"Your uterus is already back to its normal position", marvelled our Dutch confinement nurse a week after giving birth. "Usually that takes about two weeks."
We agreed it was probably due to the post-natal massage I had enjoyed after the birth. This is by far the best present I have ever given myself: an hour-long full-body massage on five consecutive days, followed by binding the tummy (and all its entrails) to shore everything up a bit and stuff it back into place. A friend told me she couldn't stand it for more than a few hours - I left it on overnight, because it felt wonderful.
Our little giant managed to come out without any side effects to my nether regions - but my pelvic bones have been hurting ever since. They weren't too comfortable before the birth either, which according to People In The Know was because the cartilage-filled joint at the front had weakened in order to enable my hips to spread far enough to let baby J. out. It worked. But now it has to toughen up again and it's hurting (it's also interfering with my ability to sit on anything but our utterly comfortable couch. I know, this sounds like a lousy lazy-person excuse, doesn't it?) The Javanese binding (two different pieces of cloth reinforcing each other, slightly similar to the way we used to mummify people with toilet paper way back when) gave my body some much needed support, so I could get up and around.
The massage on the other hand was mostly a gentle, relaxing rub (S. took care of baby J. during this time, while E. joined in the gentle rub thing by patting my legs and getting her hands repeatedly smeared in massage lotion - we thinks she takes after her physiotherapist grandmother). It was nice, it smelled wonderful, it was indulgent and it forced me to lie down for an hour at least once a day.
The belly bit (I declined on the booby bit) was slightly more painful and lots more vigorous. The massage therapist was really molding my body back to its original shape. Interestingly enough, she'd burp during this part of the massage, as if she was bodily emitting the "blockages" she told me she found in my belly. My belly did feel a bit sore for the next few hours and itchy because of the lotions she applied, but I am much much thinner than I was after E.
I loved it. I heartily recommend it - I went with Babies Bellies, who don't charge too much compared to other companies (around 400 SGD including travelling costs and the coverage for the binding), whose massage therapist spend considerably more than an hour working with me and who managed to arrange for everything in a quick and timely order.
I was pampered, my uterus went back to its proper place, and I got to be thinner and slept better. In the Netherlands I had never heard of this before - probably because our eyebrows tend to rise at the mere mention of a non-medical or non-lover-related massage. I would have just waited it out - and had considerably more pelvic pain and sleepless nights into the bargain.
Sorry, no pictures. I am not *that* much back to my old self yet.