Pregnancies/Births: 1 pregnancy/birth
7 weeks postpartum
If you haven’t read my previous post, please do so, otherwise this one might not make too much sense.
I thought after I was no longer pregnant I would be devastated with how my body looked, but now I’m finding that I just don’t flat out care.
My due date was November 12 2010, and the day passed without a single sign of me beginning the first stage of labor. Then I lost my mucus plug and a few hours afterwards the contractions began. The next morning I went to the hospital and after checking me and monitoring me for an hour they sent me home, saying it would take me a while to dilate more (I was 1 cm but 70% effaced) and that my contractions only needed to be LONGER, because they were already pretty strong. So I spent the entire day in misery with horrible and painful contractions, not wanting to go back to the hospital just to be sent home again. That evening I went to the adoptive family’s house(the adoptive mom and I are close, she went to all of my appointments with me and was to be present for the birth) to labor there, and after less than an hour my water broke and off to the hospital we were! When they checked me I was 4 cm and begging for an epidural. Before I could get one though they had to get my IV in, and let me tell you, they took their damn sweet time doing that! My first nurse didn’t want to bother trying so she went and got another one to do it. I actually can’t remember much of that hour because the pain was so intense, but after they got the epidural in they waited ten minutes to check me again and found that I was 9 cms, after only an hour and a half at the hospital. No wonder I was in so much pain. They took me off the epidural medicine and then I started pushing, which was only for an hour, and my beautiful baby boy was born at 12:01 am on November 14th 2010, the day before national adoption day.
I had requested that he be taken out of the room immediately because I knew I would not be able to handle hearing him crying, hell, I didn’t know if I could handle meeting him the next morning either. He came out with the cord wrapped around his neck and couldn’t breathe for a few minutes, but when he started crying I started BAWLING. I have never cried so hard in my life or ever been in less control of my body before. Uncontrollable sobbing overtook me so much that I didn’t even feel the delivery of the placenta or the doctor stitching up my second degree tear. I sobbed for probably twenty minutes straight, and my baby wasn’t taken out of the room for the first ten minutes even though I had requested otherwise. To hear him crying… so many thoughts were running through my head. “How could I have ever thought about an abortion?” “I don’t want you out. Get back in my tummy.” “You’re mine, I can’t give you away.” “How could I have ever hated my body while you were in it?” And so many others. I was in complete emotional overload and lost complete control of my body. I was shaking so violently and sobbing so hard that I was sure there was nothing else in the world except the darkness behind my eyelids.
I still cry every time I remember his birth.
My boyfriend and I went to meet our baby around three that night. My boyfriend is 100% Korean so we were sure he would look exactly like his daddy… but it’s the opposite. He looked exactly like me. He had my chin. My cheekbones. My lips. My feet. My fingers. My forehead. My legs. Everything except his nose, which is a perfect mixture of the two of ours, his eyes, and his hair. Having him look like me made it so much harder to give him away.
Now that he isn’t in my tummy anymore I want my bulging belly back. I miss the heartburn every night, the way he got hiccups almost every hour, how he always stuck out his elbow from the side of my tummy. I want the acne back. I want every single bright purple stretch mark. I want my leaking breasts. I want the swollen feet, ankles, and hands. I want the carpal tunnel. I want to not be able to reach down and touch my feet. I want to be kept up all night because it’s so uncomfortable to lay in bed. I want it all back so I can have my baby in me another day. I feel vacant.
I don’t care that my body is ravaged and destroyed, that this isn’t what an 18 year old body should look like. I just want my sweet baby boy that I carried for nine months. I should have cherished every day, instead of counting down until it was over. I can’t take back the things I said or the things I felt, as much as I wish could.
One of my nurses made me a plaster of his hand, and one of his foot too. I’m afraid that if I touch them they will become marked by my filthy touch, and I can’t look at them because I feel as if my gaze is unworthy. Every nurse I had in the hospital told me how proud they were of me and what a great thing I was doing, but no amount of praise can take the pain away. When I was in the hospital it was better because I knew my baby was down the hall from me. Safe, but still within reach. Now he isn’t. Every dream I’ve had since he was born has been either about him or how I’m no longer pregnant, but without a baby. I jolted awake the second night home from the hospital because I thought I heard him crying.
I know I made the best decision possible for my baby, that he will have such a wonderful life now, but it still is hard. I know I am going to need therapy.
When pregnant, I used to draw a smiley face on the shower door through the condensation every day while showering. My first shower back home was no different, but then after I drew it I realized that the last time I drew one my baby had hiccups and was contentedly snoozing in my tummy. I haven’t drawn one since.
Throughout my pregnancy, I gained 98 pounds, but I lost 40 of it two weeks after the birth. All of the “acne” that I had on my back, actually turned out to be the PUPPS rash, and it cleared up after labor. The worst case she’d ever seen, my nurse had said. So bad, that my entire back is scarred up from it. My stretch marks are terrible; in my armpits, on my sides, breasts, stomach, all down my inner AND outer thighs, on my entire butt, behind my knees and on my calves, and halfway down the backs of my thighs.I know they will never go away.
I’ve gone to see my baby on multiple occasions now, and it is seven weeks since I had him. He doesn’t look so much like me anymore, but he is so beautiful, and my body is equally as beautiful, because it created such a wonderful brand new human being that I am going to be tied to for the rest of my life. I created and nurtured a human being for nine months and went through labor, the most natural and primal thing that can happen to a person. I now feel like I can go through anything in life and I KNOW I will survive.
My baby is beautiful, and so am I.
Picture # 1 is 5 days postpartum
Picture # 2 is 7 weeks postpartum (not much of a difference, as you can see)
Picture # 3 is my baby an hour after he was born
Picture # 4 baby at 5 weeks
Picture # 5 baby at 5 weeks again