Updated: Nov 7, 2019
For those who don't know , I've been having a wee battle with my body over the past year. Mentally , physically and emotionally. And reprieve came in the most unexpected and wonderful way today. Ill explain the battle , physically , I am not bouncing back, my fault I have no will power so Im getting angry at myself. But it is a life time war that rages on in every woman since we could understand society and its pressures to confirm to its norm. Motherhood just amplifies and piles on literally the pounds of expectation on top of what we already labour under before we ironically go in to labour. Mentally , I still have ptsd about the C section and being manhandled into something I did not want and wasn't ready for . Plus my scar still hurts ( according to the Dr who just recently looked at it, I fall in to the category of woman that the nerves have been damaged and I will never get full feeling or lack of back. It will always be fizzy and painful to touch as the nerves misfire. Yahhh ) So I have shudders when I touch the area and the memory of being sliced is something Im still working on. And finally emotionally, still suffering from bouts of post natal anxiety and depression although they are getting less strong and fade away quicker. Im learning to cope better.
So today came as a surprise.... I had therapy and not the kind I probably should have if you read above. I had beauty therapy I guess and I can't recommend it enough to every mother who needs to reclaim herself as a woman and her body back from baby. It's so weird but I didn't till that moment know that , that was exactly what I needed to do. So here goes. Every mum knows that from the moment of conception your body is a vessel and no longer belongs to you. From the inside you need to feed your baby, nourish them, allow them grow and take everything they need from you. Outside health care professionals claim your body, checking it, and baby, prodding you , sticking things on you, in you and around you. Blood pressure taken, sugar glucose tests, urine samples, and like me, blood sugar prick tests every three hours that I had to email in ! Then when it is time to give birth, monitors and needles, other people hands, lots of other peoples hands all over you ( that was the catalyst for the revelation today, but Ill get to that). Once bubs is out, more peoples hands moving you and swapping out pads in your most intimate bits, your boobs are out, people are again monitoring your bowels and bladder and again for me I had more needles and HV's prodding me to see how the scar was healing. Your body still belongs to your baby as they need the skin to skin and comfort. You learn quickly if your breast feeding to just get on with it and sod others reactions, these are my breasts and yes they are out.
But now Im a year gone by and my body is once again my own. My baby has weaned completely, and is becoming more independent so doesn't need the holding once required. But Im still moving through that phase with her, my hormones are returning to normal, I have run out on the statute of limitations that I have just had a baby and its time to get fit and fab again. To restore core muscles and wear a bra again. Time to have some me time. So when my friends gave me a voucher to a spa, I had no idea (and not sure if they did either ) that it would be a revelation and a healing moment for me. I had a body brush , facial and head massage. I have had massages before but not since pregnancy, so did not even think about the repercussions of it. But allowing another person to touch me, caress me be it with a wire brush and me to be pretty much naked except for a pair of panties that would not have stood up to a stiff wind ( we all know the flimsy types they give you ) was quite liberating for me, especially as she brushed my tummy !!! I felt all the anxiety , the stress, the emotional crux of allowing my body to be in the hands ( see above comments ) of a stranger (and the outcome to not be painful) wash away with the shower I had half way through treatment, before I was slathered in wonderful warm goop and any aches and pain rubbed away.
It allowed me to give consent to be touched, mental permission to claim my body especially my stomach area back. By allowing it to be seen , viewed without agenda or judgement. I felt, in her hands it all flow away, leave me in nothing but peace. For those that know pain be it in your head, heart or body, you don't know how much you endured till it's no longer present. And Im so please to say its gone, I feel light , free. Vulnerable but in a good way , if that makes sense!
It has been a journey for me, but I can't say enough to mothers , after the first year of learning and living with baby , find a sitter, be a mother , aunty, sister, neighbour. Someone you trust. Leave bubs with them and take some time for you .... Allow someone other that a health care professional or someone you love to touch your body, relax you and soothe you.Take a load off. Take a moment to not think about feeds, nappies and the lack of sleep at home. Be present in your mind and body and relax into your soul almost. It was a step to healing that I wanted, knew I needed but had no idea how to actually achieve ! It came from other mothers, bought with love and maybe experience from those who go before us. It was a gift, and I will cherish it as they gave me back me. I suggest everyone go in to therapy !!