Previous post here.
I had c-sections with my first two births (please see my previous posts). I wasn’t thrilled with the birth experiences, but I had living babies because of them. My 3rd child was born via successful vba2c. It was amazing to hold her right after she was born. My body was stretched a bit more, but still bounced back nicely. We bought a treadmill and I ran and ran and ran and got in to the best shape I’d been in in years. I was actually lighter than I’d been before I got pregnant with our first child. June 2013 I got pregnant for the fourth time. Something felt off the entire time – the baby didn’t bounce around like I was used to. At my 12 week dating ultrasound I left with a picture and something not sitting quite right in my brain – I STILL don’t know what was wrong, but something was. When I went in for my 18 week doctor appointment on September 13, 2013 there was no heartbeat. The baby had passed days before. I had a D&C at the abortion clinic because there was less waiting than at the hospital. I got back on the treadmill and ran and ran and ran until I was smaller than I’d been when I got pregnant so all evidence of that baby was gone. Except the heartache. And then I ate. And I gained back all the weight I’d lost after my 3rd child was born. It wasn’t much – only about 20lbs, but I was right back where I was when we’d started trying to conceive #4. And then I got pregnant with our 4th child. I was terrified. I distanced myself from her during the pregnancy. I didn’t want my heart broken again – how much grief can one person withstand? I’d joined some late loss groups after my loss and knew that nothing was certain. The moment that baby was born healthy, screaming, via another successful vba2c, my world was complete. My husband at my side – I was whole. We took a picture of our 4 babies in a chair together and felt whole. I had plans. To run. And run. And ignore the loose skin and the sagging boobs and to be in the best shape of my life so I could be healthy with my Ironman (triathlon) husband. And wear a bikini. But it still hasn’t gotten to that point. Baby is 4 weeks old now. 2 weeks ago my 33 year old husband had a major gut pain and went to the emergency room at the hospital. 2 weeks ago we found out my husband has stage 4 colon cancer. 2 weeks ago my husband had a giant tumor removed from his colon and gained a colostomy bag. 2 weeks of happiness, of pure bliss, was all this mother was allowed.
Right now the shape of this mother is broken. Scared. TERRIFIED. We have 4 kids 5 and under. I’m fortunate I don’t suffer from post partum depression because I’m enough of a mess. I don’t look in the mirror. What’s the point? My husband now poops in a bag. If he can deal with that, what’s a well used belly in comparison?! In one of my earlier posts I think I said something about worrying about our body shape being a first world problem. And it is. There are so, so many worse things to worry about, to have happen.
Love yourself the way you are ladies. You’re beautiful, you’re healthy, you’re alive.
~Number of pregnancies and births: 5p/4b
~The age of your children, or how far postpartum you are: 5, 3, 2, 1 month