I remember you before you became a feeding tool.
I remember you when you were full of enthusiasum. I remember when you were full—period.
Now, after thirteen months of breastfeeding, I Iook down at you and I wonder, "Where did you go?" You didn't even leave a note to say goodbye. What you did leave, however, is empty space in my bra cup.
You've also left me with a disturbing question: When I'm completely done breastfeeding, will you shrivel and turn into ballsacks?
This is a serious question. I am concerned.
I feel sick to my stomach with guilt that I haven't posted here in so long. But you see—I have a good excuse: I was too busy being sick to my stomach with a nasty virus, and was in bed for five days. I lost seven pounds in two days, missed three days of work, and remembered what labour pain felt like.
I haven't been that sick in a very long time. It was awful.
Thank goodness my parents live with us! My dad actually picked me up from work (after I puked four times into a recycling bin in a frosted-glass boardroom) and my mom was already looking after Cole, so when I came home I just hid out in my bedroom under the covers.
It really got me thinking though: What do people do when they have young kids, and they have NO ONE around to help them? No friends or family? No neighbours? There is honestly no way I could have looked after Cole that day.
It also made me appreciate my relatively puke-free pregnancy. I know some moms who suffer from such severe morning sickness that they need to be hospitalized. They're on medication, they lose weight, and they just don't stop puking. I can't even imagine.
And of course as soon as people at work knew I was sick, they raised their eyebrows, "Are you pregnant?"
"I could be I guess, but I'd be pretty shocked. I haven't gotten my period back since before I was pregnant." I might have overshared this information with my boss. Yep. I'm sure he appreciated it.
Anyway, I'm all better now, and through the power of breastfeeding (and hand washing—and possibly his flu shot) Cole has managed to avoid this awful stomach bug. He did, however, get a head cold the same day I got sick. So his gooby snot was sticking to my boob as I laid in bed trying not to touch him while feeding. He would squirm and grunt in frustration of not being able to breathe, and kick me in my already aching and churning stomach. Fun times. Don't be jealous.
It's also times like these that I think of one of my all-time favourite commercials. I'll leave you with the quote:
"Pam! Pam! Can you call my mom?"
Most new moms wonder, "What will happen to my body after I have a baby? Will my vagina heal? Will my stomach heal? Will that dark line on my tummy disappear - and how did it get there in the first place? Will I go up a shoe size? Will I go up a dress size? Or ten?"
We all ultimately wonder, "Will my body go back to normal?"
Most experienced moms can probably agree on the answer to that question: No. Your body won't be the exact same as it was before you had a baby.
But guess what? You grew a HUMAN inside of you. Your body changed. Your hormones changed. Your hips widened—bones actually shifted. Organs actually moved!
BABY IN UTERO: "Excuse me bladder, you're in my way. Hey, liver, do you mind shoving over a bit? I'm getting cramped in here! Thanks!" (As you can see, my baby has always had extremely good manners and an incredible vocabulary.)
But seriously, it is amazing what our bodies go through and it is almost unfair that we even ask them to be the same as they were before. That would be like asking Justin Beiber if he’d be the opening act for your high school’s talent show. Or it would be like asking me to stop eating Nutella with a spoon. Okay, it’s not really like that at all—but the bottom line is…it’s an unfair request!
With that said, I think there are a lot of misconceptions out there about what does happen to your body after you have a baby. Things like you gain fifty pounds, your vagina turns into a bat cave—complete with bat wings—you stop showering, you grow warts and facial hair. Ultimately, you turn into the Hunchback of Notre Dame who sniffs their own armpits for pleasure.
That’s what everyone imagines, right?
Well, I’m here to tell you it doesn’t need to be like that. If you go into pregnancy as a healthy individual and maintain that level of health throughout and after your pregnancy, chances are that you’ll come out on the other side very closely resembling your former self.
Sure things change and settle in new ways, but “new” doesn’t have to be synonymous with “bad” does it? Have you ever had an abstract painting and then hung it vertically instead of horizontally for once? Maybe you’ll like the painting even better this way? Maybe? No? Well, if not, you can always just look at it with your head tilted. I’m trying to be optimistic here people, so shut up and go with it.
But what I’m really trying to say is that as a mom—even after birthing a child (or ten)—you can still be sexy! Be proud of your child bearing hips, and your strong mom arms.
The term MILF exists for a reason!
Now go pull up your mom jeans, and shake what yo' mama gave you! Err... Revised: Shake what you-gave-you from being a mama!
I told you; I'm all about coining my own phrases. One day someone somewhere will appreciate it and print them on a t-shirt.