Imagine your tummy growing so big that it goes ahead of you like it is in a bid to leave your body and precede you to wherever. Imagine being so round that every step you make is calculated lest you tumble down and have a great fall á la Humpty Dumpty. Imagine being unable to see your toes let alone touch them. Imagine having to survive on flat shoes and keeping your sexy high heels at the back of your closet. Imagine not using your name and the word ‘sexy’ in the same sentence because it is a feeling so foreign to you at the time.
Imagine carrying another human being (say it’s a girl) to full term such that you get so heavy that you can only shuffle your feet; no jumping, and running is an absolute no-no. A human being who has her own mind and is not afraid to use it. One who will make you throw up that tasty meal you ate with so much zeal. Or who will make you suffer heartburn and bloating after enjoying a good portion of the same delicacy that she had you craving for in the first place. Imagine hosting someone inside your body who is entirely dependent on you but who ironically is your boss in every other way – Sonko, she is called. She determines your eating habits, and when she says no nibbling, there will be no nibbling and so you will sit down and stuff your face with a good amount of food in one seating. Forget your figure, which went to the dogs as soon as the pregnancy test read positive. Forget the cholesterol, which is a non-issue for the next nine months. She determines when and how you sleep; insomnia could be the order of your nights, or dosing the order of your days. You might toss and turn trying to find the perfect sleeping position. Only she will determine the perfect position when she (and therefore you) is comfortable enough to fall asleep.
Imagine getting that first sign of labour pains and thereon after, your body acting on its own volition. Things getting out of your control. Your body then timing itself effortlessly for each contraction; by the minute, by the second. Imagine your body determining that it is indeed time to let out this little person from inside you into the world, with no consultations to you of course. Ready or not. You can only lay back and let nature take its course. At this point, your timing is totally insignificant. Your body operates on its own clock, doing things that you never in a million years imagined it could and you become a spectator. The doctors and nurses too can only wait for things to happen. Maybe they will make you comfortable, monitor that all is well, give a little nudge here and there, and offer a little something for the pain perhaps. But basically, wait.
Imagine the bloody mess. Oh, yeah. Forget the movies that show it as a ‘decent’ affair, birthing is one bloody mess! The excruciating pain and the yelling (and I speak for myself here) – O, the yelling! Imagine the miracle of birth. The greatest miracle from up above. It makes the multiplication of five loaves and two fish, and the concoction of wine from water look so normal!
Keep your imagination alive and take it a step further. Imagine the little one refusing to budge. Imagine yourself laboring and religiously breathing fast through your mouth like you have been taught and yet nothing happens. Imagine the doctors opting to cut you open to get her out. Imagine going under and waking up to numbness.
Now imagine seeing her for the first time. Imagine all the pain going away as you meet the little person you have known since she was only a mass of cells. This little person that has been kicking your insides on end. The little person whose arrival changes your life, your perception, your dreams, goals. She changes everything! Imagine the joy. The swelling of your heart as it threatens to burst with emotions of love.
Imagine this trophy at the end of the race. Priceless. Precious. Imagine that little person that makes all those hurdles fade into nothingness. That little girl who enables you to see what a small price you pay to get this gift that is beyond human understanding.
Fast forward to one year later. Toothless no more, she smiles at you with her two pair of teeth. That little person recognizes you. She calls you mummy. Though she still needs you, she is slowly trying to become independent; if only to give you a tiny part of your life back. She is scaling the furniture as she stands, trying to maneuver around the house. Imagine her slowly tearing herself from depending on your bosom for her feedings as she samples the different kinds of baby food.
A year is gone and she still loves you like the first time you met. She is not tired of seeing your face and you know that she will need you to watch over her for the rest of her life. Just when you thought you couldn’t love her more, your love soars to greater heights, always at the deepest depths and the highest heights.
Imagine getting your waistline back, being able to touch and tend to your feet again, and feeling light as a feather, fit as a fiddle even. Imagine donning your sexy heels again, and getting your sexy back. Imagine that feeling after you had swelled like a balloon, wobbled around like a duck, and eventually screamed yourself hoarse while pulling at your hair in the hospital’s emergency room when you felt like your insides were oozing out.
Imagine the cycle of life.
That little person, Heidi, is one year old already. Now imagine that!