Thursday, 12 December 2013

This Ain't The Body I Ordered...

I'm fairly body confident. Mostly because I've made a conscious effort in recent years to cultivate a body that I can be confident about. Yes, my weight has crept up on the odd occasion, but as soon as I start to spill out of my size 12 jeans, I tend to switch to non-processed foods and ramp up a fairly strict exercise regime. It started with a wedding dress that didn't really fit and became something of a project; one which left me with a body I could be quite comfortably proud of.
To the point where I have quite a lot of photos of it.
And then I got pregnant.

Pregnancy changes things, of course it does. I was expecting that. I expected a bump and a waddle, but there are all sorts of other changes that I wasn't warned about and, dear reader, it's time for me to share a few of them with you (whether you want me to or not).


Don't get me wrong, I've always had breasts. Good ones. Good ones that I liked to show off. In fact, with some fairly simple searching of the internet (and, indeed, this very blog) you can see them for yourselves in all of their former glory.

However, pregnancy changes things. 

My beautiful boobies suddenly became big, sore and covered in dark veins. My nipples grew in size and turned dark and lumpy. The above picture gives you some idea of how they look nowadays. Not only that, but they've learnt a new trick: lactation. A few days ago, I looked down at my udders (they no longer deserve the name 'breast') and noticed what looked like blocked pores on the teat. Giving them a gentle rub, I apparently awoke the milk-bearing Kracken and they have barely stopped since. I try not to touch them at the moment, but it's pretty difficult to avoid when you have to, you know, wear clothes and things.

Head a little south of the beef burger udders and you reach my belly. 

Well, I was expecting changes here, right? Yes, I was, but there are a few things that you can never quite mentally prepare yourself for. The first is the linea nigra. I knew this would more than likely happen in the later stages of my pregnancy, however it began to appear around the twenty week mark. Not only that, but it appeared to have been drinking before its arrival and set up camp from my bra line to below my belly button, and ever so slightly off centre. The result is a bump that always looks a little bit like it's pointing off to the right. In other words, it looks like my belly button is gazing wistfully into the middle distance.

My belly button has always been deep, and I never truly expected it to 'pop out'. Bless it, it has tried but, due to sheer depth, what it's actually done is fashion itself into a rather fetching cat's anus type affair. With a top over it, it actually looks ok; a lot like an outie. When I lift up my top, it looks like you could use me to store tea towels. 

Head further south still, and you reach another big change: my bottom. And 'big' really is the word here. I've always had a fairly large bottom, but it was the kind of arse that, while large, was smooth and strong enough to crack a nut with. Not so anymore. Suddenly it spills out of my pants with a texture more akin to orange peel than buns of steel. It wobbles when I walk and seemingly farts at will; a bodily function I apparently have no control over anymore. 

It's ok, I know you're all thinking it too.
My pants are now less size 10, more size 14 and even those are unflattering. I'm told it's something to do with water retention, so I have faith that it's nothing to do with the family sized bar of dark chocolate I just consumed. 

Around the corner from my bum, you find yourself at the baby's intended point of exit.

Somewhat naively, I always thought that the changes to your foof happened at the very end of your pregnancy, when the baby uses it to make its grand entrance into the world. I was wrong. The changes began almost immediately, something to do with blood flow to the area. I'm not going to pretend that these changes were altogether unpleasant.

Sadly, I then stopped being able to see it. Ignorance being bliss, I also stopped really thinking about it, although I was vaguely aware that it had been some time since I felt safe about tackling it with a razor; or shaving blind, as it were.

A few days ago, curiosity got the the better of me and I decided to view myself naked in a mirror. There's not really any flowery ways of putting this, so I'm just going to say it: my fanny looks like Rasputin.

Yep. This guy.
I feel like I should probably try and do something about it before I thrust it into the midwife's face, but part of me is tempted to leave it and see if it starts speaking Russian.

So there you go, my body is no longer my own. It's simply a vehicle for this little human to grow in, and I'm acutely aware that it will never be the same again. Somehow, though, it all feels really quite worth it...