“Birth, life and death-each took place on the hidden side of a leaf”.-T. Morrison

Someone recently asked me: “What will you miss most about being pregnant?”

This question took me by surprise because lately I determined what kind of day it’s going to be based on whether or not I vomit before work. I then rate the day based on whether or not I regurgitate only bile or actual food chunks.

I look down at my swollen ankles that look more like the feet of an elephant and I wiggle my swollen sausage toes as I think long and hard about what I’ll miss most.

As a middle child from a fairly large family I always relished attention. As a child I enjoyed adult praises and the attention of others-there was a certain rush I felt when I was able to hold the attention of a beloved teacher or classmate. As an adult-I must humbly admit I still like attention-not the kind where I’m viewed as an objectified object but rather the kind where I’m respected for my opinions on matters big and small.

Therefore, the first thing I think I’ll miss is the attention a large and round belly bestowed upon me. Strangers and friends alike gave me attention. This large belly paved the way for people to pay extra special attention to me as I waddled to and fro. Doors were held open more so than usual-kind gazes and concerns about my well being were inquired about so frequently if I were given a dollar every time someone asked about my well being- I’d be able to retire now at the ripe old age of thirty-seven!

Co-workers often left yummy treats for me at my desk at work-lovingly covered awaiting to be devoured (my fear of gestational diabetes stopped me from eating a lot of it-but hey it’s the thought that counts).

In addition to the attention-I will miss not worrying about how my body looks in clothing. There was no need for me to “suck it in” or consult with my sister about how my body looked in a particular garment. I didn’t need to look into proper shape wear, girdles, spanks or any other uncomfortable under clothing to minimize or hide my fupa to conform into what society has determined my body should look like.

My hips got wider, my thighs thickened out and my breasts swelled-all in preparation to grow a new life and for once it was socially ok. No one looked at me sideways when I helped myself to seconds of a delicious meal, there were no judgements passed upon me as I skipped the gym and went home to elevate my swollen feet.

Everyone encouraged me to rest and even warned me against my occasional twerk sessions and dance moves I was able to muster up on occasion. God willing I’ll continue to “shake it” now and again as the birth of baby Harper is quickly approaching. I’ll continue to welcome all attention big and small as well as not caring about the extra weight gained-I’ll also remind myself to be kind during post birth and not get caught up in the “snap back” culture we find ourselves in.

The recent devastation of lives lost, virus outbreaks as well as the really bad flu season forces us all to put our lives in perspective. Let us all be kinder to ourselves and others-pregnant or not. Blessings.