I was sitting on the edge of the bed yesterday thinking about my body. I am, of course, engorged with the consequences of the little life growing inside of me — my belly bulges; my ankles, feet and fingers swell; my breasts finally exhibit something like ripeness — and even before I was pregnant I was “overweight”. The result is flesh that seems to melt in soggy layers over my rigid bones. Clothed and active I only notice the inconveniences of my largeness – struggling to stand or bend or find shoes or clothes that fit. Even with the annoyances I feel modestly happy with my growing body. I am, as my sister put it, “cute pregnant,” growing out and not around. Sitting unclothed on the bed, however, I felt the cascade of my fleshy body in every detail — the breasts laying down over the swell of my belly rolling over my legs which spread themselves comfortably out over the sheets. Behind me, a fan of fat spread out to cushion my seat and keep me stable. I was a paleolithic figurine — full of curves. We, I thought, are not supposed to like this. Would, I wondered, the baby like a cooler, crisper house? Would she like her womb tucked neatly between my hips and ribs with no extra flesh to get in the way of public admiration? I suppose there are some who find my largess distasteful, who are offended at my failure to provide an aesthetically pleasing pregnancy, but I cannot imagine that she is yet among them.
For me the moment was lovely. I liked the feeling of my back straight and strong and my feet on the floor. I liked the feeling of my many parts breathing and being still. I laughed like a Buddha fat with enlightenment. For a moment I forgot that I dislike my fat and have already developed a plan for shedding it once the child has freed herself from it. For a moment I was joyful in my skin. For a moment I was quiet.