44 Weeks: A new normal.
August 11, 2009

It has been three weeks since I irreverently spread my legs to a room full of doctors and nurses and med students and now, FINALLY, TWENTY SOMETHING DAYS LATER, my body is beginning to feel normal again.

Well.  Kind of.  Really, what’s NORMAL?  Is “normal” what I felt like eleven months ago before Donald’s sperm laid siege upon my egg?  Because I don’t feel like that.  I’m significantly more sleep-deprived now than I was then.

Instead, I feel like my body is functioning normally again.  For the first time in three weeks, for example, I can poop without devoting every ounce of energy I have to THE OVERWHELMING FEAR that my vagina will be torn into a million pieces.  And even though THAT ALONE is enough to make me yodel my joy from the mountaintops, there are other cool things going on.

Like my sudden, newfound ability to walk a mile without feeling like I’ve stretched my stitches so badly that my uterus might fall out via my crotch.  Like the fact that I am now only eight pounds away from my pre-pregnancy weight – which places me squarely at my IDEAL and HEALTHY weight.  Like the gradual reappearance of my waist.  And my nipples’ slow return to a pinker color.  And my back’s ability to support reasonable posture as opposed to that immediate-post-labor hunch I had going on.  And OH MY GOODNESS, I KID YOU NOT, yesterday I was able to shave my legs for the first time in six weeks.

Okay, I still have the remnants of the linea negra and I still wear my maternity jeans, but WHO CARES?  Internet, I shaved my legs.  I will let nothing overshadow that miracle.

It’s a new normal, I suppose.  A new and improved normal.

Postpartum recovery is much more difficult than I ever imagined.  Nothing – and I do mean NOTHING – could have prepared me for the havoc that birth wreaked on my body.  Everybody talks about the pregnancy and the delivery, but where was the mention of how weak my legs would feel?  How much my back would ache?  How difficult it would be to sit and stand and lay down and roll out of bed?  But then, well…then I hit the three-week mark.

Yesterday, I turned to my husband and said YOU KNOW WHAT, this whole baby thing, I guess I could do it again.  I mean, forty minutes of the immeasurable pain of pushing followed by three weeks of discomfort?  Totally do-able.  Definitely repeat-able.

Now.  If I could just figure out how to get my nipples to stop squirting milk every time a baby within fifty miles dares to look cute.

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  1. By Gracia Fraile on August 11, 2009

    I’m not pregnant and have never been, and I’d kill to look like you.
    I’m glad you’re feeling better now, and thanks from all the future moms for being so honest about all this. I know I’ll re-read your whole blog when I decide to reproduce, because it’s onw of the few sources of information I’ve found that keeps it real. Thanks :)

  2. By Cate Subrosa on August 11, 2009

    Wow, you look amazing! Seriously, three weeks?! Most women still look pregnant after three weeks, don’t they? And you look not just NOT pregnant, but SLIM! Wow :)

  3. By Kathleen on August 11, 2009

    Looking fabulous Sarah!

  4. By Jes on August 11, 2009

    That is my biggest fear of childbirth, the discomfort afterward. I mean when you are in labor there is no turning back. But the pain and discomfort afterward, that’s just the extra added bonus.

  5. By Spruce Hill on August 11, 2009

    Wow Sarah you look great! I am glad you are feeling like your old self again! About the squirting, It will continue until you stop nursing. Even when you are out with out her and think about her they will squirt!  :)

  6. By red pen mama on August 11, 2009

    I remember being horrified by reading about what would happen to my body after the baby was born. I was incredibly lucky, and never needed stiches, so I thank my lucky stars for that. But as one of my friends put it after she had her first baby: When do I get to stop putting things into my underwear?

    You look awesome. Sleep eventually will return too.


  7. By on August 11, 2009

    Okay, we just celebrated your birthday, but you didn’t tell how old you are. And if you have a flat belly again already, you’d better be under 30 or I’m going to be totally pissed.

  8. By Jena Simms on August 11, 2009

    3 hours of sleep
    2 squirting nipples
    1 pair of overly padded granny panties
    = post baby bliss

  9. By sarah on August 11, 2009

    you look fantastic.

  10. By Vicky on August 11, 2009

    “Now.  If I could just figure out how to get my nipples to stop squirting milk every time a baby within fifty miles dares to look cute.“

    Good luck with that.  Wait till your first post baby “romp in the sack”  My husband was squirted.

    You do look great though!

  11. By Sarah A. Schlothan Christensen on August 11, 2009

    RPM - Yeah, I’d like to know that too.  Every time I start to think “oh hey, maybe I can downgrade to panty liners,“ well, hm, yeah, IT NEVER HAPPENS.  I’m getting tired of feeling like I rustle every time I move lol.

  12. By Mama Bub on August 11, 2009

    NO ONE tells you!  It never occurred to me the kind of recovery that would be necessary. If I could look like you three weeks later, I would do it all over again today!

  13. By Mommica on August 11, 2009

    OK, you realize you’re now going to be the most hated woman on the internet, right? I mean who loses all but EIGHT POUNDS after 3 weeks?! Mutant!

  14. By erin on August 11, 2009

    You look GREAT.  Though I am within 5 pounds of my prepregnancy weight, I look nowhere near that good and my stomach is nowhere ner tht flt.  Seriously.

    Repeatable?  So not there yet either.  I still hate every penis that comes within 50 feet of me for what one of them did to me. :)

  15. By Megan R. on August 11, 2009

    I am willing myself to that “normalcy” again.  I am 10 days post a c-section, and I still:  walk with a hunch, have all sorts of pains, cannot drive, fear the GI pangs that might cause me to have to push anything out of my body, and I fear never being human again.  It is nice to know that people DO indeed recover from childbirth!  I have that to look forward to!

    I am 10 lbs away from my pre-pregnancy weight, but I am still “bloated” and swollen.  The fact that I was gutted like a pig does not help, I guess.

    One day at a time.  And, eventually I will be feeling like this might be repeatable.  Maybe.

  16. By kbreints on August 11, 2009

    LOL! You look great!

  17. By Elizabeth on August 11, 2009

    You do look fabulous and isn’t it wild how we think we could do it again.  I took it upon myself to tell all my friends about the “wonders” of post-partum… all the things you never hear about motherhood.  Yep, amazing stuff, bot so glad it ends.
    You’re looking pretty fine for that soon after delivery.  Good on ya!

  18. By beyond on August 11, 2009

    flat belly?!? you look great. and oh so happy! amazing you got your body back so fast. (you know how lucky you are right?)

  19. By on August 11, 2009

    Hi, you look really great. It’s been 3 months but I still haven’t lost the jelly-belly.

  20. By Megan at FASS on August 11, 2009

    Your post pregnancy tummy is flawless.  I hate you!!  NO, really you look absolutely beautiful!  That milk let down is a bitch I hear….good luck!  Can’t wait to feel the trickle….I guess. :)

  21. By chocolate and whine on August 11, 2009

    Okay, this just isn’t right. I mean, don’t get me wrong, you look great! But from a woman who, granted, has never been pregnant, but knows, KNOWS, that when she is, she’ll blow up like a hot air balloon on the rag, I must say it’s not fair for you to flaunt your SLIM bod.

  22. By Jasmine on August 11, 2009

    I need you to go ahead and STOP bragging about your amazing body already…thanks


  23. By Heidi on August 11, 2009

    Ugh! I’m SO jealous of your pretty little waist! Can I have one? Oh wait, no I can’t—I eat alot!

  24. By Trenches of Mommyhood on August 12, 2009

    I know exactly what you mean.  With my repeat c-sections, I knew that it would take 4 weeks to feel HUMAN and then 6 weeks to actually feel NORMAL again.

    You look great, mommy!

  25. By Motherofbun on August 12, 2009

    You skinny little thing! You look beautiful.

  26. By Motherofbun on August 12, 2009

    oh yes. And of course your little girl is beautiful too! Awwww.

  27. By Tabitha (From Single to Married) on August 12, 2009

    You look FANTASTIC!  Seriously, I’m so jealous!  i know I shouldn’t be, but I am.  But I’m happy for you too and glad to hear that things eventually return to normal.  :)

  28. By Dianna on August 13, 2009

    My gosh Sarah.  I mean, I know that kid is yours - I did see the photos - but really? A flat stomach 3 weeks after popping her out?  I have never and do not want to ever have a child and don’t have a flat stomach.  Guess you’re inspiration if there ever was any!

  29. By Brittany at Mommy Words on August 13, 2009

    Yay you look great!  Of course you can do it again but man I can tell you if you do it soon - the exhaustion witht he second in incomprehensible!  What am I sayingn though I did it and now am doing it again.  Congrats again and hey - don’t worry about the maternity jeans.  They are really comfy.  I know tons of girls (and yes I have done it) whoh keep a pair of small ones around to wear when they are bloated.  Seriously.





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