I had this romanticized idea of motherhood. Like… I would be sitting on the couch at 830pm, glass of pinot in hand to reward myself of a job well-done with the baby, another day of parenting in the books, and he (the baby) would be all cozy and nestled into his bed silently passing the hours until morning. I had this vision that I would be able to still live my life I’d just have a cute new tagalong by my side to face the day with. Like being pregnant except alcohol and trampolines allowed. Babies are hard and I knew that, and if you don’t know that don’t worry a thousand people will constantly remind you of it when your pregnant, as if you’ve somehow managed to live life without ever seeing or being around a baby, ever. The hard part about being a mom isn’t the crying and the waking up in the middle of the night, it’s not the diaper changes, or the spit ups, or the peeing in your face, or even the screaming in your ears when they are so overly tired that their tiny bodies literally cannot function. What’s hard is that after all that, the hours have slipped away and another day wraps up, you sling the deadweight of your body onto the bed and pass out before you can even think about a glass of wine. The days seem so long but are gone before you blink at the same time, you will feel like you’ve done a million things but also accomplish nothing. You kind of lose yourself, and you need to hold on to a piece of you otherwise you will go mad. I feel like as moms we forget about looking out for ourselves once they come into the world. And why wouldn’t we? They have us wrapped around their tiny ten fingers the second we see them. But we still need time to ourselves, time to be ourselves, even if only for a half an hour a day. For me, I like to spend that half hour writing. So, here we are, hello reader 🙂
I just passed the 4-month postpartum mark, whoop. I can finally pee without wincing and sit down without a donut pillow-okay I never had a donut pillow, but my doctor and several other people recommended I get one. Recovery for me hasn’t been a breeze, and if I’m being completely honest and possibly at the risk of over-sharing but in the name of informing those who may be wondering what it’s like or in solidarity with those who have had a similar experience… oooof that was a long ass run-on sentence. OK at the risk of freaking you out completely I will say that my “recovery” has not been pretty and has given me PTSD when I think of “dOwN ThEre”. I’m not exaggerating that it took me months to be able to pee without pain. So long in fact that when I went to the doctor 3 months after I’d given birth for an appointment not related to pregnancy or postpartum at all, I cried telling him about my pain. There I was in the most unattractive overhead florescent lighting, legs spread, mask on, eyes tearing up, as my doctor a little too eager says something like “well let’s just take a look”, ladies you know the horror. As I lay there, my shame out the door, lady parts on the table like a lab rat, I half expected him to pop up and say “well mam’ it appears your vagina has fallen off”. Instead he perks up and informs me, that the issue is clear, and that he was going to grab his phone really quick to take a picture! “A fucking what?!” … he assured me in his perky, doctor voice, that it was just for me and my medical records and thought I should see what he saw. The problem was in fact granulation tissue, which is just a fancy word for scar tissue that was supposed to be healed up on the inside of my body, but for some reason it was not. This is actually a common but horrible occurrence in women after childbirth, it can happen if a stitch gets broken or because your body is protesting you, in my case who knows. What came next was worse than the picture he showed me. After he assuredly explained to me that the best way to treat it was by removing it right there on the table using a local anesthetic and some surgical scissors, then cauterizing the ends with silver nitrate, I wished my vagina had just fallen off. The man continued to explain to me that I would feel a thousand times better after he took care of the tissue, I was skeptical, but he was right and by the next day I felt like a new woman. All would not be 100% still, and I went back for further treatment. I had another spot of tissue that needed to be burned with silver nitrate and I went back a third time to have an INJECTION of a steroid mix into an area of scar tissue that was causing some pain. I’m not completely out of the woods yet, as it were but at 4 months and some change PP I’m getting there.
I heard postpartum was a journey completely separate from pregnancy, and all those ladies weren’t kidding. On top of physical recovery, you also have the emotional aspects of navigating a whole new life with you, your partner, and your baby. I feel like it’s obvious, but you are not the same people you were pre-baby, how could you be? You will spend most of the day thinking that you’re not doing anything the right way, and the other half of the day googling things like “why does my baby’s poop have stringy stuff in it”. It’s all a learning process and I’m beginning to realize no one really knows what they’re doing, they just fake it and every day you keep your baby alive and thriving is another job well done. You can try to be the perfect Instagram mom, but if were being as honest as I’ve been, we all know that the insta-mom isn’t even that perfect Instagram mom so we can all just chill out a bit and pat ourselves on the back for keeping our babies alive and happy.
I know I started this post telling you how I never have time or energy for a glass of a wine and that’s true that’s why I switched to cans. Underwood wine please sponsor me! 😉