Day 09/30: Adaptation
It's amazing what a woman can get used to. With a pinch of surrender, and a hefty dose of acceptance, I find myself to be an exceptionally adaptable person, and for that I am thankful. It's an especially nice blessing to have right now, considering that my body is on a wild ride with only the mysteries of hormones and DNA behind the wheel.
When it comes to adaptability, I don't have much to prove to myself. I am pretty confident in this particular talent. After all, I lived in a warehouse on the outskirts of Beijing once upon a time. I spent months pushing through zombie-like crowds, eating donkey meat sandwiches, and navigating squatty potties. One day I was a vagabond, and the next a kindergarten teacher. I learned to speak without the luxury of common language, and how to close my eyes and swallow without wondering too much what type of meat might be topping my noodles.
Strangely enough, adapting back to the USA was a lot more shocking. I remember going to Taco Bell and thinking about how I really would eat off of the floor there. I spent my first night back in North America drinking water straight from the tap, bathing in a tub full of clean water, and nibbling on fresh lettuce and toasted bread. It wasn't as easy to sink back into luxury as it had been to reconcile myself to the unknown.
Through the many changes in my life I've tried to hold tight to a taoist ideal that the best thing to do was pick a good wave and right it wherever it may lead. As for where that's landed me, I can't complain. For better or worse, I was meant to be me, and I was meant to be here.
I'm finding myself again in an unknown place, this time it's not a different country, but a different body that I inhabit. With my growing belly I can't move quite the way I used to. Much that should seem familiar feels different, like laying on my side to take a nap, or bending over to tie my shoes. The most alarming change is to do with my senses. I've always had a strong nose, but now my sense of taste and smell has turned from super-power to kryptonite.
Everything, and I mean EVERYTHING tastes funny, and for the most part funny = horrendous. I am quickly reverting to my six year old self, a creature who refused to eat pretty much anything. When my sisters chowed down on green salad, I would only eat sliced cucumbers (peeled and sliced) or carrot sticks (in water). I despised any toppings on my pizza, refused to have anything to do with sauces that didn't originate from a tomato, and loathed nearly all cooked fruits and vegetables.
I've taken to dipping the most offensive things I have to eat in ketchup. I'm pretty sure the midwives would be less than keen on this practice, but I'm telling you I don't know what else to do. Getting protein every day is a serious challenge when the taste of beans and the smell of meat utterly repulses you.
Still, the baby and I must eat, so I'm learning to live without enjoying my dinner. I'm also keeping my eye out (or my nose out) for things that I won't mind eating quite so much. Let's just hope that my taste buds take a break after Babe-leo arrives.
This line of thought reminds me of another that I had last week during my yoga class. My fellow mamas were commiserating over the loss of ownership over their bodies. While I can't say for certain that I won't eventually feel this way too, I couldn't help but realize that my body has never been my own. I own my body just about as much as I own the air in my lungs or the light on my face.
I appreciate this body that carries me around, and now carries my child too, but it isn't me, not really. So if it changes, so be it. Like the baby I am about to bring into the world, all I can do is help it along, and hope to protect it as best I can.
(And feed it ketchup when it feels like being unreasonable.)
P.S. This post is part of my 30 Days With a Grateful Heart series. You can see my other posts in this series on Mary Makes Dinner, Mary Makes Pretty, and here on Mary Makes Babies. Check out Bless Her Heart to find other bloggers participating in this series.