I had my final postpartum visit last week. My last postpartum visit EVER. Bittersweet, yes. I feel a mixture of grief and motivation. Part of me wants to apologize (to whom, I do not know) for being melodramatic. The rest of me knows no apology is needed — postpartum time deserves far more attention and care than it typically receives.
*BEFORE YOU READ: This is a post about human placentas. It includes photos. If you’re not accustomed to seeing a real placenta or don’t wish to see one, you might consider skipping this post.*
*All uncaptioned photos below are credited to Stephanie Shirley Photography*
Is a messy house a sure sign that it’s owners are headed for an appearance on “Hoarders” or is there actually some truth to the above quote, especially for stay-at-home parents like myself? Let me tell you a quick story.
Our dishwasher broke just before the holidays. Both sinks, most counter space, and some floor space now accommodate a thick jungle of dirty plates, pots and pans. The cupboards sit hollow and bare, vacant as they were the day we first moved in, as every dish we own has migrated into one of the many indefinitely soiled, Tetris-style stacks.
The Designated Dad and I determined to hand-scrub a certain number of dishes each day until the mess of ceramic and glass fully cleared. This approach worked for, oh, about a few hours — we managed to clean just enough to be able to cook and eat dinner, then those meticulously-scrubbed dishes went right back into the dirty pile as if by boomerang.
Our food was salted by tears that evening, I’m certain.
If breastfeeding had remained static in all the physically burdensome, emotionally draining, and psychologically-testing aspects as it were in the first six weeks or so, then would I still be nursing?
But I say that only because I grew a whole other heart for breastfeeding as time progressed. Breastfeeding may have helped shrink my uterus back into its petite pre-partum shape, but it created something else entirely to take its place. Something knitted of emotions, and big enough to house a whole growing child.
Of course, the answer that makes more sense is… No.