I’m twenty eight weeks pregnant. Officially in the homestretch. The end is nigh. Soon I will have my body back to myself and I will have a new little human being to care for.
Pregnancy is the easiest part of parenthood. All I have to do is eat and be extremely uncomfortable. I think it’s made to be uncomfortable so you want it to be over, because otherwise it’s really easier to keep them inside.
Today the checker at the grocery store was cooing at Emma and then looked at me and said,
“And Mama looks like she’s about to drop,” she smiled eying my belly.
“Oh no, I still have a long way to go, I’m twenty eight weeks” I swiped my card, she offered my kid stickers and we moved on. Some of you have picked up my initial insecurity about my large belly. I show early and my belly gets very big. That might be because I am short and have a short waist. That might be because of perspective the belly looks large because the person orbiting behind it isn’t that big. Who knows? Unfortunately it is not a matter of opinion, but of fact.
Early in my pregnancy I had a couple of friends look me in the eye and tell me that I looked fine and stop worrying about it. My husband has also repeatedly said things of the same nature. So I took their advice. Someone asked me if I was feeling better about it and I said I think I was. Come to think of it, I hadn’t thought of it much. I’m pregnant, this is what my body does, this is what it needs to do, there’s not a thing I can do about it.
I will tell you what pregnancy has done for me, it has made me love my non-pregnant body. I find myself daydreaming about my waist. I remember in high school standing before the mirror and whipping up my shirt, squinting at my belly, and wishing that thick waist would turn into something longer and thinner, more waspy and more delicate. Now I can’t wait to have that waist back, that non-achey, leap off the couch without wincing, waist. I love that waist. I miss my butt and thighs, those fit in my favorite jeans, run for three miles, butt and thighs. I miss those. I miss those jeans too. Any qualms that I had about fitting into some narrow ideal of beautiful are gone, I would be happy just have my body back the way it was.
And give it a hug, because it's been through a lot.
I don’t know that I feel specifically beautiful as of late, I think my back hurts too much for me to care all that much. I feel largely utilitarian. Pun intended. So I look forward to getting my body back and walking around in hips that don’t pinch, slipping boots over feet that aren’t swollen, and loving it.