I had my six week postpartum checkup last Friday. It was exciting to see the midwife who delivered Samara and to behave like a normal person who can you know like, hold a conversation without moaning and screaming. The appointment had several goals. First, they checked to make sure I was healing well (I am). But there were a few other topics we covered:
1.) Weight: I have lost 20 pounds in total from the labor to now. That leaves 28 pounds still on me, dispersed most unpleasantly throughout my body. I was really upset to find that despite running most everyday and eating relatively well, I am still at the same weight I was a week after I gave birth. Last week I finally broke down and bought some size 8 clothing. It is nice to be able to wear something other than sweats, but I am so sad to not be able to wear all of the clothing I love, primarily my collection of jeans. We talked a lot about it. Apparently many women take up to six months (and some longer) to lose the weight. She also said the first six weeks can often be a plateau period before the metabolism catches up. I am trying so hard to not be depressed about it while also stepping up my efforts at losing it. On a more positive note, I did have a couple moments of pride this week when I considered where the weight came from. Even if I am thicker, it is so empowering to have brought Samara into this world and I am gradually coming to accept my current body as a twisted badge of honor.
2.) Birth Control: Since I am loathe to use any hormonal methods given my family history of breast cancer (and 10 years already on the pill) and barrier methods are a joke in my experience, we are short on options in this department. I am exploring some other options including the IUD, which appears to be a front runner right now. At this rate, we might just please the right wing and choose abstinence like all those uber Christian teens at my OH high school who made virginity promises and now have children entering Junior High.
3.) Post Partum Depression: The midwife pulled out a three page questionnaire regarding my feelings over the past few weeks. Honestly, I EXPECTED to have postpartum depression. I have always had a hard time with major life changes and thought I would have a even harder time with this one given I am now responsible for the happiness and well being of another human being. But the reality has been so different than I expected. In fact, as I answered her question (she stopped after one of the thirty questions after looking at my goofy grin as I described motherhood), I realized I am the happiest I've ever been. I have never felt more fulfilled or more engaged in a job. I get more joy from one of Samara's smiles than any promotion or praise I've had from a supervisor. My life feels like it has been boiled down to its essence (my life as a reduction sauce) I am the busiest and over taxed I have ever been, but my time is full of the things I love the most: Samara, R, my closest friends, my pets, running and sometimes some crack (just a little). But seriously, how could I have ever thought I would want to return to work?