Monday, March 7, 2016

Dear Body,

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.

Love, Anna


13 comments:

Karen L. said...

Way to keep things that are important in the proper perspective. God bless the "final stretch". :)

Anonymous said...

A wonderful tribute to the amazing things the body does during pregnancy! Hope you're feeling well.

Shari Funkhouser said...

Such a beautiful post. I have followed your story since Jack's passing. You truly are an amazing lady. This little boy is going to bring so much joy. And remember, your body will always be there after he's born. Nurse and nurture that babe and worry about the body later. I trust and know you will still be beautiful.

nappimom said...

Beautiful, Anna! You (and your body!) are amazing, and I love the appreciation you show.

Sue said...

Anna, Your body knows you so well, your soul is beautiful! It all comes through in your blogs. Thank You for sharing your experience with us. You always amaze me!

Chi said...

Beautifully written with great perspective and appreciation.

spokalulu said...

I am as proud of your body as no stranger has a right to be. I'm 50 and cannot imagine being in your shoes right now, but a former classmate of mine has a 5-year-old son and being his mommy has kept her young. Like my friend Amy, you have a terrific attitude toward your body and its abilities.
All that to say, you have a cheering squad and women on your team.

www.robinbotie.com said...

Thank you for this. Maybe we should all be thanking our bodies. The things we put them through. And mostly, they serve us so well, despite being complained-over for not being quite the right shape or weight or whatever. And it is pretty amazing that they can birth a baby even after four decades. I was almost forty, twenty-five years ago when I birthed my last - and I really should have thanked my body then. But thanks to you and this post, I'm thanking my own body now because it has gotten back to shape. Maybe not the svelte silhouette of my youth, but a very acceptable athletic shape that sports skinny jeans and keeps up on hiking trails. Cheers!

www.robinbotie.com said...

Thank you for this. Maybe we should all be thanking our bodies. The things we put them through. And mostly, they serve us so well, despite being complained-over for not being quite the right shape or weight or whatever. And it is pretty amazing that they can birth a baby even after four decades. I was almost forty, twenty-five years ago when I birthed my last - and I really should have thanked my body then. But thanks to you and this post, I'm thanking my own body now because it has gotten back to shape. Maybe not the svelte silhouette of my youth, but a very acceptable athletic shape that sports skinny jeans and keeps up on hiking trails. Cheers!

Martha Brettschneider said...

Good girl. Hats off to that amazing body of yours, and your ability to recognize it's miraculousness (as well as reminding the rest of us to stay focused on the gifts and not the minor imperfections that are only skin -- or even cellulite -- deep). Love love love this post, and the energy you bring to the world Anna.

Shannon said...

A beautiful piece of prose writing, and something I haven't seen before -- a message to yourself, to your body. Yes, it is a miracle what God has created. I just love your gratitude, the intimate and personal way you talk to your body, how it has sustained life.

God bless you! Hugs!

Shavon said...

momof3 said...

Beautiful! Our bodies do get us through alot and are much stronger than we give them credit for.