Over the past couple of weeks it has slowly become quite obvious that there are very few photos of myself with Baby Ored. Part of this is down to Ored, because where I haven’t stopped taking photographs, he has barely started. In fact when we first got together Ored found it both amusing and somewhat infuriating that I take photos of everything (especially food). He’s much more of a live-in-the-moment kinda guy whereas I’m a capture-the-moment kinda girl.
But that aside, and as embarrassed as I am to admit, the other reason is that I’ve simply shied away from the camera. Why? Because quite frankly, I’m still not used to seeing this new, much changed, version of myself. Despite a sneaky feeling that I would become that unfortunate soul who forgoes the pregnancy glow in favour of swollen ankles, chubby cheeks and a generally more round appearance (all of which came true), pregnancy went on to change my body in ways I could never have fully anticipated.
Sure I knew that I was destined to suffer from stretch marks, but did I think they’d snake their way from my bikini line to my belly button, akin to tiger markings? Or that they’d place themselves sparsely, in small, reddish indents, on my hips? Or that they’d reach as far as my now considerably larger breasts, as if to say “there’s no such thing as a free lunch!”
Did I picture that my legs would succumb to both varicose and thread veins? Or- going back to the boobs- that my once small and perky chest would now be bigger and as a result, an unwilling slave to gravity?
Before having a child of my own I naively assumed that post-pregnancy body woes were too trivial to be given the time of day. But having walked in those
shoes flats (because right now, I can’t ever imagine wearing heels again) I now know that it runs deeper than that. It is the moment where we as women realise “This is me now.”
It goes without saying that I, like other new Mamas, am beyond grateful to have been able to carry and give birth to a healthy, happy baby. Throughout my pregnancy I was left astounded at my body’s ability to adapt, grow and nurture life with an unwavering strength. But there is still a sadness in knowing that the body that accompanied me on my journey from teenager to woman, is now gone forever.
As the days roll by and I look at this beautiful, beyond perfect boy that we have created, I am- slowly, but surely- learning how to say goodbye to my old self whilst warmly welcoming the new me. It may take a little while but in the meantime I’m determined to take as many photos with Little Ored as possible, because I’d hate to miss out on capturing those moments just because there’s a little more handle to love!