I can't remember what it's like to be pregnant anymore. To automatically have a place to put my hands, after spending months wearing pants without pockets. To have a shelf that caught any excess food I wasn't able to slip between my lips.
I can't remember what it was like to pat my belly and have someone, or two, respond back with kicking or poking or prodding.
I can't remember all of the pain and suffering and aches. I can't remember how existing on one and a half hours of sleep felt. (For which I am eternally grateful.)
I can't remember the pregnant walk. The rolling sailor gait, the wide waddle that let everyone around you know that you were Comin' Through!
I can't remember constantly overheating, contracting, twingeing, swelling, and getting nauseated. I can see my feet whenever I'd like and touch my toes from a standing position, should I feel so inclined. I don't bump into doors with my belly button anymore, either.
I can't remember what it's like to breathe for someone else, to pee for someone else, to pump someone else's blood through my body.
I can't remember feeling the constant need to pee. The breathlessness, or the constant fear of falling down. Weebles wobble, but sometimes they do fall down and occasionally get stuck.
I can't remember what it felt like to constantly pet my own belly and attend to all of the gymnastics taking place inside. There's no one left to respond to a gentle poke or pat...inside. No one abruptly tests my bladder capacity anymore, either. (Have I mentioned peeing enough for you yet? Gah! It's a constant of pregnancy.)
As I stood there looking at the reflection of my sad, deflated, melted belly in the mirror, I realized that I'd forgotten all of that. Feelings that seemed utterly memorable and unforgettable at the time, I've forgotten. I've forgotten the body memory, the shape of things, the pressures. Once those babies were happily, joyfully decanted, I started a slow journey back to "normal". I'm not so certain I'll ever see normal again, but I'm a lot closer to my body's version of "normal" than 9.5 months ago.
I've lost the pregnant belly. Forever. Now I have loose, saggy baggy skin as a constant reminder of the last known location of Twins. Evicted, 9/27/07. The giant beachball is no more.
I'm grateful for all it held. Three children; two births. Sixty-five pounds gone. Fifty-two inches around, marking the boundary between me, the twins and all the rest of the world. I'm still amazed skin can stretch so far and yet not burst. I appreciate being able to see my feet again and to fit into regular clothes once more.
But how could I forget what it feels like? After all that, how can it be so easy to forget?