Thursday, 13 August 2015

Me, Being Mummy : Week 13 PMS, Shopping and Body Image

TO SUM UP : PMS, SHOPPING AND BODY IMAGE

Hi Guys!

Y'know... My body has marvelled me by it's handling of the whole 'making a baby' thing and still continues to heal up from the stresses of pregnancy and labour. It takes patience and acceptance every day, especially due to the not so flat tummy and boobs that are a little bit softer than they were a year ago...

Normally, I am good at handling all that. I can even embrace the workouts I'm doing and the fact I haven't been able to eat chocolate for weeks now. I can rationalise with my wobbly bits in the mirror and reassure myself that, one day, I WILL sleep through a whole night again. But there is always one nemesis who likes to make life difficult, and ironically, it is the one this that is a reminder of the happily working reproductive system:

My period.

This past week has been hormonal. Very. Hormonal. I don't want to be the one to jump on the band wagon with female martyrdom.... but we really don't get a break do we?? Every bloody (excuse the pun) month we have to face this literal cycle of cramps, leakage, headaches, nausea and hormonal ups and downs. I remember reading somewhere that out of a typical 28 day cycle, only 11 days are unaffected by the body's adjustments to accommodate 'Aunt Flow'.

11 days! Out of 28?! In the words of Kevin and Perry 'That is SO unfair!'.

I never get through a month with my emotions balanced and intact, but this month was a real doozy. It's only technically my second cycle since giving birth so I was expecting it in a way. It feels like my whole system is starting up after being on a massively long holiday so no wonder things are a bit rusty. Ha! It seems to have a severe case of holidays blues.... or reds depending on the way you look at it.

This past week has been weepy and anger filled. I have wanted to kill people, kick things and throw any object that's not nailed down. A complete woman possessed! And the awful thing is that the normal me - the rational, nice me - has swapped places with a hormonal monster in its cage and been held hostage whilst said monster went on the rampage!

Every task seemed 10 times more arduous than it really was. I usually get very sleepy around this time so the all broken nights sleeps didn't help my mood at all. Paulibear gave me a night or two off so I could try and catch up but of course,  it barely even scratched the surface. I had hot flushes, chills and then some lovely bouts of nausea.

PMS or even PMDD is a real thing. I know many who roll their eyes, think it is a choice to behave a certain way and that hormones are used as an excuse. But it really is awful. You can feel as if you are losing the plot, all rationale goes out of the window and you feel like you will never find 'normal' again. You get clumsy, impatient and a tiny blip in a days proceedings can leave you feeling like the whole week has been ruined.

The only way to get through it is to wait. Sit it out. Ride the storm. Gradually after a few days, the hormonal grey clouds start to lift and little rays of sunshine poke through. You look back on yourself and think 'stupid arse'. You apologise to the people you've lashed out at or plain withdrawn from. You look around you and think 'How could I have been so grumpy when there is so much around to be happy about?'. Problems suddenly have solutions and you feel like you have survived something.
Call me dramatic but that is exactly how I feel. Every month.

On the upside, the diet and exercise is gradually taking effect. I can finally fit into jeans again with a fair amount of comfort (am yet to find a pair of jeans that truly feel comfortable post partum or not) and it was nice to actually go shopping this week and find things that fit!

I'm in a definite state of body denial though. My mind can't accept that my arse is bigger than it was before pregnancy. I still pick up my old sizes and am genuinely shocked when they don't fit in the changing rooms. I reel in surprise when something I saw on a hanger and discussed in my head with self about it being HUGE and a sure win, barely squeezes over my thighs or down past my chest. I know periods don't help body image either so to have fit into a pair of jeans this week is actually a big achievement!

But hey, what's the point of getting down about something that can be changed?? If I really want a smaller tush then I will have to continue to push it into gear won't I?
Clothes sizes are just numbers and as long as you have health and happiness then fluff to the rest of it. Even though the hormonal monster has been pinning me down, the majority of the time I am able to look at a certain little Baby Bear (who despite his mother's grumpiness, has been a happy little smiler this week!) and realise that all the struggles are actually very worthwhile.

All the feels for this one! 


Additional information and findings from this week :

- Baby Bear has been smiling SO MUCH! I'm obsessed with them! All I keep saying in a silly cooing voice is 'Give mummy a smiiiilleee!'. Poor kid obliges me but after the 5th time he's like 'Mum... my cheeks ache, back off ok?!'. What is so fascinatingly cute about their smiles anyway??! I see smiles every day but his smiles are like my own brand of smack or something. So are his little cooing noises.... And his smell. I need help people!
- Through not being able to squeeze my wobbly bits into certain clothing, I've taken to buying him fashion instead. Sleepsuits and bibs are my new obsession.
- As much as I am happy to see the loss of any chunkyness on myself, I am delighted to see it growing on Teddy! His cheeks are so squidgy and his thighs look like they would be so nice to nibble on with a bit of salt and pepper but of course, I am restraining myself.
- Not being able to eat chocolate during PMDD is cruelty personified. 
- crying over the fact that you can't decide whether to bath or shower is only normal whilst in the midst of a hormonal storm.
- More confirmation of my hormones being up in the air is the dreaded 'post partum hair shedding' that has begun this week. As a hairdresser, I am trying to reassure my irrational self that it is all normal and shall subside within a month or two. The fact I am finding fallen hairs all over self/the flat/the car AND the baby is not worrying me in the slightest....
- As a result of said hair shedding, I now have a collection of new hairs that like to react with the current humidity by frizzing into a fuzzy little halo around the top of my head. I just pretend they aren't there... even though people's eye contact tends to wander upwards whilst they talk to me....
- A friend gave me a baby sling and it has completely revolutionised our going out of the house system (yes, it needs a system). I no longer have to break my back carting the now over 14lbs Baby Bear out of the house in his car seat and buggy. I can leave them in the car and just transport him to and fro in manner of a kangaroo. I do refrain from hopping though... that would be ridiculous. 
- Memo to self: New sling should not give false confidence that one can now manage without muslins. As one found out the other day and, whilst out running errands, had to endure a particularly squelchy walk around Tesco express smelling of milky puke. Yummy! 

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