April 30, 2009
From Bananas to Monkeys
One of my favorite songs of all time is Laurie Anderson’s "Language Is a Virus." This lil’ ditty contains a most apropos set of lyrics that I would like to apply to my early postpartum recovery period:
Paradise is exactly like where you are right now, only much, much better.
Let me set the picture for you: Imagine that your insides have been blown apart. As you recover from such an incident, a sick monkey sits by your side, whimpering. Normally, he is a swell monkey, but now he is sick and unhappy, punctuating your few moments of blessed, contemplative silence with whining.
The monkey has a new friend, a tiny mosquito. Every two or three hours, this mosquito sucks the life force out of your blown-apart body. Each time you think you might be recovering or getting a tad bit of energy, the lil’ bloodsucker returns to drain you dry.
When you are recovering from a repeat c-section, each day seems to greet you with some new indignity—like a sitz bath, make that multiple sitz baths! In the postpartum days with Bertram, I accepted the low points of new motherhood with alacrity because I had the wonder of the first time on my side. Now the parenting merry-go-round ride has become less novel, and I slouch toward my upcoming days with a newborn and toddler in tow.
Yes, I am lucky to have two beautiful, healthy children. Yes, I love them. Yes, yes, yes. But when the monkey’s teeth make him whine, the lil’ mosquito cannot be sated, and my body is trying to find its way back to its former shape, both inside and out, I will be thinking about paradise being so close to where I am right now, only much, much, much…better.