Nothing could prepare me for motherhood or a postpartum yoga practice. People warned me, but motherhood is something no one really understands until it’s experienced on a personal level (like many life phases). I was told numerous times how hard, wonderful, and tiring having a baby would be. I was prepared as much as possible and have worked with children and been a babysitter for at least 14 years. I even knew it would be different with my own.
After 13 weeks, less sleep and fatigue are the least of my issues. Of course, I’m tired, and of course, I could take a 15 hour nap. Thank God for a little caffeine! The main thing I wasn’t prepared for was skipping out on is yoga. Call me selfish, but my yoga practice helps me: energizes, replenishes, nurtures, and encourages me.
I had this image Lucca would sleep more (sleep has always come easily for me, except for a few anxiety-filled years), and I would be spending time on my yoga mat daily. I even thought he would lie next to me or I could practice a few times a day! This shows how little I really knew.
Lucca RARELY sleeps without being held. Meaning, if I try to lay him down after he falls asleep, he will wake up. Sometimes he will fall asleep in the swing or bouncer, but his naps never last an hour. He definitely will not sleep in his bassinet or crib. Our little guy is all about human contact, so I hold him to let him at least get a little rest. Oh and I love cuddles!
Seeing how needy he is and how our days go, I have prioritized my yoga practice. When or if he does fall asleep without me, rolling out my mat is the first thing I do. Going to a studio is not an option, (there isn’t a single studio in our town), and gym classes are a little too far from our home. Plus I am not ready to leave Lucca during the day for a class. So I do what I can at home. If it doesn’t happen during the day, I practice yoga at night when Lucca sleeps with his Papa. Sometimes I will do quick stretches from my ebook, Healing Yoga, or I’ll flow for 20-40 minutes.
Getting on my mat is therapeutic. It’s magic! And it is so strange. Downward dog is weird. My wrists feel weak. I have no “core strength.” During my pregnancy, my flexibility stayed intact as I let go of strength. Since having the baby, I have seen both flexibility and power fade. Practicing has humbled me. My body is softer and more tense than pre-pregnancy. BUT this is my body now. I am aware of how it has changed, and I try to observe with love, compassion, and patience.
Pregnancy lasts 9 months, and I gained a healthy 35 pounds. Three months after birth, I have lost about 25 pounds. And I only know this from going to the doctor. I AM NOT TRYING TO GET BACK TO MY PRE-PREGNANCY WEIGHT. I do not care how much I weigh. I do not care about “losing the baby weight.” It took 40 weeks to make room for the baby; now I breastfeed him, and I shouldn’t be concerned with losing any weight quickly. Or even at all! Why does this society tell me I should be concerned with how I look instead of how my baby is growing? I shake my head with disgust at these marketing techniques.
And IF I want to lose weight, I have a 9 month grace period! A few weeks ago someone had the nerve to say, “When Sarie loses more weight…” I nearly erupted! This might be my size for a while, and although I’m “bigger” than I accustomed to I am okay with that. My body is soft to comfort my baby. I think this is how it is supposed to be, a cushy body for a comfortable baby. But how dare someone imply that I am less than perfect because I’m carrying more weight? In the past, this would have gone to my head, and I might have run down a treacherous path. Now though, I am mad at how our society perceives postpartum bodies.
Why should I be ashamed of this body? There isn’t even time to brush my hair some days, like I care about “getting my body back.” It’s gone, just like my single life, and there is no going back. And I don’t want to go back!
I am healthy, gave birth to a beautiful healthy baby, and am feeding my baby through milk my body makes. How amazing is that?! How incredible is the woman’s body?!
In my postpartum body, I am present. I accept my figure for the beauty that it is. My yoga practice will reflect what this new body needs. I created LIFE with this body; I do not need to feel “skinny” or find a flat tummy or anything else other people expect of me. I am a mother. My body HELD a human inside. I am part of a miracle,
And I am really enjoying this postpartum empowerment.
A mama who is living in this postpartum body and giving nourishment to a perfect baby