“THE BABY WEIGHT: aka Thank Goodness My Jeans Are Loose But Don’t Kick That Old Lady!”
The other night I tucked Bella into her sling and we went to the restaurant for ladies’ night- fun! Except among the ladies I saw one lady in particular, an older grandmotherly type who has trouble saying the right thing. The kind of lady you’ve known forever, part endearing and part Oh MY. We’ll call her M. Lately when I see M, the greeting I get has been “SO. How much weight have you lost?” I always respond once with a “What? I’m sorry?” As if I didn’t hear her (looking around for SOMEONE to save me), and M snarks again, “how much weight have you lost? Since the baby? Didnt your doctor weigh you at your last checkup?” No hello’s, no how are you’s, not even the ‘how’s the baby’ greeting you grow used to hearing as a hello with a new little one in tow.
Ugh. First, I should say its humiliating to even admit I feel so awful about the baby weight- why would I want to draw any more attention to the size of my ass, really? Its not a topic I like to address with others, I’m just too self conscious. I let it sit silently as I work it off. I would never be the girl standing in a dress asking ‘do I look fat in this?’. What if someone told me I really did look fat!! The horror. Its hard to face your body after having a baby, it took a long time for me to be friends with my post baby body after Jax. And this time around with Bella, I’m consciously working on letting myself take time and let it be. I’m not going to torture myself to lose it.
Yes, I’ll work on it, no one wants mush forever, but I’ll take advantage of breastfeeding’s edge, and I’ll plan on just working on adding more activity into my day. Maybe I’ll actually take the adage ‘9 months on, 9 months off’ to heart. Or, maybe I’ll lose patience, and decide marathon training is for me (not likely). The point is, its none of M’s business!
So, having said that, it leaves me feeling pretty crappy when I get asked this question by M. Why? What if she thinks I put too much on? I didn’t. What if I look like I havn’t lost enough? What is she fishing for? What on earth am I supposed to say? Why the —- does it matter to her anyways? Now the gloves are about to come off.
I take a deep breath and remind myself, ‘She’s old- if I kick her in the shins, other people might side with her’. Then I tell her I have no idea. I don’t have a scale. “You don’t have a scale!?” M snarks. No, no scale. Not anymore. “But your doctor would have weighed you at your checkup, what did HE say?” Well now M has picked a fight.
I tell her I don’t have an OB, we see a Midwife who is absolutely wonderful. And since that visit was 6 weeks ago, and lasted 10 minutes, it wouldn’t matter that they hadn’t tortured me by putting me up to standing on a scale. And I’ve told you, M, that I see a midwife. I told you several times. (Insert ‘Senile Bitch’ insult here) Besides, if M must know, my post partum visit went like this: how are you? Great!! Breastfeeding going well? Yup!! Great. Any questions? Nope! Okay, we’re all set then. (And then we got to the all important midwifey chit chat we all look forward to with midwives)
The long story short is, not many women enjoy their bodies postpartum. There are freaks of nature- sorry- some lucky women, that you could hardly tell they ever had a baby 6 weeks out. I’m not one of them. I can be quoted verbatim as “I never want to have another baby because I’m too scared of getting fat all over again!” Well, another one I’ve had. Thankfully part of the design plan is to provide for plenty of energy for breastfeeding- and its a perfect system to see your baby grow and be nurtured by your body.
Taking my time and being kind to myself is definitely a learning process. I can be patient about some things, but honestly, this one is hard. The good and the bad is that there’s little control over how our bodies grow our babies and the after effects. We can eat perfectly healthy to help them develop well, and we can breastfeed them as Nature intended, while sitting on Nature’s comfortably padded ass. If the only lesson I learn from all this is how to hold back from kicking old ladies in the shins, so be it. In the meantime, I’ll eat healthy, nurture my daughter, and maybe I’ll tone my kicking muscles up a bit.