I went to parent-baby yoga today with Cho. There's a particular teacher at the Y who I really like. She gives shoulder massages at the end, sometimes with lavender oil. It's a moment of the sort of nurturing I imagined labor might bring.
She also gave me some tips about how to strengthen my abdominal muscles. When I first tried to do plank pose, seven weeks out, I felt a flash of pain and dropped to my knees in frustration at the reminder of my failure. I tried to turn that pain around: that's the scar that saved my life and my daughter's.
The pain from that slit through my middle has all but disappeared, but it jumps from the shadows at the oddest times: when I'm closing a window. Who knew you used abdominal muscles to close a window? And it itches in this heat.
When I was pregnant, no one ever gave me a seat on the subway, because all the way through the morning I delivered, I just didn't look it. Now I carry baby Cho more visibly, snuggled against my chest (so close to where she was!) and people trip over each other offering me a seat. Honestly, I don't need one now the way I needed it then. But like the lavender massage, it's a healing moment.