Dirty thirty weeks over here. Dirtier than most because my urge to shower is getting smaller and smaller as my belly gets bigger and bigger.
I’ve been thinking a lot about how I talk about pregnancy and birth and stuff on here, and I’m beginning to think it is probably making some pregs or pre-pregs even more antsy about all the crap that comes with the miracle of life (barf.) So I would like to let you all know, in case it has not been easy to catch, that I am a dramatic S.O.B. and that most things are not as bad as I make them out to be. During my first pregnancy, I was so thoroughly bummed about every change going on with my body, because I was never a particularly body-positive person to begin with. This pregnancy, I’m not giving much of a crap.
As time went by with my post-pregnancy body, a lot of things I expected to be weird forever went back to fairly close-ish to their formal selves. My nipples did not remain the size of small satellites, and my boobs did not take the form of tube socks with bars of soap in them, as I feared they would. My stretch marks faded from bright red to white, and although the texture of my skin is definitely different, it’s not awful and I did not need to spend all that time crying about them when they first appeared. The saggy belly I was left with once a fetus was no longer filling it up did not stay saggy. My feet returned to their normal size as my arch came back.
With the motivation to lose the weight I put on in pregnancy, I ate healthy and worked out for the first time in my life on a consistent basis, which put me into the best shape I have ever been in. Not the crazy six-pack abs and MObama arms shape that some really pleasant and sweet women try to shame you with on Facebook because I was not about to live off kale and spend all my waking hours on a treadmill. I was not my smallest weight, or even my goal weight, before I got pregnant again. But I can honestly say I was happier with my body at that point than I had ever been before I had August.
The first three-ish months after your baby is born suck, for a lot of reasons. Mostly because you are tired and trying to figure out what the hell business you had making yourself responsible for another living thing. But also because we are sort of conditioned to think that you can just bounce right back into your pre-baby self. Some girls can. I’m not friends with them. But for most of us, we need to keep in mind that it took nine months to create a person and that’s a lot for one earth-human’s body to go through. You basically have a fourth trimester after your baby is born, where your brain is trying to wrap itself around all the craziness coming at it and your body is recovering from the first three trimesters.
I had one very kind relative tell me I still looked six-months pregnant the week after August was born. What a peach. But even though she was an idiot, she was correct, at least in my eyes. You don’t wake up no longer pregnant and suddenly all signs that your body took a sperm and an egg and created an entire freaking person out of that are erased. Things take some time to settle. Gravity takes its good old time at redistributing all the nonsense. But after three months, you’re probably going to cross a threshold, mentally and physically, that feels like the start of a return to normalish things. Give yourself a break for a while, and don’t freak out and definitely don’t beat yourself up.
So if you’re in your first pregnancy and losing it about all the weird shit going on in every nook and cranny of yourself, just remember- it eventually goes sort of back, and you can end up being happier with your body than you were before all the shit got weird. That sounds like a huge lie but just shut up and trust me. The ability to hold your farts in is pretty much gone forever, though. That doesn’t really come back. Sorry, friend.