She is perched precariously at the edge of the toilet, arms straining to take some of the weight off her torn perineum. She is completely naked, hair still wet from the shower. The urge to go struck just as she was drying off, and she knows this to be a "use it or lose it" moment. Lose it, and face a fate worse than pooping through a web of stitches; lose it, and face constipation; lose it, and face forcefully pooping through the same web of stitches.
This is not the kind of thing one should rush. There is no pushing allowed here. She sits. She waits, anxiously anticipating the sting. Her engorged right breast drips milk down her belly where it pools in her navel before spilling onto her thigh, already negating her rushed shower. She is not a religious woman, but she is audibly thanking the mighty lord she doesn't believe in for the blessed miracle that is stool softener.
She holds her breath. And then, without much fanfare, it's over.
This is motherhood.
In this moment, it is completely miserable. And in this moment, it is completely, utterly, totally worth it.
Seating Arrangements by Maggie Shipstead
8 hours ago