By Amandla Karungi
It has been almost one year since I gave birth, and I remember many firsts I have experienced since then. I can say for certain that the biggest change has been clarity in my priorities. Because of the so little time I have, every little bit is incredibly precious and must be precisely planned for. During the first three months post-partum, I quickly realised that if I decided to cut my fingernails during baby’s nap time (halted by a shrill cry after 20 minutes), I would have to skip a shower until much later in the day. If I didn’t eat within the first fifteen minutes after putting baby down, I might not eat until the afternoon.
The second thing I haven’t got quite figured out is how to stop my mind from running. I’m constantly thinking about an amalgamation of things, related and vastly unrelated. I could be busier than the President just running a household with a baby/toddler in it. Another thing I knew would be hard to come to terms with, was a post-partum body. In the early days of pregnancy, I knew that once again, body image would become a challenge. I allowed myself to become aware of my thoughts towards myself and tried to hunt them down before they began to haunt me. I partially succeeded. After carrying a 4.2 kg baby and having a cesarean section, there remained a deep scarring across my lower abdominal with brutally fatigued abdominal muscles, which I have had to build up from scratch.
Back to the topic of priorities, there are very few things that remain important after you have come through to the other side. Everything is a little more clearer. You see what mattered and what never did. You know who mattered and who never did. And you realise that you, in fact chose how life should be. Suddenly you are tougher and stronger, if not at least for the very fact that you are responsible for a human life.