Everyone tells women to bounce back after having a kid. Like, don’t change—don’t do anything except, of course, become a mom and be a mother 100% and love your kids and leave work because, obviously, you’ll leave work and you won’t be the same. Except also, don’t change. WTF?
Over the past few years, I carried both of my babies so low that the skin between my belly button and my pubic bone became their permanent home. My body, stretched out in like a shelf, my baby curled up on top of it. Navigating my postpartum body and belly that was home to these babies is a journey.
Postpartum rest challenges me to learn and grow in ways that make me uncomfortable. I’m not great at resting. Snudge, a word like Hygge that tells us to remain quiet and rest, is my goal for the postpartum period. But it’s not always easy for me to do.
Emily Garnett is 32 years old. She recently celebrated her fifth wedding anniversary and her son’s second birthday. She was diagnosed with stage IV breast cancer that same week.
We have complex relationships with our bodies. Women harbor certain expectations and assumptions about what our bodies are supposed to look like and what they are capable of. And it can be tough to come to terms with the reality when it doesn’t quite line up with what we had in mind.