Riding the struggle bus

*Disclaimer* This post may seem pretty negative but let me assure you that life is good right now! I love being a mom. There will always be challenges but there are plenty of good times to offset them.

If you’re paying attention you’ll notice this post was published late at night. Unfortunately the back-to-work anxiety is already starting. To be honest it started a couple weeks ago but is just now manifesting itself in unpleasant ways like insomnia and daily bouts of crying. Sucks. The fact that I don’t love my job isn’t helping either. And due to the high cost of day care I’ll be working just to stay in the workforce, if that makes sense.

I’ve also been struggling with Baby A’s digestive issues- she recently went through a very fussy stage and our pediatrician chalked it up to reflux.  Two prescriptions later we met with a GI specialist who says it’s probably not reflux, but a dairy and soy sensitivity. Long story short, cow’s milk and soy pass through breast milk virtually undigested so a baby’s system can reject it. Now I’m on a special diet which isn’t that bad, but if I happen to eat something with a trace of dairy or soy it can cause Baby A a lot of pain. I feel so bad about this that I may cave and switch to a special (and very expensive) hypoallergenic formula so I know she’s getting the right nourishment. However I feel guilty because our society makes mothers feel rotten if they don’t breastfeed. I’m also a bit sad because I enjoy nursing and the bonding time it provides.

The last issue I’m dealing with is recovery. As I’ve mentioned a few times before, I was very naive to think that I’d be back to my normal self in a few months. Ha!  For most part I feel great but I’m struggling with diastasis recti, which is basically a separation of the abdominal muscles. It’s quite common among pregnant women (for obvious reasons) and I’m lucky that mine can be mostly corrected with physical therapy (some can’t and extreme cases require surgery). It will take a while though, and in the meantime I have to deal with a belly that appears to be 3 months pregnant.  No fun when you’re used to a flat stomach. Diastasis recti is not painful but can make your core feel pretty weak and cause back problems.  A strong core is really important!

Truth be told my abs may not heal to my satisfaction and that bothers me. I had a nice conversation with my PT about the post-baby physique and she said that many women go through a “grieving period” of sorts and essentially mourn the loss of their former body. I realize this sounds petty and selfish but with today’s appearance-obsessed society I think it’s perfectly acceptable (and unfortunate) to feel this way.This is nothing new- even Scarlett O’Hara in Gone With the Wind laments her post-baby figure as she requests her corset to be tightened even more. I totally get why so many moms wear “tankinis” and cover-ups at the beach. I remember one of the very first pieces of baby-related spam I got was from Baby Center or Thebump.com…it was an email with a picture of a newborn and a caption that said “You will never wear a bikini again, but I’m worth it”.  That blew my mind. I do not know what shitty marketing team put that together but someone should get fired. Seriously. I wish I still had that email because I would totally complain about it.

Regardless of shape or size,  there is no excuse for “mom jeans”!

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