User Manual: Your Body

So after the dreaded first trimester finally passed I summed up the courage to tackle my fear.

Will my body be the same ever again?

Now if you aren’t a woman or a ubersexual or metrosexual male you just won’t get this obsessive compulsive disorder we women suffer with body image, and usually a bad one.

After tiding over blotched, acne-ridden face and baby fat all through the teenage years to gain some semblance of self confidence well into my late 20s and early 30s (so sue me I’m a late bloomer) my body was finally something I was proud to own.

No I wasn’t still into the ‘my body is a temple’ phase but I was confident enough to wear a swimsuit to show all my curves in its glory, flaunt hot pants (tho’ I don’t claim to own a Kim Kardashian kaboodle) and lounge about in PJs without listening to the voices that inhabit my world.

Ah, I revelled in being a woman.

I was unsullied by the ugly stares, the groping hands, the hoots and the whistles.

After all, if dogs barked would I clamp them with muzzles or ignore them.

I was free to be me.

Wild, Free, Beautiful, Curvy, Independent, Wilful, Boisterous, Careless, Smart, Goofy, Whimsical, etc etc…

And then kaboom…..

I was bloating

I was swelling up

I was cranky

I was hypersensitive

I was ultra emotional

I had weird tastes

I hated myself

I hated the world

I saw a tadpole leering at me from the scan monitor. I saw an alien taking shape living and breathing inside of me. I saw what looked human roll about and wave.

I was caught.

My swollen belly held a miracle that no amount of science could explain. I was overwhelmed for perhaps the second time in my life!

So I get tightness in my rib cage and spend sleepless nights, tossing and turning, my belly cramping at times, my legs swollen, my face looking like a bee-stung disaster, back hurting, standing hours on end to have a normal work life, not giving into my sweet tooth (the worst), eating fruits (even worse) and gorging on greens (better).

Biting into bullet sized vitamins, retching up (the leitmotif of my life now), jabbing myself with injections to prevent hypertension, monitoring consumption, no consumption of alcohol…….is it worth it I wondered?

The net is filled with articles on what to expect week-by-week and month-by-month but it doesn’t prepare you for the reality of it.

I looked around and life was just the same for everyone else except of course the mater who couldn’t but up the care and concern (God bless her). Friends had their lives, holidays and concerts were a part of the normal life; mid night calls and mid night rendezvous still happened, catch ups did as well. I was out of it all.

No amount of empathy can prepare you for the vile bile that rises with rapid regularity every single morning for the first three months and more.

No one tells you about the overwhelming gratitude you feel about being born a woman to experience this phenomenon or prepare you for the anger of having to suffer alone and making you wish men were seahorses. But then it would mean mankind as you know it would cease to exist. Does a man have the patience to suffer through even if he does have humour?

My clothes don’t fit anymore.

I have taken to tracks with a vengeance and stoles too.

Ah, I also discovered I do have a sense of humor for days when things go really wrong, when hemerroids and back pain make you wring and grin like this is something you enjoy in the due process of motherhood; when nightmares haunt you about your state of readiness to be a parent; when news alerts tell you about yet another rape or molestation; when you wake in a sweat to realise this is for real…………………………………… you turn around and you listen to the other half snore, turn around and take you in the arms, you smile.

After all if it were the other way around, you can bet your last rupee or dime or whatever currency you trade in,  woman you would have been up all night nursing the baby carrier (your other half) through all that angst.

So cheer up I say, celebrate being a woman.

SMILE.

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