Gimme some red high heels

{post-pregnancy ankles have never looked so good}

For 32 years I took my ankles for granted. To me they were just a joint: functional, purposeful, necessary. Yes, they were just another joint…

Until I got pregnant.

It was not that long ago that the climbing temperatures of summer and D-day simultaneously approached. As the thermometer spiked sharply and my little baby grew, so the presence of my ankles rapidly diminished.

I have to acknowledge that I was actually a very lucky pregnant woman: I never got morning sickness and I only had fairly normal pregnancy symptoms (a week of constant burping was perhaps one of the more notable ones).

And to my pleasure, I was fortunate enough to not gain much extra weight. (I thank my mother for that.)

Unless of course you consider my feet and ankles.

By seven months pregnant my feet were twice their normal size and my ankles were on their way out. By eight months pregnant my feet had tripled in girth and my ankles ceased to exist altogether.

They basically folded up shop and ditched town.

As huge as my belly was, I never had to fear falling over for lack of balance… Because no matter how belly-heavy I felt, I was completely anchored down with feet and ankles the size of a small elephant’s. And I’m not making this up or exaggerating. They were so big that my thongs (flip-flops) wouldn’t even fit… until I got a larger size.

{Oh man-sized flip-flops, you are so unattractive.}

When people saw me they would stare at my belly and say, “Oh, you’re huge – how cute!” which I took as a compliment. And then their gaze would shift to my feet and ankles…

{i can almost hear you gasping out loud now}

As they stood with mouths open and jaws dropped, their faces would quickly turn from enchantment and admiration of my belly to fright and shock over my feet and ankles. I’ve never had so many sympathetic remarks in my life, and let’s be honest, I did feel sorry for myself….. so I lapped up the sympathy. {Give a girl a foot pampering anyone? Ryan? Aw, sweet, sweet husband.}

Yes, my feet and ankles were a show-stopper—a spectacle indeed—and a topic of conversation among friends and family! When I would talk to my in-laws on the phone, the first thing they would enquire about was the state of my poor feet and ankles. I even had one friend feel so sorry for me that she brought me a foot-soaking tub as a house-warming gift when we moved house at eight months pregnant. {Um, about that last part… remind me to never do that again, ok?}

And then it happened: the birth of my son. And much to my delight the bones in my feet and ankles miraculously reappeared soon after!

One word for that: AMAZING.

I can remember being at home a few days after giving birth, shutting the door to my bedroom, and slipping on a pair of red high heels. “If only I had somewhere to wear these,” I thought to myself. “Who cares about my flabby tummy… I. Have. Ankles.”

My new-found ankles made me feel so pretty… and, dare I say, a little bit sexy. (Had I not been still recovering from a c-section and unable to walk properly I’m positive that I would’ve found somewhere to wear those things!)

I vowed on that day to never be unappreciative of my ankles again.

But in the midst of laundry and nursing, chores and nursery rhymes, changing diapers and grocery shopping… I tend to forget about such things as my ankles. I regret to say that they inevitably became functional again, no longer a symbol of my beauty and femininity.

Until today.

You see, this morning I was at my mum’s group sitting next a woman that is 38 weeks pregnant. Sure enough, her ankles were in hibernation and nowhere to be seen. She lamented about her “cankles” and spoke of her dreams to one day have her ankles back.

As she did so, terrible memories came flooding back of my own so-swollen-they-might-burst feet and ankles.

In that moment (as I began to break out in a cold sweat) I, too, gave her one of those sympathetic smiles and—as kindly as possible—mumbled something about it being over soon. And then I looked down at my own ankles and gave thanks that they were back in my life. I renewed my vow to not take those wondrous body parts for granted ever again.

Oh how glad I am to be postpartum and have slim, feminine ankles once more!

Long live that beautiful space which will forever connect my legs and my feet – ankles, dear sweet ankles. May they be fluid-free for many, many years to come!

Indeed, I love my ankles.

Dear friends, have you taken your ankles or some other “functional” body part for granted lately? Why don’t you go ahead and take a moment to admire yourself. {wink}

About Author

Adriel Booker is an author, speaker, and advocate based in Sydney, Australia who believes storytelling, beauty, and the grace of God will change the world. Adriel has become a trusted voice in areas of motherhood and parenting, Christian spirituality, and global women's issues. She's also known for her work with the Love A Mama Collective—serving under-resourced women in developing nations through safe birth initiatives—as well as her years spent as a Bible teacher and leadership coach. Her latest book is Grace Like Scarlett: Grieving with Hope after Miscarriage and Loss and she's made the companion grief journal available for free. Find Adriel across all social media platforms at @adrielbooker or sign up for LoveNotes, Adriel's 'secret posts' that aren't published anywhere else online. ✌️


  • Tia
    21 May 2010 at 1:39 pm

    Ha! I had preclampsia when I was preggers, and had elephant ankles, no joke. Thats how the doctor found out I had it, he had me put my feet up to take a look inside (gross) and said "whoa. your ankles are huge". And thats a quote. So I will never take my slim, feminine ankles for granted again!

  • Anonymous
    21 May 2010 at 11:48 pm

    Oh Adriel! I haven't laughed so hard it made me cry for a LONG time like I just did … tears running down my face. Guess it was because it was on the heels of reading your last post, but I swear my stomach just got a major work out! Too, too funny. I can't believe your dad didn't come in here to find out what was wrong with me. Must think that's normal when I read your blog. You are so funny! And BTW, are those your ankles in the picture? Very pretty. Love you – thanks for the laughs, Gigi. xo

  • mamaschwab
    22 May 2010 at 12:40 am

    That was a great post! You had me giggling for sure remembering the day I went to leave the hospital with my firstborn and not being able to put my shoes on because they had fed me so many fluids while I was in there!!!

    Oh wow my feet looked like clown feet and my ankles, there were no ankles to be found.

    Great post and thanks for finding me! Hope you visit again, I will be visiting you for sure…you crack me up.
    -Liza The Outspoken Mom

  • Melysah
    22 May 2010 at 2:16 am

    Oh, I can so relate. I suffer from edema and my feet are swollen 98% of the time. I can't imagine when I get pregnant! I miss the days of playing soccer and having normal sized feet. Luckily, there are support stockings that look like regular stockings. ROFLOL I am 28 going on 70. 😉

  • Mommycrat
    22 May 2010 at 3:27 am


    Stopping by through MBC and will certainly follow you now! You seem to be doing a lot with your blog that I hope to do with mine.

    As for my ankles in pregnancy? Bigger and puffier than I'd ever seen them. As a former athlete (and, I still like to think, kinda generally active person) I was horrified. But they came back to me (along with my ring fingers and the rest of me).

    All the best!

  • adriel, from the mommyhood memos
    24 May 2010 at 7:17 am

    thanks ladies! 🙂 i knew that lots of mommies would be able to related with this one! oh, for the love of ankles… 😉

  • Groovy Baby Blog
    28 May 2010 at 12:32 pm

    I agree we need to give more love to Our ankles!. Great post and now I'm following.

  • Katie
    10 August 2010 at 12:53 am

    Oh my gosh! Every women who has been pregnant can identify with this post! It really is amazing that your body can go through so much change and EVER return to normal.

    Your pictures made me give my ankles an admiring glance tonight 🙂 Stopping by from the 31DBBB Challenge!

  • Mama Hen
    10 August 2010 at 2:20 am

    Adriel this is a great post! You should have seen my poor sisters legs when she was pregnant. She was in so much pain and they were huge! I want to thank you for your comment about my Dad. I really miss him a lot and it is nice to be able to talk about what an amazing man he was. Come and join my new network Adriel at Mama's Little Nestwork. I had my first featured blogger today. I would love to see you there!

    Mama Hen

  • Mrs.Mayhem
    10 August 2010 at 3:13 am

    This is such a funny post. I can totally relate. My ankle weren't huge, but my feet were dreadfully puffy. Yes, it is amazing that our bodies can look as good as they do after everything they endured during pregnancy. And to think I've done this to my poor body four times!

  • gnomeangel
    10 August 2010 at 6:02 am

    If only I had pregnancy to blame for my cankles… *sigh*

    You have rather lovely ankles, if I can say that in a non creepy girl-on-girl kind of way. 😉

  • KDC Events
    11 August 2010 at 2:28 pm

    I guess I am a lucky one, I never had an ankle issue when prego. Then again, I am not super thin either =) I would die to have yours!

  • Becca
    13 August 2010 at 2:48 am

    i'm adding this to my list of things that no one tells you about, except in blog land. i keep reading baby blogs and finding more information that other friends haven't shared. cankles – just another thing to look forward to, right?

  • Lisa
    13 August 2010 at 5:37 am

    Oh my cuss, you had me at the love for ankles…but THEN you brought out the big guns, in the form of swollen trunks and I am your newest follower. Bless you for sharing this with the masses. 🙂

  • […] is to decorate a nursery and pine over adorable miniature outfits while your belly swells (and your ankles puff up like baby elephant feet), it’s also an important time of preparing yourself for […]

  • Megan
    10 August 2012 at 5:06 am


    This is happening to me now and I find comfort in this post. 🙂


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