Dear Right Leg,
Have you taken a look at yourself lately? Maybe compared yourself to your twin, left leg? You know I had a lot of worries when I got pregnant for a third time. I worried about having another miscarriage. I worried about something being wrong with the baby. Vain worries were there, too. Would I gain a ton a weight again? Would I not be so lucky and get stretch marks this time around? But are you kidding me, right leg?! It never occurred to me that I would have to worry about you! You helped carry me through my entire first pregnancy with nary a fuss. Therefore, I must say: I’m more than a little disappointed that you decided to lose control over your portion of my circulatory system. Is it really that hard to keep all those veins in check? I’m guessing the answer is “yes” since now when I look down at you over my growing belly, I see a road map of bulging veins and purple islands of capillaries. Not the vein worries I considered. How is it possible that just one leg erupts in varicose veins?! NONE of the books mentioned this! I’m 50% through my pregnancy, and you’re 100% through caring about what you look like. But here’s the thing, right leg: I care. Did you ever think of that? We work as a team, and I don’t believe you consulted me before letting yourself go. I’ve never been a gym rat or even set aside much time for regular exercise (unless you count the 15 months I spent walking my daughter in her stroller so she could nap). Despite my lack of interest in what’s classically defined as exercise, I take care of myself. I’m active and I eat well. I care about how I look, and I worry about how physical changes will affect how I feel about myself. But, considering your current condition, it’s clear that you don’t!
And you know what else you might not realize? Vanity aside, these suckers hurt. I wake up at night fearing I’ve developed deep vein thrombosis, but then realize, no, it’s just you, giving up even more.
I know I was never in the running for being a leg model. My thighs are ample as are my ankles, and while you legs have a shape, I wouldn’t call you shapely. But I work with you. I fight with myself to embrace my form. Now, however, you’re making the fight harder. You know when I was pregnant with my daughter that I was afraid of how my post-baby body would look. I know it’s vain. I know I should welcome the change that motherhood brings, stretched out belly button and all, but I’d like to have most of me back. Now that you’ve given up, I’ve lost about 25% of my former outer shell. I had plans for self-improvement after I was done having kids, you know. It was in the form of Lasik. Do you hear me, right leg?! I have body issues, but the thing I was going to repair permanently was my eyesight. (I’m sure a therapist could have a field day with that.) I now feel like I need to amend those plans. Now, right leg, I think I’ll have to visit a vein clinic to right the wrongs you’ve inflicted. Not just for my vanity, but also because the pain. As if there isn’t enough pain in pregnancy, child birth, and all that comes after, now with every step I take, I’m reminded of your failure to keep everything in check within your domain.
I think about all that we’ve been through. You’ve literally moved me through life. You helped propel me through neighborhoods as a child. You were there through all the cartwheels and playground acrobatics. You’ve taken me to the tops of trees and over fences. You’ve helped walk me home from bars, across campuses, and down the aisle (twice). You’ve also let me fall, but that’s OK, because you’ve helped me get back up. You’ve helped me walk away, and led me to where I need to be. Can you understand now why I would be so disappointed in you? We’ve been through everything together and it’s not just me anymore. There’s a life inside me and a toddler who still need to be carried. I know you’re strong, and this failure doesn’t define you, but can we work together on this? Can you promise me not to let those veins and capillaries get out of control? Also, layoff the bulging blue road maps and midnight throbbing. If you can do that for me, I will concede to let my vanity go a bit and hope bathing suit trends from the 1920s return. Can we make that deal?
The other part of the whole
I first read this post at the opening event at MamaCon. MamaCon is a conference by moms for moms. In short, it draws one of the raddest bunch of conference goers I’ve ever encountered.