Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Man! I (don't) Feel Like a Woman

About a week ago, as I made my way to the couch for one of my regular pumping sessions*, Jason jokingly asked if I felt sexy. I answered, seriously, by telling him that not only do I not feel sexy, I don't even feel like a woman.

And it's the truth.

* I am breastfeeding & pumping, but supplementing with formula as my supply is only enough to provide roughly half of Jillian's needed feedings.

The irony is I'm doing what might actually be the most feminine, most womanly thing possible: I carried and then birthed a child, and I'm feeding her from my breast - yet I don't feel feminine at all.

It actually started towards the end of my pregnancy, and hasn't changed yet. I feel like some androgynous lump filling some basic natural need in procreation. Like a machine or something. My gender, my sex seems irrelevant.

I think it probably originated from all of the issues I had with this pregnancy. Not only did I have much higher priorities (ie. the health of my child & myself), but I was horribly uncomfortable during pretty much the entire pregnancy. My body was not my own.

While we still had sex on a fairly regular basis, it wasn't with near the frequency as pre-pregnancy, and quite frankly I don't even remember the last time I enjoyed it. Let me be clear though, that it's thru no fault of my husband's. As previously mentioned, my body was terribly uncomfortable & sometimes painful, my belly was so large so early on that it was difficult to maneuver, and sex was just awkward for me.

I wanted to. My husband was terribly patient and understanding, and to do so was usually my idea. But again, there was no enjoyment for me, and I often felt more like some androgynous being simply filling a purpose.

And while I think it's born out of respect for me, and trying to give me and my body the space it needs to heal, plus the fact that he's been super-busy with his business, the fact is my husband now doesn't seem interested in me at all. Not even a little bit.

Why tell you about my sex life? Because I think it has a direct affect on how I currently feel about my gender identification, or lack thereof.

As did my wardrobe. I know this seems all over the place, but bear with me.

Finding plus size maternity clothes that fit my every-growing gigantic belly was hard enough. Finding clothes that looked cute became near-impossible. My belly grew thru three different sizes of maternity clothes during my pregnancy. Not only was 'cute' hard to find, but our budget couldn't handle much more of these complete wardrobe changes. Nor did I have a lot of time to search near & far for the perfect clothes.

Eventually I stopped trying for clothes that I looked good in, and settled for anything that fit my body, covered all the necessary parts, and bonus if it met my employer's dress code.

Weeks post-partum I still wear maternity clothes the majority of the time. Sometimes paired with one of Jason's shirts. I have so far found one of my pre-pregnancy t-shirts that is large enough for me to wear comfortably. One shirt.

Why tell you about my wardrobe? Because I think my difficulty finding clothes that I felt looked good on me has a direct affect on how I currently feel.

I wish I knew how to explain how I feel. Sure, plenty of times in my life I have felt unattractive, but this goes beyond that. I honestly don't even feel like a woman. Whether or not I am attractive hasn't crossed my mind in months, except for the purpose of working out how I'm feeling about these issues. Which also didn't even cross my mind until recently. It just was what it was.

And so I sit here, bathed in androgyny, waiting for something, someone to help me feel like a woman again. We can work on 'attractive' later. Right now I just want to feel like a woman.

As always thanks for checking in.

1 comment:

S said...

Oh, honey. Your postpartum recovery (and the last part of your pregnancy) have been rough. Here's hoping you feel back to normal soon.


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