• kristinaskovby

Metamorphosis of the body

By Mama Mangita

Four pregnancies, two babies.

A completely normal thing that many women go through.

I marvel at the normality of it. If men where doing the same kind of magic tricks with their bodies I think there would be a tv-channel dedicated to talking about it all day long. I think history books would burst with tales of childbirth and pregnancies rather than of wars and territory. I may be putting my sex on a piedestal... Maybe it should be!

Pregnancy and childbirth has been the most transformative experiences of my life. Producing and afterwards nurturing a human being with my body has made me love it so much more. And almost disbelieving that anyone who has done this could think less of their bodies after doing so. So here are tributes and love songs to my productive body:

The metamorphosis of my belly:

Soft and firm. Then slowly growing out of itself. The navel disappearing and revealing a beauty spot I’d never seen. The skin stretched tightly over a baby about to enter this world. Marble lines in the skin.

The muscles of the uterus taking over. The strongest muscles ever felt. Contractions sending sounds through my body from the depths of my soul, from the very earth. Knowing right then and there I could die - my baby could. Feeling more alive than ever.

After birth. Loved that soft bag of a belly that had contained my child and now made for a perfect baby cushion. My sister called it a ‘whipped cream belly’ because it shimmies so well. A compliment. Nine months later my belly had found it’s new identity. More soft than firm now, but somehow back to normal. Nine months is needed to create the pregnant body. Nine months to come back to a new normal. Still with traces of marble lines and proud softness - the beauty spot revealed could no longer creep back into hiding.

The next pregnancy was over before it all began. The next one too - though it left two small scars where though the doctors had removed my disrupted oviduct and the remains of what could have been.

And then it all happened again. The skin stretched thin and the tiny scars widening.

The birth in a hurricane of contractions and the soft baby cushion afterwards.

I thank my belly. My whipped cream belly with the marble lines for holding on so firmly to life a second time.

The metamorphosis of my breasts:

from perky young ones full of hope and ambition, to pregnant ones: blueish and veiny and with a dark promising areola. A few days after childbirth: nature’s very own boob job with rock-hard, sore breasts releasing a fountain of milk on demand or when feelings of pleasure emerged. After another few days the breasts had adjusted production to demand and found a size and shape that suited their purpose. The feeling of pinching and tingling when milk is released, beginning under the armpits and ending in the nipple where sweet milk drips or flushes out.

Then, when breastfeeding ended: almost sad and lonely breasts, mourning their lack of function. Drained, tired and empty. Bit with a new sensitivity. After a while refinding some perkiness but now with fulfilled ambition, and the contentment of the wise. Aware that their lifegiving function will awaken when it is needed.

Wonderful beautiful servants of life.

“The Skywhale” created by Patricia Piccinini