Thursday, July 23, 2009

The incredible morphing orb

...that is my body.
This time last year I was still regularly dry-heaving, averted by the smell of cooking ground beef, Caesar salad and Gouda cheese. I thought my belly, harboring a 12-week old fetus of an Abby variety, was totally noticeable. I mean, it was slightly uncomfortable to sit down wearing my normal jeans. Now, looking back, I laugh. And I marvel. My body went up by 30 pounds from there, and who knows how much my circumference measured at its 36-weeks peak. My belly button was stretched out into a comical dark swirl on my giant over-stretched balloon of a belly. My back nerves became pinched, I walked like I peed my pants, my toes became a mystery and my energy levels catapulted into near coma-like states.
Nearly six months after Abby's grand debut, my body has been through thick and thin, pun intended. I am very proud of what it did before, during and after her birth. I don't remember a whole lot of the birth as it was such a lightening bolt blur of moaning, pushing and opening. And in the days after, I was awestruck as my deflated balloon shrunk back into itself. I walked the halls of the hospital, I gave my muscles some oxygen, my blood some Gatorade and got back on the path of reclaiming the physical territory of my land.
That said, as long as I am nursing her, required for cuddles, and depended upon for life, my body will never again be completely mine.
While my mom visited in the three weeks after Abby was born, she made sure I was walked at least once a day, (down to the river), fed copious soups, sandwiches and as much water as I could stomach. At four weeks post-baby, I took guilty pleasure in leaving a slightly sleepy and topped-up Abby with Rich while I scooted over to the RCMP gym to run-walk on the treadmill. I wasn't sure what my joints could handle, having become accustomed to being loose, supporting a giant belly, and then being left to recover. But they impressed me, and I began doing run-walk intervals until at eight weeks post-partum, I was back to running. I ran intervals, I ran hills, I ran circles around town with Abby in her stroller. Sometimes when I left her she screamed and wore on her daddy's nerves, but he patiently gave me my time to run, return, shower and promptly feed her again.
When we went home to Ottawa, Abby and I entered in a 5k race, and while we certainly didn't set any records, her in her stroller, me in my Asics, we finished, and we did it in 36 minutes without stopping, which was my goal.
I have watched my Lululemons retreat further and further back into my closet, my fat-day jeans go from being my tight jeans to my fat-day jeans again, my newly purchased "new body" jeans become loose around my midriff and finally today I looked down at our scale to see that, as far as numbers go, I am back at my pre-pregnancy weight.
My body is a little more pear-shaped, having stretched out and opened up to such a gigantic level. I don't think my bones would ever be so forgiving as to go all the way back to the way they were. And after a hearty meal of homemade foccacia bread, apple, chocolate milk and soup, my belly is as bloated as it was back when I thought everyone could notice my baby bump. Now, it is my food baby. A nursing mama needs her fuel, and if that's the worst of it, I'll take it.
I will go with Abby to the beach in August and I will wear my new understated sophisticated new mom bathing suit with no holds barred. Its my body and pear shaped or not, I am damn proud of what it has done.

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