Photo Credit: Max Grey
I woke up that Saturday morning feeling terrible. My body was achy, my lower abdomen was crampy, and my head was pounding. I went to the bathroom and wiped the beginning of my first postpartum period away. I grabbed a pad that I had left over from Jagger’s birth and went about my day.
The kids have needs and regardless of me feeling like death and emotionally being all over the place, I made them their breakfast, filled their cups, and sat down for two minutes before I had to pick one of those cups off of the floor. After breakfast we went into the living room where I laid down as the kids played. My son was also having a tough day, he laid on my chest as I rubbed his hair and his brows. I watched as the light peered through the windows and created the most beautiful shadows on his soft baby skin. I texted Maxine “come over with your camera” she replied “be there in an hour.” When she arrived she found me on the couch in the same spot I had been an hour earlier. The kids were sprinkled about the living room playing with magna tiles, a light saber, and a ball of dust.
I asked Maxine to come over and capture us in the raw. In the clothes we were in, in the state we were in, the way we were. I want to remember exactly how I felt on that day. Because getting your period back, after not having one for 22 months, is a whirlwind. Do I celebrate the fact that my body is attempting to restore itself to the state it was in before its primary goal was to grow and then nourish a baby human? Do I cry over the fact that my body is attempting to restore itself to the state it was in before its primary goal was to grow and then nourish a baby human? Do I grow a tinge of excitement over the fact that my body is now ready to create another life? Or do I shed a tear wondering if the toddler bumbling about the house would be its last greatest accomplishment.
Each and every menstrual cramp reminded me of the labors and births of each of my children. Most profoundly Gunnar and Jagger’s births because my body was in its most natural state, able to feel each and every contraction. I lay there on the couch, with my eyes closed, looking back on the moments before I held each of my babies. I remember the pain and the smile that came with each growing contraction. Each and every ounce of pain brought me one millimeter closer to snuggling my babies. I'll dream of those moments just before holding them, aided by the current cramping of my uterus and wonder if I'll ever experience that again. But for now, a deep cleansing breath for my body will do.
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