time she flashes me a cute little smile full of razor-sharp teeth.
When I was pregnant, I wasn’t sure I wanted to breastfeed. I even watched videos on On Demand about breastfeeding and pumping to try to get me to feel more warm and fuzzy about it and they ended up turning me off even more. Then the day I had her, breastfeeding came so naturally to us and I am so grateful because breastfeeding was the most amazing bonding experience between the two of us I could have ever asked for.
I have yet to share a story with you all about the lactation consultant in the hospital because just thinking about her makes me want to punch her in the throat. Someday perhaps I’ll be able to share without getting the urge to drive back to the hospital mid story and maim her.
Now that I’m pumping so infrequently, I find I’m not nearly as hungry as I have been for the last 2 years. My emotions seem to be in check, too. Not sure if that’s hormonal or coincidence but I know Scott’s happier. 🙂
Other Random Bits of Crazy:
I had a stuffy nose the whole time I was pregnant and it literally cleared up in the hospital within a few hours of having the baby.
All of the weird broken blood vessels in my chest and little skin tags on my neck disappeared within a month of having the baby.
I have a picture on my fridge of me and Scott towards the end of my pregnancy and I can’t believe I didn’t realize at the time how puffy my face was.
After all my hair fell out after having the baby, it finally grew back to a length where it wasn’t sticking straight up again, probably around the 9 month post baby mark. And then I done went scissor happy crazy and cut bangs way too short and had to do it all over again.
I got my period back when Summer was 10 months old and I was still a breastfeeding maniac. Having not gotten it for almost 2 years, I did NOT miss it, especially since my cramps are worse now.
And now even though we are not trying for another baby at this point yet, when I get my period I get a little sad thinking that could have been a sibling for Summer. My period has never had so much significance to me as it does now.
And if you read through all this, you now know more about me than you probably ever hoped for. If anyone has their own mama contributions for the list of post-baby mama stuff/revelations/things you love or hate about your new mama body, I’d love to hear! I’ll just be over here dancing like a maniac to the beat of my momma heart….