Thursday, 22 October 2009


Every year October takes my breath away. Every year I try and write it, but always end up with an empty echo of its beauty. So this year I'm not even attempting aside from saying that the air is warm and bright and tastes like honey and I love it.

I am loving the warmth for the most part. After months of having to wear a lot of clothes, it's nice to put on floaty dresses (with exceptions) and shorts and singlets and to laze away in my hammock with a good book (not that this actually happens but a girl can dream).

The flipside is dealing with the fact that with lots of clothes comes the ability to cover up, and peeling off the clothes is revealing what lies beneath...

While pregnant, everything was taut, full and glowed. Now, it's not. Skin that was luminescent and smooth as glass is now a doughy mess. Hair that shone in a luxurious thick mane is now thin and stringy and both oily and dry at the same time. Even with Bingley's terrible photographic skills I wish I had demanded more photos. Booked an artistic "nude" session, frolicked in a bikini somewhere, because I have never felt so confident as I did in the last few weeks of pregnancy.

Now I'm the cliche of a used vessel, sunken, bloated and fleshy with no hormonal blush. The permanent blue bruises under my sleepless eyes do nothing to enhance a beauty that was never there. I don't want to be touched, I'm touched out as it is, with the Possums affections and the girls' need for cuddles and petting. But it's also the way that touch feels on the squishy softness. How much I recoil from the sensation.

I feel used up. Unnecessary and slightly embarrassing. I do my hair and almost wonder what the point is, as if a perfectly blowdried fringe will detract from the heavy features I've never grown into and the saggy mess of popped balloon. I feel shy meeting strangers for the first time in my life, apologetic that they're seeing me like this. Embarrassed for my husband and children.

It comes in waves, a horrible self consciousness, usually when I'd been on the brink of forgetting. And I know it's stupid, I know that it's shallow, but I can't seem to break the way it hurts me. I've succeeded in so many parts of my life, but I can't change my genes, or my phenotype, or the fact that not everyone has a dazzling smile. And for someone as stubborn, and determined as I, well it's aggravating.

The stupidest thing of all, is that holding the possum, and nuzzling his soft skin I can't help but nom nom nom on his gloriously pudgy thighs, kiss the tiny roll at the back of his neck and stroke his cherubic cheeks. I adore his smackable bum and the way his belly spills out over his nappy. And yet, those same parts of my self I view as imperfection, grinding away at the gym knowing full well that even if you remove all the fat, I'm never going to be a Hollywood clone.

I miss the way that pregnancy made me feel. Miss how peaceful and zen I felt in those last weeks. Miss having a baby kicking me and tumbling as I fall asleep. Missing sleeping. Missing the heavy ache of full breasts devoid of crescent shaped fingernail scars. Miss my long hair, the colour of my eyes when pregnant. Miss my hormonal euphoria, my excitement and my anticipation.

But, for all that whinging, and it IS whinging, I still would not change any of it. Even my ruined body. Because the fruits of it are lying on a soft minkee rug, slurping away at a contraband toy with joyful eyes that crinkle up when they see me. His whole body kicking with the full body emotion that he feels for me. He gives big sloppy kisses now, long strings of drool sliding wetly off his cheeks. He giggles and laughs, and he snuggles into me every night. He loves banana and hates rice cereal. He is barely on the 5th percentile for weight and I don't care. To me, he is perfect and I know, to him, so am I.


Blythe said...

I love it. I wish I could say "I could have written your post" however my words never will sound as beautiful as yours, Jenn.

Tiff said...

You have perfectly described EXACTLY how I felt when I was 25... 10 years on, still a popped balloon, but your brain pops a bit too and you dont really mind too much. xox

Shel said...

I'm still a popped balloon and C is almost FOUR!!

Ease up pretty one - I think you're all that and a bit more myself!

much love


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