Exactly one year ago, I walked into a Topshop store in Manila and walked out with a new, high-waisted pair of skinny corduroys that fit perfectly on my petite frame. Coming back from a summer full of hiking and running miles in sauna-like weather (a.k.a. Houston in July) along with my newly adapted Korean diet of fish and greens, I was enjoying what I felt to be the best shape I’d been since early high school. About 10 weeks pregnant at the time, I knew I only had a small window of time to enjoy those corduroys.
A few months later I found myself trying to squeeze into those corduroys by using a hairtie to loop through the hole and around the button. It worked for a bit, but sure enough my belly protruded beyond the limits of the poor hairtie. It finally snapped. I had to face the reality of the growing person in my belly and put the pants aside for the time being.
Today, the green corduroys sit in a vacuum sealed bag in the closet waiting patiently for a comeback. As I look at these pants, I muse – I haven’t worn a pair of jeans in over 9 months since I left work in Korea. Jojo is going to be 5 months old next week, and while many moms by this time might fit snugly in their pre-pregnancy clothing or might altogether have a new wardrobe (I wish!), I cycle between my maternity jeggings and elastic band sweats. They’re just so dang comfy.
But I like those green cords so much that I’ve made it a personal goal to fit back into them by spring time. Now as I think about this goal I’ve set, I look at the silver lines across my belly, the pouch that emerges when I sit down, and the extra curve on my hips. I sorely miss the unmarked body I had just a year ago, and the doubt seeps in.
Then I remind myself that this new body of mine bears badges of motherhood of which I should be proud. My tiny 4’11” frame gained a healthy 30 lbs that I waddled around with the entire summer, and Jojo popped out nice and healthy right on her due date. But there were times at 8 months pregnant where all of my energy was consumed in kicking up my feet and trying really hard not to sweat in uncomfortable places. Growing life and bringing it into this world is no easy task. It’s actually Pretty. Freaking. Hard. I don’t think it’s necessary to illustrate what happens in the delivery room, but you can use your imagination. I applaud the female body for being able to do what it does. As gross and heavy and dreadful it may be, both before and after birth, it really is spectacular to look at your child and know that you played an integral role in his/her existence.
So if I, both mentally and physically, could grow and push out a little person, I surely can and will hike mountains and run miles again. I may or may not fit into those high-waisted skinny green corduroys, but I might treat myself and buy a new pair of jeans altogether. Regardless, I feel good about my new body and all it’s been through and all it will go through, stretchmarks and hips and everything.