Terrifying screams, blood, fear and a whole lot of mind numbing pain… This isn’t taken from the script of a scary movie but a scene from the “miracle of life” in the delivery room.
As expectant parents, the birth of your child is an exciting time and the unpleasant changes in the woman’s body are just a part of the deal. On some level, both parents accept that any permanent changes to the woman’s body are a part of having a child.
In my situation, my ex-husband was supportive and not concerned about the impact pregnancy and childbirth would have on my body. It was just a part of the package. For nine months, a growing abdomen, breasts and ridiculously swollen ankles were givens. He never complained about midnight runs fetching ice cream and pickles or never worried about how I’d look after eating them.
I never dreamed that anything would happen to my marriage so although I wasn’t thrilled about the changes to my body I knew my ex wasn’t bothered with them. I never considered my marriage wouldn’t last forever and the very thought of another man seeing my body, outside of my Ob/Gyn was inconceivable. Blech.
In case you haven’t been a part of the “miracle of birth” for yourself, I’ll enlighten you about some of the cruel tricks Mother Nature can play on a woman’s body. Stretch marks, vagina stretching/caesarean scars, saggy breasts, extra weight and even increased facial hair growth, oh my! Besides getting no sleep, dirty diapers and the stress of having this massive new responsibility, these body changes are just the cherry on top of the cake. Thank you so very much.
For me, the transition into motherhood was natural; I slipped into the mom jeans, cut my hair and traded in my heels for comfy shoes. I managed carpool schedules, scheduled play dates and made cupcakes like nobody’s business. My ex and I both became extremely focused on being parents and somehow along the way we lost that lovin feeling.
The thought of being single again was exciting but extremely frightening. The idea of having another man see my post pregnancy body was absolutely horrifying. I can remember early on in dating being extremely self-conscious, especially when my date wasn’t a father and might be less forgiving of my flaws. I couldn’t get my bedroom dark enough and my date drunk enough the first couple of times I got naked.
Sexy lingerie shopping became an obsession. A little lace to cover this and some bows to redirect attention there were part of my bag of tricks. Little sexy things were great, but if they didn’t have underwire supports, they weren’t going in my shopping cart, no way. On several dates I’ve snuck off to “freshen up” which meant taking off my Spanx and burying them deep in my purse. The nightmare of my date discovering them before I could get them off made me awkwardly run off in the middle of a romantic moment or two. I know Victoria had her secrets, well dammit I had a few of my own.
Some men I’ve talked to were sly about questioning me about one specific post pregnancy body change: The Over-exaggerated Myth of the Stretched Vajayjay. (Oh the horror!) I’m not fibbing; a few prospective dates asked me point blank about the status of mine. Some questioned me more like a slick cross-examining attorney – asking strategic questions to get to the answers they wanted. Seriously.
Although generally, it’s horrifying to be naked with someone new, thankfully our culture is expanding the definition of sexy. Attractiveness in our culture is defined by wider parameters (aka the wider booty). Luckily for me, the acceptance of a curvy frame coupled with the MILF fantasy made my dating life much easier.
But hey baby, can you please hit the lights for me? Thanks. I’ll be right back after I slip into something more comfortable…