So, uh…I hate my post-partum body.
Two months and five days after having had Peanut, I am mostly back to my original size, but the body I once had (and loved) is a lumpy, misshapen shadow of its former self.
Where do I begin? I haven’t any stretch marks, but my stomach looks like a deflated black balloon, sagging and dark after having been stretched and distended for the better part of nine months. My thighs, once strangers, now chafe and rub like two sticks making a fire. And at least once or twice a week, someone comments on how much wider my hips have become. While I have never been busty, I loved my pre-baby A-cups (and my A+ cups during), but in such a short span of time, regular pumping/hand-expressing have already taken their toll. Once firm and perky, my feeders are now kind of squishy and a little bit sad-looking.
Nothing fits. I still can’t squeeze into my clothes pre-Aisha, but all of my pregnant-sized attire is either too big or too loose. My c-section scar alternately throbs and stings, so anything that fits at my waist or lower is out.
But it’s not just the *visible* after-effects of pregnancy that have me down.
My knees are shot. I have a very small frame, and even in early pregnancy, an extra 10-15 pounds in front drastically affected my centre of gravity. A surplus 45 turned a once sexy strut into an awkward waddle. The giant beach ball I was carrying two months ago has given way to a bouncing baby girl, and some seriously sore joints. My skin, once smooth and mostly unmarked, is plagued by keratosis pilaris. I feel like a walking book of braille. Every time I rub my hands over my legs, I sigh.
* * *
I had my six-week checkup at the start of the month, and got the go-ahed to have sexy time again. But to be honest, I really don’t feel sexy these days. I used to cringe when I heard friends and co-workers talk about keeping their shirts on during sex because they were uncomfortable with their bodies after having kids. As someone who was always happy to be naked – with or without an audience – I realize with some sadness that right now, I am one of those women.
So as not to get too bummed about how I look, every day I put on the nicest “home” outfit I can find, style my hair and carefully apply my makeup. People often drop by on short notice, so it’s nice to be prepared in that instance. But really, I do it for me, because I really would rather stay in my pajamas or loose-fitting clothes, pile my hair up and eat ice cream all day.
I know that this will change, once I start eating better and get back into an exercise routine. I’ve made peace with the fact that I’ll likely never be a size zero again, and for the first time in my life, I can truly appreciate the slimming properties of dark and stretchy clothing.
My only consolation is that my new dimensions will inevitably require a new wardrobe; When winter is definitely over (one never knows – what with this being Canada and all), I’m going to have a closet sale. Shoes. Boots. Dresses. Pants. Everything must go!
I wish I could sell this new body of mine.