Pregnancy is a physical renovation. Our blood surges, our bones loosen, even our hearts burn. We become comfortable with carrying our futures within our bodies, in such close proximity that their possible impact is indecipherable. It is like trying to read a book with our nose pressed directly against the pages. Then the elevator doors open, and sometimes we are catapulted into Oz, and sometimes we are left at a bus stop in the middle of nowhere, with no clear navigation home.
Our postpartum bodies then experience a magical reconstruction, and we get handed a single flashlight on this raw path of motherhood. Just enough wobbling, wavering, brave light to decipher the next step. It simultaneously stretches our skin to iridescence, and births a million unexpected concussions of joy. It alters all of our relationships, and heat welds people to our lives we didn't even see coming. There are less milky platitudes, and more pure flints of clarity, like the successive clink of pebbles at the bottom of a well.
We were instructed that the intricacies of pregnancy are temporary, but the manuals we read were missing some pages. They forgot to tell us we would need to sprout another antler of patience, we would require our strength to settle in different places, and the things we don't understand would feel like the most important things that have ever happened to us. We thought we were bringing a child into our interpretation of the world, but instead they would rearrange us into their own.