I didn't know it at the time, sitting in the restaurant at Simon Pearce in Queeche, VT and drinking a chaste sip of wine, how my life would change after my pregnancy. I didn't know the full implications of my decision then.
A baby was only an abstract thought to me. I had very little morning sickness and for the first 12 weeks of my pregnancy, it was easier for me to believe that I had ovarian cancer than a child. All of the pregnancy tests in the world couldn't convince me that I would be able to carry a growing infant to term in my body.
Then I did. Zac came and he was beautiful, if completely unknown and foreign to me. I wish I could have those early days back with him. I would give almost anything to hold him against me and feel his soft, downy head. It's probably the most accute form of revisionist history to wish that I could look down and see him nurse again. I miss the unbelievably small onesies and sleeping next to him throughout the night. I see little babies in the mall or in the waiting room of my organization and think, "How was he ever that small?" Even at one month old, he looked like a little mini adult, fully formed and ready to play.
Now he wakes me up by coming as close to my face as possible, with our noses almost touching, and yells, "HA!" as soon as he sees my eyes open. His mouth hangs open in a goofy grin and he opens his eyes as wide as possible to greet me good morning.
I get up, turn on some cartoons for him to watch, get undressed to take a shower and am once again faced with my post-pregnancy body. It's covered in stretch marks and parts hang lower than I think they should. My stomach has the odd dual lumps, with my belly button in the middle, separating the twin hills. When I spin around to turn on the shower, I remember why I turn out the light before I get undressed.
Trying to date with this body is like trying to write a novel with a worn down nub of a pencil. It's possible to do it, just not easy. The pencil can form words and convey the thoughts of the author, but its a dull instrument when compared to a computer or even a pen.
It's not that I want to trade my body or even go back to the body that I had before Zac, it's that I wish I could embrace the beauty of this pencil, bitemarks and all.