I’ve been thinking about my stomach a lot lately. This won’t come as a surprise to anyone who knows me, as I’m pretty much always thinking about my stomach, in the sense that I’m wondering what I’m going to put into my stomach next. But lately I’ve been thinking as much about what my stomach looks like as its contents.
Before I got pregnant, I had a fairly decent-looking stomach. It was pretty flat as far as stomachs go, and you could just about make out a muscle line down the middle. I worked hard for that two pack – I went to the gym three or four days a week, played roller derby twice a week and ate a (mostly) healthy vegetarian diet. It was a well cared-for stomach.
My stomach looks different now that I’ve had the Popple. It still has a line down the middle, but it’s the linea nigra that many women get when they’re pregnant. My belly button has stretched out, as has the hole left over from when I had a belly button ring.* My stomach is soft and downy now, like a little pillow.
And you know what? I like my new stomach more than the old one. It’s the stomach of someone who grew a little person inside them, the most amazing thing that a body can do. It’s the stomach of someone who doesn’t have time for sit-ups because they’re too busy cuddling said little person. It’s the stomach of someone who doesn’t care what they look like anymore because they know they’re going to have bags under their eyes and spit-up on their clothes and OH GOD IS THAT POO ON MY SHIRT?
Well done, stomach. Now let’s get some ice cream in you.
*I got my belly button ring at 19, when I couldn’t imagine a time when I wouldn’t want a sparkly butterfly stuck in my midsection. The butterfly is long gone, but the hole remains – a reminder that I was once very skinny and a bit stupid.