One of the less pleasant aspects of Aubade’s birth was that it resulted in a 4th degree tear (baby girl was coming fast and needed to come fast as each push caused her to have pretty significant decels, indicating potential hypoxia – they actually had me on oxygen and made sure we waited in between pushes to get Aubade fully oxygenated before each new push, and she was quite big!). While it’s been healing as well as can be expected, it’s put some limitations on what I can do, which is really frustrating for me.
But! Today I pushed the boys in the stroller, while wearing Aubade, all the way to the Museum of Natural History two blocks down from our house! I’d been building up to it: I’ve walked with them to the children’s museum one block from the house with no stroller, just carrying Aubade and the diaper bag, since the boys can walk that distance fairly easily; and I’d taken all three of them to the grocery store and pushed them in the shopping cart (which in retrospect was rather stupid because I lifted Rondel in and out of the cart and he’s quite a bit above my lifting weight limit right now). But this was my first solo outing with the stroller. And it went really well! With the weather so frigid, gloomy, and drizzly these days, it is especially nice to have broadened the scope of where I can take the boys when my husband is at school – and it makes me feel much more like my normal self: confident, independent, and quite capable of planning and executing fun outings with my children!
I guess my whole point is that even when you know rationally that recovery takes time but will eventually happen, it’s easy to get discouraged and feel like you’re never going to be yourself again, until you have those little moments of normalcy that help you see that you are coming back. It’s true physically with the recovery from a tear (or C-section, as I learned with Rondel), and it’s true emotionally with the hormonal transition from pregnancy to postpartum; in either case, you might need some extra help getting there, but recovery is totally possible, and you will find yourself again.