I am not a mom. I know you all will tell me that’s really not true, but it feels true to me. I don’t have a baby to hold, bathe, feed, or read good night. I don’t have a baby who wants only their mama. I watch my friends and sister-in-law with their kids and its not the same. I birthed a baby boy, but he’s not here in my arms. I don’t get to mother him, to be a mom, have a baby call me mama or only want me and no one else. I was pregnant, I was in labor, I gained the weight, but I don’t have my baby.
That part is still a struggle. I still have the weight. I don’t look or feel like myself. My grief is physical as much as it is emotional. There was a baby inside me, I felt him with every part of my being. He was part of me. Now he’s not here to share his life with me. My whole body aches from this loss. My body still has the hormones coursing through. My belly still has those unnatural curves and rolls that were not there before. My hips are wider, my clothes don’t fit. I am uncomfortable in my own skin. I walk down the street a different person. People look at me and they don’t know what happened which makes me so uncomfortable. There is no baby slung close to my body or in a stroller. When others look at me, they don’t see a mom who is carrying extra weight from carrying that cute baby she’s pushing along. They see an unhappy woman who is not herself.
As a yoga teacher for kids- I know better. I know this extra weight doesn’t change the person I am inside. I know that it doesn’t really matter. But it kinda does. It does because it symbolizes so much more then just extra weight. It’s there for a reason, and doesn’t want to leave. I’m working at it, working hard at losing it, but its still there. Somehow movie stars lose the weight and look perfect a month after their baby is born. Almost 5 months out and I look the same. I don’t have breastfeeding to help, I have to motivate myself to do this, to make the changes, to stay active, to eat well and to take care of myself. Its such an uphill battle, one I sometimes don’t know if I have the strength for.
Everyone says I’m so hard on myself, but really, do any of you women like being 20 lbs overweight? Not really. It just makes getting dressed a really unpleasant experience. Try getting into a bathing suit in the middle of winter. Yeah, that really sucked. But I work hard to not let it matter. I try to focus on my mental health, on just getting through my day in one piece. But I’m just uneasy. Everything in my life is making me uneasy and I feel it in my whole body.
Part of me believes that getting pregnant again will make some of that uneasiness go away. The other part of me believes that it will never go away. That getting pregnant is only a band aid that can’t heal the real pain inside. I dream every night of the moment my baby is placed on my chest. Silas being placed on my chest only seconds after he was born seems like a dream. He was there and taken away before I even had a chance to look at his beautiful face, or give him kisses or really feel his skin against mine. My body longs for a new baby to grow inside. My body is obviously still hanging on to that last pregnancy, it doesn’t seem to want to let it go. This part of me that is still hanging on is longing for that baby to hold and kiss and love.