Back to that quote I mentioned:What is healing but a change in perspective?The change in perspective I had was this: I realised the deep hurt I carried around because I never felt thin enough was something that had to go. It was too heavy a load to bear - and besides, I have Layla to consider: her own health and self-esteem/body-image. If she saw me cringing, year in and year out, in front of the mirror and constantly whining about my body, it could only have a negative impact on her.
My glorious days as a 28 year old single woman (I nearly said 'girl'!) and how fabulous I felt about every inch of myself shone deliciously in my heart and I realised it did not merely have to be a memory, but that I could make it a reality again (minus the singleton status, of course!) What caused me to head back down this bleakly treacherous path after such a fabulous blooming? Motherhood. I hate to admit it, but being pregnant and a new mom was devastatingly different to how I had always imagined it would be. And, I think that maybe I may have even been angry with my body for betraying me during the birth of my child: firstly, having to be induced with Sintocinon because Layla was in distress and had literally shat herself in fright, and then not dilating more than 2cm and hearing my as yet unborn child's heart stop and having to be rushed into surgery for an emergency C-section.
My pregnancy saw me carrying huge amounts of water - both in my womb and in my body, with once-petite ankles as swollen and shapeless as an elephant. (I was actually going to reference my late Norwegian great-aunt again and her lace-up shoes over which her ankles bulged, but felt a bit guilty. The necessity to accurately portray the immense fatness of my ankles prevailed, I'm afraid...) At 5 weeks, I glibly announced to the world that it seemed as if the morning-sickness curse had passed me by, but come Week # 6 and I was cuddling that toilet like there was no tomorrow! The GP announced his complete conviction that I was carrying twins. (I didn't tell him how, since I was a little girl, I had always prayed to not EVER be 'blessed' with them! Apologies to my identical twin sisters, Mandy and Julie.) I proceeded to vomit all the way through my pregnancy, having to dash out during teaching, or - most memorably, having to frantically stop the car on the side of the road in Milton Keynes on my way to do nursery shopping at IKEA to cover my boots and jeans in the peach yoghurt I'd just eaten to quell the nausea! Driving past the white-washed spot on my way back, I can actually remember my cheeks burning with humiliation!
(Sheesh, I DO get distracted, don't I?) My hands were so bloated that I couldn't wear my engagement ring - or any rings, for that matter! And none of my pretty pumps fitted my feet. Most disappointing? Asking Craig to please pick up a pack of size 16 panties at Tesco because - well, it's obvious, isn't it?! Boobs I could proudly flaunt at 34DD ballooned into 38F monstrosities, complete with wildly itchy skin, bright blue veining and, quite literally, a life of their own. (Lunchtime - time to feed my precious Layla something yummy! Part 3 coming soon: I know I got sidetracked again - but I've got to keep you hooked and coming back more, don't I?!)