I got out of the shower today and I saw my belly stretching out so far it looked like I might tip over. My breasts, formerly of the marble in a tube sock variety, were full and flush, and didn't look like they belonged to me. Veins popped out where they shouldn't, and unless this baby weighs 40+ pounds and has taken up residency in my rear end, I know that what I was looking at was not "all baby" as folks say.
The image I saw in the mirror surprised me, but filled me with gratitude.
This has been a challenging pregnancy in some ways, but you have done a lot of hard work, Body. I'm guessing you thought this part of your service wrapped up more than a decade ago. But here you are, providing this baby boy with what he needs, keeping him in the safest place for him right now. Figuring out how to move and maneuver and make space inside you for this new life. It's not easy or comfortable, but you are doing it, just as Tim, Margaret and I will recalibrate our lives based on this little guy when he's on the outside, with us.
I want to thank you.
This work you are doing came not when I was a busy young teacher in my 20's, or a strong and fit yoga aficionado of 31, but after many years of being sedentary. Of cocooning during grief. Of not giving you the best foods for you. Of not sleeping enough, or taking vitamins. Of injury and repeated illnesses that came after my heart broke.
To be called into service this way likely surprised you, and this pregnancy has taxed you beyond what you experienced the others times, but still you pump the blood, carry the girth, and feed the baby.
You didn't get to coast these final years into menopause and the unique "joys" it will bring.
I know that in a few months I'll probably be rushing you, wanting you to go back to the "before" too quickly, if that's even possible. I'll complain about trying to find clothes that fit, and wonder if, while nursing a baby, you will ever feel like you are completely "mine" again.
But you have done something miraculous. Getting this far was never a given. Ever.
Thank you, Body.