Wednesday, November 9, 2011
I never loved my body more than when I was pregnant. It felt so natural, like I was finally doing what i was made for. I was too clumsy to be an athlete; too short to be beautiful but too tall to be cute; too wide to be thin but too narrow to be curvy. While I was pregnant, though, I was at home. Maternity clothes not only fit, they flattered. My hair, which was always thick but also dry and brittle, became shiny and easier to manage. I felt truly beautiful, for the first time in my life.
I miss pregnancy. I miss the closeness of Gabriel. I miss his being here. I miss the sense of purpose that pregnancy with Gabriel brought me.
In the ten days that Gabriel was here with us, my body's purpose changed. Gabriel rested his head on my chest, my arms held and comforted him, my back rocked him and my legs carried him here and there. With an achy, tired body I cared for my son as all new mothers care for their children, and beyond.
The maternity clothes have been packed away. The swelling in my legs has disappeared. My hair has started falling out and is dry and brittle again. Sometimes, with no baby here to remind me that it was all real, pregnancy seems but a dream. Nearly everything has gone back to normal. Even most of the baby weight disappeared, though I quickly found new pounds to replace it with.
But there are subtle reminders that I really did carry a baby within me. My shoes fit a little tighter, suggesting that my feet have grown as my mom's did with her pregnancies. A number of my pre-pregnancy jeans won't pull up past my hips, evidence that I am a little wider post-pregnancy. The strongest reminder though, the clearest proof that Gabriel was more than a dream, is the imprint he left on my heart. It is too powerful to be a dream.