It’s been a while since I’ve posted. I’m sorry. It’s just that I was busy with this:
I suppose she’s not a “this”; she’s a her! My daughter Elise was scheduled to be delivered via c-section on July 5, but on June 27 I went into labour, and so she was delivered that day. It’s been a wonderful, exhausting, overwhelming (with love, of course), amazing 16 days. My family feels complete now. We’re all here and ready to face the world – Team Scrimgeour-Brown!
The title of this post might lead you to believe that I’m going to write about parenting a newborn. I’m not. What has “come back so fast” for me are all the bloody body issues… I delivered a baby 16 days ago, and yet just yesterday I found myself fretting over how I look. You know the routine: standing face-on in the mirror, checking the angles for ripples, rolls, bulges and then searching the side view for the same things. Once the inventory is complete, you rip those shorts off your body and hurl them to the floor, stomping on them and then on yourself for how you look, how did you get there, get yourself under control… I’m sure you know the litany.
How quickly the pattern returns…
When I came home from the hospital 2 weeks ago today I was wearing pre-pregnancy yoga pants and a tee-shirt. The yoga pants were giving me muffin-top before I was pregnant, but were not post-delivery. The tee-shirt I was wearing, I was able to squeeze into last year but really: it was a squeeze. Not the case on Friday, June 29. I felt really good about myself.
My first day at home, with access to my entire wardrobe, I picked a long-time favourite sun dress from my closet. It came from Marks’ Work Warehouse, and has a built in bra and everything. I love this sundress so much that I have since bought another one. They are both super-comfy, and they look really good too. So I pulled the green dress out of the closet and put it on. And damn! I looked awesome. So sleek and almost svelte! Which is a big deal for someone who – before being pregnant – was about 75lbs overweight. Again, I felt really good about myself.
A few days later, we had some company come to meet the babe: 2 of my cousins. One of whom is pregnant, and the other is a mother of 3 herself. They were both impressed by how good I looked. Not just because of the weight I shed while growing a person, but also because I had had major surgery just 5 days earlier. I was up and moving, hosting and entertaining, all without seeming to be in any pain at all. Yet again, I was left feeling good about myself.
Those of you who have had children know what comes after delivery: the inevitable hormone crash. Well it hit me with a vengeance, around the same time as darling little Miss Ellie decided that sleeping at night was for the weak. The past 5 days have been tough. And in their wake, the daemon inside of me has surfaced: to mock, to ridicule, to hurt.
I heard in my head the other day the voices of my 8th grade classmates calling out, “Sha-MUUU” down the hall to me (Shamu was the name of a whale at a theme park when I was younger).
I look in the mirror and instead of seeing skin that has been stretched to hell and back while creating the miracle of life, I see fat. A flabby, lazy girl who cannot get herself under control.
Why? Why do we do this to ourselves? How is it that I can so easily and readily see the truth for others, point it out to them, and encourage them to be gentle with themselves and yet be unable to do the same for me? Why am I habitually so hard on myself? And more importantly: how do I change the internal dialogue?
So many self-help gurus talk about changing your self-talk. They all agree that the first step in doing this is to monitor what is going on inside, and then to replace those negative comments with positive ones. I agree with the concept, and readily encourage those around me to engage in the process. I am a firm believer in positive framing and re-framing, applying it to areas of my life on a regular basis.
I thought that I had this weight-daemon licked; I thought we were through. And yet: here it sits, at my side, providing a running commentary.
Truly: it all comes back so fast.