It is always amazing to me how much bodies (and lives) can change over a relatively short amount of time. Those photos were taken just days apart. In fact, the pregnant picture was taken just hours before Little Bean was born- and I had no idea it was happening.
From conception to birth and postpartum, everything about my body stretched and grew and moved and changed to accommodate her little growing body, to prepare for birth, and to return back to normal. Actually, to create a new normal. Nothing is ever quite the same after birth. Ab muscles are stretched in different ways (as is skin), breasts are a different size and sometimes shape…and in my case, nine months of feeling obligated to stay active have toned and worked new muscle areas. After working so hard during labor, my leg muscles are still sore and will probably be different from now on, as well.
It’s not just my belly and body. Our whole world is finding a new normal right now. She is just eleven days old and we are starting to emerge from the fog of birth. We go to the store together, we play games, we spend time as a family…but nothing is quite as it was. Next Monday, Hubby will be back to work. I will be working from home again the week after that. The boys will need routine. I will need routine. But it won’t be the routine that we had.
This whole concept was a difficult one for me to grasp. Maybe it still is. Don’t get me wrong…I don’t mind change. I actually like it- but only on my terms. That is probably evidenced by my feeble grasp at control pictured above as I bind my belly to try to bring the muscles together again and maybe- just maybe- look from the outside how I feel I should look anyway. To get things back to how they were. Belly binding is great. It feels wonderful. It is great for ab support and really does assist in recovery. But why am I doing it, really?
In labor with Fuz, I wanted to speed it along. To control it. With Iz, I wanted to slow it down. To control it. With The Moxi Lady, I was there. I was aware of every feeling, every moment, just riding it out. Not without questions, but without pressure. Slowly, I am learning to apply that now. I can’t push us to be where we aren’t or pull us back to where we were, but I can ride this out. I can be here and only here. Every squeak and smile, every spill and snuggle. We won’t ever be right here again. Sometimes, that is my saving grace- this too, shall pass- and sometimes, it makes me hold on just a bit tighter.