When I was a very new Mum, I confess I became rather fond of daytime TV. Not that I wasn’t already – I work alone in a windowless box with a bank of screens. ‘Homes Under the Hammer’, ‘Heir Hunters’ and ‘Helicopter Heroes’ (what’s with all the Hs?) often kept me company even before Moo. But moreso since. Especially when Moo was properly tiny; not interactive, he just spent most of his time either asleep or feeding – both tough times to engage with him – so I would have the TV on in the background, for company. At one point I was actually switching on for ‘Wild At Heart’. Dark days.
I confess, too, that I’ve always had a leaning towards property shows, although not all of them. Yes, the ‘Escape to the Country’ style shows are all well and good, and who doesn’t love a nosey around someone else’s home? Bit of property porn never did anyone any harm. But what floats my boat more are the creative property shows. A bit of ‘Kirstie’s Handmade Home’, ‘Grand Designs’ and ‘Sarah Beeny’s Restoration Home’. I like to see how someone has taken a space and made it work for them. It’s the imagination and vision that’s so often missing from the ‘Location, Location…’ house-shopping style programmes. “I don’t like the colour”. Paint it. “The décor’s a bit dated”. Change it. Or even “I just think there’s too much stuff in here”. You’re not buying the furniture! It drives me mad, this lack of vision and imagination. It’s something Mr Oh and I have always prided ourselves on – being able to see past décor and to the blank canvas potential of a property.
Well, no longer. Suddenly my vision and imagination seems to have failed me. Only this time, I’m not talking about property. I’m talking about my body.
Like with a house you’re doing up, I know the kind of effect I want to end up with. I know (allow me to stretch the metaphor!) that I want a large welcoming kitchen, and open plan living space that still feels cosy. I know I want my bedroom to be light and airy, and I want wooden floorboards throughout. But, like the irritating people on these TV shows who can’t seem to see past the ‘warm terracotta’ the previous owners have misguidedly daubed across the kitchen walls, I can’t quite picture how my goals are going to manifest in my body. For so long, I’ve lived with my bumpy hips, my underarm and back fat, my mega butt. My mummy tummy’s a newer addition, but it’s still hard to imagine what it’d be like if that went.
I can’t imagine how my body is going to look when I’ve melted away the excess fat layer currently shielding me from the world. What it’s going to be like to have a taut and toned tummy. How it’s going to feel to have thighs that don’t rub together.
The winter before I got pregnant with Moo I was probably the fittest I’ve ever been. And the healthiest. And I felt GREAT on it. But I wasn’t done. I had quite some way still to go. So the end result is still a bit of a mystery to me.
All I do know, though, is that in the early months of my pregnancy I had no idea just HOW my body would stretch and change to grow and hold Moo. But it did. At times I felt I couldn’t possibly, physically, get any bigger. I did. And with remarkably few stretch marks. Moreover, though, I was often convinced that things were bound to go horribly wrong. That I would lose him. That that niggle would turn into full blown SPD. That my labour wouldn’t go remotely to plan and I’d put Moo in danger. None of these things happened. Like a miracle, my body bloomed, grew and produced the most perfect little person, all with remarkably little inconvenience to me.
My body is capable of incredible things and – even if I can’t imagine it right now – it’s capable of this too. And I’m excited, and can’t wait to see the end result.