I was climbing a mountain and just had to stop and get in a dance moment on the way to the top…where some yoga may have occurred. And then I ran all the way down.
I walked to work or rode my bike, then hauled it up to the top story of our apartment building. I taught 4-5 dance classes per day and danced along with the students in each one. I did Pilates twice per week, and on the weekends, I took long walks, runs, or bike rides for fun. Sometimes (I’m laugh-crying as I write this) I would have to go for a 45 minute run on a Saturday morning so that I could be tired enough to enjoy lounging on the couch that afternoon. Like, I had so much energy I couldn’t sit still unless I burned some of it off.
And my plans for the afternoon included “lying around.” Ha!
This body did not do a whole lot of running, let me tell you. I complained constantly that I wasn’t doing anything. My (sainted) husband kept telling me, “You are doing everything.” He was right. I was growing big ol’ healthy babies, who came out at 5 lbs 15 oz, and 6 lb 5 oz.
But I literally did almost nothing else while gestating. Friends who were pregnant with singletons were dancing, biking, even running. One had the audacity to tell me she “didn’t really feel any different,” and “didn’t have any limitations” while pregnant. Wow. I would love to have danced, taken the stairs, or made a sandwich without needing to pause and rest. My husband came home one day to find me sitting in a chair I had pulled up to the stove, resting my weary head against the wall, barely finding the strength to stir a simmering pot on the stove. I was simply desperate for cheese sauce.
Yep, my perspective on “tired” has evolved since my pre-pregnancy and pre-baby days.
But so has my concept of strength.
Almost one year postpartum, I love my new body. Sure, I have stretchmarks on my thighs, belly, boobs, and, swear, there is one my left calf that I don’t know how in the world I achieved. And yeah, the twin-skin belly practically flaps in the breeze, it’s so saggy. That part is still weird. I look at pictures of myself from this year, and wow, I really do not look like that fit young woman I used to be. But all the extra squishiness in my midsection makes my lap rather cozy. I’ve got Amazon arms and the balance of a monkey. All of the late-night bouncing, nap-time stroller walking, and getting up and down off the floor 1,000,000 times per day, has worked wonders for toning my lower body. Did you know that the lower your boobs hang, the easier it is on your back? Just pop a child in your lap to breastfeed and you barely even have to lean forward! If I listen to my kids’ eyes and not the mirror, I have never felt more beautiful. My sweet boys light up when I come into the room. Mine is their favorite face, their most sought-after frame.
But there is one thing I like best. My Baby B’s knee was shoved up in my upper right abdomen for so long that it formed a permanent sort of corner there. When he was in there, it felt like a little hard bump; now it’s a soft lump that remains even though he’s out in the world.
My whole lumpy belly looks like a new ancient ruin, the site of a civilization which evolved out of its primitive structures but hung on to them like shrines.
Now if I can just find an outfit that says, I’m not fat/pregnant/suffering from a goiter, I’m the landscape of a miracle, damn it!
What is your favorite thing about your re-shaped, post-twins body? What amazes you the most?