Wednesday, May 2, 2007

head to toe rambling

Its strange, really, how I seem to not have very much to say in regards to birthing and breastfeeding and women's reproductive safety, etc lately...but that is because I am in a nice rhythm right now. I am not pregnant nor do I plan on becoming pregnant. I am breastfeeding without issue, and finally can say that I am seeing a bit of postpartum weightloss (when I dont eat 4th meal/5th meal and stop using pepsi as a foodgroup)

I don't ever seem to lose any weight beyond the initial baby/fluids until my babies are AT LEAST 12 months old. Each of my four have come at wildly differing times in my life, for me, at least, sometimes wth great effort to "bounce back", sometimes with none whatsoever, and the results have been the same: for at least the first year I will retain a very decided Mama-Body, I am talking one that screams "I just had a baby"---and this is from head to toe. For anyone who doesnt know about all the things that can happen to your body when you have a baby, or for those women who did not have any or all of these normal yet discouraging events, here are a few of the things that I have gone through with my babies in the childbearing year:

From the top, I suppose is best!

HAIR---thick and corse and resistant to haircoloring while pregnant

Thin and flat and dead postpartum, with a MASSIVE fall-out phase around 6 months. Hair everywhere, wondering when I will be bald.

FACE---blotchy and swollen and pasty and moon-like while pregnant

Pale and yellow and zitty after due to anemia and exhaustion and hormones. This is all hormones, really.

BREASTS--in the interests of modesty lets just say ginormous and sore while pregnant.

After the baby, the phases swing from concrete basketballs to fallen heroes, to an eventual normalcy as long as the baby doesnt miss any feedings. Mine never do. (Darn!)

TUMMY--with the first baby, I didnt look pregnant until the 7th month. Didnt need maternity pants until the 9th month. Got a few stretch marks on my sides. Popped back in the hospital, literally looked like nothing happened within 2 days.

With the subsequent babies, my pants not shutting is what got me out to the drugstore to pick up a pregnancy test. "Showing early" was an understatement--I would often bump up my due date by 3 or 4 months when strangers asked when are you due. How could I tell them "in 6 months" when i was huffing and puffing and waddling?

Though my firstborn got me on the sides with the stretchmarks, I could still look in the mirror and place my hands just so--coyly-on my sides and have this nice peach belly to look secondborn took care of that--ripping me right up the center with the badges of honor. Add to that my fisrt c-section and my "looks pretty good for having a baby" tummy was now history.

The third baby got me on the sides front and even the hips, weighing in at 11 pounds and sticking around for 41 weeks in August had me swollen up pretty good.

The fourth baby did not give me a single new stretchmark...until the day he was due. I got so many new ones those last 2 weeks that the whole 9 months of lotion seemed like a waste. Then another c-section, messing up my profile/contour much more than the first section.

LEGS--not immune to stretchmarks, frustratingly enough. They had one baby's worth of shelflife--after Mickey my favorite body parts went officially from stems to hocks. Luckily jeans are extremely forgiving and I do have hope for future good legs--wheras the tummy dreams have been shelved for good!

FEET--swollen beyond belief all 4 pregnancies, also had one babys worth in them--after Mickey they went from my lifetime size 10 to a size 11 for good. This is the body part that "looks good" the quickest after birth, though--I would admire my bony human feet after each baby was born and think I was the skinniest little creature on earth---after 40+weeks of Fred Flintstone, it was so cool to see the almost immediate feet of Wilma instead!

I wont go into this one right now :) but the internal changes of course are the most profound and most uncharted and undiscussed in the soft focus LADYS GUIDE TO MOTHERHOOD type of malarchy books they try to sell us.


I gained 50 pounds with Greta and lost 30

I gained 50 pounds with Mickey and lost 30

I gained 50 pounds with Casey and lost 76

I gained 50 pounds with Charlie and probably lost 35 or so

Well this has been a fun and funny post for me to type. Meandering, looking forward and back, very much where I am at right now, prioritizing, musing, smiling to myself.

Charlie is 18 months old now, and I think how I was already pregnant when Casey was this age and I SHUDDER. another post, another time on Joys Opinions on Child Spacing

take care Mamas and love your bodies--what choice do you have?

take care those who love Mamas--and love their bodies even more.

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