Ain’t Nothing Pretty About Pregnancy

I’m having trouble finding comfortable ways to sleep, walk and sit. My days are agonizing and my nights are long and restless. It’s as though I spent all these years perfecting the art of movement, just to wake up one day and completely forget everything. Whose body is this, anyway?

Surely these aren’t the same thighs which once upon a time snaked around poles? They’re about tripple the size of the ones I remember and there’s no way they’d fit in a lap dance booth. Perhaps they’re not meant to.

And what’s this on my chest? My skin is no longer a golden shade of caramel, but translucent and pale and speckled in hot oil burns from my recent kitchen antics- my latest attempts at preparation for motherhood. The veins stretching across my front look like a close-up birdseye view of Europe, branching off into tiny roads and ravines and highways to my roundabout nipples, which also have trippled in size. Piercings are non existent and their remains are all inside out, blown out like the aftermath of a bomb explosion in a tunnel. My torso is pulsing with all the life of a city in between thick and thin blue map markings.

Under my breasts, which no longer beam up at the sun but cower downwards with a slight saddened droop, are spiderwebs of crimson and the beginnings of stretchmarks and scarring. My moneymaker looks as though I have battled a tiger and stolen his stripes at the same time. No one would pay a dollar to see that now.

My face is like an old patchwork quilt, worn out and weary. Patches of dry skin flake under my nose, which bleeds every time I think of him. Scattered across my forehead are mountains and craters above two sleep deprived peepers. They peer out from beneath a couple of scruffy brows with an ugly discontentment, dreading waking up to yet another long day. My lips curl into an equally as unattractive snarl. They’re dry and flaking away with my smile. Make up has become nothing but a waste of time and effort. “Most things are these days,” I tell myself.

My leaking breasts sag over my huge round belly which has inflated at great speed from my core, tearing muscle and skin in its destructive path. It tugs at my spine, which feels like a measly twig under the ever- growing weight, ready to snap at any moment. My ribs dig at my insides and my tailbone at anything I sit on. My pelvis feels as though it has been gripped in a vice at either side and wrenched open, wider than what my body is ready for. The excruciating pain of bruising and swelling below is almost unimaginable.

My calves pour down into my heavy feet without taking a breath in between. Thick veins decorate their tops like the laces of sneakers I try squeezing into, but eventually drop in exchange for the comfort of slippers instead. There’s no way these feet ever danced in nine inch heels and I doubt they’d ever try again.

My nails have forgotten the taste of polish and my fingers are like the sweaty, plump Twinkies I greedily crave. There’s a crow’s nest where my hair used to be, but even the ravens are afraid to sleep there.

I’m untrimmed and untamed and untidy. The body I boasted in days gone by has been stolen. Instead I give you this- whatever this is. It doesn’t look good. Heck, it definitely doesn’t feel good. But let me tell you, the way in which God is using it is so good.

I struggle to believe it myself; that I once used this very same body to make thousands of dollars. Thousands. And truly thought I felt satisfied with that. But then God saw what I had done, shook His head and said, “I can do better.” He snatched back the body He created, the body I used to make money, and instead used it to make the greatest gift of all- life. And suddenly, none of that money mattered, because I knew then that I was worth so much more.

So tear my flesh and skin and muscle, break my mind and heart and soul, ruin my youth and destroy my waistline all You like, but I know that soon, whether I am beautiful to look at or not, I will possess the most beautiful gift of all, and when the day comes that he smiles up at me like I am the most beautiful being on this unfamiliar planet I have welcomed him into, I know it’ll all be worth it. Go ahead, do Your worst. To me, it’ll certainly be Your very best.

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