"I finally have my body back" ? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 35 Old 09-01-2006, 12:49 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I keep hearing this phrase, particularly after the mother has successfully weaned her breastfed baby.

It kind of bothers me.

I'm 36 weeks pregnant with my first, so I have no experience with "getting my body back" but I have a hunch that in many ways I will never be "my own" ever again. And that is okay with me. It has be a joy and a delight (okay, and painful and inconvenient, yes!) to share my body with this child and nurture it from within. I'm looking forward to still doing that once it is born.

It seems like there's this goal among some mothers to "Get your body back" and I don't really get it. Can anyone explain?

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#2 of 35 Old 09-01-2006, 12:57 PM
 
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I practiced child lead weaning and loved nursing, but I remember towards the end of my daughter's and my nursing relationship expressing that same sentiment. I really loved nursing. I mean, I still miss it and get tremendously sad at the thought of never nursing again if I have no more DC, but I felt really touched out at times. I also leaked. A lot. Even well into nursing a toddler. Which was a PITA.

Some women have to be on strict food sensitivity (for babe) diets that not matter how long they nurse or how much they love it, its probably nice when they can return to eating foods they've had to eliminate.

I didn't necessarily ever feel that my body was not my own, but it was pretty much always available to my daughter for years. I had to share my body even at times when I really didn't feel like it. That can be hard. I'm not sure that I'm explaining this well, but I can relate to that statement. I wouldn't have weaned because of it, but I can relate.
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#3 of 35 Old 09-01-2006, 01:48 PM
 
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I never thought I could feel "touched out". I"m way too snuggly. But since having dd, I do know what that phrase means. As I'm typing, dd is holding onto my thigh, and since this is the morning, I don't mind. But by this evening, it will be driving me NUTS!!! And then she'll have to nurse all night long! And do the same thing again tomorrow, day after day after day.... ad infinitum. Do I want to quit nursing? Not a chance. Do I love my daughter? Like you wouldn't believe. But am I glad this relationship doesn't last forever? Yes (the nursing relationship I"m talking about, not the relationship with my daughter. ) I really want to lose some weight, but I can't because I"m nursing. I'd like to do a cleanse, but I can't because I"m nursing. So I'm looking forward to the end of nursing so I can have my body back to myself so I can make it as healthy as possible for the next baby!
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#4 of 35 Old 09-01-2006, 02:09 PM
 
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Maybe I'm weird but this thought has never crossed my mind yet. I have a 12 month old that I pump for and a 1 month old who nurses a lot and co sleeps with us. I wear my babes in slings and keep them close to me. I am happy with the way I look. I'm a size 7/8 and I'm 4 weeks pp, no dieting or anything crazy I'm just a small person and I don't eat junk food. My body has always been "mine", but it also belongs to my children and to some degree my husband. My newborn depends on my body to keep him alive for goodness sake! I don't feel this need to have washboard abs and perfectly toned arms. I don't feel a need to keep my hair dyed all the time and my nails done perfectly all the time. I only wear makeup if I'm going somewhere special or have a concert to play where I'll be on stage under bright lights. To each there own and etc...but I find that I have less of these thoughts when I keep it simple and low maintenance.
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#5 of 35 Old 09-01-2006, 03:30 PM
 
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i like having my body back.
pregnancy really makes me feel depressed.
i know it shouldn't.
but it does. i have always felt WONDERFUL once they were born though.

wish i felt differently. im not having anymore anyway.

if i were, id even consider hypnosis.
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#6 of 35 Old 09-01-2006, 03:38 PM
 
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My pregnancy was absolutely horrible. 14 weeks of morning sickness, stretch marks EVERYWHERE, acne everywhere, edema from about 10 weeks on and then pre-eclampsia/HELLP/IUGR which led to delivering my daughter at 24w5d via emergency c-section, which almost certainly saved her life. It affected everything from our finances (I was too sick to cook and my husband was working 50 hour weeks, so we ate takeout a lot) to our sex life.

I can totally understand being glad to have your body back. I literally felt like I was being taken over by an alien - I started feeling MUCH better within days. I really think it's just a matter of perspective

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#7 of 35 Old 09-01-2006, 03:50 PM
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I think nursing is easier than being pregnant. You still have to sacrifice some food decisions, cocktails, etc...but you CAn lose weight b/c you are more able to exersize. I am nursing a 3.5 month old and he nurses like a fiend, and at times I reach a limit. But I know it's my limit and thank goodness my husband is there to help w/ the nurturing. I nurse to nurture but mostly for nutrition. Think of it this way, you will be ON CALL 24/7! But I do miss my seared ahi tuna (mercury too high!).......best wishes on the birth you want!
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#8 of 35 Old 09-01-2006, 04:05 PM
 
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I feel that way at about 2 months PP. Most of my weight is gone, and yes, even though I'm still nursing, it's nice to feel like ME again, without so many mood swings. And it's nice to be able to get down and play with the kids without feeling like I'll never get back up!!

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#9 of 35 Old 09-01-2006, 04:23 PM
 
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Ahh, well, I'm nearing the end of my nursing years (I nursed 3.5 years, took a year break, and am in my 5th year of nursing) and I have to say, I *will* be glad to get my body back. 8+ years of nursing (and it will be another 2.5 at least) is plenty for me.

I want to not wear nursing bras, and possibly be able to not be a 36G, and not have to buy shirts bigger than my size because of my breasts and be able to wear my wonderful dresses again...

I'm just beginning to see on the horizon a time when I won't have to be someone's boob, you know? It's a nice feeling.
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#10 of 35 Old 09-01-2006, 04:25 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Persephone
As I'm typing, dd is holding onto my thigh, and since this is the morning, I don't mind. But by this evening, it will be driving me NUTS!!! And then she'll have to nurse all night long!
That's how I feel! In the morning, I can love and snuggle dd all day long and I have infinite patience with her. Then DS comes home from school in the afternoon and I am juggling the needs of 2 kids, 3 needy animals, dinner, the messy house...ugh. I am so *over* dd by the end of the day, right when DH is home and wonders how I can be annoyed by such a darling little baby.

Then after a small break, I have to nurse her for up to 2 hours to get her settled and sometimes she wakes up as soon as I lay her down. By then, I am way over it, and lately DH has been able to take over and settle her back down and get her in her bed. But once everyone is asleep, I have those 2 hours to myself, its like heaven. (ANd then DH wants his turn. : )

And by morning, I am totally ready for the snuggles and cuddles again.

And of course, no matter how touched out I get, it would never be enough to justify weaning. I'm too lazy to bottle feed!

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#11 of 35 Old 09-01-2006, 04:30 PM
 
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I think there's a big difference between what you mamas are talking about (long-term nursing) vs. what the OP might be talking about. I hear a lot of women talk about "getting their body back" immediately post-pregnancy (b/c they choose to use formula so that they can have more "freedom") or when they choose to wean at 2, 3, or 6 months. I think there CAN be an undercurrent of selfishness in that statement--although I certainly don't think there is in any of the stories that have been posted above. (Case in point: I had several friends and relatives ask me when I was pregnant what I would be doing to "get my body back" after the birth--i.e., to get back to my pre-pregnancy weight; I was about to undergo the most life-altering event possible! I was really not very concerned about my weight at that point!)
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#12 of 35 Old 09-01-2006, 04:32 PM
 
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I don't know. My youngest weaned over 6m ago, but my body is certainly quite different than it was before having #1!!!

Yes, it is nice to have a little "breathing room" esp when all 3 kids are at school. The intensity of life with an infant can be overwhelming at times- enough that I'm glad I'm not doing that again in the near future (if ever) and I can understand the sentiment that some women get "touched out" by 3m of nursing. I've gone through similar feelings, but never had the urge to wean anybody that young. Heck, I've never actively weaned any of my kids- it's just something that sort of "happened" eventually.

Actually, after nursing so long, I feel like I've lost my body, in a way. I'm no longer a nursing mother. I don't have to buy clothes and bras that offer easy access- and I'm often surprised "oh, wait a minute, I CAN wear that after all!" Or I read about using breastmilk on warts, and then remember "oh, darn, I don't have milk anymore! I wonder if I could still get a few drops to try on DD's warts."

I no longer have my superpower!

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#13 of 35 Old 09-01-2006, 04:34 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by onlyboys
I want to not wear nursing bras, and possibly be able to not be a 36G, and not have to buy shirts bigger than my size because of my breasts
Ah, I'd love to go down to a 36G again. Somehow I doubt I'll ever be smaller than an H cup without surgury (and I'd need to lose weight to get down to that.)

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#14 of 35 Old 09-01-2006, 04:35 PM
 
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I'm tandem BFing my 3 1/2 year old and 18 month old. The older one can be down right demanding about it at times and the younger one is going through yet another one of those distracted gnawing / biting / pulling back while nursing phases and as much as I love nursing... I could go for having my body back!!

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#15 of 35 Old 09-01-2006, 04:39 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by onlyboys
I'm just beginning to see on the horizon a time when I won't have to be someone's boob, you know? It's a nice feeling.

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#16 of 35 Old 09-01-2006, 04:40 PM
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I am finding that my body changed so much as a result of pregnancy, that it is harder to think of it as mine, since it is still kinda newish even to me. Which is something I never thought of. I loved being pregnant (well,after the frist 12 weeks) and would make a lovely candidate for having a symbiote. (and yes, I am also a sci-fi geek.)

I love nursing, but man, I will be happy to be able to sleep flat on my back, with the covers pulled up to my chin. For now, I am making myself a shrug to sleep in so at least I will be warm with my boob hanging out.

Now, if you could give me back my abdominal strength and my ability to swallow pills...that would be lovely.

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#17 of 35 Old 09-01-2006, 04:49 PM
 
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I've felt more relief in this with separating from my crappy husband and no longer having someone around who felt entitled to grabbing any part of my body at any time.

I don't remember feeling that way with babies, but as they become toddlers, I feel okay about setting limits and expecting them to have respect for me physically.
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#18 of 35 Old 09-01-2006, 05:10 PM
 
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I do want my body back as well. For me personally once I will "get it back", it will be bitter sweet. "Bitter"- because I love nursing my baby and I love how he needs me and I love that he is still little and once I will stop bf him he will be "a big boy" and since I am not planning to have anymore kids, I will never experience those nursing times ever again.
But it is going to be "sweet" because now my son depends on me for food. I will have a sigh of relief once I will know that he will be able to survive without me (i.e., to eat "adult" food only). I will be able to finally go on a long overdue vacation with my dh. I will have more flexibility during the day. Um...how should I say it...I know that my intimate relationship with my dh will improve significantly (both physically and phsychologically) once I will stop bf. Once I will get my body back I will be able to do a few things that I cannot do now (ex: drink on occasion, dye my hair, do teeth whitening). I will also be able to take some medicine that I need to take now but because of bf I have to wait.

Hope that answers your question.
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#19 of 35 Old 09-01-2006, 05:36 PM
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I can understand the relief women must feel "getting their body back", but I would never prematurely wean because of it. Going from a horrible pregnancy, to a nursing baby with food sensitivites, to a toddler who nursed constantly, and finally to a toddler who nurses less, but wants to twiddle my other nipple all the time, I must say, I don't regret it one bit.

Yes, it was hard. Yes, I got/get touched out often. But I'm not going to be selfish and deny my child his nursing rights because I "want my body back". The idea appalls me. But that's just me.

And yes, in some ways, my body will never really be completely mine again anyways. Even if my DS is weaned, if he needs a long snuggle, I'm not going to deny him because I'm feeling touched out. I'm not going to kick DS out of my bed before he's ready to enjoy solitary sleeping space again. I wouldn't feel like much of a mother if I put my feelings ahead of my DS's needs.

While I understand where people are coming from with the "getting my body back" thing, I don't "get it" when it comes to things like premature weaning and forceful solitary sleeping, ya know?
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#20 of 35 Old 09-01-2006, 05:52 PM
 
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I don't understand people who feel that way after only pregnancy or a few months of nursing, but I'm tandem nursing my 3.5 yr. old and my 8 mo. old and I would LOVE LOVE LOVE to go a day without anyone touching my nipples (including the evil pump). Since April 2002 my body hasn't been mine-- I can't take medications I need for migraines, I can't sleep more than 5 hours in a row (and even those stretches are wonderful when they happen), I can't even go out by myself for a few hours without getting engorged... I sit in class worried I'll leak. The years really add up. I have lots of days where I understand premature weaning... so far I'm still on board with CLW, but who knows in another couple of years if both boys are still nursing a bunch of times a day.
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#21 of 35 Old 09-01-2006, 05:53 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Wow, everyone! These are some great responses! Thanks for sharing your hearts.

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#22 of 35 Old 09-01-2006, 10:40 PM
 
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I can understand that phrase. I don't get touched out as much now, but I did in the beginning.

Now, I battle with staying healthy while nursing. I find it so hard and find that my immunity is compromised since I'm nursing. I never used to get ill and now I do all the time.

While I love nursing and am nursing past infancy, I will be sad AND happy when that part of our relationships ends.
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#23 of 35 Old 09-01-2006, 11:33 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shaunam
While I understand where people are coming from with the "getting my body back" thing, I don't "get it" when it comes to things like premature weaning and forceful solitary sleeping, ya know?
Oh yeah ITA. There is no way I would do either just to "get my body back", and I know that after my boys do wean it will be bittersweet. A little "body back" vacation might not be so bad though

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#24 of 35 Old 09-02-2006, 12:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by henhao
Now, I battle with staying healthy while nursing. I find it so hard and find that my immunity is compromised since I'm nursing. I never used to get ill and now I do all the time..
I am noticing this as well.:

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#25 of 35 Old 09-02-2006, 12:44 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AdinaL
I am noticing this as well.:
me too
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#26 of 35 Old 09-02-2006, 12:59 AM
 
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I completely understand this statement. I do not like sharing my body with anyone. Sure, pregnancy is cool for about two weeks. The rest of the 9 - 10 months? I could fast forward, no problem. Brief overview: Puke, zzz, puke, zzz, Moomoo, zzz, MoOOo, Puke.

Then again, this time #3 in less then 3 years, so who knows?
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#27 of 35 Old 09-02-2006, 01:07 AM
 
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My dd nursed heartily for about 18 mos-almost 2 years (and didn't wean entirely until 2 years 9 months) and I got sick ALL THE TIME. Her first year, I had bad colds about 6 times (the kind that where you can't breathe for a week when lying down, then feel a little better in the second week, and then it clears up in the third week). I got strep throat two times in less than 18 months. I felt really run down. And I went through a very hard time with nursing at around 14-18 mos. where I wanted to quit so badly. I would literally be feeling like my skin was crawling was she was wanting to nurse all day. And if I could have figured out a gentle way to wean her then, I probably would have, because I was miserable. But she would have been so unhappy about it that I managed to push through it. I knew, though, that I was not up for tandem nursing and she luckily did give up nursing about a month after I got pregnant with this one (due January).

However, I very much identify with the sentiment of wanting your body to feel like your own. I hate being pregnant, no way around it. I hate morning sickness, I hate gaining the weight (hugely contentious weight issues/history for me), I hate not being able to have a cocktail, take certain medicines, feeling tired, sluggish. Aside from the frequent colds, the first year of my daughter's life was much better for me than pregnancy, because I was ok with the nursing before it became a gymnastic event and before she was eating a lot of other foods, but the pregnancy combined with extended nursing at a certain point got to me. I had a lot of touched out days. And it was a build-up throughout the day. Morning, ok, by dinner, I went absolutely nuts if dd insisted that she sit on my lap while I ate dinner; I just wanted 10 minutes where I didn't have a squirmy worm on me to eat in peace and stillness. My daughter is in constant motion (since birth) and that wears me out a lot. Maybe a calmer child wouldn't make me feel as touched out as quickly. But I completely relate to the original statement.
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#28 of 35 Old 09-02-2006, 03:47 AM
 
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I don't think mine will ever be the same without surgical intervention. My breasts hang so much lower, my skin is stretched out (I guess its not particularly elastic because it didn't pop back like some women's does), hips are probably wider, etc

Mom of a 7 yr old, 4 yr old, and 1 yr old. Wow. How did that happen?
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#29 of 35 Old 09-02-2006, 04:48 AM
 
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I'm not particularly bothered or enamored by/with nursing. It's just something mammalian mothers do, deserving neither of revulsion nor reverie. It just is, and is more complicated for some than others (as are pregnancy, labor, etc).

The one and only concern I have is the possibility I may be the type unable to lose weight while nursing. That would be problematic on many levels, as I am quite big. Wouldn't cause me to wean prematurely, though.

All told, I do understand the sentiment of wanting one's body more or less entirely to oneself. I'm sure it'll be a relief of sorts (and a grief of sorts) when I get there.
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#30 of 35 Old 09-02-2006, 07:24 AM
 
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Like someone pointed out, I think there are a few levels here--one referring to weight loss/fitting into clothes, etc. Another level is the nursing relationship and the continous touching, etc.

One thing that was a little difficult with nursing is feeling that another person is depending on you entirely for their survival. It's a big responsibility, and it can weigh on you sometimes. Since DD was a really slow gainer, I had some niggling worries always about the adequacy of my milk supply, but it was enough that we were able to scrape by without having to supplement her. But it was a relief for me when she started solids and turned into such a voracious eater, now she still nurses lots but she is gaining a lot faster and I enjoy nursing a lot more because I'm not worried about trying to squeeze every last drop of hindmilk into her! I used to sort of worry a lot too about what would become of her if anything ever happenned to me, how she would survive. (And then I would remind myself that if I died my DH would travel the three whole blocks to the nearest drugstore, pick up a can of formula and bottle feed her, and she wouldn't starve to death!) : But I think it is just the overwhelming nature of having someone so completely physically and emotionally dependent on you. It's very powerful, intense, and awesome, and kind of scary too!

One other thing is I think the hormonal state of pregnancy and nursing are just different. For me, I am feeling very different now that DD is eating more solids, nursing less constantly, I got AF back, etc. It's not necessarily better or worse, but for me it felt different. Like it was really weird too to have so little interest (actually it was sort of like an aversion sometimes) in sex for the first few months. Now it's starting to come back. So that's at least theoretically a plus (if I could ever get her to sleep so I could spend time with DH, but that's another topic!) But I also used to get headaches frequently, and didn't get them during pregnancy and the first 8 months of nursing--as soon as my cycle came back, hello headaches! It's just a different thing. I also never realized how long it actually takes your body to get totally back to a non-pregnant state. It's not like you just pop the kid out, lose some weight, and you're the same as before. (Well, apparently unless you're Heidi Klum, lol!) It's like the pregnancy is continuing on the outside, almost, for those first months. Compared to the speed of growth and change in pregnancy, the speed of change in getting un-pregnant is much slower and more gradual. Like at 3-4 months a lot of people find that a lot of hair starts falling out, and you shed like a labrador retriever for a month or two, and then it stops. Just little things like that! You stay a bit more flexible for a while too--it takes some time for all the relaxin to leave your system. It is an interesting transition!! I can see how some people might just want to get it over with and have this period of intense physical interconnectedness over. But for me, I'm pretty fine with it. It does get a bit tiring sometimes having DD pinch me while she nurses, but I just keep trying to redirect her and she's doing better about it. Anyway, I don't feel any great push to "get my body back", it is sort of just feeling like a gradual and graceful transition which will complete in its own good time.
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