< Things I Can't Say: I want my body back

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Monday, February 16, 2009

I want my body back

No, this isn't a post about how I wish that my body looked like it did before I had kids(though, hey, I'd take it back!), it's something else entirely: it's my reason for not wanting to have another child soon.

In March this year, it will mark FIVE STRAIGHT YEARS of my body serving the purpose of either growing a child or nursing a child or both, with no break.

You can read the details here or just trust me that it's been 5 years and spare yourself the details by skipping down to after the dates.

March 2004-December 2004: pregnant with Monkey- I should have realized just how easy it would be when the only baby I was taking care of was one growing inside me

December 2004-July 2005: nursing Monkey, who shunned bottles, even bottles filled with painstakingly-pumped mommy milk.

August 2005-May 2006: still nursing Monkey and was pregnant with Bear. I really wanted to get Monkey to the year mark of nursing, never really dreamed that he would go well beyond this.

May 2006-June 2007: nursing both Monkey and Bear(now is not the time that I'll go into what I think about extended breastfeeding or the way that we handled it, but just a real quick aside: no I was not breastfeeding a two and a half year old in public.)

July 2007-September 2007: just nursing Bear

September/October 2007-December 2007: still nursing Bear, but now pregnant with Cub. I put September/October because I truly wasn't paying attention and didn't even realize until the middle of November that I was pregnant again. Talk about Mommy Brain.

mid-December 2007-May 2008- pregnant with Cub- wahoo, my body was just responsible for growing a baby! Well, and chasing around two toddlers, but that's beside my point today.

May 2008-present: nursing Cub

The plan is to nurse Cub until he's at least a year old. I allowed my other two children to self-wean and I am not sure what I'll do with Cub. I would feel guilty stopping him earlier just because Mommy wants a break from sharing her body with someone else, but, on the other hand, it will be over 5 years of sharing by then, so we'll see how I feel.

When people ask me if we will have another, my first answer to is to say, "No, not any time soon." And it's not because of how hard it is to have three little ones(though it is hard) or how expensive kids are(even though they are) or any other reason than this one: I want my body back to myself. I want to be able to go on a juice fast or a diet of salad and protein shakes or drink a coffee or a soda or 5 margaritas without having think about what the effect would be on a growing baby or on my breast milk. I want to get a full night's sleep, not disturbed by an uncomfortably large pregnant belly or an overactive bladder or a baby who needs to be fed. I've been a good girl and watched what I ate, drank, and everything that I did so that I could grow and feed healthy babies.

But, it's been five years and I'm tired.

P.S. Yes, I realize how whiny and unappreciative of the miracle of pregnancy/breastfeeding that I sound, but I'm feeling whiny today, so I'm going with it.


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