It’s been a month since I had my little Pepperseed and it seems the time has gone up in smoke. That’s easy enough to feel when it comes to the baby. My body, not so much. This part feels like its been forever. Forever and a day. When will the never ending changes just stop?
When a woman has a baby, she is usually enthralled in taking care of him/her. Like many other things, her body has changed into an unfamiliar state. Yet AGAIN. This part of things though, I don’t think is discussed much in society. Certainly not in the Instagram worthy SnapBack era. Mainly because the running narrative is likely to be, “Embrace your stripes”, “You got a beautiful baby”, “It doesn’t matter”. All of this is mainly from the perspective that said woman should shun anyone (including and particularly her partner) if they dare to speak/comment on or to simply acknowledge the difference.
That’s all jolly and well but… That does nothing for me personally. How goes it when the discomfort I feel with my new body is within me and not necessarily caused by an extrinsic stimulus? Is it taboo to recognize that I need to mentally re-calibrate the view ‘I‘ have of myself and the difference in how I look?
Maybe I am shallow or just experiencing a mild case of cognitive dissonance since I believe the above to be true as well. I’m not sure. It seems I am the only new mother willing to admit that I do not particularly like what I see and that acceptance is going to take me a while. Gaining my confidence back is going to take me a while since I wasn’t granted the gift of immediate assuredness about my post baby body.
This is not because I am unappreciative of the gift of my daughter, but because it is yet again, a DIFFERENCE I must get used to. A somewhat but not truly a permanent one.
Since I can only speak from my perspective on this, there’s something else I find myself doing. Standing in front of the mirror once or twice a day just looking at my body. I’ve been doing this since I was pregnant. Checking the rate of change, however, now from a different perspective. I suppose now I’m unconsciously trying to repair the mental dissociation I now feel to my body whereas before I was excited to know my baby was growing.
The unfamiliar, however faint ‘stripes’ on my hips and tummy. Brighter ones on my breasts, my extremely dark stomach (This I was unprepared for). My much bigger belly than I am accustomed. My seemingly overly fat face.
I expected much worse going in. So why am I this slow to acceptance?
***Diary of a woman becoming mother.