Monday, October 20, 2014

Who Are These Moms?

So, every time I see a photo on the net about moms and newborns, the pictures always look something like this one.

Who are these newborn moms? Do they really exist?

Note the glowing complexion. I would like to point out that she has nary a broken capillary on her face. No splotches that would indicate a couple of hours of pushing what feels like a small monkey out of an opening not large enough to accommodate it.

See the simple hairstyle, clean and fresh? Not like a woman who was just about to take a shower when her water broke. Then laid on said unwashed hair for twelve hours while sweating.

See the peaceful smile, like someone who knows exactly what she's doing. Not at all like someone who has just discovered the torrential flow of crap coming out of her body nonstop, even after the birth. Or someone who's realized she now has the bladder control of an 80 year old.

And her face is thin, not at all like a woman who's been pumped full of fluids for about a day.

This is not at all what I have looked like. Not ever. Not even when I was barely twenty and gave birth to my first child.

Let me show you.

Forgive the photo quality. This was 1997, when we still took photos with a camera and then had to have them developed.

See the puffy face? The tired eyes? The stringy hair? And I had actually showered before going to the hospital because I didn't want to have dirty hair.

Labor is not known for making women look amazing. Baby Reagan sure looked sweet, though. Little jerk is bigger than me now.

Any who, this one was after Quinn was born. This is two days later, after he's been taken off the vent, and I'm able to walk around and shower myself without feeling like death on a biscuit. And, instead of 20, I'm now 30.

Age doesn't help with the puffiness. And while my hair looks much better a couple of days postpartum, I've been pumping for my newborn every two freaking hours since he was born, so I lack the energy to even put in my contacts.

In this one, I'm 32. This is Baby Brennan. Now, first I have to say that Piper and Bridget are abso-freaking adorable. And so was my baby. But LOOK AT MY FACE! I didn't even have an epidrual, so that's just IV fluid puffiness a day after he born. I'm shiny, no makeup, and my eyes just look exhausted.

But can I just say that I'm not sorry for how I look in any of these photos? I labored. I gave birth. For some of these babies I was separated from them, pumping milk around the clock and spending every second with them I could. After Liam was born, I was recovering from surgery, which made me blow up like the Stay-Puffed Marshmallow Man.

This is what motherhood is. It's not picture perfect. It's not pretty.

It's fucking beautiful.

I brought the most amazing people into the world. And if I had to look like I'd had some kind of allergic reaction to something in order to do that, I'll not only own it, I'll be proud of it.

But could we stop sending the message to women that they're supposed to do the hard work of bringing a baby into the world, and then recover while being their round-the-clock food source, while also maintaining a perfect manicure and hairdo? Because the reality is messy, like most of motherhood.

And absolutely worth it.

Motherhood is beautiful, whether or not your baby came from your body. If you like my blog, click the link below which registers a vote for me, would you? Thanks. You're the best!
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