When you get pregnant it seems that everyone and their mom (and in this case, that overly-used exaggeration line is true) wants to share their birth story with you. Well, don’t worry, I’m not going to share all that. If you want to know, you’ll ask. If you don’t, you won’t have to read it here.
What I will share are some of the results of that experience, the most important result being my now seven-week old baby boy. However, I’ll do plenty of talking about him in the future – it’s the physical and psychological results that I want to talk about now. Most of you are fully-aware of the basics and, particularly if you’re a mother yourself, you’re very well-aware of the physical side effects of giving birth. To be honest, I wasn’t all that prepared for how different your body actually is after pushing what felt like a watermelon through a lemon-sized hole! For one thing, things down there are very different (I’m humming “A Whole New World” ), like someone did some spring cleaning and rearranging of the furniture-different. For another, it feels like my hips just may pop out of their sockets at any moment. As I’m planning to run a half marathon at the end of the summer I’m hoping this hip-popping feeling ends sooner rather than later. And, the last physical result worth mentioning (besides my gi-normous breastfeeding-pamela anderson-boobs – which Brian loves but cannot touch) is the fact that, because my hips have noticeably widened, it actually appears as though I have a waistline! I was the queen of the boxy, no hips, no waist before Mr. Case arrived – not so anymore! Yay for me and for spring DVF wrap-dresses!
But all those physical side effects pale in comparison to what childbirth does to your psyche. It’s as if all at once you’re no longer this self-absorbed pregnant woman used to being the center-of-attention (Side note on the pregnant lady voodoo: How true is it, right? When you’re pregnant people fall all over themselves for you – I can’t tell you how many deals I got while I was showing that bump off, and forget about all the, “how far along are you”s and “you must be so excited”s, and “let me get that door”s), you become a mother – a mother whose instincts are completely different from the pregnant woman’s instincts. I remember the first week we brought Case home and he was sleeping in the Pack ‘n’ Play in the living room and I was in the kitchen and I heard him start to cough (I of course thought he was choking) and bolted so fast from one room to the next to check on him (I’d never moved so fast! I ran into the coffee table and stepped on Bruno). It was so primal, so instinctual, a mother protecting her child. It was awesome. I had all these visions of Discovery Channel shows I’d seen where lioness’ fearlessly attack hyenas trying to get at their cubs. I’m now that lioness.
It’s not only the primal, instinctual stuff that’s different either, it’s like now that you’ve done this awesome thing (carrying and giving birth to someone else, I mean), you can do anything. It’s so empowering knowing that you (and your husband – it does take two, I suppose) are responsible for bringing another life into this world. And, although women having been giving birth for thousands of years (some without books and online newsletters, even – gasp), its still amazing being one of those women.
So those are just some of the results of childbirth and its aftermath. I thought I’d start the blog out with a positive, non-griping, non-complaining, post. For as much as it’s fun to vent about the craziness, it’s much more therapeutic for me to write about the good stuff.
(Kudos to those of you who recognized the title of this post as obscure Sondheim song lyrics from Into the Woods.)