Thursday, January 29, 2015
i didn't shower for the first few days. multiple nurses came in to check my incision and told me i could take the dressing off. two days in a row the doctor came in and told me the same thing, and that i was free to shower. but, i couldn't. i was too scared. not of pain. i just didn't want to see it. the place my son had been removed from my body. it was new. it was foreign, and it had not been a part of me the last time i had seen myself naked.
on the morning i was ready, i slowly peeled the dressing off, and stood in front of the mirror, staring. there were still steri-strips so it wasn't a great view of what was underneath, but i got the gist of it. i don't know what i had been afraid of. it was just a line, cut just above my pubic bone, and well below my underwear line. it was healing nicely.
it has sort of become a routine now. after i shower, i stand in front of the mirror for a while. i stare at the reflection of my body. it's a new reflection, not one i've ever known. i don't feel shame. i just want to get to know this new me a little better.
my breast are the largest they've ever been, and covered in stretch marks. they rapidly went from an a cup to a d cup during pregnancy, and the little lines that have formed on them show that growth. i'm still amazed by the fact that they alone are able to nourish my son.
my stomach has decreased greatly in size, but is still soft, and much rounder than it was before a life formed inside of it. the softness of it seems fitting for holding a tiny one against me to nurse, and snuggling up with him as he drifts off with a belly full and milk on the corner of his mouth.
and just like the first time, i stare at my scar. there are no more steri-strips. just a pinkish line that runs across my lower abdomen. i run my fingers over it again and again. there are still nerves that haven't regained feeling in it yet. it makes touching it an odd feeling. i move my hands away and stare. i feel like society would have me feel ashamed of this scar. i was unable to give birth the way most women do. but, there is no shame. this scar, this pink line that continues to heal, saved my son's life. i love it, and feel some sorrow that it will always be hidden beneath clothes.
i stare at my face and my legs. they were very swollen by the time tiny came. i gained around twenty pounds in the last three weeks of my pregnancy. i had gained around twenty five in my first thirty three weeks. looking at them now it's hard to believe or imagine where they were less than five weeks ago.
i'm still amazed at my body. i'm amazed at how it grew life, and continues to sustain it. i'm amazed at how very much went wrong, how very sick i was, and how quickly it has recovered. i'm falling in love with my new self. whenever someone says, 'you look great' i agree. because i feel great. it's unlikely that i will ever look like i did before pregnancy. i'm okay with that. i also will continue to sing the praises of other women and their incredible bodies.