I sympathize with the old lady who swallowed a fly…
Pregnancy is such a huge change. It happens so fast and yet takes forever. I can only vaguely remember a time when I was able to run and life heavy objects, but I know it’s only been a few months. At times like this I wish we were more like the Greeks, who measured beauty by their bride’s weight in gold, and the largest most rotund women were the most sought after.
I certainly don’t fit anywhere within the definition of heroine chic, nor do I fit the definition of any chic! I feel, in this seventh month of pregnancy, as though I have swallowed my former self. I feel that I can just see her, if I squint and turn just right in front of a mirror.
I enjoy my belly, it is very round and satisfying. I can’t help but stroke it soothingly, as I will the baby when he is born. However magical and wonderous this experience is, it still lasts nine months. Nine months is a long to time to maintain a sense of wonder and awe. I fight hard against the belief that I have to be skinny to be happy, but even the healthiest of self-esteems has weak moments when one’s body is changing every day for nine months.
I have done this once before too, so I can’t even hold onto the lie that I will return quickly to my pre-pregnancy body. Ha! No one returns to their pre-pregnancy body without the assistance of a scalpel. Everything is subtly different. A little lower, a little looser, a little bulkier. So instead of holding to that illusive dream, I am left wondering what changes will stay this time. Will I ever feel comfortable in low rise jeans again? Will I ever see my toes or will my breasts remain huge forever?
And still, in the bath with the baby kicking, I say hello to my new little man and I am proud that my body can do this. I can grow another separate human being. He will, like his sister before him, emerge from my body and become his own person. My children will accomplish things that I have nothing to do with, even though there very existence was brought about by me.
Pretty amazing stuff. It blows my mind really. How complicated is the relationship we have with our children? I want them to be their own people, do their amazing things, yet there is a voice in my head that cries “come back” with each step towards independence. Is it because they grew within me, that I can’t just be joyful at thier successes? That there must always be this little touch of sorrow for the days of their babyhood?
My daughter has lost all her baby fat. You can clearly see the woman she will become even while helping her button her jeans. She is lithe and muscular and strong and lovely. Her face is delicate and her eyelashes dark. She can hula hoop, and play sports, and has experiences each day that have nothing to do with me. I am very proud of her, but oh I long for my little baby girl, with her chubby cheeks and belly, and her duck fuzz hair.
Life is too many emotions.