The female body changes after pregnancy. Obviously. It sometimes feels like a car that has been in a massive wreck, left battered on the side of the road (leaking assorted fluids). The insurance company would call it totaled, but you choose to drive it anyway so they put it back together kind of. Now it makes a grunt-y chug when it starts and there's the clink of an extra bolt ping-ponging beneath the hood. You have to exert effort to keep the steering wheel pointed straight ahead. Your triceps feel bruised.
Everything hurts always. My back, my butt, my arms. The groaning is involuntary. It's a pained groan when I stand, it's celebratory when I collapse to a sit. My boobs are no longer half-assed speed bumps. They are massive milk jugs that I need to squash against my body when I run. And my hips. They are functioning at about 20 percent mobility.
Oddly enough, despite my broken bod, I've been rehearsing to be a part of this upcoming super public dance performance. We were practicing earlier this week and when we got to this triumphant fist-in-the-air power jump, my landing coincided with a quick little spurt -- another feature of my own personal mangled Ford Taurus.
"Oh!" I said, wide eyed, to my dance partner. "I just peed!"
The confession was a similar quick little spurt. It just shot out of my mouth. I suppose I could have not said anything. I could have finished the session and he would never know he was paired up with Ole Potty Pants.
I felt a little better when I remembered that dancers are very body-centric. It's their instrument. Where I might sit around and talk about sentences I'm reading or writing, they might talk about mangled toes. Plus, a man is never too young to learn that some post-preg bodies leak.
Whatever. We shook it off and continued practicing.
Less than five minutes later. Another power jump. I looked down just in time to see milk shooting out of my left breast. We're talking squirt gun squirts. I watched, horrified, as it slowed to raindrop sized drips. Three layers of clothes were saturated in a dark circle around my boob.
This, too, was noticed by my poor, poor partner who assured me that the floor had seen grosser.
I mumbled something, slipped into my sweater and coat and fled the scene.
A bit later I ran into JCrew. I whispered my story and she cackled. She pointed at my sweater.
"Is that wet, too?" she asked.
"NO!" I said. It's a sweater. There is no way the milk leaked through three layers and an entire sweater. I looked down.
"YES!" I said and immediately went home for a wardrobe change.
The PBG had her six-month appointment this week. We talked about solid foods and upright sitting. We showed off her first two teeth. We scheduled an appointment with an eye doctor to find out why her left eyelid is droopy, but until then:
"It gives her a bit of character," the pediatrician said.
She lost her shit when she got the shots and it was tricky to calm her. Chuck took half the baby supplies and went to arrange her next visit at the front desk while I started to re-dress her. She was still crying, so I started to sing:
"When you're sliding into first and you feel a juicy burst, diarrhea, Uh-Uh, diarreah, Uh-uh," I sang quietly. "When you're sliding into second and you need some disinfectant ..." and so on.
She stopped crying to listen and smiled and I sang and sang and sang, at least three full go-rounds and once using a more operatic voice. I fastened her into her car seat and we met up with Chuck in the lobby.
"Ugh," I said. "I hope the people in the next room couldn't hear me. I had to sing 'The Diarrhea Song' to calm her down."
"They could hear you," he said.
"We could hear you in the hall," he added, then showed me the face the nurse made.
I made him re-show me the face multiple times to see if it got less embarrassing.
"It's her favorite song," I said, justifying it.
He nodded. He knows the score.
"Maybe you should ask some other moms what they sing to their kids," he said.
I'm in a semi dark room with a baby asleep on a pillow on my lap and all of a sudden I realize this surface used to hold her entire body, but now her knees are bent over the edge and her feet are resting on the bed.
She's a giant.
I can no longer imagine that at one point this body was oragami'ed into something that fit in my uterus. I can more easily imagine this body sprawled on a couch, head dangling off the edge, legs curled over the back, watching age inappropriate programming upside down. A Popsicle melting on the next cushion.