growinghumans


Push In and Lift Up
April 28, 2016, 12:39 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

I am many things.

One of these things is a soldier.

I am soldier that steps out from her battalion and speaks the words that no one really wants to.

It’s easy to not want to. I did it for half of life. I took my demons, my insecurities, my self loathing and misunderstanding, and I swallowed them down into my belly.

But, one day, I opened my mouth and it all started coming out. It’s embarrassing and awkward at first but as you stand there and see the waterfall of dysfunction gush from you, you feel free, lighter, braver.

Anyway.

I’m a solider.

And tonight I want to talk about something that has been frustrating me to the point of self medication lately. I want to talk about something that I am still battling and that makes me weak.

I want to talk about my self esteem. My physical self esteem.

Before I was a mother, a wife, an adult, I was athletic. I was a cheerleader and was constantly converting any fat on my small frame into useful muscle. I never worried about gaining weight; my metabolism was impressive.

Now? Now I am a woman who has grown a human inside of her body. It left my body battered and bruised and forever different.

I know other mothers and most friends and family will fly a banner for “But We Are So Much More Beautiful This Way” but guys–

I miss my old body.

There are things I can do to help me get back a little of what I’ve lost. I can lift weights, run, squats, burpees. But there are parts of me that will never be the same.

My belly, which used to be strong and flat, is soft now. I may drop enough pounds to not look “pudgy” but I will never have a flat stomach again; I will never abs to speak of again. They tore and separated while I carried my child.

Most of me is rounded and soft now. I know that I should not care. I know that I gave up my former self to be something greater–to be a mother.

But is it selfish of me to look at old pictures from college or high school and then look in the mirror and try to push my belly back in, lift my breasts higher, make my thighs thinner?

I’m sure it is.

Some days I am okay. I am accepting. I remind myself that curves are as desirable as being lean. I remind myself that I simply look like a mother and that is perhaps the greatest beauty we can achieve.

But then other days, I hide under my comforter and stare at pictures on my phone of the thin girl I left behind.

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Did That Really Just Happen?
April 16, 2016, 8:43 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

A funny thing happened to me this week.

I wrote a piece for Postpartum Progress about C-sections that weren’t planned and were ridiculous. I mentioned my daughter’s birth weight often because, well, that’s why I had the damn surgery.

Everything was going great; other mothers were posting about their similar experiences and all was well in mommy land on the internet.

Then, a woman posted something along the lines of “8 lbs isn’t even big. I had a 9 lb baby and pushed her out. I don’t see what the big deal is.”

I sat back and kind of looked at the statement for a while, mouth slightly gaped.

Other woman, of course, came to my rescue saying that everyone’s body is different and everyone’s labor is different. She shrugged them off with more dismissive comments.

My editor finally answered the comment with a professional warning for further behavior because, after all, this is a safe place for mothers to talk about their issues and victories.

I took comfort in that and moved along with the rest of my day. When I got into bed that night, I checked the post one last time. The original offending woman had made one last glorious exit comment (remember when those were big on Livejournal? The original mic drop, I dare say) stating that we must all be delusional if we are willing to feed into my whining or whatever. Something along those lines.

Don’t let the internet hit you on the ass on your way out, sweetie.

However, this woman had planted a time bomb in my brain. The more I let it fester silently, the more I wondered if maybe I had nothing to complain about–birth wise. Maybe my baby wasn’t big enough to provoke pity. Maybe I was just a wuss.

No. Nope. Enough of that.

Here are the facts that I know–facts, as in, not up for debate:

I am 4’11 and originally weighed about 94 lbs before getting pregnant. I gained 34 lbs while pregnant. It was all in my stomach. My skin was so stretched that it lost elasticity and I got a terrible thing called a Pupps Rash.

These are all real things that are in my medical chart.

I pushed for two hours straight, with a fever, to get my child out of me. I tore my insides.

I was given a C-section because my child’s head would not fit through my pelvic bone.

My doctor told me that she was not going to be able to come out of me naturally, because SHE WAS NOT GOING TO COME OUT OF ME NATURALLY. Not because they forced me into a decision I didn’t want to make, or to cut back on hours in labor.

If this was 100 years ago, I would have died in childbirth.

That is a fact.

So, don’t ever, sanctimommies, feel like you can take a woman’s birth story and dismiss it because you think you could have done better than them in that situation.

If you are somehow jealous that I wrote about my birth story and got validation and you did not, maybe don’t lash our at the writer. Maybe shut up and write your own story down. I would love to hear your story. I would coo and awe all over it in the way that woman who have gone through the ordeal that is birth do. THAT IS WHAT WE DO. There are no categories for birth stories. There is no ranking scale.

So, if anyone out there ever feels in the pit of their stomach that they want to tear down another woman’s labor, delivery, parenting, ANYTHING simply because it was not like yours, step away slowly from the internet.

The world doesn’t need more dismissive, cruel people; that’s what presidential elections are for.

You do you bae, I’ll do me.

 

 

 

-mic drop-