When Anna was just brand new I was trying very hard to convince myself that everything was already fine. 'Act the way you want to feel' just doesn't work when you've given birth, unfortunately. We did a lot of cleaning, I made sure I had multiple 'I'm fine, see, I even have to shower' showers, I generally moved around a lot and rested a little. I really didn't sleep much that first fortnight, and by nighttime every day I was blubbering all sorts of nonsense. All in the name of wanting to be on top of things before I could even realistically know what those things might be.
Now Anna is 10 weeks old and I'm finally allowing myself the time to recover. My body is tired, so tired. Bits and pieces aren't what they used to be, and making sure the bed doesn't have any puke on it isn't going to fix that. I need to give myself time. I've been enjoying going out and about with Anna more. We went to the cinema, met friends in town, went shopping. We baked a cake for Leo's birthday, relaxed on puke-covered sheets. We take day-naps together now. I rarely shower. I can also do things that feel liberating. Last week I did potatoes while breastfeeding in a sling. I also left the dishes for hours and didn't feel bad about it. We didn't go to the shops and I didn't change out of my pajamas. It was glorious.
Today we went to IKEA and I realised I can't really push a full trolley right now. My abdominal region is an absolute disaster. Anna is feeding less frequently now that she's bigger and that's left me feeling achy and uncomfortable. I felt like I'd been transported back to the first week, 3/4 days in, when the milk was coming and I was a mess. I got an email for the fitness classes I did antenatally, to join the postnatal group. I laughed and deleted. Who are these women who, six weeks on, can do squats and lunges and burpees? I feel, physically, like a wrung sponge. If I do anything outside of lots of walking and stretching, it'll be some relaxed pilates. I'm laughing at my past self who thought she would be able to jump right back into things. My days of planks might be a distant memory.
We're growing into each other, and I'm giving myself time. Learning such a significant new addition is all-consuming, She's an amazing human and helping her grow is unbelievable. Time. We need to just give it time.