Thursday, May 24, 2012

"I Want My Body Back"

"I want my body back."

Those words have been spoken by more pregnant and/or nursing mothers than I think anyone can ever count. I don't understand it.

If I say those words, I'm going to be talking about my body from February, 2007, when I was the thinnest I've been in decades. Although, sans the faulty gallbladder, thanks. At that time, I was exclusively nursing my firstborn.

Why wouldn't I want to look like this again?
Now, I know what is meant by those words, but for me, I suppose, it's either not an issue or I just disagree that cessation of nursing and/or pregnancy will provide that. I've been pregnant and/or nursing for over 6 years. I've been postdates twice. Neither of those babies caused me a great deal of anxiety to hasten their arrival. With my first, I wanted to stop being pressured into induction and I wanted to meet my baby. I did not want her to come before she was ready, however. With my third, I just wanted a break from prodromal labor and symphysis pubis dysfunction. I actually wanted her to stick around long enough to be a Sagittarius (not that I don't totally love my little Scorpio).

10 months: Lillyanna
Nursing Lilly

But once they were out, that didn't mean that I would magically stop nurturing my baby. Even if I had chosen to bottle feed, my baby still would have been dependent on me for everything for the next six months minimum (at which point, she could at least put food in her own mouth, though it wasn't for sustenance, still) and still dependent on me for the next... oh... eighteen years or so. I suppose a child becomes independent around 16, when they can get a job. Although, since they can't rent an apartment or get married without an adult, maybe not.

39 weeks, 5 days: Naomi

Nursing Naomi
Sure, my kids won't be physically dependent on me that long. They learn to wipe their own butts around 18-24 months around here and Lilly could use the toilet without my help at all when she was 2 (Naomi still likes a boost up from time to time and sometimes her clothes frustrate her when she waits too long). They could walk by a year, crawl by 8 months, no longer totally dependent on me for moving around.  Lilly has been able to make her own food and feed her sister, minimally, since she was 4. They still need me to make most food (especially anything particularly complicated) and will for quite some time. They still need hugs and affection. They need me to hold their hands in parking lots and carry them in bad weather.

10 Months: Katarina

Nursing Kat
My body has never stopped being mine. Not when I nursed or grew a child or my husband was handsy as a 15 year old boy with a hooker. Once the kids are done with them, my boobs certainly aren't going back to being ignored or simply ogled. My husband is biding his time until the day he can declare they're all his alone again. And I can't describe how much I miss the feeling of a baby poking around in my womb (though I don't miss the SPD, contractions, peeing every 15 minutes, food aversions, etc. etc. of course).

My body is mine. I'm simply sharing it. Maybe it's because I'm an extrovert, but there's a sadness, to me, at the thought of being alone in here again. This post was inspired by the one by Jessica for the Carnival of Weaning because what she said spoke volumes to me, even though I've only been nursing for half a decade. I won't necessarily be sad to be done nursing--I've been happy with both my nursing and weaning relationships thus far. But being done with pregnancy does sadden me, but more, I'll be a very sad mama the day our nest empties for good.

1 comment:

  1. Your daughters will love this post if they can see them when they're older. :)


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