It is somewhere in your teens that you start getting conscious about how you look and what you wear. You start taking care of your body in a new way- you want to look slim, suave and sexy. You start looking at your wardrobe with new eyes- a compliment makes your day!
Let’s fast forward ten years to the time a woman becomes a mother. Voila, all of a sudden, your body is hijacked and taken over by this new being that is sprouting within you. Everything that has been ‘normal’ in your life, changes. Your body starts doing the weirdest things; including trying to eject the new entrant- why else does one suffer all that nausea?
When once you stood in front of the mirror and admired your flat tummy, you now watch keenly for the hint of a bump. And because you are feeling so good about making a baby, you humour yourself and imagine your paunch to be a baby-bump instead. The second trimester hits you and you start expanding. At first, you gladly reach for your roomy clothes and even your husband’s tees, reveling in the novelty of it. By the third trimester, you look at your wardrobe in dismay, for now even your roomiest shirt doesn’t fit!
Off you head to the market to get some shopping done. In contrast to the tiny clothes you are selecting for the little one’s arrival, you search the largest clothes available for your own closet. Where once you proudly picked up clothes marked ‘Small’, now you stare in horror at the trial room mirror when an XXL (Extra Extra Large) sized garment accommodates your new girth. You sadly wash, fold and stack away your usual clothes, wishing each of them a teary farewell, wondering if you will ever fit into them again.
Clothes cease to be important once the baby announces its imminent arrival. Nurses shove you into a robe that you look onto with revulsion, wondering how many women’s blood it has seen. Doctors, anaesthetists and assistants take over. Your body performs a miracle that leaves you astounded and aghast in equal measure. A long journey back to normalcy begins, and yet, your body will never be the same.
It starts performing more fascinating tasks, including functioning even when you haven’t slept for days together, producing milk that can alone sustain your child for months and aching in places you would never have imagined possible. To accommodate the requirements of this new body, you reinvent your wardrobe once again. You now need clothes that can be thrown into the machine numerous times, that are suitable for feeding the forever-hungry baby and that allow you to perform all sorts of circus-like antics to handle and entertain your child.
Weeks melt into months. Exercise now constitutes running after your toddler. Your appetite does not seem to have reduced since your ninth month or pregnancy. Those ‘Small’ sized clothes lie forgotten in the cupboard of the guest room. Some of your dimensions, it seems, have changed permanently. You sigh and tell yourself that it is a small price to pay for the beauty of having created a new life.
And then you cross that sexy lady in the mall, who has two kids and yet has the figure of a Barbie doll.
Well, Life never promised it would be kind or fair!
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Piyushi Dhir is the author of 'In Search of Love', 'I'm Yours, The Next Time', 'Silent Promises' and 'Enmeshed Evermore'. She is a contributor in 'Nineteen Tales of COVID-19', a collection of short stories. A voracious reader, a keen traveler, a businesswoman and a mom, Piyushi currently resides in Canada. A nomad at heart, she loves to discover new places and capture the hues of life with her pen.