Round and Round We Go


 Joni Mitchell once famously sang that, "you don't know what you've got 'till it's gone." I think of this line often when staring at my reflection of late.

Where once my collarbone softly spilled into my chest, two ballooning orbs now float and bob. Where the curve of my waist used to nip inward it now swells, soft and round where it had been slim and taut. My thighs have thickened, my feet are puffy, my face appears fuller than it has in years. Even the skin along my back has acquired a layer of padding. A plush toy that swallowed the action figure.

Perhaps the most frustrating part of this transformation is that I must submit to it. I have ceded control of my body, and there is no alternative. No juice cleanses, no calorie restrictions, no strict running regimens or intensive workouts. Not now and not for at least three more months.

I cannot even drown my sorrows in rosé.

But the tradeoff for all of these indignities, well into my 26th week, is the miraculous sensation of activity from within.

At first, the taps came softly—a private Morse code only we two could share. Then one morning, half-awake as the sun peeked through the curtains, Kai was finally able to feel the gentle thumps I'd been describing to him for weeks. Now I receive kicks and pokes so regularly and so powerful, at times my stomach visibly vibrates and sways.

Such movements startle me from lingering too long in any self-conscious inner dialogue and, with a swift right foot to the hip, command, "Hey, snap out of it!"

It's all just part of the process, his rhythmic punches duly remind me. A blip in time, thrum his tiny feet. A temporary cosmetic discomfort, jab those littlest of elbows. Don't sweat it. Have another piece of cake. Enjoy the softness while you still can.