I’ve reached that post baby delivery threshold where the glory of growing a human fades and the time of taking inventory of the aftermath begins. At thirty-eight I consider myself an attractive woman despite not recalling the last time I even considered donning make-up. Some of it is effort. I try to exercise, sleep, eat well…wax. Some of it is genes; approaching middle age I could probably easily pass for thirty. On a good day possibly twenty-eight, but it would have to be a very good day after my daughter has been sleeping nine consecutive hours for a century and my son stops throwing every imaginable toy in the kitchen sink. That said, I’m not terribly photogenic, which is evident in my published headshot. But, to be fair, it was taken after another lackluster haircut at the very sunset of my gloriously heinous pregnancy with the Warrior Queen.
My body is starting to shrink, albeit not fast enough for my liking, but shrinking nonetheless. It isn’t so much a vanity thing as I miss my lovelier clothing, and it would be even more lovely if I could wear a bra that fit. But, returning to a type of pre-pregnancy body is a gradual thing, so periodically I try on wardrobe odds-and-ends. This morning was a shorter dress just above the knee. Since I birthed Warrior Queen, everything I wear has been ankle length, but I’m small, so ankle is kind in many instances.
This dress is a favorite. Something about it is cozy and fun, even if my extra ten pounds doesn’t make it as fun as I remember. Sometimes cozy is enough. Draping this black number over myself I surveyed my legs in detail for the first time. It seems every pregnancy brings about some type of physical godsend. Surprisingly, my belly stretch marks disappeared after Little Man’s pregnancy. Maybe their reincarnation will do the same this time; maybe not. My spider veins, however, multiplied at Tribble-like frequency.
(This is how I looked at my legs this morning.)
Such a statement says quite a lot because my spider veins were fairly plentiful prior to, and full out flourished after my son’s pregnancy. I get that I’m supposed to love my goddess body and feel the pride of what it can do. That sentiment certainly hasn’t escaped me, but I’d be lying if I said I was pleased that my fair, okay, pastey legs grew even more of these blue marvels.
A strange thing, though, as I scrutinized every inch of my stemware. My younger pre baby me screamed that I should not go out in public with such arachnids visibly coating my lower half. I even removed my cozy, fun dress for a moment. Maybe it’s because of the comfort that pairs with the realization of my officially impending middle age. Maybe it’s because my body, spider veins and all, did, in fact, create two pretty incredible humans who vomit…everywhere and throw toys in the sink. I ardently tried to care about the appearance of my legs, but it just didn’t matter. Sure, I’d love to walk on stilts worthy of the best airbrushing, but that will never happen. So, while I forget to hold my breath, I will be wearing my shorter garments, making peace with the proliferations of spiders that climbed on my spouts again.