Ever since I got pregnant about two and a half years ago, my body has been subject to drastic hormonal shifting. There were the various stages of pregnancy, then childbirth, then nursing and the steady, year-long decline into weaning. If I could count on one thing, it was the sense that none of the symptoms would last for long. Disgust toward poultry in the first trimester gave way to intense beef cravings in the second. Postpartum joint pain faded over the first few months of my newborn daughter's life. When breast milk was her only sustenance and I was a busy, full-time wet nurse, I didn't need exercise, cigarettes or a job to consume my then-nonexistent nervous energy. Once she started eating solid foods, I needed other outlets again.
She fully weaned a couple weeks ago, and even though I breastfed her just once a day for the previous two months, the hormonal impact jarred me. For the first forty eight hours, I felt as if I'd caught a crying virus - sub sneezing fits with random, heartfelt sobbing and that's why my face was so red and splotchy. Thankfully I've moved past that, but now a new batch of bodily oddnesses have caught me off guard. Onions gross me out. Certain cheeses I usually enjoy suddenly taste sour. Perfumes overwhelm me. I'm no longer attracted to Detroit Tigers pitcher Doug Fister. They're little things, yes. But when experienced en masse, they make me feel as if I awoke in a slightly different woman's body.
And again, I've kinda gotten used to that sense of weirdness, except there are two key, disturbing differences at this point in the journey - 1) I'm not distracted by the daunting prospect of birthing or raising a brand new person; I'm rather well settled in this life which gives me time to think, and 2) Now that I'm at the end of this pregnancy/childbirth/nursing experience I have to wonder, are these changes permanent? Or is there another change in the near future? And which scenario is more discomfiting? I'll just have to wait and see. Having no control is my dual comfort and frustration.